Monday, May 10, 2010

Welcome Marianne Stephens/April Ash

1. How did you start your writing career?

I’d always enjoyed reading. Started with Shakespeare, then biographies, then historical romances. Finally read some contemporary romances and was hooked. Also love paranormals. In 1994, I thought maybe I’d try writing a romance book. I bought a copy of “The Romance Writers Pink Pages” and found agents listed. Sent queries. Two asked for partials and one asked for full manuscript. All were rejected…but the agent who read the full suggested I put DIALOGUE in my story…I’d written most of it as a narrative. I had much to learn! I took some writing seminars, joined RWA and some local chapters. And, got into critique groups.

2. Tell us about your favorite character from your books.

Katie O’Hara from “Gone to the Dogs” is my favorite character. I wrote the book in first person…and LOVED being in her head the whole time! She tries her hardest to be self-sufficient, but can’t ignore the handsome fireman itching to get into her good graces by helping her.

3. Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?

I’d have to say all the people in my local RWA chapter have helped me. Some have been super supportive, and my critique groups never failed to make me face reality. Lots of names I could mention, but Carla Cassidy was a big help when she told me I wrote episodes, and needed to connect them. When I looked carefully at what I was doing, I realized she was right. Once I got that fixed in my writing, I felt better about my work and then sold my first book.

4. What is the hardest part of writing your books?

The middle! I ALWAYS get this slump going in the middle of the book. It’s not like I don’t know what I should be writing, but I stumble and groan about it. Sometimes it takes me weeks to straighten it out before I can continue to the end
5. Do you use a pen name?

If so, how did you come up with it?I use two pen names. Marianne Stephens is a combination of two first names of people I know. April Ash…my birthday is in April and I wanted a last name that was short and towards the beginning of the alphabet (fits better and easier on promo items).

6. Morning Person? Or Night Person?

Night, although I’ve gotta watch if I’m tired. I can write some pretty awful stuff and make lots of mistakes if I’m tired and stay up late. Nights are quieter for me, even though my kids are grown. I still have lots of family responsibilities that distract me during the day.
7. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Newest release: “Anything You Can Do” by Marianne Stephens, available at

What happens when a childcare, clueless male CEO mixes with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for a week, all because of a dare? Can he keep up with the kids...and maintain his sanity...while becoming more and more attracted to the daycare's owner, the woman who issued the challenge?

Marianne Stephens has contemporary/paranormal romances for Cerridwen Press.

April Ash has contemporary erotic romances at Ellora’s Cave.

Come join me at a new Yahoo group for fun, contests, book/industry news! Join: I send out my newsletter through the yahoo group. This group also has a blog:

Visit my websites for information about my books/interviews/reviews/blogs. Go to: and

I also blog every Monday at:

Friend me on Facebook: For Marianne Stephens: and for April Ash:

Amber, thanks for the opportunity to do this interview!


  1. I soooooo want AYCD!!! Hopefully buying it soon:)

  2. Wonderful interview! Hi Ladies! I have trouble with middles, too!

  3. Great interview, Marianne/April - BTW, I love the name April Ash - sounds like a romance writer! :)

  4. I love this interview! Marianne/April gets the best covers!

  5. I loved the interview. I have to say I'm partial to "April Ash" that name has poetic irony to it.
    XXOO Kat

  6. Thanks for the comments!The name April Ash just sorta "flowed" and is shorter than Marianne Stephens so fits better on promo items!
    Amber...thanks for the interview!


  7. What a wonderful interview! Thanks ladies!

  8. Great to meet you, Marianne/April!