Today’s guest author is the talented Avril Ashton. Just released December 5th, 2012, readers of Goodreads have already rated Avril’s 2nd book in her Brooklyn Sinner series, Sinner, Savior, just shy of 5 out of 5 stars! Her 1st book of the series, Love the Sinner, has received rave reviews, so I do not doubt that Sinner, Savior will fair just as well.
There are a few main questions that almost every author is asked, ‘Are you a plotter, or do you let your characters run the show?’, being one of them. Read about what Avril has to say, and feel free to leave a comment or two.
I tried outlining a story once. Took pen and paper and sat down and wrote out everything I thought should and would happen in the story I was about to write. I plotted that bad boy to a ‘T’, within an inch of its life.
I was so proud. There, I had planned something, wrote it out on paper—in pen no less—and I felt so proud. Hell, the damn book was already written in my mind beginning to end. All the twists and the turns and the character development and the secrets and back stories.
I mean, I had it all down.
Then I started actually writing.
And something happened.
Nothing was unfolding like I’d foreseen it. Like I’d planned it. Like I’d outlined it. What was happening? I took precious time to plot this thing and you’re telling me it was all useless? The hell you say?
I had recently begun writing seriously so I wasn’t yet aware of my system, or of my characters. Turns out, my characters can’t be pinned down. My stories can’t be told. I had to allow my characters to be themselves; I couldn’t tell them who to be. I had to experience my stories; I couldn’t simply assume what the journey might be.
That was a hard lesson to learn. There are many who’d say they are your characters, you are the writer, you control things. For some that can be true, that can work. I know for me, it doesn’t. It was a hard lesson to learn, but a necessary one. The freedom I now have when I sit at my computer to begin a story with only a title and the main characters names makes that lesson priceless.
We’re all different. Some know everything about their characters before they begin. All secrets, all fears. Some have a basic outline, some have road maps. I have a title, the two main characters’ names, and a one line description of the story.
Works for me.
Sinner or Savior? Each man has a choice to make. It should be simple. It never is.
Gun runner Pablo Castillo has cemented his reputation in the gun trade as callous and cold-hearted. Personal feelings no longer matter, not with everyone out to make him a sacrifice on their way to the top. He remains untouchable, until a meeting with a rival gang leader and a new deal brings him face-to-face with temptation.
Dev is the right hand to a sadistic bastard out for blood and glory. He hides his true feelings of distaste for his boss, not the least of his many secrets. He could’ve sworn those secrets were safe, but after meeting Pablo he’s not so sure. The two men come together in a heated affair neither can deny, battling themselves, each other and a deadly enemy bent on spilling blood. Pablo and Dev will have to stick together or walk away from a love neither man expected to find. The choice should be simple. It never is.
Kissing Dev had to be one of his biggest mistakes.
Pablo stared unseeing out the window of his office. The intoxicating scent of a welcome summer rain filled the air, but he couldn’t enjoy it.
He was back on that boat, under Dev, and loving every second of the other man’s heavy weight. Every swipe of his tongue. Nothing good could come of his dallying with one of York’s men, not when Pablo had that bastard in his crosshairs for trying to take him out.
York had to be taught a lesson—there were some people in this world you fucked with and some you don’t.
Pablo resided squarely in the don’t column.
But Dev. That kiss. It’d been two days and he sure as hell couldn’t forget it, not the taste of Dev or the scent of him.
I need to get laid.
His neglected libido had to be the only explanation for his acting like a lovesick fool. For allowing himself to be taken down by the enemy. Because Dev was the enemy, those firm lips and talented tongue notwithstanding.
Pablo shifted in his chair to ease the pressure in his groin. He’d gone to great lengths to safeguard himself and to get where he was, a little thing like a hard-on for one of York’s men sure as fuck wasn’t allowed to ruin that.
Not by a long shot.
He’d settle some things with his men and finally take that long-neglected trip to Philly to see Levi, get his dick spit-shined and a tight hole to sink into. He had no doubts by the time he got back to Brooklyn, he’d have gotten over wanting to fuck pretty boy Dev.
A knock sounded on the door and he looked up as Mateo and Freddo entered.
“Any news?” He lifted an eyebrow as the men sat on the couch opposite him.
Mateo spoke first, his dark-brown hair falling into his eyes when he nodded. “We think it’s him, but we still can’t be one hundred percent sure. He covers his tracks well.”
Freddo grunted in agreement. “Yeah, slippery bastard.”
“Has to be him.” Pablo got up and began pacing. “He’s stayed pretty much under our radar, but his choice of guns always gave him away.” He’d been on a personal quest to find his mother’s murderer for years and after all the frustration and anger, after debating whether to give up or not, he may have lucked out. He’d stake his life that York’s new client was the man he’d been searching for.
Mateo looked up at him. “Sounds like he’s preparing for something big though, with that amount of ammo. And the AR-15s, man…”
“Yeah.” Pablo was intimately familiar with the assault rifles and the damage they did. “We need to find him.”
“But how?” Freddo asked. “Did you get anything from York’s man the other day?”
Pablo shrugged. “Nothing useful, but I did promise to kill him if he didn’t find out the client’s identity.”
“That could work.” Freddo chuckled and Mateo joined in.
“It sure could.” Pablo sat back down at his desk. “Keep asking around, see if this mysterious client has approached anyone else to act as go-between for guns.” He fired up his computer then looked over his shoulder. “I’m leaving for Philly in a few hours, gotta see a man about some stuff.”
“Need some men?”
“Just one,” he answered Mateo. “No big entourage. We’re trying for a quick in and out.” In more ways than one. “By the way, who’s on York’s man, Dev?”
“Marcus and Fitch,” Freddo said. “They already checked in for the day, said nothing’s moving.”
Pablo turned back to the computer. “I want to know the minute anything does move, got it?”
A chorus of “got it, boss” rang out as the men left the room and closed the door behind them. Pablo grimaced, swallowing the urge to yell at them for directly disobeying his orders and calling him boss. That word sat heavily on his chest as he composed an email, reaching out for help.
He needed answers and in order to do that he had to resurrect ghosts.
He hurriedly sent the email off, fingertips ice cold, and stared at the tiny, translucent trails of water as they crawled along the window pane. He’d be the first to acknowledge he had a shitload of demons waiting to be exorcised, but he’d start with the easiest.
Pretty boy Dev.
A quick fuck from the very talented Levi would remove any lingering traces of Dev from Pablo’s skin and head. He was sure of it.
Many hours later, balls wrung dry, Levi’s scratches still raw on his skin, Pablo stood under a scalding shower in a nondescript Philadelphia hotel, Dev’s face dancing behind his closed eyes, regretting that promise.
l always wanted to have a sexy bio, one to reflect who I am, but after drawing a blank, l could only come up with: I eat cake and I read books…ooh, and I write ‘em too. No one liked it and after massive peer-pressure and pouting, I managed something more…suitable?
A Caribbean transplant, Avril now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y with a tolerant Spousal Equivalent. Together they raise an eccentric daughter who loves reading and school (not so much school anymore). Avril’s earliest memories of reading revolve around discussing plot points of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys with an equally book-minded mother
Always in love with the written word, Avril finally decided to do the writing in August of ’09 and never looked back. Spicy love scenes, delicious heroes, and wicked women burn up the pages of Avril’s stories, but there’ll always be a happy ending; Av remains a believer of love in all its forms.