My Guest, Mr. Ashe!

Mr. DiPasqua: Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Mr. Ashe to the A Midnight Dance Blog Party.  Can you tell us who you’re married to and what she writes?

Mr. Ashe:  I’m the proud husband of Katharine Ashe, who writes Regency Historical Romance for Avon.

Mr. DiPasqua:  Your wife’s fans would like to know the RH (Romance Husband) behind the author better. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Scholar? Athlete? Businessman? Artist?

Mr. Ashe:   I’m a Professor, and teach History and French. I write books for a broad audience about a diverse (bizarre!) range of topics: Haiti, soccer, and banjos. (But they’re all secretly connected!) I was born in Belgium and grew up speaking French, and have travelled a lot in Europe (often in the delightful company of my DW), the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa. I also have a blog about international soccer and politics.

Mr. DiPasqua:  Diverse indeed!  Where did you and your wife meet? What convinced you that she was “the one”?

Mr. Ashe:  We met on a moonlit night beneath a trellis blooming with jasmine— No. Actually we met the first week of graduate school in a basement classroom of a dingy campus building with bad lighting. But no matter: it was love at first sight, seeming to prove the adage that opposites attract. I was a 21-year-old punk kid in overalls, Katharine a beautiful, well-dressed and professional-looking woman. I was the shy type, but luckily she wasn’t. She called me for a date a few weeks into the semester. Our first one lasted about 4 hours. I talked most of it, trying really hard to impress her. Luckily she was patient.

Mr. DiPasqua:  Where were you when she got THE CALL from her agent/editor? What was your reaction when she told you she’d sold her first book?

Mr. Ashe:  I was at work when she got the first email from her agent. I was incredibly elated. I knew how hard she had been working and how much she deserved this. That call culminated in her first book contract. Suffice it to say we drank A LOT of champagne. Every time we get good news, I find myself reaching for the fancy French stuff at the store, rushing home to celebrate. Katharine loves champagne.

Mr. DiPasqua:  Is the hero in your wife’s last book:
a) Just like you;
b) The opposite of you;
c) You wish it were you;
d) More like Mr. May in the NYC Firefighter calendar.

Mr. Ashe:   a) Except for a few minor details, of course (ships, fortune, biceps)

Mr. DiPasqua:   LOL…On your first date with your wife, were you most like:
a) Prince Charming;
b) Prince (bad boy) Harry;
c) The Artist formally known as Prince;
d) Prince, the family pet.

Mr. Ashe:   From my perspective at the time, a), but looking back now probably like d), if he barks a lot.

Mr. DiPasqua:  Nowadays when you hear the word “ball” do you immediately think:
a) Baseball
b) Basketball
c) An uncontrollable weeping reaction of fans upon meeting your wife in person?
d) A gathering of lords and ladies.

Mr. Ashe:   That’s easy: d), especially since there’s been a fair amount of talk in our house about (and dramatic readings from) the fabulous new Ballroom Blog that Katharine and a few of her fellow authors recently launched.

Mr. DiPasqua:  How long have you been a RH? (Romance Husband). What advice would you give new RH’s about what you’ve learned being married to a romance author? What should a new RH do or not do when his wife is under deadline?

Mr. Ashe:   I’ve been an RH for quite a long time, since Katharine has been writing since we met. Advice? To those who are lucky enough to be married to one, congratulations. To all others, go out and find one!

Under deadline, you have to cook nice dinners, usher the children out of the house for long, involved activities that leave them exhausted, and tolerate sleep deprivation!

Mr. DiPasqua:  Okay, you know I have to go there . . . What’s your response when asked, “So where does your wife get the inspiration for her love scenes?” (Usually by a guy smirking.)

Mr. Ashe:   I’ve actually never been asked, but when I am I have my answer ready: “The UPS man.” She says he’s really good looking.

Mr. DiPasqua:  Nice answer!  Which character in your wife’s books would she say most resembles you and/or your personality? 

