According to Zoe, she is a translator by day, a romance writer by night, and a reader always. Her stories feature grumpy men, kickass heroines, and lots of kissing. Sounds great, right? So let’s dig in and learn more about Zoe’s debut release Trust the Wolf.
Zoe, congratulations on the release of Trust the Wolf, which I understand is your very first book. Please tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing.
Hi, Shelley, thank you so much for having me here! Yes, Trust the Wolf is my first published novel, though it’s not the first book I ever wrote (we won’t talk about that first attempt, though, haha!).
I’ve been writing since forever, though my attempts at journaling and teenage poetry were seriously bad. But then I found out about NaNoWriMo and decided to give it a go in 2014, when my first son was two months old (crazy, I know). That book will never see the light of day, but I did win NaNo – and caught the writing bug. It’s been so much fun!
I’ve been a huge fan of paranormal romance before the genre even became popular (showing my age here!) What is it that drew you to write paranormal romance?
Oh, I think it’s because it’s a mashup of fantasy and romance, my two favorite genres. I love reading both, I’ve always been a fantasy reader but only discovered genre romance in college. I love worldbuilding, though I kept the world of the Shift series fairly simple. But the creative freedom that paranormal/fantasy genres offer is just something that speaks to me. Honestly, though, my love for this specific genre probably began by reading Twilight – and then searching for books with, um, steamier content.
What do you find is the hardest part about being a writer?
Having the discipline to sit down and write instead of browsing Facebook! Also editing. Editing is hell. I had to delete so many crutch words from my most recent WIP! I invent new ones with every first draft I write.
Trust the Wolf features werewolves. How much research did you do during the writing of your book? Have you ever had a close encounter with wolves?
No, I’ve never been lucky (or unlucky?) enough to have a close encounter with wolves. My shapeshifter world has various species of shifters, though, and I have seen a bear in the wild more than once! It’s not something I’d want to repeat, though, they can get pretty scary. And I did lots of research – mostly through internet, about wolf (and bear) eating habits, mating habits, pack life etc. I watched documentaries. I like doing research like that!
Often, in social situations, writers meet people who say “I wish I could write a book.” What is your best advice for an aspiring paranormal romance writer?
I think it’s super important to find your tribe. I have two critique partners who have been with me for more than two years, and my work is better because of them. We support each other, sprint together, and chat a lot (even though we all live on different continents). And I would recommend learning as much as you can about the craft of writing because knowing what you’re doing makes the actual doing part easier. There are loads of free resources floating around, especially writing blogs and podcasts. Some of my favorites are Well-Storied, Helping Writers Become Authors, and The Creative Penn, and for romance writers specifically Jami Gold’s blog and beat sheets. My favorite writing books are 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron and Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes.
I understand you have a free prequel to Trust the Wolf. How do readers get their hands on this?
Yes, Bearly Married is a free 30k-word novella with a full happily-ever-after story set approximately 25 years before Trust the Wolf. It features a couple that appears in the present-day series! It has a marriage of convenience, bear shifters, and 90s wedding dresses.
You can get it by signing up for my newsletter here: https://zoeashwood.com/newsletter/
What is the best place for readers to learn more about you and your upcoming paranormal romances?
My website is a good place to start – it has all the links to my social media and information about my books. https://zoeashwood.com
Thanks so much, Zoe!
You never forget your first wolf.
Emilia’s first encounter with Jason is memorable: it’s not every day you see a stranger change into a wolf. Her attraction to him is undeniable, but the secret he shares shakes the foundations of her life.
Jason’s need for Emilia unnerves him. It’s his job to report shifters without proper ID, yet he can’t make himself do it this time. The decision bites him in the tail when he discovers exactly who she is. He must keep his distance—or there will be hell to pay.
Their fates entwine when rogue shifters learn of Emilia’s identity and will stop at nothing to get to her. Emilia and Jason will have to fight together or risk losing everything.
But most of all? Emilia must learn to trust the wolf.
Purchase Trust the Wolf (also available in Kindle Unlimited)