Feb. 8, 2023

All things dark and dirty with Ashlyn Drewek

All things dark and dirty with Ashlyn Drewek

Ashlyn Drewek writes dark, gritty MM romance but after her characters slay their demons (personal or otherwise)  they always have a happily ever after. Ashlyn joins me on this episode to talk about writing in the dark space – including writing dubcon and noncon — while retaining your own mental health, why she prefers to read and write MM stories, and how she always stays authentic to her characters.


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Elle 0:00
International Best Selling and award winning dark romance author Ashlyn drew ik has always been a hopeless romantic. She's also fascinated by the dark McCobb things in life, you can blame a love of Halloween and Edgar Allan Poe for that one. Most of our time is spent making up stories in our head or researching some obscure topic, just because she's that much of a nerd. It's the rabbit hole and I love it. The degree on the wall says she's a historian, but the paycheck says she's a first responder Ashlyn lives in Northern Illinois with her patient husband, fearless daughter, and a house full of animals. Ashlynn Welcome to steam sees. Thanks for taking the steam seat today.

Ashlyn 0:38
Yes, thank you for having me. I know this is super

Elle 0:40
cool. So okay, this wasn't like on the prep questions that I sent you. But I'm super curious. What? Can you tell me what you do as a first responder? Or is that not cool?

Ashlyn 0:50
Oh, no, absolutely. Um, I am a 911 dispatcher. So I answered the 911 calls. I dispatch police fire medical. Yeah, so the technical term is telecommunicator. But I it's an i One dispatcher.

Elle 1:08
Okay, cuz I'm kind of that kind of feels like, it ties into your writings. Like I'm seeing a tie in here. So some way of in terms of like, what you do every day and what you must hear, you know, sort of on your nine to five or I'm sure, you know, 11 to seven. I'm sure you work these weird hours. Oh, yeah. You know, so I like what you're hearing and then. And then I guess like what you're writing because you are writing a dark romance? Yeah, normal. Yeah. But not just paranormal. So hard to explain what you're writing.

Ashlyn 1:45
Yeah, I'm a little all over the place. Um, the first book I did was male, female, vampire cops. So obviously, that was pulled, like, minus the vampire stuff directly from you know, my

Elle 2:00
work where you don't mean to say that there was?

Ashlyn 2:03
No sadly, there are no hot vampire detectives

Elle 2:07
running around. Oh, my God, that's such a bummer.

Ashlyn 2:10
I know. But most of like, that whole book, to my coworkers is hilarious, because it's just full of inside jokes from our department, you know, people turns the phrases like it just it's like a, like an ode to my co workers. Because they were the ones who pushed me to even start writing real. So yeah, like I had been doing it. And I wanted to be published, I tried the whole traditional publish route. And that obviously didn't work. So I took a break from it. And then one of my friends who's a deputy, she was like, You should really like go back to writing like, you should write that vampire book you were talking about. So I did. And then I just went down a rabbit hole of like other other things. So Oh, my God.

Elle 3:00
Okay, so this is so your, your quote unquote, out to your colleagues, like they know that you're writing this sort of very, very steamy, very dark romance. Yes. Okay. All right.

Ashlyn 3:13
Um, they were like, they're all okay with it. And they think it's super cool. And, you know, they're like, when you make it big, like, we want to be on your security detail. Like, you know, we want to, we want to help or we want to be in the movie. I love that. But when I started writing, mmm, you know, like, male loving male romance. A couple of the guys were like, um, I don't think I can follow your Instagram anymore.

Elle 3:43
Like, it's okay. You're not my target audience.

Ashlyn 3:45
Right. I was like, that's okay. Thank you for your support. Like, you know, I get it, I went way off what you thought I was going to be doing? But that's how it happens. Oh, my God,

Elle 3:56
that's like, well, actually, you know, it's very funny, kind of speaking about that target audience. I did like a tick tock purge over the weekend. And to sort of clean up my tick tock because I was following all sorts of shit on there that I, as I understand is not good for the algos. And so I was like I was like Sorry,

Unknown Speaker 4:15
husband on. Not Yeah,

Elle 4:20
good audio, like it kind of feels a little bit like that. Like, you're kind of like I love you and not my target audience.

Ashlyn 4:26
Right. Yeah.

Elle 4:30
So I'm curious how you Well, I'm very curious how you ended up as a 911 dispatcher, you know, you're a historian, you're a writer, like where did that like how did that happen?

Ashlyn 4:43
Um, the recession in 2007. Okay, so I graduated from college in 2006 to summer 2006. And I was going to be a history teacher. That was what I wanted to do. And while I was like finishing up my Bachelor's, they're like, there's no room for history teachers, all they want is, you know, STEM teachers, there's an oversaturation of, you know, social sciences, you're never gonna find a job. And I was like, well, that's great. So I literally just started looking for jobs. And the, the sheriff's office that I was at that I worked for was hiring. And I was like, my dad was a cop. I've always been interested in law enforcement in high school for a time I wanted to join the FBI. And then 911 happened. And I was like, Nope, don't want to do that. So I just applied, I was like, I'll just apply to this dispatching job and see what that's all about. And I got hired two months later, and I've been there ever since.

Elle 5:50
Wow. Because I know, I know dispatching in particular on 911 is super high stress. That is my understanding. Yeah. Like, like, you're dealing with a lot of shit. And there's like, a lot of balls in the air and sort of like an horrifying, like, you hear like, probably some horrifying, horrifying things. Yeah. Which I mean, if you were interested in law enforcement, like you were probably already, like, had the stomach first.

Ashlyn 6:15
Yeah, um, that part? Like in the moment, it doesn't bother you, because like, You're just like your adrenaline's off your focus, like, you know, you don't have time to think about it. But there's been plenty days I come home and just like burst into tears the minute I walk in the door, because people suck.

Elle 6:35
Yeah, cuz I'm wondering, I'm sort of wondering if there is a certainly because you are writing dark. Like, I feel like this is kind of like maybe a third, like almost like therapy in a way or were you always right, so I guess maybe we should take a couple steps back here. And I should say, at what point were you like, oh, I want to I want to write like I am interested in writing? Or were you always writing when you were a kid, I'm sort of curious. I'm trying to merge the two here.

