Catching Up with... Ashavan Doyon

This week, I'm catching up with author, Ashavan Doyon who started out writing fan fiction and who has a new release from Torquere Press.

Thanks for having me today, Larry. I'm here to talk about Steven's Heart, my new release from Torquere Press, but perhaps it'd be best to start with a bit of an introduction of myself first, and then the book. I've been writing for a long time, almost all my life. I started on an old portable manual when I was just a little kid, writing Smurfs fan fiction. I always loved to read, from a very young age. I won't talk so much about my influences, because I did that earlier in the blog tour, but I will say they were seriously bent toward fantasy and science fiction.  

I grew up as a kid in Georgia and Texas, moving around a lot. Shortly after I reached my teenage years I moved to Massachusetts. It could not have come at a better time for me. I had reached a crisis point dealing with my sexuality, and as hard as the struggle was for me here in New England, in Texas (I had been living in Houston), it would have been so much worse. I went to college and got my degree and then got a job. I very deliberately chose a 9-5, Monday through Friday, no extra responsibilities type job. I chose a job I could leave at the office. And that was so I could write.  

I won't pretend I didn't get discouraged. It's hard to write for publication and not get discouraged. You pour your heart into works, and no matter how much research you do, no matter how careful you are, there's always someone accusing you of doing it wrong. I think developing a thick enough skin to deal with that is a requirement of being a writer in the modern age, and it's a skill I fear I have yet to master. 
I started writing mostly fantasy and paranormal stories. The focus was on the fantasy, on the paranormal, but looking back, every one of them featured strong romantic elements. I got sick of faceless rejection slips. I was getting notes from editors, handwritten -- like gold, but even a few close calls never resulted in publication. I was feeling lost and dejected. It was about this time that I discovered a fandom -- Nuke -- that based out of a rare (at the time) canonical same-sex relationship in a soap opera. The fans were unhappy with how the storyline had ended and were writing their own versions. This I could do. So I did. I fear my very direct literary style critiquing made me few friends at the start. I had been trained to give those critiques, fair but honest, over years of classes, but these were fan authors, many brilliant, but without that background to cushion the effects of a critique.

It was in writing Nuke fanfic, where the focus was so very deliberately on the romance, that I really began to think about my earlier attempts at novels and began to see the romance that I'd always put in them. I made my annual National Novel Writing Month foray an experiment in writing m/m romance. Because that is fast and furious writing, I chose a setting that required little research for me. I had been the out and proud student leader. I work at a college now, in student affairs. I know how disciplinary matters get dealt with. I know how cruel college students can be. I know how easy it is for a secretive closeted athlete to stay closeted, if that's what they want. So I picked and chose elements and I wrote a story about an out young gay man in love with his straight roommate. Loving Aidan was rejected. I was crushed. I wrote a shorter piece and submitted to anthology. I researched more publishers, and submitted Loving Aidan again at the same time. 

I got the acceptances for both pieces within a week of each other. There was a lot of frustration from readers for the direction I took Aidan in, and a lot of interest in a second character, Steven. When I sat down to write the next book, Steven's story was the obvious choice. This time I was focusing on a character who had remained scrupulously in the closet for a long time. I wanted to fight back against the "gay for you" crowd and write a book that really showed, I hope, the sort of pain and heartbreak being in the closet, even through college, can bring. I hope that makes Steven's Heart a more human story. And I hope your readers will give it a chance. Thanks again for having me visit!


When a love triangle breaks, Steven Everett is left alone to grieve over a boyfriend lost to someone
else. Surrounded by friends too tied to Aidan's new lover to give advice, Steven turns instead to a broken and beaten man, Aidan's other ex, Michael Rossier, who also knows the pain of having loved and lost Aidan. Steven's and Michael's confessions grow deeper, each confiding in the other until neither can deny an attraction. But being with Michael feels like cheating, and Steven isn't sure what to do. The connection get stronger every day, and Steven realizes he's facing an impossible choice. 

 To make a relationship with Michael work, Steven needs to make peace with Michael's troubled past. Even more terrifying, he'll have to tell Michael the secret he's never told anyone, not even Aidan. With Michael recovering from yet another surgery, Steven leaves to face the ghosts of the past. He has to be certain. This time, Steven knows, the decision means revealing the secrets of his heart and hoping their fragile feelings can survive. 

Buy links:

From Torquere:

From Amazon:


Rafflecopter Prize : 2 ebook copies of  "Steven's Heart" and 1 signed paperback copy of  "Loving Aidan" ( US restricted ).
Click here for Rafflecopter Giveaway

Author Bio

Ashavan Doyon spends his days working with students as part of the student affairs staff at a liberal arts college. During lunch, evenings, and when he can escape the grasp of his husband on weekends, he writes, pounding out words day after day in hopes that his ancient typewriter-trained fingers won't break the glass on his tablet computer. Ashavan is an avid science fiction and fantasy fan and prefers to write while listening to music that fits the mood of his current story. He has no children, having opted instead for the companionship of two beautiful and thoroughly spoiled pugs. A Texan by birth, he currently lives in New England, and frequently complains of the weather. 
Follow Ashavan on Twitter and Facebook or visit his website.


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