Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Faith Ashlin for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: A Slow Process of Understanding
Author: Faith Ashlin
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre/Sub-Genre: Alternate Universe/Alternate World, M/M Romance
Prism recently reviewed A Slow Process of Understanding. You can find the review here.
How does a world that accepts slavery affect both master and slave? Can two people build a new life for themselves with a start like theirs?
It’s a world like this one except for the all-powerful State that’s very firmly in control and the fact that slavery is legal. Jimmy had never really thought about it or the fight for freedom going on around him. He was too busy enjoying his privileged life as an actor on a sci-fi show.
But what is he meant to do when he’s forced to permanently bond to a slave he doesn’t want just because he made one silly, drunken mistake? Does it change who he is, what he is?
Trouble is, Jimmy isn’t sure who he was to start with. He’d never thought about it.
And what about his slave, Nate? Can a slave force Jimmy into learning something about himself?
Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene of rape and references to dubious consent.
We are here today to talk with Faith Ashlin about her newest release ‘A Slow Process of Understanding’. What can you tell us about it?
‘A Slow Process of Understanding’ is about a man who thinks he’s one of the good guys, even when he is forced to get a slave. I wanted the pair to fall in love, but not as slave and owner. I wanted it to be a love of equals. Pretty difficult with their awful start, but I adore a happy ending so I thought I would take on the challenge. I wanted them both to see things from the other’s point of view, to really understand the situation so they could fall in the kind of deep, ever-lasting love that I dream of.
I started off by thinking about how I would react if I were the slave or the owner. I can understand that they can become very close; but real, equal full-on love? That would be hard to achieve as, I think, the power dynamic would be too unbalanced. I’d have to change mind-sets, diffuse the anger and, somehow, bring them together in a loving, caring and, most importantly, equal relationship. Like I said no easy task. I think the result is one of the best things I’ve ever written.
Why do you write about AU worlds, and why are your worlds so dark and oppressive?
I’m not especially interested in dark worlds but I am fascinated with power balances in relationships. So I tend to make the world a difficult one – or in the aftermath of a dark regime – but concentrate on a relationship within that world.
Tell us more about Nate and Jimmy.
Oh I’m not going to spoil the plot by telling you too much! I can say that Jimmy is a happy-go-luck actor who makes a stupid, thoughtless mistake and ends up with a slave he doesn’t want. Nate is the slave – good looking, tough and… you’ll have to read the book to find out more.
Where did you get your inspiration for the characters in your books?
I’m not sure really. Sometimes they’re an amalgamation of people I’ve met, other times they are the kind of man I want for myself. Which is daft as they are always gay!
What are you hoping the reader takes from your stories?
I don’t have a message in my books. I try to give the reader an involving story with characters they can care about. If there was a message, I guess, in this story, it would be to try and see things from everyone’s point of view and that we can all change.
What drew you to slavery as a basis for two of your books, A Slow Process, and What You See?
Power imbalances – I think changing them to make a truly equal relationship is really interesting. I’ve never been attracted to uneven relationships; I want my characters to fall in a fair, equal love. I don’t care if the world around them stays hierarchal, they have to be balanced. Slavery is a great way to play with those types of relationships. Making them work the way I want is a challenge but great fun.
What other books have you written?
So far I have 3 other books published by Totally Bound. ‘Knights and Butterscotch’ is a story of kings and soldiers in a modern world. ‘Pathfinder’ is the story of two airmen during World War 2. ‘What You See’ is set in a world that has just abolished slavery but looks at relationships in a very different way to this book.
I have another book due to be published by Totally Bound next year. It’s called ‘To Stand Close’ and also deals with slavery but in a third way. I think that will be the end of my slavery books!
What books do you read when you need to unwind?
I devour lots and lots of m/m stories! I especially love Sue Brown and S.A. Meade’s books. Apart from those I read lots of silly crime stories. I like the ones without much blood, stories that don’t tax my brain.
What are you working on? What is next?
First there are the edits for ‘To Stand Close’ then I have a longer story in mind. I have it plotted out but, at the moment, it’s too long. I need to think about how to shorten it.
About the Author:
When Faith was clearing out her attic many years ago, she found a book she’d written as a ten-year-old. On rereading it she realised that it was the love story of two boys. Over the years her fascination with the image of beautiful young men, coiled together as they fell head over heels in love, became a passion for her.
Since that first innocent book—written in purple sparkly pen—she has written many stories, set in varied worlds, but always with two men finding their way to happiness.
Still nothing much has changed because now she can be found in a daydream, wandering around the supermarket, or sitting in a meeting at work still dreaming up stories.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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