Mr. Ashe:  Well, there’s what I’d like to think – the heart-stopping gorgeousness and heroism. And then there’s what’s probably a bit more true – the emotional ups-and-downs and mysterious emotional scars. Then there’s the thing I can’t tell you about (i.e. my secret identity) because even she doesn’t know.

Mr. DiPasqua: Intriguing!  Thanks so much for participating in the A MIDNIGHT DANCE Blog Party.  One last question: What would you like us to know about your wife’s latest or upcoming release?

Mr. Ashe:   Katharine’s IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS will be out on August 30. Simply put: it’s awesome! It’s already gotten a fantastic review from RT Book Reviews (the hero was named a K.I.S.S. Hero for September). Plus, proceeds from the sale of print and e-book copies will go to raising awareness and finding a cure for Ovarian Cancer. Here’s the link to Avon’s K.I.S.S. and Teal campaign: http://www.avonromance.com/kissandteal/

IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS

She had never forgotten him…

Miss Octavia Pierce is witty, well off, and shockingly unwed. Still, she is far too successful in society to remain on the shelf forever, and her family has hopes that Octavia will finally make the perfect match. What they do not know is that years earlier Octavia was scandalously tempted by the one man capable of sweeping her off her feet—the man now known as the Marquess of Doreé.

A third son, never meant to inherit, Lord Ben Doreé has abandoned his past and grown accustomed to his illustrious new position of wealth and power. But he has never forgotten Octavia, and now she desperately needs his help in a most dangerous, clandestine matter. Although she claims she has put the memories of the passion they shared behind her, Ben is determined to once again have her in his arms—and in his bed.

Here are the links to purchase or pre-order it, plus an excerpt from the book: http://www.katharineashe.com/books_marquess.html

GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away an autographed copy of Katharine’s last book, CAPTURED BY A ROGUE LORD. “Rakish lord by land. Robin Hood by sea. The hero of her dreams.”

Open to readers with addresses in the US and Canada only.

RULES:

To win you must:

1. Ask a question or leave a meaningful comment below—We’re men. We can take it. So fire away! :)

2. You MUST be a follower/subscriber of Lila DiPasqua’s blog (through Google Friend Connect).

3. Please indicate if you live outside the US or Canada. You can still leave a comment! Your comment will *not* count toward this giveaway, but *will* count toward the Grand Prize listed at the very bottom of this blog.

4. You must be at least 18 years of age.

5. Winner will be selected at random on SUNDAY.

Ways to increase your odds at winning are found at the very bottom of this blog.

Mr. DiPasqua: Great meeting you, Mr. Ashe! Okay, folks, let’s hear your responses! :)

  • It is obvious you are a writer, your thoughts and responses are well thought out and clear. And no interjections from your wife during the interview!
    Clever answer as to the inspiration for your wife’s love scenes, ha!

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  • Love those answers Mr Ashe

    I have your wife’s first book on my TBR pile need to move it up and order the others because I know I am going to love them

    Have Fun
    Helen

  • Hi Mr, D and Mr Ashe,
    Nice interview and well thought out answers. But the UPS guy was good lol
    I have your wife’s book on my to read list.Love the cover.
    Have a great day.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    GFC follower under Lucky47
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  • Ora

    Mr. Ashe,
    With history, do you specialized in a particular era?
    I am guessing with having a blog about international soccer that you are a big fan. In the Women’s World Cup, who were did you want to win? Who is your favorite men’s team?
    With international politics, what region of the world do you blog about?
    Katharine Ashe,
    I can’t wait for In the Arms of a Marquess. Are you going to have a book signing in North Carolina? I was disappointment with not being able to make your last book signing since I found out too late to make the drive to the tri state area.

  • Hi Professor Ashe!
    Great interview, and I loved the story of how you and Katharine first met, and the UPS guy answer had me cracking up!

    It has always been a dream of mine to travel more, and I’m so impressed that you’ve been to so many parts of the world! Of all the places you have traveled to, which is your favorite and why? I have mostly traveled to Europe, and my favorite place probably has to be Spain, with London a close second!