Ashlyn 7:02
I, I always was interested in writing. Way back when I was like, in fourth and fifth grade, like I was, you know, doodling weird little stories and notebooks. And then I'm really going to age myself. But then AOL came along with their, with their message boards and their chat rooms. And I got involved in a medieval fantasy, like, role playing group, I guess, where you like you personally, right? First person, you know, like, for your character. And I just thought it was so cool. Like, I, my sister, my older sister was in to it. We had like a close group of friends that was doing it. So like, we created like, this whole medieval fantasy world on AOL. And it was it Yeah, like it just I, I got addicted to it. And so I wrote, like, all like through my childhood through high school. But I never thought about being a writer. It was just something I did, you know, for fun. And then I was dispatching and hating life, and wanted, like a creative outlet. So I started writing. And I was like, Well, you know, like, why don't I try getting published. And like I said, I tried going the, the, you know, literary agent route and the traditional route, and that didn't work out. So I took a break for like, 10 years, I was like, forget this, like, I'm just gonna, you know, move on with my life. And I was pregnant with my daughter. And that's when my friend Meghan was like, you know, you should really finish that, you know, that book that you were doing, or like, start writing that book you were talking about. So I did. And I started writing on my phone, like, I just opened, oh, my God, this app on my phone. And I literally, like thumb, typed, like, 40,000 words, and I'm like, maybe I should switch this to like a computer,

Elle 9:02
I wouldn't do that. Because I know, there are a number of authors that can write on their phones, and I'm like, can't do it. My life would be so much easier if I could do it. It's amazing.

Ashlyn 9:12
It was like, because I just would add little bits here and there, you know. And so like, I wasn't really serious about it, but once I got serious, and I got the laptop. I sat down and actually plan things. So yeah, then I you know, I didn't even try the second time around. I didn't even try queering agents. I was just like, forget it, like Amazon makes it so easy to Self Publish. I'm just gonna do that. Yeah, I mean,

Elle 9:37
you know, it's sort of interesting. I kind of you know, every once in a while have this conversation with with folks. It's like, you know, so when the publishing industry is really about what sells and so it's not reflective of anybody's talent as a writer. It's like it is just about Will we be able to sell this manuscript and make money and I think In particular, you know, 10 years ago, like you said, you took a 10 year break or however many years ago, probably at this point over 10 years, like they were you riding dark back then that should be my question.

Ashlyn 10:11
No, I was guiding young adult. I mean, like, I felt more young adult ish than I do now. Like, because I'm, I'm 36. So 10 years ago, I still felt closer to like high school, college aged people. So I was doing paranormal young adult. And I got close with a couple agents, like a couple agents said like, this is really good. I really like it, but I'm not in love with it, or but it's too similar to you know, x, y, or z or whatever. And I was just like, okay, like, yeah, okay, so I was just tired of like, beating my head against the wall. So that's why I was like, Alright, I'm just gonna take a break. So okay,

Elle 10:55
so then you are not when did you turn to dark? Dark romance like when dark, right? I'm assuming you were in the romance genre to begin with. But um, yeah, when it turned dark for you?

Ashlyn 11:07
Um, well, kind of, I guess, like, when I came back, like, and when I published my vampire story, it's not dark. It's not super, super dark. But it's like, I mean, there's murder and every single or I should say, there's death. And every single one of my books, like, every single one, even the one that just came out today in an anthology, it's like, the closest thing I've written to a rom com and like, somebody still dies. Like, I just, yeah, I figure, I don't know, like, I just, it's realistic to me, because like, my real life world is kind of dark and gritty. So I just kind of, it just seeps into my writing. Like, I can't do fluff. I can't do light and happy and like, whole marquee sort of things. Like Mine is dark and dirty. And you know, like, there might be fun moments or like funny you know, quotes a dialogue but overall, like, you're not gonna necessarily walk away like thinking like, Oh, that was a fun victory. Like

Elle 12:15
and I can confirm you know it with the with the extra that you sent, it is super fun to read. But yeah, it is dark. Like it is like it's dark. And it's you that was did the particular one that we're going to talk about is the paranormal. And so you have those sort of like the you know, that sort of spooky elements that come with witches and necromancers and you know, all those things that go bump in the night, which I think it's like, maybe I mean, do you find for readers like that's a little bit more palatable than the more the darker romances that are realistic that are like rooted in more realism?

Ashlyn 12:52
Um, I think it depends because like I first got my bump of I don't want to say fame because I'm not famous by any stretch but like I started getting noticed when I wrote my Russian mafia kidnapping story and that's, that's dark like that's probably the darkest I've published is those two books. One for those. That is it's the soul Nish go do it. And it's the kidnapping of Rowan Sinclair and the vengeance of Rowan Sinclair's two books. Okay. Um, so that's like on page which I weren't sure like a lot of violence a lot of graphic.

Elle 13:34
I'm gonna go to one click those like right now. Yes. Language

Ashlyn 13:39
there's the beginning of on page you know essay, but it fades to black you know, but like, there's enough of it that you know what's coming. You're like, so that is like gritty and people. Obviously you either are not okay with it. But like, you're okay reading it and you won't be triggered. or you're not. And the people who are not okay with that, like definitely came for me. And you know, like you're glorifying this and this is disgusting and blah, blah, blah. You know, and Malam Discordia my, which paranormal one Yeah, it's not that dark. It's definitely not as dark as their own Do It was. But I think it is like you can forgive it a little bit more because it's fantasy. It's paranormal it's clearly not reality. Right. I hope that will hold true for the next book in that series, because that is also like super dark. It's got straight up non con on page like, between the MCS there's torture, there's animal sacrifice. Like there's every trigger warning I can probably put in there short of like child essay is happening in this book and I'm just not Like, well, demons, so I hope it's okay.

Elle 15:05
Like your average trigger warning? Yeah, possible on this book? Wow. Um, yeah. Okay, first of all, I'm like, hats off. I think that's super brave because I do you know that you can gamble, you know, you can catch a lot of shit for, for what you're writing and I think that it's a little bit. I think that criticism is a little misguided because you know, you've the there's no everybody has like don't knock on someone's Yum, right? Like there's a reason why people are drawn to certain works and it doesn't necessarily mean that it's because they have a dungeon at home. And they're doing terrible things, you know what I mean? Like, no, there is an element of fantasy. And I think for some people in particular, it can actually be it can enter, it can actually help overcome certain types of trauma, by reading it and sort of being able to kind of like take control, it's a way of controlling whatever trauma they might have in their background.

Ashlyn 16:07
Absolutely. And that's for Rohn. Especially, that's wasn't the goal. Because I don't, I don't plan my books in that much detail. But when the book started heading that direction, you know, and I committed like, okay, like, this is what has to happen to be authentic to the character into the world and whatever. Like, I didn't just willy nilly write stuff on the page, like, I did research, because I always do research, but like, I read survivor stories, I watched documentaries, I listened to, you know, Interviews with Survivors, I looked up statistics, like all this stuff, because I wanted to capture as much authenticity as possible. So God forbid, a survivor is reading this, you know, they might see themselves or they might, you know, just be able to relate to that. And, like, appreciate that. Somebody took the time to understand them, you know, and like, it wasn't done to glorify it. It was done because it's a sad reality. And this is just one portrayal of of that that happens in real world. Yeah, in the real world.

Elle 17:17
Absolutely. I'm kind of curious for you, as a writer, like is, Is it tough to write DevCon and non con? Or is there like, how do you how do you sort of process that for yourself?

