Raina Ash Author Interview

Gina: What is your favorite thing about being an Author?
Raina: I love the power to create the world I want to live in and the stories I want to read. Since age 5, I’ve been a writer. Only more recently I became an Author. My favorite aspect of authorship is channeling my writing into a format that others can connect with. If there’s something I want to write about (and thus read about), I figure there are others in the world who want the same. It’s satisfying to know that my words, voice, and style are finally out there in published form.
Gina: What genre of books are you inspired most to write about?
Raina: I’m a bit eclectic with a fascination for the world around me. I actually studied fine art in college with a focus on “Intermedia.” The concept behind Intermedia is that something you have to say, a piece of art you want to create, doesn’t have to be created any particular way. It should be created in the way that will most convey what you want to express. So, I’m curious about a lot of genres. Right now, I’m focused on romance and sci fi. I have a literary background, so a lot of my work revolves around character-driven plots and human desires. I also have a dirty mind...expect my romance to have all those juicy sex scenes!
Gina: Do you plot your books or let them lead you?
Raina: Plotting is never set in stone. It’s fluid. When I get an idea for a story, I spend a lot of time with worksheets. I love worksheets! Asking questions has been the most useful way I found to get to the heart of the characters and their stories. I go through worksheets and answer questions and spend time just lost in thought. Once I have a good feel for what might happen, I sketch a rough plot and think about what scenes to include. Then I write. New ideas inevitably come up in the process of writing, so I’ll go back and revise my outline or just make notes and keep moving forward. Sometimes, I have to scrap a story and start from the beginning. It’s all part of the process.
Gina: What is something you do when writing that keeps you going?
Raina: I keep writing. Have you ever had to walk somewhere with no other option? Like, your car is getting an oil change and you’re hungry and there’s a restaurant just two blocks away. You walk one block and are feeling tired. Well, now you’re halfway, so you can either keep going to your destination or go back to where you started. Both ways are the same amount of effort. You have no other option but to do SOMETHING. So you keep walking to the restaurant. It’s the same with writing. There’s no option but to keep writing until I’m done.
Gina: What is your inspiration for the current book or series you are writing?
Raina: I’ve just started to dip my toes into romance, so I began with a few standalones. I want to do a series next, so I spent time looking at other romance series and thinking about what would hold my interest over the course of 4-6 books. I landed on weddings. As someone who wants to someday get married, how can I not think about weddings?? Even though I’m not an actual bride, I can write about them! The current series I’m working on will revolve around a group of friends who run a business together and all (or maybe just most) find their soulmates. I’m envisioning each book will revolve around one character and their story, with the last book in the series being their weddings. There’s a lot to play with, so I’m currently having fun with research and notes (i.e. my excuses for looking at wedding dresses and venues for hours).
Gina: Have you had any trial or errors that has cost you in becoming an author?
Raina: My road to authorship has been a long one. My main setback has been my own beliefs. Though I grew up loving to write, I told myself I couldn’t make a living as an author. I spent a lot of my youth trying (and failing) at things that weren’t writing, growing as a person, and coming to terms with trauma and mental illness. It was only within the last few years when I experienced three near-death events (one car accident, a pulmonary embolism, another car accident), that I stopped caring about what’s holding me back. Life on Earth doesn’t last forever. I spent so much time not being an author. Now that I’m trying, it doesn’t matter if I ultimately fail. It only matters that I try.
Gina: What would you say to someone who wants to become a writer?
Raina: As others before me have said, being a writer means you write. That’s it! If you are currently writing consistently (every day or at least several times a week), you are already a writer. Writers aren’t tormented souls and they also don’t sit around drinking tea (or something harder) all day, lost in musings. They are simply people with similar life struggles, who have bills and to-do lists and bad days, who sit down to write. Write anything and write often. Become a writer is the easy part! Marketing yourself as a writer...that’s another story.
Gina: What goals have you set for yourself for the next year?
Raina: Now that I have a taste for publishing, I’m ready to ramp it up. My goal for 2020 is to publish 6 books, most of which will be books from my wedding romance series. I’m also aiming to have a literary sci-fi book published under my other pen name, Cassandra Vann.
Gina: What do you want readers to see or feel most when it comes to your stories?
Raina: For my romance books, I want them to feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If my stories encourage them to pursue what they want out of life and add some love to their relationships, all the better.
Gina: What would you like to say to your readers and anyone interested in reading your books?
Raina: I think I reveal too much of myself when I write. If you notice similar aspects in my stories, that’s why. There’s a part of me in every female character - my independence, hopes, worries, longings. That’s what makes me human. We all crave connection. If you’re going through something, know that someone else in the world is going through it, too. I hope you can find a connection with my romance characters (or their plight) and feel all the more satisfied when they get their happily ever afters (even if it’s in an unexpected way).
Gina: Thank you for your interview today. I usually will add a little here and place a link below to your book. 


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