    Hi Katharine! :) *waves* I also have a question for you as well, if I may. Like Eloisa James, I know you are also a professor in real life. So my question is, how do you think your academic writing affects your fictional writing, and your approach to writing in general? Are there aspects of both that are the same? Is it a very difficult transition?

    P.S. No need to enter me in the contest as I already have an autographed copy of the fantastic Captured By a Rogue Lord from the RWA Lit signing! :)

  • Ooooh.
    A professor with a secret identity, huh? Sounds very Indiana Jones and almost as intriguing as your wife’s new book!

    Thanks for the interview!

    Kathy Ireland

  • Great Interview :) I live outside the U.S

  • You sound like a contemporary romance hero, Mr. Ashe. As BlogHore says, very ‘Indiana Jones’! Great interview as always. I’m looking forward to your wife’s latest book!

  • Hello, Mr. Ashe! I see that your wife is not the only storyteller in your family! You must have some very interesting discussions over glasses of champagne. I can only imagine that the more the bubbly flows, the more imaginative the storytelling becomes! Sounds like great fun ; )

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  • Mr. DiPasqua, thank you for inviting my husband to visit with your DW’s lovely readers today!

    I’d just like to set one thing straight for the record: I’ve never even *glanced* at the UPS guy. Not more than… once. Or maybe twice. But that’s it! Twice. I mean, maybe three times. But no more than three times! How could I, after all, with such a handsome romance novel hero in my own house??? :)

  • I can certainly see why Katharine was patient with you. Witty, sweet, and just the right amount of duty to seeing she has time to write..*smile*. What’s the most fun you’ve had being a RH?

  • Dr. Prof. Ashe: (that should probably be Mr Ashe, PhD?)

    You sound like one terrific RH. Of course knowing Katherine, I’d say she’s a terrific…well everything. A bit annoying actually. LOL.

    I vote for you to teach a seminar: How to Be an Excellent RH. Sounds like your highly qualified.

  • Hi, Ora. Thank you so much! You’re so sweet and I wish you could have been at my last signing too. :) I’ll be signing books for charity in Raleigh on September 17 at the Gail Perkins Memorial Ovarian Cancer Walk & 5K Run. Here’s the link to the event: http://www.ovarianawareness.org/

    I hope I’ll see you there! :)

  • Hi, Lisa. It’s great to see you here! :)

    This is a great question. My experience as a scholar definitely affects my writing, but mostly in the research phase. When I first come up with an idea for a novel, it always begins with the characters–the hero and heroine and their romantic dynamic. Then I’ll gather many, many books and read them to help me develop the plot. I feel very comfortable doing the historical research, and love the richness of the period I write in; the British Empire was huge and complex in the Regency era! It’s why my books go far afield of London. But I love balls and drawing room antics as well, so it all gets mingled in my stories in the end. So, in short, every one of my novels begins with the heart–the love story–then I embed it in the delicious realms of history! :)

  • Kathy, all the heroes in my novels have secret identities. Mr. Ashe is trying to be clever.

    Wait, on the other hand… Mr. Ashe, is there something we need to talk about???

    ;)

  • *blushing* Thank you, Margaret. I think! ;)

  • Mr. Ashe

    Hello! Mr. DiPasqua, thanks so much for inviting me on the blog today. And thanks for all these nice responses!

    Ora, the Women’s World Cup was really amazing this year, and I was in the difficult situation of rooting for many teams at once, particularly France and the U.S. But I was also moved by the Japanese victory. I’m hoping the whole tournament will bring more attention to women’s soccer globally, since it offered us some of the best soccer games I’ve ever seen!

    I focus on the Caribbean in my work, and I’m particularly interested in Haiti, but also all the issues in contemporary Europe and Africa.

    Lisa, it’s so hard to pick my favorite place! I have a soft spot for Guadeloupe, in the French Caribbean, where I’ve spent a lot of time, and in the U.S. probably my favorite city is New Orleans. Travelling to Dakar, Senegal, was also amazing. And I always have a soft spot for Paris and Rome, where Ms. Ashe and I have spent many wonderful times together.