Ashlyn 17:29
Um, the Rhone scene was the worst for me. Like, I literally made myself sick writing it because I was, I write first person. So I was in rounds head, like, as it was happening, trying to process like, what you would be thinking what you would be feeling like, and also focusing on like, super random details, like, you know, the smell of the dumpster in the alley where he was like, the feel of the asphalt underneath him, like, just like, other things to make it realistic. Like that you don't necessarily focus on what's going on, you know, like to you like you're focused on your environment, right. Um, but yeah, I I made myself sick writing it, like I was so worked up and anxious and like, physically ill by the time I was done, I was crying, like, you know, I cry when I write half of my stuff. But, um, but then in Igni, for oakway, the sequel to mallam. It's a demon, non conning a witch that he's taken captive, and you're in the witches head, well, it's happening, and it's horrible. And he doesn't, you know, he understands it's a demon and the demons torturing him. And that's part of the torture process. But then, like, another reason becomes apparent, like, why the demons doing it, and it's just trying to get, like, telepathically in his head. And so then the witch is just like, oh, like, okay, like, so it's not that you're just like, a sick, fuck, like, who's doing this, like, you're actually trying to get, like information out of me. And this is like a, quote, unquote, easy way to do it. So like, once he realizes that, like, he's not okay with it, like, you know, like, who would be okay, but like, he kind of understands it a little bit more. So he can come to terms later like with their relationship like it's so

Unknown Speaker 19:28
yeah, I think I think this is why like, I

Elle 19:32
really enjoy reading dark romance. I would love to write one I really want to write them off your romance for some reason, but

Unknown Speaker 19:42
you need to like sit on that like, you need to live

Elle 19:44
with a little voice like oh, do

Unknown Speaker 19:45
it, do it. Do it do it. But I don't like I don't know.

Elle 19:49
Like you go such a dark, dark, dark places and I've gone you know, in a couple of my books, I went to some pretty dark places I was dealing with irate Rockstar so I was dealing with like the reality the gritty realities of what how I'm in the entertainment industry in the music industry. And all of that sort of exploding around Weinstein was happening when I was writing, or will I was like, you know, sort of planning out one of the books. And so that was like a big part of it. And I was like, I'm like, like, not half as dark as dark romance. I was just like, Oh, I think I need a palate cleanser, like, I need something to like, walk away from this world for a little while. So I don't know. And then particularly now, knowing your day job, I'm like, holy

Unknown Speaker 20:28
shit. How do you do this?

Ashlyn 20:31
This therapeutic, um, I don't know, I probably because like, in my day job, like, I don't want to say I'm powerless, but like, I'm on the other end of the phone, right? So people are calling me screaming for help. And like, other than sending them help, there's literally nothing I can do. So like, you're in a position of power and authority, but yet you feel so absolutely helpless. So to be able to write dark romance, and whether I'm writing from the villains perspective, or you know, like from some person who just got swept up in it, like I am able to channel like my feelings about that like and work through some stuff.

Elle 21:14
This is fascinating.

Ashlyn 21:15
And I'm sure you'll be shocked to know that I had a great upbringing. So I'm also able to take like, a lot of that nonsense and work through it. And, you know, right, if I am dealing with a particular issue within my family at any given moment, like I can write about it and like, process it and then move on with my life.

Elle 21:41
Yeah, absolutely. I completely understand that. Oh, my god. It's so funny. Because while I was like, sort of like researching you and reading your scene and stuff like that, I was like, I swear, she probably has like a Lisa Frank room and our house, that's all

Ashlyn 22:02
Yeah, no, totally. Oh, um, yeah, I have a lot of bunnies, like a lot of stuffed animal bunnies. Yeah, a lot of Fox stuff. Like just super random. I feel like wait, this chick writes like, like one of the my characters literally peeled somebody else's face off. And I'm like, I'm gonna grab my stuffed animal buddy and go to bed. And

Elle 22:31
what that how did you research that, that your Google History must be amazing.

Ashlyn 22:37
Um, I saw my husband's a hunter and he obviously, like skinny animals. So I'm like, Honey, what? What does it feel like when you're, you know, skinning a deer like cut, you know, cutting the hide off. He's like, Oh, well, there's like a little bit of tension. You just tug and slide the knife around. I'm like, okay. So, yeah, amazing. The hunter. Oh, my. Oh, my God, you

Elle 23:04
guys should do like a writing hotline. Ask the hunter.

Ashlyn 23:07
Oh, my God, he would probably love that.

Elle 23:11
I've just given him his side hustle as

Ashlyn 23:13
Yeah. Oh, he claims credit for so much in my books. I

will, you know, be talking and I'll have like, whatever issue I'm having. And I'll be like, Okay, so this is my issue and the like, I'll just talk nonstop for like, 20 minutes or something. And he'll just be like, Uh, huh. Yep. Ah, like the whole time. And then I'll work through whatever the problem is myself and be like this and then run away. He's like, Yeah, no problem. Like, he didn't. He didn't do shit. But he's like, Yep, I helped with that one. Like, No, you didn't you were just

Elle 23:46
you just were you're a warm body. Yeah, I'm so happy that you said that though. Because I actually do that too, sometimes with my spouse sometimes with my kid, like, you know, and I'll just, like, talk at them. And they're just looking at me like, I'm not. Yeah, because I am literally talking about them. And then like, you know, 510 minutes later, I'm like, okay, got it. Walk away.

Unknown Speaker 24:06
Great. Glad to help.

Ashlyn 24:08
Thanks. Right. Like, what just happened? Like, okay, then.

Unknown Speaker 24:13
What? No, yeah,

Ashlyn 24:14
he does help sometimes.

Elle 24:18
One of the things that I'm sort of fascinated about when you are working with, you know, with these tropes of non canon DevCon and putting these characters then together later on, that seems like an insurmountable hurdle to me as a writer, and I'm very interested in how you are able to make that happen.

Ashlyn 24:37
Well, um, for Malin that was kind of easy, because they already had like a sexual attraction, right? Um, which people bitched about of course, too, because they literally hook up in the first chapter. They don't have like, full on penetrative sex, but they hook up at a party before they know who the other one is, and the premise of MELHEM is based on Romeo and Juliet.

Elle 25:02
I felt like it was I was getting the vibes. Yeah, I was totally getting the vibes.

