Full Circle by Angela Ashcroft
After witnessing Freya’s harrowing birth, Sebastian always knew destiny would bring them back together. In a cruel twist of fate, their reunion is under the dark shadow of his own brother, Lucas, who plucks Freya from her mundane life and marks her. Once marked, Freya’s life hangs in the balance as she edges closer and closer to her death. As she battles through an endless nightmare of “lost time”, Lucas systematically cuts her remaining ties to her mortal existence. Now Sebastian must choose between loyalty to his only family or betraying Lucas in a desperate bid to protect Freya.
Full Circle is the enthralling first instalment of the vampire series that throws the lives and fates of three individuals together – with tragic consequences.
Firstly, tell us about your book/series.
It’s called the “Full Circle Series”. I’ve just published the first book – Full Circle (inventive eh!) – before Christmas. It’s basically your classic vampire romance novel but with a darker edge. I don’t really buy into boy meets girl and lives happily ever after and I think all great romances involve the characters going to hell and back.
Full Circle essentially thrusts you into the world of Freya Jones – your classic wage-slave hermit. She’s had a pretty horrendous start to life and therefore has become a bit of a recluse. On one level, she always knew that she does not fit into the world. Then through a twist of events, she’s brought into the firing line of Lucas, a rather hideous vampire, who marks his prey and obsesses over them. He uses a form of mind control – “lost time” – to make her waking and sleeping life hell whilst draining her life away. All the time, Freya’s oblivious to his presence.
Luckily, Freya meets Sebastian who is the hero of the novel. He’s determined to protect Freya at all costs and the book therefore hurtles through the personal conflict between the two male leads whilst Freya tries to grapple with what is truly happening.
Full Circle has a very open ending which sets up the series nicely.
What are you working on at the moment?
The second book – Departures.
Full Circle moves at such a frenetic pace and leaves on such a cliff-hanger that the second book needed to start a little slower just to give you a chance to take a breath and get to know the three protagonists. That said; I don’t want the reader to get too comfortable though so I’ve thrown in some more characters and twists. The first chapter is also a shocker but like with Full Circle, it’s not always what it seems.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve been a “closet writer” for the last 10 years. I always loved English Language at school especially when you got to write stories for homework. For me, it never seemed like homework and I’d always write page after page. It’s only over the last 10 years though that I’ve really seriously thought of writing a book. Full Circle is the first book that I’ve started and finished but now I’ve started, it’s almost become an obsession for me and I don’t know how I’d cope without picking up my laptop and cracking out a story.
I wasn’t originally going to do anything with Full Circle other than send out to a few friends but my husband had other ideas and basically “outed” me on Kindle and Facebook over Christmas! To start with, I was horrified that the book was so widely available – and under my real name! – but then it started to sell and we’ve had some great reviews so the whole experience is quite humbling. It was probably one of the best feelings to sell a book to someone who wasn’t a friend and for people I have never met before approach me and tell me they really enjoyed the story. I’ve just about forgiven my husband now so he’s no longer on the sofa!!
What is your relationship with your characters? Do you have a favourite? Is there one that you find a bit more difficult?
I think most people can relate to Freya and her social challenges in the first book. Being a fellow wage-slave and cripplingly nervous in some situations, I think you build a certain level of empathy for her character which will be challenged in the second book when she makes some rather dodgy choices!
In terms of the two male leads – Lucas and Sebastian – well, I actually break the mould and go for the nice guy so I’m on “Team Sebastian”! That said; the tables get turned in the third book so you’ll see a more vulnerable side to Lucas. What I love the most about writing these books is that you never really know where you stand with the characters. They will keep doing things completely out of kilter with their persona so by the end of the third book, you’ll feel quite emotionally spent!
Do you write freehand at all or straight onto your pc?
I usually do a brain-dump straight onto my laptop. I then have a sleep and a strong cup of coffee and try to work out what the heck I’ve written the day before.
Do you have a strict writing routine/word count per day?
Sadly I’ve got a full-on job so writing usually is confined to holidays, evenings and weekends. At the moment, I’m setting myself the deadline of finishing this current book and having it fully proofed and published in time for my Birthday (27th April). I’m pretty self-disciplined so if I get behind, I’ll go into solitary confinement to get it done!
Is there one question that you wish that you would be asked in an interview? If so, what is it and what’s the answer?
What a fab question! I guess, I’ve always been a fan of “if you had a superpower for a day, what would it be and why?” My answer would definitely be to contact the dead so I could track down all my lost family members and being a huge animal lover, I would also see if there was life after death for my chinchilla and two bunnies.
What do you think causes people’s enduring fascination with vampires?
Well most of the time, the perception is that the male vampire is an absolute sex-god so I think it builds on the fantasy element. My two male leads are just that but more so, I always think vampires are quite obsessive and possessive which can be both disturbing and appealing.
In terms of the wider fascination, I think there’s an element of being scared of your own mortality and wanting to believe you could live forever, eternal love etc.
Do you have any plans to write in a different genre in the future?
Absolutely! I’ll always get drawn back to the Full Circle series but I love the paranormal so think I’ve got a ghost story in me. I’ve also been working through another series which is more sinister and builds in an element of “you decide” similar to those ad-lib books you read as a kid.
Are you also an avid reader? What are you reading at the moment?
I’m a massive horror fan. I worship what Stephen King’s mind can do in terms of conjuring up such amazing stories .I feel sorry for the film director that tries to convert one of his books into a film as they always come up short. I also love James Herbert – especially the Rats Trilogy.
I’m currently out of reading material but eyeing up Salem’s Lot for a second read.
Doctor Who has just arrived in his Tardis. He puts you charge of the time machine, what would you do?
Kick him out. It’s about time they had a female Doctor!
The vampires are attacking! Grab the first thing you see to your right and hit them with it! What was it? And how do you think you did in the ensuing fight?
An anniversary card from my husband so I’m guessing I’m either going to have to paper-cut them to death or run pretty fast.
The afore mentioned vampire attack didn’t go so well and you were bitten by the vampire…now what?
Say, “ah well”, quit my job, turn my husband into a fellow blood-sucker and put my feet up and enjoy eternity.
In the event of a zombie apocalypse what item would you make sure that you took with you to your underground safety bunker? (we will presume that your family are already safely in the bunker!)
As long as the pets are part of the family that are safe, I’d make sure I grab my laptop so I can online order the food shop, music, weapons etc! I’ll offer a good tip to the Domino Pizza’s delivery-guy/girl to encourage them to fight their way through the Zombie masses!
You are planning an awesome dinner party. Which 3 celebrities/fictional characters/historical figures (past or present) would you add to your guest list?
I’m a bit of a mischief maker so I’d go for a combination that would have the best fall-out! I’m a massive Formula One fan so probably Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher. I’d probably sit back, enjoy the wine and watch the fireworks. To keep me company, I’d invite Michael Fassbender for some guy candy. I hear he’s a big F1 fan too.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Without being too cheesy, stay true to yourself. The market is currently saturated with a huge amount of books (both good and bad) so it’s pretty impossible to make millions from writing. I think there’s too much of a temptation to stray away from your writing style and intended storyline to make it more commercial.
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
Thanks for taking the chance on reading a book from an unknown author and I hope you thought it was worth the gamble!