  • Hello Mr. Ashe! Delightful interview! It’s so lovely to hear (er, read) of how the two of you met! :-)
    Katharine, I cannot wait for August 30th to arrive! AND the fact that your participating in K.I.S.S. and Teal is just so amazing as well. A fantastic woman helping to bring light to a fantastic cause!
    :-) :-)
    Rebecca

  • Loved the Interview Mr Ashe. Looking forward to your wife’s newest release.
    Oh and I love how you have Secret Identity!

  • Brigett Carroll

    Nice interview Mr. Ashe, and very clever answers to very serious questions(lol). I cannot wait to read this book. And I will also be checking out your blog. Have a lovely day!! And thank you again Mr. D, can’t wait for the next one!!

  • Ivy

    Love your humor Mr. Ashe…You kinda sound like a Renaissance man w/ all those interests. My Daddy’s family is from Belgium.
    Enjoyed your interview very much.

    I’m a follower
    ivydtruitt (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Great interview! UPS man, indeed! lol

    +1 Tweeted interview (RebeLovesBooks)

    Thanks for all the fun interviews!

  • Hi Professor Ashe! I was really interested in this fab ‘Ballroom’ blog you had mentioned earlier and happily found it via Katherines website!! I think I could sit reading those articles and book excerpts for hours on end – this is not good at all hehehe! Great interview once again.

  • Mr. Ashe

    Dear Melsch:

    The Ballroom Blog is really awesome: I love reading it too. Such fun to see the authors chatting up their heroes!

    And Ivy, nice to hear about another Belgian. We are all over the place, oddly enough, since it’s such a tiny country. It was a great experience growing up with exposure to that culture, and learning French at home.

  • Thank you, Rebecca! I’m truly honored and really excited to be part of Avon’s K.I.S.S. and Teal campaign. Thank you for helping to spread the word! :)

  • Yay, Melsch! I’m glad you found The Ballroom Blog and are enjoying it. For others who might be interested, it’s a group blog of six Regency historical romance authors — me, Gaelen Foley, Miranda Neville, Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean and Sabrina Darby — and we have loads of fun over there. I hope everybody will stop by!

    http://www.TheBallroomBlog.com

  • An enjoyable interview, Professor. I bet there’s lively conversation around the dinner table with both of you being professors.

    And, speaking of the dinner table –
    Who is the better cook? What is the speciality of the house? Who does the most cooking?

    kacbooks(at)hotmail(dot)com
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  • “The UPS man”? LOL! I guess there are not milk men anymore.

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  • Great answers Mr. Ashe. A man that cooks and cleans you have won my heart already. Also takes care of the kids, you just can’t beat that.

    I am sorry to say I have not read your wife’s books yet but that will have to change. Will be putting her books on my TB list. Thanks for visiting with us today.

    lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

  • Na

    Hi Mr. Ashe!
    I adore the new Ballroom Blog your wife and her friends recently launched. She gathers there quite often and confesses her admiration for sea-faring men. I hope you and and other RHs will drop in there also.

    I think it’s great you’re a History and French Professor. That sounds quite handy when it comes to research for you wife’s books. One of the best things about historical romances is reading about how people lived and dressed.

    Thank you for coming to the ball.

    Cambonified[at]yahoo[dot]com

  • Na

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Ooh, the UPS. My UPS man is nice, but I wouldn’t consider him hot.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  • thanks for the interview and UPS guy joke……I love my UPS man he always delivers my new books ;) Thanks for the preview of your wife’s book…..I’m always looking for new authors to read!!

    coupongallery@yahoo.com

  • Hi, Na. Thanks for your kind words about The Ballroom Blog, and for commenting there. We love sharing the fun with you ladies!