Ashlyn 25:06
In Romeo and Juliet, they meet at a party and kiss before they know who the other one is. And then they're like, oh shit. So people are like, Oh my god, she ruined the tension because they hooked up in the first chapter and like, have you read Shakespeare? Like, take it up with William because I just copied what he did. So it was easy for them to kind of get past their? Well, it wasn't easy, because like, they're 80% of the way into the book. And they're still bitching at each other like, and not like, they go back and forth almost the entire book of like, do I actually trust you? Or do I not? Like, is it just hormones? Like? Is it our magic? That's like messing with us? Like what's going on? interest? So yeah, they fought it for like, a long time. And then people complained about that, like, Oh, my God, like, you know, the back and forth the bantering, like, it just got to be too much. I'm like, well, but if they would have given it too easy, like to

Elle 26:00
write it, so

Unknown Speaker 26:02
this is my my, um, you know, what, reader readers,

Elle 26:04
it's very funny sort of, to read criticism and sort of, in part in like, one part of my day job where I'm dealing with critics writing about artists are not the artists they're writing about. And it's really interesting, because I'm always like, please review what's on the page. And the or, like, what what you're seeing, and not necessarily what you want to say, like, this is not like, they didn't create the thing you want to see, okay, fine. But they did create a thing. And that's what you should be looking at.

Ashlyn 26:30
That's perfect. Like, can you broadcast that to people? Because, seriously, we get slammed all the time, because they're like, my expectation was this and they didn't deliver? Well, I'm sorry, your expectation was that, like, I wrote the story, I wanted to write if you want that, go write that, like nobody's stopping you. Right? You know,

Elle 26:51
right. Right. And so it's sort of like, and I like I can understand if it's like, you are terrified by dark romance, and you put out a book with an illustrated cover. And you're right, you know what I mean? And you like Miss sold what it was, but I think ultimately, as long as you're kind of like, in the jaw, like do all the genre things, so people know what they're getting when they purchase the book, like, you know, take a look at the work that is in front of you, and not necessarily the thing that you have in your head, because, you know, nobody is going to create the book that you want to read, when we're creating the books that we're creating like that. And that's sort of full stop, you know, right. So I don't know, like, it's tricky, right? Because, like, I completely get criticism, but at the same time, I'm always like, you know, like, I got hit with my last book, with like, you know, Carrie, saying the F word is not character development. And I was like, Okay, first of all, yes. First of all, yes, it can be second of all. Second of all, like, didn't you know what you were getting like, there was a lot of pearl clutching in the review. And I'm like, I write Rockstar romance. You know, if you look inside, it's like, maybe like buck is in that first page. Like, you know what you're getting copious use of the F word, though. It may be, you have to know what you're getting. And so, you know, there's like that sort of, like interesting thing where it's like, okay, it's not the book. It's not for you, but like, you kind of signed up for it. Right? Right now, like, nobody was pulling the wool here.

Ashlyn 28:34
And that's funny. Somebody would even complain about that, because that's something I'm doing in Igni right now with the demon and the witch. So the witch is, he's a necromancer, and he's very, he's basically like a priest. So he's celibate. He is very pure. Like he's very basic kind of lives like a monkish sort of lifestyle. And so he doesn't swear like he's very prim and proper, and then this demon comes in and ruins his life. And like as the story progresses, like, he starts swearing more and more. So I am using the F word as character developed back because, like I said, the tagline for this next book is like, this isn't a redemption story, like it's all about failings fall or like his corruption, like, this is not going to be where he saves the demon. It's going to be where the demon totally like, corrupts him. And, you know, it's like the opposite of a redemption story. So God, this

Elle 29:33
sounds amazing.

Ashlyn 29:35
I hope it turns out the way I see it in my head, like I'm, you know, still working on it, but so far, it's pretty interesting.

Elle 29:44
I'm kind of curious how you come up with these ideas, because I do think that that's really fascinating. And like you said, like, it was sort of like based on Romeo and Juliet. Are you sort of like anchoring these in sort of, like, you know, Bitly like the sort of more broad stories that we've been given when we're kids whether To fairy tale retelling, or Shakespeare or something like that, or they I'm just kind of curious how these and then do it giving that twist? Like how does because like your, your premises are fascinating to me. And I'm like, how do you come up with that? Because it's brilliant.

Ashlyn 30:15
It depends on the story, which I know is a cop out. But like Balam was obviously Romeo and Juliet. Like I made no qualms about like, trying to disguise that fact. I just released a short story today in that anthology that's heavily inspired by Beauty and the Beast like, but it's a contemporary and then romance. Right? Um, but then like, Igni is not like, I don't want to say it's totally original, because nothing's Yeah, but I'm not like actively basing it on anything. Like, it's just another, like straight up enemies. Two Lovers hate each other. Story, and then like, how they're forced to work together towards a common goal. And then, you know, fall in love slowly but surely. So it just, it just depends. I don't Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 31:07
I don't know. Yeah, I'm

Elle 31:08
curious, because I actually did my first the next book that's coming out. It's like my first kind of foray into inspired by something else. Right. So with with Runaway Bride, it's sort of a gender swap, runaway bride or a take on that. And I thought, and I actually really enjoyed it, because I felt like like one of the places where I think I fell apart as a writer is sort of plot development, like plot and stuff like that sort of plot development thing. And I had my beats, because I was like, I knew that I had to, like I was following this thing. So I just was able to match my beats, and it made it like much, much easier writing experience for me.

Ashlyn 31:46
Yes. So that is definitely the case for malam. Because there was a couple points where I was like, you know, I knew generally where it was going, like I had that the beats, like you said, the major plot points that I'm striving for, but like in the middle, I'm like, well, now what do I have to do? Right. And I was able to go back and look at Romeo and Juliet. And one of the characters is the priests, the father in that, and like his whole obsession with plants, and that translated directly into one of my secondary characters, who is a professor of like botany. And his magic power is he can control plants and stuff. So when I was stuck, in this particular scene, I was just like, oh, but like, they turned to the priests when they need help. So in my story, they turn to the professor when they need help. And you know,

Elle 32:36
Oh, wow. And I know, in the scene that You sent Me, you have the characters walking through a poison garden, which I thought was such a nice touch.

Ashlyn 32:43
Yeah, I really love that. Like, I wanted to do something more with that poison garden, but I just didn't quite get there.

Elle 32:51
So we can't fit everything in. But that was one of the things I definitely wanted to talk to you about is the world building, because I really feel like people are like, I mean, obviously, with paranormal there's a little bit more world building going on. But I really feel like Romance Writers are never given the sort of credit for creating worlds, even if they're not in fantasy or paranormal. And I think that that's actually really important part of what we do beyond the happily ever after, and like and the the romance aspect is actually creating these these worlds.

