Whipped Cream is pleased to have Morgan Ashbury whose latest work Cowboy Cravings was released last month by Siren Publishing.
Morgan's been writing since she was eight and, once she became an adult, began writing romance. She decided to try erotic romance because there seemed to be an opening market and she wanted very much to be published. She did stress that she writes erotic romance, not erotica and not pornography.
"A romance is a love story, and every title I have published with Siren is a love story with not just a 'happy-for-now' ending but a 'happy-ever-after' ending. These love stories are character-driven stories that would still be really good love stories if you took the graphic sex out of them," she explained. "Erotica is a story that uses sex as the main vehicle to bring about change in the characters; the characters in every story are on a journey, of sorts; and undergo changes, of sorts; but in erotica, it’s the journey itself and not the destination that is important, and there is no happy ending guarantee. If you take the graphic sex out of erotica, you don’t have a whole lot left. Pornography is writing with no character development, no plot, and no purpose except to provide stimulation as a means to assist the reader becoming aroused."
Characters, whether talking about erotic romance or non-erotic romance, are what make any story good for Morgan. "When I have characters that I can believe in and love," Morgan said, "then the reader will, too. And once I know the characters, then writing the love scenes for them is easier. Good sex scenes are ones where the voices of the characters are transferred from their dialogue to their love-making."
Morgan shared that the biggest misconception she personally runs into as an author of erotic romance is that she must be having sex all time, that she has experienced all the sex scenes that she writes about, and that she must be aroused as she is writing.
"Sadly, the truth is—none of the above. I am a writer. I write erotic romance. Romance, because I love the ideal of the happy ending and of people rising to their noble best. Erotic, because love making in its uncensored from is more realistic. The reader can experience the entire story, with nothing left off."
She uses the Internet a lot in her research, to supply information on such varied things as cattle branding, horseback riding, and geography.
"Anything I need to know of a factual nature that I cannot find on line, I can usually find someone to ask," she told me. "I have sent e-mails to specialists and have received great responses. I have a friend who is a cop who has taught me how to handle and fire certain guns. Now, if you were wondering how I research the more intimate aspects of my stories: I have been married for thirty-seven years. Enough said."
"Is there a boundary between porn and erotic romance that you personally would never cross?" I asked.
"Between erotic romance and porn there’s more than a boundary, there’s a desert," she said. "That being said, I would never write a story where the hero or heroine were committing adultery. I would never include an incestuous relationship in any story. I would never write a story where any character was being forced to perform sex acts against their will, and I for sure would never write a story that featured minors engaging in sex of any kind. There are probably a lot of other things I would never write about, too, but having never indulged in viewing or reading porn, I don’t know what they might be."
Morgan's husband is her biggest fan and is very proud of her. He reads everything she writes. She has a grown daughter who has read some of her stories, but admits that she skips the love scenes. "She cannot shake in her head that her mommy wrote it," Morgan said. Her nephew and his wife have also read her work. "The rest of my family just blushes, although my brother has bought every one of my books."
On a personal note, Morgan admitted to being pretty happy for the most part just being herself; however, if she could be anyone she wanted to be, she'd choose to be one of her own characters—Hannah from the Magic and Love series.
"What food do you consider best for eating off another's tummy?" I asked. "What about other body parts?"
"Blueberries. You have to chase them with your tongue which can lead to an interesting interlude. I would never eat any other body part off someone’s tummy. That would be rude."
Blueberries are also her favorite food, but she cannot stand to eat raw oysters. "Just the thought of something sliding on its own slime down my throat is enough to give me the shivers."
She can absolutely tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi, loving one and loathing the other, but she refused to come public with which was which.
"Have you ever known anyone who can tie a cherry stem with their tongue?"
"I was going to say no to this, but my daughter was reading over my shoulder and commented that my niece can," Morgan said. "What I would like to know is this: when did the market arise for knotted cherry stems?"
Her strangest habit, which causes all of her grandchildren to cringe, is singing silly made-up-on-the-spot songs while she's working in the kitchen. Which is one of the activities she does when she's not writing. She told me that she seems to be only so many activities it appears she's capable of. If she's not writing, she'll be reading, eating, cooking, cleaning, or sleeping.
She has taken on a new habit in her second half-century, though. She's started keeping her toenails painted, which she finds to be a hoot.
If someone were to play her in a movie, it would be Meryl Streep. "She's my age and is the best actress in the world," she explains, "which she would have to be to even attempt getting into my head."
Finally, I asked Morgan, "If you could give a new writer one piece of advice, what would it be?"
"Very simple: keep writing, working on your craft and don’t quit. If you keep writing and working on your craft you will get better and better. If you don’t quit, you will eventually succeed."
You can keep up with Morgan on her blog, http://www.morganashbury.com