  • Karen, don’t believe a word of what Mr. Ashe is about to tell you about cooking. Just a warning. :)=)

  • Jane, I’m terribly sorry for your situation. Perhaps the UPS dispatchers will change the routes soon. ;)

  • Anonymous

    Dear Karen C.: Although Ms. Ashe is a master baker, all other cooking pretty much falls to me, with a few exceptions. I actually quite like shopping, especially at the farmers market, and cooking, though my propensity to grill large hunks of meat and call it dinner sometimes gets me in trouble. I actually cook a lot of Indian food, enjoying the mix of spices.

    And Na, it is great being able to talk about History and Literature, both beautifully featured in my DWs books!

  • Mr. Ashe

    Oops! That last post was from me, Mr. Ashe, not this so-called “Anonymous” guy. Guess I’m not much of a blogger after all, or maybe just the proverbial absent-minded Professor.

  • Loved your interview, Mr. Ashe. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of your wife’s books yet, but hope to remedy that soon. Just wondering how long you and Katharine have been together dating and then married? Also, how did you propose to her? You sound like a wonderful RH.

  • Di

    Mr. Ashe – I’m assuming you have a lovely Frech accent? Has Kathereine ever had a French speaking hero that you’ve consulted on the dialogue?
    I’ll be looking for Katherine’s books.

    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  • Mr. and Mrs. Ashe, thanks for joining me at A Midnight Dance Blog Party…You got me thinking…I always assumed Lila was smiling after an Amazon delivery because she was receiving a favorite book…I now think that UPS must be hiring cover models as drivers LOL ;)

    Mr. D.

  • You two are so cute! Love this post and hearing you answer back! Thanks for sharing with us today!

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  • May

    So cute and sweet.. :) Glad to see so many happy couples… :)

  • I hope this question has not already been asked. With your background in history, french, and travel, are you a major resource/reference for your wife’s writing?
    Thank you for an interesting and enjoyable interview. I have SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS on my TBR mountain and like the sound of these two stories. I look forward to reading them all.

    I am a GFC Follower, librarypat.

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    I follow on Facebook as Patricia Barraclough.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

  • Mr. Ashe

    Hi Cathy P.! We started dating in 1992, and got married in 1998, and I proposed to her at the beach. Not super original, I grant you, but it is her favorite place.

    Di, I actually don’t have much of a French accent when I speak English — I grew up here in the states from a young age. Though I do have a knack for imitating my parent’s thick French accents, and I speak French without an American accent, which is handy…

    And Librarypat, we do talk a lot about my DW’s stories. Beyond my research, I teach a lot on European, Caribbean, African and Asian history, and am fascinated particularly with the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. So I sometimes help her out, and we’re always learning together about new places and times. I’ll also sometimes come across an interesting story or book — the best is when I hear an interesting paper at a history conference, and get to try and convince DW to weave some of what I heard into one of her novels.

    I love the fact that her writing reaches so many people and so communicates details about history to readers in such a vivid way. I’m very proud of what she does with her stories!

    It’s been great dialoguing with everyone today!

  • Amy

    What a beautiful wedding cake!
    It was so sweet how Mr. Ashe and Mrs. Ashe met. This goes to show that us ladies might really miss out on the love of our lives if we don’t brave up and make the first move sometimes! That’s inspiring, and I ought to try making the first move and asking a guy out sometime…

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  • I live outside US/Canada, so sadly can not be entered to this contest but just wanted to say thanks for reading pleasure and that I’m looking forward to In the Arms of a Marquess!!

    Rita from South Africa
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  • Mr. Ashe –

    Great answers to Mr. D’s questions. I know see where Katherine great her inspiration for her wonderful heros!

    Please pass on to Katherine my thanks for all the hours of wonderful reading she has shared with me and all her readers.

    Now I have a question for you. What is the one reason you find Katherine a perfect wife for you?

    1. She is a wonderful author.
    2, She makes you terrific meals.
    3. She forgives you all your quirks and faults.
    4. She makes your life complete.
    5. She makes you laugh.
    6. You are her hero.
    7. You make her life complete.
    8. All of the above.

  • What a fun post! Your wife’s books look great!

    Robin D
    robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com