Ashlyn 33:21
Yes, um, whether it is like a small cozy, small town, or a small creepy town, you know, or like a big, you know, even if you're just like setting something like mine, Rowan was that like, in and around Chicago. So like I mentioned, Chicago, I mentioned, like, you know, some of the suburbs around here. But then, like, the key points that they went to, like a couple like nightclubs, or strip clubs, or whatever, like, those are all just like, made up in my head. But it sets the scene, like, you know, you're going to the CDs strip club with, you know, like, run by Russian mafia, like, you feel sticky and dirty, and you can smell cotton candy, and like, you know, I can when I was writing it, so, if but if I didn't have that, like, I don't think it would have quite the same impact. Yeah, I think

Elle 34:19
we need to, like certainly writing more, I guess more viscerally, I guess would be what we're kind of doing in terms of like igniting all of those senses, you know, for our readers to sort of really understand where they are, whether it is, you know, shadowy or bright, you know, or the scent like you said of cotton candy and this dingy strip club or like the grit of something underneath, you know, your hand if you fall or you know, like there's just no sense of place that we have to create and, you know, I'm going down the gritty Dark Hole, but it could be just like, you know, the sunlight on your Again, well yeah, you know, by the beach or the sound waves crashing the smell of salt air, you know, or whatever it might be in the in that sort of like cheery small town. And there is, you know, we are creating these worlds and dropping characters in them. And there is this sort of insane amount of world building that happens. And, you know, I kind of felt like when I was reading your section, I was like, God, this is like world building on steroids. Because, you know, you're going through the poison garden, you're taking them into this crypt, and like, you know, and like, you're really explaining it to us. We're really walking with them. I really felt like I was walking beside them as we were going through this.

Ashlyn 35:34
And that's, I mean, that's what I want. Like, I want people to feel like they're there. Or like they're watching a movie in their head. Yeah. Yeah. Like, I know, they say not to like over explain things. And I do pull back on overexplaining. But like, at the same time, I also, I want to make sure you see what I see when I'm writing it. So

Unknown Speaker 35:56
yeah. And you know what, though? That's, that's also tricky. Again, like,

Elle 35:59
there's like, there are these like weird balances that we're constantly trying having to do. As, right. Like, we're balancing the relationship. We're balancing how much we're, you know, information we're giving you. We're pulling this back. And it's like, it gets like, kind of like, how do we do? Like, how do we balance all of this sometimes?

Ashlyn 36:15
Yeah, I wing it a lot of the time. Yeah, me too. Like, I haven't figured out a formula. I'm just like, sounds good. I'm guessing you pants. Oh, yeah. Okay. Like, I'll get just maybe a brief idea of a story. And then like I said, I'll have those few plot points that I know I want to incorporate somehow. But if, as I'm writing something, it changes like it changes. And I like I'm okay, scrapping, you know, the whole second half of a book to like, what I originally had planned, like, follow some weird path that it's taken. Igneous done that, I think it's changed probably like three times already, like, wow, it just keeps evolving, right? Like, what I originally thought it would be to like, something else.

Elle 37:05
I actually love that discovery process, I've tried to outline and like, you know, I'll start and I'll be great. And then and then all of a sudden, I'm writing and writing, and I'm realizing that I've just chucked the outline out the window. And it's like, 17 chapters later, I'm like, Oh, shit, there's nothing here in my story that even resembles this outline anymore. Right? But it's because, you know, I mean, I know my characters, but I really get to know my characters as I'm going through the process with them.

Ashlyn 37:31
Absolutely. Like I, you know, start out with just a general idea of like, who they are, and what they want. And then like, as I write, like, more and more of their personality comes out, like their likes and dislikes, their fears, their you know, all those little details. And then, like, I can go back and like, add that stuff in to the beginning pieces. What, like, when I didn't know that, right? Because I don't write linearly, either, like, I know, oh, so? Well, I should say it depends. Um, so whether that just came out today, the Beauty and the Beast inspired that I wrote linearly. And then the Coventry Carol, which is a dark Christmas novella that I wrote linearly to, but like all of my books, like my bigger books, yeah, I hop around, and I would just write whatever I want to write. And then I go back and fill in the quote, unquote, boring stuff where, you know, it's not necessarily boring, but it's like not smutty or not action, or, you know, like, that's like a dull moment or right. Like, it gets you to the next point, but like, it's not necessarily the most thrilling part of the story. So, right, yeah, I have around all the time in my books. Oh, that's super interesting,

Elle 38:52
um, that I don't do as much. But I have definitely done it. And, you know, it's definitely an interesting way to write. I don't know if I like it or not yet. Like, the jury's still out on that.

Ashlyn 39:09
Just yeah, I think because, like, I've got those few plot points in my head. So like, those are the scenes I'm most excited about, right? I just, like dive in before I lose that momentum. And then I figure out a way to go back and like, piece it all together. Yeah,

Elle 39:25
that's really cool. So when you started writing use your first was a like that sort of quote, unquote, standard female male romance and then you swapped What are you still writing that as well as male male? Are you mostly Are you now? strictly male male?

Ashlyn 39:43
I'm now strictly male male. Okay. I don't know. I don't know. I started MF because that's standard like that, you know, mail mail didn't even cross my mind. Like I knew it kind of exists. sit as a genre, but I didn't realize how big of a genre it was like until I got into it. And so I did the two MF books. And then it was in the Leander Welles series that things changed. And I was, so I wrote the first two books in the Leandre series. It's the same exact timeline, but one book is from her perspective. And one book is from his perspective, and then I wanted to write a prequel, like to show how he ended up in a psych institution, you know, on murder charges. And then that's when my other male character Bennett, literally, like crashed through a door in my head was like, hey, bitch, like this is gonna be mine. And I'm Leandros love interest and like she needs to go. So I hadn't published the second book yet. So I was able to go back and like tweak things to add Bennett into it. But the whole third book was from Bennett. And like, it explained why Bennett wasn't around in the second book, and like, you know, why? Leander attached himself to Lorelai the way he did, even though he was still deeply in love with that. Okay. And yeah, it's just like once Bentley under became a thing in my head, like, MF just went out the window. Just totally, I have no interest in writing it. I don't read it anymore. Like, all I read is, mm. If I'm reading romance, all I read is mm. Oh, wow. Still read MF like thrillers or you know, I guess thrillers or like a historical or something. But if it's a romance, and I'm 1,000% of the time, I don't know why.

Elle 41:52
Do you know why? Because I think that you know, because it is a huge honor. And it's like so many women read it? And I'm very curious why, you know, why? Why are women drawn to the male male dynamic?

Ashlyn 42:03
So, this comes up a lot in like, Mmm, communities. A lot of people. Well, okay, so there's the people who say that women who read and write this are just fetishizing men, which, maybe some are, I'm not. I take offense to that people say that I am because I don't look at my characters. Like, as a man, like, my characters are my characters, right? They just happen to be men, right? Like, and I don't do the thing where like, one is like, obviously a female, you know, like the female stand in and like one's the male like, they are people, they are fully fleshed out people. And like, if they top or bottom like that has nothing to do with like who they are. I don't know if that's the same for every other mm, author. But yes, so I just I focused on the character. And I think the thing for me about mm is, or I guess, that I don't care for with MF anymore, is I have a really hard time relating to the female characters. And that sounds strange because I am female. But I don't know I work in a male dominated environment, right? Um, my life has always, like, I've always related to men more than females in my life. Like, I'm not a girly girl. I'm not a tomboy, either. But like, um, I don't know, like, I just I would prefer to be outside and like exploring things and you know, not like sitting around the kitchen table gossiping like the women and my family used to do. I mean, do you

Elle 43:47
do you sense a powerlessness coming from the female characters that you're sort of reading in romance? And is that what sort of like, like bugging you, I guess, or makes it unreadable for you? It could be

Ashlyn 43:58
powerlessness, or it's an overcompensation and they're just like, ultra bitchy and annoying. Like, there's this one that I read where she was, it's a paranormal, and she was, you know, just this slight little thing and, you know, like five 390 pounds and you know, but like, she's gonna go take on these big bad demons with a baseball bat, like, bitch get in the house, like, you know, you're not doing anything like, nobody believes you. You're not tough. You're being stupid. Right? So like that. That annoys me too. I just feel like some of the MF that I was reading and I was reading a lot of like, dark MF. So maybe that was part of it, too was just so like, over the top on realistic like, yeah, I just I could not connect with them like I could not connect, either because they were Gamble's damsels in distress or because they thought they were badass when they're not. So I just like whatever. And then yeah, Bentley under came into my head and I was like, oh, okay, well maybe I should go see like what other mm people are doing because I was my read any Yeah,

Elle 45:12
that was my question had had you been reading it at that time or No,

Ashlyn 45:15
no, like, I hadn't read any of it. So I was like, I'm gonna go read some other mm authors and see like how you you know, do this right. And the first book I read was hey, Webster's wicked lies boys tell. And that's like a friends to enemies to lovers story. And I just I loved it like I was just hooked, just hooked from the beginning. And then from there, I branched out into other authors and I was like, yep, like this is it this is my genre, because for the most part, the stories that I read, like there is no power imbalance, you know, even if it's like a boss and employee or, you know, like one has a position of authority over the other one, there's still not the same power imbalance that is there with Ms. I don't know why. But, yeah, yeah, like I'm not. I'm also not trying to put myself in the character's shoes. Like I can literally just sit back and read a book and enjoy a story. Like and a romance between two people and not be thinking to myself how absolutely unrealistic. Whatever it is, is, you know, like, like, I would read MF romance and critique, like everything, like that's not realistic, or, you know, like, men don't do that. Or like, Girl, like, shut the fuck up, you know, like, whatever. But then if I'm reading mm, like, I just get to sit back and read the stories, right? And like, I don't have to think about anything like I'm just taking it for what it is.

Elle 46:53
It's super interesting that you're talking about that sort of like that there's a power dynamic that you like a skewed power dynamic in MF that is not in MMM. And I think and I'm wondering if that is just sort of like a reflection on our services a larger society? Um, yeah, and just not, you know, not because not necessarily, because it's maybe not necessarily conscious thing that, you know, Romance Writers are doing, but because it is so ingrained, you know, in our day to day lives, like, I'm wondering if that kind of it just ends up happening that way? Or obviously or not, you know, I mean, some people are probably very conscious, like, I'm very conscious of certain power dynamics that need to be there because there is a real power dynamic that I'm working with, you know,

Ashlyn 47:38
right. Yeah, I just, I also think, I don't know, obviously, romance or any book is like a fantasy. It's fiction. It's a way for people to escape. And so for like some people who you know, love reverse harem, like, obviously, they love the idea of like, four to five men just absolutely fawning over you and like doing whatever you want, like, you know, stopping at nothing to all please do. And that's super cool. For those people who read it and write it. I don't like that. It's so unrealistic. Like, I know, like, I just I don't I haven't even read harem romance and like, Mmm, just because it just seems so. unrealistic. Like, right. So yeah, I like the fantasy. I like the escape, but I also like it to be realistic, like, you know, not so over the top, like, I want it to be, like relatable or authentic, like, authentic. I think that's probably a better word.

Elle 48:41
I was gonna say authentic feels like the word because it's like, yeah, it's so funny. It's like, you know, you write these sort of, like super dark paraNormals and you're like, realism, but it isn't, but it is like, right. But but there but it is it is it has this authenticity, you know, so I think it's time to read a bit from your service scene. Okay, so this is mallam disk. Discord. I didn't like already a discord da. Okay. Yeah, underscore, da. We're, how far are we into the book? Well, I feel like we're kind of in that first third.

Ashlyn 49:17
Yeah, it's chapter 13. So it's maybe 25 30% ish.

Elle 49:25
Okay. And so are we grabbing and Cassius or cash has had it how you pronouncing his name.

Ashlyn 49:32
I pronounce it caches just because, um, yeah, we're America. I know you're American, too. But, um, yeah, I was. I had this debate with myself like, should I pronounce it in my head caches, or Cassius? And there were so many Cassius is out there when I, you know, googled the name or whatever I was like, I'm going to do caches and then make his nickname cache to like, really emphasize Besides that this

Elle 50:00
is what it is. Yeah, yeah.

Ashlyn 50:02
But there are some people who are like, I didn't even realize that you did that. Like they were still saying like his full name is Cassius in their head, but like the the nickname was just cash. And I'm like, it really doesn't matter. Like it was just like for me and how I say it. Right, right. So,

Elle 50:18
okay, cool. So it's cash us and gram and they've already kissed like we. So we've established that in that first chapter like Romeo and Juliet, they've already shared this kiss before they realize who they are. And now we're at the point where they do know where they are. But I'd love for you to just kind of set this up for us a little bit like where are we?

Ashlyn 50:37
Yes. So caches is from the Necromancer, your family and Graham is from, like a line of nature witches, and they don't get along. Their families have been feuding for 350 years. Basically, they're like a New England Hatfield and McCoy. Like, you know, sometimes they'll kill the, you know, necromancer family, sometimes they'll kill the witch family, and they just go back and forth. And so now they are the newest generation of this ongoing feud. But they, first of all, they get paired up to work together during college caches as a freshman and Graham is a sophomore, and they get paired up together and their botany class to do a project. But more than that, six years before this, Graham's father murdered cashes his mother. And he did that because he thought cashes his mother murdered. Graham's little brother, oh, man. And all the adults around this, like, don't want to talk about it. Like they're trying to move on. Like, the details are very fuzzy about what happened. So both of the boys are trying to find out like, what really happened that day. And because Kashrus is a Necromancer, he can talk to spirits. So they are going into the crypt to get his mother's ashes to like, basically do a seance with her and ask her, like, hey, remember the day you were murdered? Like what really happened? Tell us what happened. So yeah, that's why they are traipsing through a family crypt in the backyard is so they can get some answers for each other and get some closure, you know, and then they can move on with their lives.

Elle 52:30
Okay, cool. And I should also add that these two are bickering the entire way. Yeah, yeah. I

Unknown Speaker 52:38
mean, there is

Elle 52:39
like hardcore, but like, they are just at each other's throats. And it's really kind of funny. And that was the moment when you were talking about how like, it's not all dark. Like no, like their back and forth. were so funny. It's like, such a self centered arrogant asshole. So are you

Unknown Speaker 52:57
like, fuck you?

Elle 52:59
Yeah, you know, and it's like, and they have this good back and forth where they're just like, you know, one of them is like, Why make me walk through a poison? Booker? And why were your parents in a crib like this? Like great, what is your family and crip word they buried like normal people. Like, oh my God, these two it was like really, really funny. And it was really well done. But um, but I didn't pick those parts. But I did want to set it up like that. So we are in this part. We're in caches head, we're in his point of view. Okay. All of a sudden, his hands were on my chest tangled in my shirt. He drove me back against the stone wall so hard the air went out of me. Before I could even think about escaping his body pressed against mine. trapping me there between him and the stone. Has anyone ever told you what a self centered arrogant asshole you are? Get off me. Regardless of the fact we were about to rip each other apart. being this close to him made my heartbeat stutter just like it did the first time I saw him. Why did he have to be so goddamn attractive? He was like a snake in the garden. His beauty lured you in than a fucking Viper left out when you least expect it at the command made him smirk and shove more weight against me. Make me You're such a child. ironic considering he was at least a year older than me. gritting my teeth power practice it searched through my hands. He must have realized what I was doing because the next thing I knew he grabbed both of my wrists in one hand and slammed them above my head. No magic he snapped the heat from his gaze burning into mine. Plus the eye all but his the word moving my face a fraction of an inch closer to his don't push me Corbyn. Am I supposed to be afraid of you? I started started out a derisive derisive laugh. You're a disgrace to weather which is throughout time Stormbringer my ass. Electricity darted down both of my arms ripping through my nerve endings with each painful bolt. Stormy enough for you asshole. I grimaced, grinding out a few cue I'll try to keep myself upright. Maybe that's what your problem is. Graham growled, pushing his hips into me. His cock was already hard as steel rubbing against mine and throwing fuel on the fire. I was trying and failing to snuff out. Maybe you're so hard up for it. That's why you're such a miserable prick. I'm not hard up for anything you idiot. Least of all you except my own heart on obliterated that defense. Couldn't even think straight when he was around. My head hated him for 1000 reasons. But there was a lot in my blood I couldn't deny. It had been there since Preston's party the first time he touched me smiled at me. And of course kissed me. Love that. This is where I like made a note. I was like, Okay, this is sort of like a Romeo and Juliet story faded lumbers. It's like, you know.

Unknown Speaker 55:47
So I was

Elle 55:49
I thought this was really cool. I had a question when you're writing? Mm hmm. Because I don't I don't read it. And I should, because I really enjoy this the mm scenes that I'm reading from for the podcast, and I'm like, why don't I because and I have them all queued up in my Kindle. And I'm like, I need to read these. But I'm kind of curious, do you ever feel like the world that you're building? Is there any sort of homophobia? Or is everything? Or is this like, Fine, like, this is okay. And the characters don't have to deal with that.

Unknown Speaker 56:22
It depends

Ashlyn 56:23
on the story. So in the tenebrous world, where mallam and Igni take place. It's fine. Like it is what it is like the words, gay, bisexual never actually even come up in mallam. Nobody even really, bats an eye. Like when they get together. It's the confusion is who they are, like, who their families are not that they're both guys. And I just, it wasn't relevant to them. So it didn't the only time you even get a hint of like, caches being the bisexual one is when Graham says something about, like, Have you ever talked before in cash, this was like not was a guy, you know? Okay, but it just wasn't an issue for them. And I just figured, like, they're in New England, which tends to be a little bit more liberal, I feel like and they're in a university town, also more liberal. So like, I feel like sexuality really wouldn't be a thing for them. Right. And then now in Igni, like I said, he's basically like a priest. And obviously, homosexuality is frowned upon by the Catholic Church. So I had to do like, a whole bunch of research on that. And, yeah, it it turns out, like failing, doesn't want to sin against God. You know, by being with a well, a demon, first of all, but also demon. But he actually so he has like, a sexual identity crisis, because, like, at that point, he didn't really have sexual desires at all, like for male, female, a potato like nothing like he was just like, you know, he knew he was going to take this like priestly sort of route. So like, it just never even occurred to him. So I don't know if that makes him like a demisexual or asexual, I don't know. And he doesn't know when it doesn't really matter. But then he learns out some more information about himself and his family later on, and like that is more of a crisis to him than the fact that like, he might be gay or whatever. So yeah, it like, again, it's just a small role in it. But then, like the the Rhone do it, like homophobia is all over that series, because it's the Russian mob. Being gay is not okay. in any capacity. So like that is? Yeah, it just it depends on the book. So one, one world like it's all homophobia, and like violence and slurs. And then in the next it's like, you literally don't even know if they're gay or bisexual or what you just know that there are two boys who love each other.

Elle 59:15
Right? Okay, cool. I was just kind of curious how that was handled. And that makes complete and total sense. I kind of love it that you've created this world where it's like, doesn't matter, just is what it is.

Unknown Speaker 59:26
Yeah, I mean,

Ashlyn 59:30
I think there was even a point where in mallam, somebody said something about them being together. And one of the side characters like, I don't care whose kid is stripping who's like, the bottom you know, so it's like, even the old people in the town are like, we have more important things to worry about than, you know two guys getting together. All right, I'm

Elle 59:54
gonna go down a little bit more and read here. So now they're, they're they're really it's Starting up like we got feelings going on here we've got a pattern of sexual tension. He put his hands on either side of me caging me against the wall. A moment later his tongue skipped along my throat making its way up to my jaw. I turned to see what he was doing right as at his as his tongue crusted my chin and went straight to my mouth invading it the same way he had invaded my thoughts from the first moment I laid eyes on him. Still, I resisted, I pushed against his chest and pulled back as much as I could with the stone behind me. He caught my wrists and pinned them again. Pressing his body against mine even harder, angling his face, he resumed his attack on my mouth, slipping his tongue inside deeper. As much as I hated him. I couldn't help the strangled moan that worked its way out of my throat. When we broke away for air he pulled back a bit looking at me with with lust drunk eyes. It was the same way he looked the night of Preston's party before either of us knew who the other was before the land in the sign. Before the line in the sand was drawn. Back when we were just two people connected by luck or fate or hormones, not hatred. They say there's a fine line between love and hate. But what about lust and hate? Where did that fall on the spectrum? This changes nothing, I snarled, slipping my hands inside his waistband and pushing his pants and underwear down past his hip. I still fucking hate you. He agreed, leaning back to tear his shirt over his head and toss it aside, stepping out of his jeans while he was at it. As soon as he was naked, he yanked my shirt off and knelt in front of me dragging my pants down or does he want once to get it out of our system, and then back to figuring out the other shit figuring the other shit out. Once he agreed his breath washed over my dick before he kissed the head gently, his tongue flipped, flipped out over the slip. Looking away the pre calm eye side and lean back running my fingers through his dark hair and his head bobbed in front of me sucking and swallowing my length in his infuriatingly perfect mouth. My hips split now and again shoving my cop that little bit deeper. Part of it was to remind him he wasn't completely in charge. The other part was fucking animal instinct. No surprise, I was turned on by what he was doing with his mouth, but when I saw he was jacking himself off at the same time, I almost lost it. He glared up at me now and again, but never want slowed down until he popped off the end and spat out a new command. Turn around. I and I did I have no idea why I did. I shouldn't have I shouldn't be doing any of that. I should have told him to go to hell. I shouldn't have braced myself against the wall and arch my back in anticipation of what was coming next. His hands ran down the small of my back and caress my ass cheeks almost reverently. When his lips pressed against one against one than the other. My breath caught. It left me and tuck it left me entirely when he spread them apart and his tongue lashed out trailing up and down my backside, from hole to balls and back up and over and over until he concentrated his efforts on the hole itself licking and swirling and sucking like I'd never experienced before. Fuck me. I close my eyes and press my forehead against the smooth stone fingers clawing against the hard surface. Why did it have to feel so good? Why did he have to make it feel so good? He pulled away with a low chuckle massaging my ass cheeks is that good baby Shut up. I snapped nearly sighing when he picked up where he left off. This time, he pressed against my entrance with the finger sinking it inside with zero warning. I exhale sharply and push back overriding my surprise and the initial burn by taking control. He slid his finger in and out while his mouth dropped lower looking my balls and the crown of my cock God I hated him. He hated what he was doing. I hated that. I felt like I was gonna come undone any second and his dick wasn't even inside me yet. I hated the best sex of my fucking life was with gram fucking Hewitt. There was so much it was so funny because there was so much push pull internally, like it wasn't even necessarily a push pull between the characters. I actually loved seeing the push pull in his own head, where he's like, I hate him. But this is good. I hate him. I hate him. But I don't hate him. I hate that I really loved seeing that I was like, This is amazing. And that actually really ratcheted up the tension. And I love seeing that sort of internal kind of monologue or even dialogue happening amongst amongst him and that was what was causing that tension to grow. Because they're already going at it like they're doing the thing. But like the tension continued to build which I thought was really cool.

Ashlyn 1:04:21
Thank you. Yeah, I just so I labeled that scene as dub lb because like, Graham initiated it and yeah, you know, cash was like, no, like, we really shouldn't. But like he never really said no, so like, like, I don't know, there was it

Elle 1:04:42
was definite especially at the beginning when like I felt like there was like, it was definite dub con in the beginning, when like Graham was kind of touching him and he was kind of like, I don't know, don't like no, like, Don't touch me. And but inside he's like, okay, touch me. Good, you know so he so there were there was this sort of element of DevCon I think I think it played out though earlier when it was that sort of he clasped his hands over his head and he's like, I'm going to necromancer you or whatever if you touch right, you know, like, there was that sense but then internally he's like, no touch me there touch me there touch me there. So it's almost like he was dubbed conning himself. Right, like, right?

Ashlyn 1:05:25
Yeah, because he knew. Yeah, he should know who they were. But he's like, Fuck it feels.

Elle 1:05:32
And that's when they were like, once and he's like, Okay, once once. We're just doing it one this one time. You know, they're both full of shit. Like, no, they're neither. I do it more than once. Once it's

Ashlyn 1:05:41
never happened. Oh, we

Elle 1:05:43
all say one more time. And then it's like, it's always like, you know, yeah, one more cupcake.

Unknown Speaker 1:05:47
Who's great

Elle 1:05:48
cupcake we're having to. Okay, one more like one more little that I loved. Okay, one more thrust one more stroke. And I was done for the warm pressure and my balls fucking exploded unloading my calm all over the stone wall. If it weren't for the fact ground was holding me in place, I'm pretty sure I would have wound up in a puddle on the floor. I almost didn't realize he had pulled out until they collapsed against my back grunting through his own orgasm has come shot out on the floor between our feet, I suppose I should have been grateful for small favors cleaned up wouldn't be that much of a pain now and I'd be able to save some sort of face with the fact that he didn't actually come inside me. Not that my pride mattered much at this point. But me Graham panted his warm breath caressing the back of my neck that was hot. It was hot and fulfilling and fucking wrong. grand grand was everything I couldn't want in one giant peculiar ride. peculiar. I'd package totally love that there was some posts for coil regret going on here because that like needed the app and right like It couldn't be. It couldn't be the I'm okay with this. Because that's not where their relationship is. Yeah. No. I love this scene. This was a really great scene. Thank you. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Ashlyn 1:07:00
It was one of the first scenes I wrote for them actually, like away. I had just this vague idea of you know, this family feud. And I had the scene and I didn't even know if they were in a crypt or like, just in a building and it was against a wall or whatever. I wrote just the bare bones of it. And I sent it to my friend Amy. And I was like, tell me if this is cringy she's like, No, here's the rest of it. I was like, Okay, well, I'll get to work on that.

Elle 1:07:32
But that's awesome. I love that you send it off and you're like, Okay, cringy not cringy tell me what to

Ashlyn 1:07:39
do with everything. I'm like, Amy, tell me if this sucks. So she's like, No, you're good. Like?

Elle 1:07:49
Ashlyn. Thank you so much for being here. I love talking to you. This was such a great conversation.

Ashlyn 1:07:54
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Elle 1:07:55
Oh my god. No. Where can people find you? Like, where do you like to hang out on the internet?

Ashlyn 1:08:00
I'm mostly Instagram. I'd say I'm most active there. My all my handles are just the same. It's Ashlyn drew UK, no fancy, you know, spaces or punctuation or anything. But if you go to my website, Ashlyn Drew uk.com. It's got links to all of my stuff. I've got Instagram, Facebook, I am on tick tock, but not very well.

Elle 1:08:25
too. I have a tic tock issue. I'm trying mentally Oh,

Ashlyn 1:08:29
it's just so much work. I just hit it. Yeah.

Elle 1:08:33
It's a lot of work. And it's like, you have to show it like you have to physically show up there on video. And I'm just not good with that. Yeah. Now, you know, I'm just not good with that. And I always feel like, you know, I have a few up there. And I always feel like why did they and I have like the worst resting bitchface. And I just looked so I just looked like bitchy all the time. And when I don't when I try and like change my face, then that my face looks weird. And I'm like, I don't know what my face is. Do

Ashlyn 1:09:01
I hear you? I've got the same RBF all the way. Like, nope, I'm just minding my own business really?

Elle 1:09:10
I look like I'm about to bite your head off. Really? I'm not really I'm having a really pleasant time in my own head. I will include a link to your website in the show notes so that people can find it. They don't have to pull over and write it down or be like should I missed it. So that will be there. For everyone to go start following you. Ashlynn thank you so much for doing this.

Ashlyn 1:09:34
Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. This was a lot of fun. Transcribed by https://otter.ai