A twist of fairy tales: one wolf’s story

Thanks to Jessica Aspen for being with us today. Jessica and I met on a mountaintop just over a year ago at a fabulous workshop taught by Margie Lawson. We’ve both been finding new stories–and successes–ever since.
First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

Thanks for having me as your guest, Lyndi, I’m excited to be here. My family, Molly the lab mix, Ivy the disgruntled cat, and I live outside Boulder, Colorado where we get to see the gorgeous Rocky Mountains every day.

Tell us about your most recent publication.

Little Red Riding Wolf is the story of Red. Tired of being the runt of the litter, feisty Red jumps on the opportunity to take on the new forest ranger, but when Evan uncovers evidence of wolves in Radon, Colorado, things get out of control. Can Red keep her were-wolf identity secret and still save Evan from her brother’s thirst for blood?

What inspired you to write this story?

I had the opportunity to write a twisted fairy tale novella for a publishers contest. Since I already love twisted fairy tales and had written another one, I decided to flip the classic Little Red Riding Hood. I took the story and made it more adult and placed it in a modern setting. That publisher was interested in more traditional settings, so I submitted it to Passion in Print instead and it found a home.

How would you best describe your projects/books?

My books are full of action and strong characters. I love showing who people are through snappy dialogue. While my books are a little on the dark side there is still a note of humor that threads throughout.

What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

I read almost anything. I love romance (of course) but I also love fantasy and mystery as well. I think that’s why I write paranormal, urban fantasy and even have a half-finished suspense tucked away for the future.

What would you write if you could write anything you wanted to write?

I guess I already write what I want to write. I’m not sure why anyone would write anything they didn’t like. I love paranormal and I’m having fun writing it, so I expect to continue. But I think I might move into the YA branch at some point. I have lots of ideas that would fit that genre better than what I’m writing now. And I enjoy reading YA, so why not write it?

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Like most authors I love writing when it flows. When it comes easily it’s a joy and on the days when it feels like every word is a struggle, I get frustrated. But even on those days I know that this is what I want to be doing. I’ve wanted to be an author since I can remember. At about three years old I decided that I wanted to be a mom. Then and artist and then I finally learned to read and it grew into an author. I’ve tried other artistic mediums, but I have to say, I’m leaving the art thing to my sister. Writing is for me!

Tell us a little about your path to publication. What has helped you most along the way ? What have you published to date? How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one?

Little Red Riding Wolf is my first published work, but it certainly isn’t my first completed manuscript. It’s another twisted fairy tale, but it has elves and gypsy witches and an entirely different setting. Who knows? It might make it to publication too. I started seriously writing four years ago and took two years to finish the first novel. I started shopping it around and realized, I needed more classes. The next year I spend educating myself on romances and the art of writing romances. Little Red Riding Wolf came soon after, as well as another novella and a second novel. Both of those are about werewolves, but they aren’t fairy tales. They’re darker with more suspense.

How did you find a publisher? How did you receive the Call?

I attended a mini-conference where Laura Baumbach of Passion in Print was speaking and taking pitches. I’d pitched before to other editors and agents and actually didn’t intend to pitch that day. Before I knew it my friends had talked me into it and she was interested so I sent it out the next week. Within a few days I had an email containing a contract and my head was spinning.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

I like the hero and heroine in this story, quite a bit. Red is spunky and wants to expand out of her narrow existence, but doing so will hurt her family. Evan has been a loner in search of a place to belong all his life and when he meets Red he knows he’s finally found home. Unfortunately for him he isn’t a werewolf so she can’t possibly fit him into her life. Their story has a definite Romeo and Juliet theme underlying the fairy tale and modern paranormal setting.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

The only personal appearance I have planed is to read at the Denver Lady Jane Salon in March. You can find information on live romance readings at DenverLadyJane.com . I’m still working on twisting fairy tales and the town of Radon in this story has provided a wealth of possibilities. I’m in the process of seeing what Goldilocks may be up to if she lived in a town full of werewolves. I am also continuing to work on my elves and witches and dark werewolf stories and as soon as I have news I’ll be announcing it on my site JessicaAspen.com.

What would you like to tell readers?

Just to keep reading what they like. For the first time in history the internet has made publishing responsive to the readers. Readers are in the driver’s seat, buying from small presses and making their interests known. Keep up the good work!

Jessica Aspen
paranormal author

Dare to enter my world…and discover your imagination.


  1. Sherry Isaac

    Hey Jessica,

    I don’t know if I’m feisty, but I was tired of being the runt of the litter, too. So, I love Red alREDy. Can’t wait for your visit to Romance & Beyond in February, the month of love! Red and Evan are sure to steam things up!

  2. The calendar and I are in a day-late-frenzy, Jessica and Lyndi.

    Jessie, I knew were contracted. I knew you had an awesome book cover. I knew your book was coming out in February.

    What I didn’t know was the incredible plot that lurked between that front cover and your back cover blurb.

    KUDOS on believing in your book enough to resubmit after the first rejection. KUDOS in demonstrating that a rejection isn’t a sign that your book isn’t good. It’s just not right FOR THAT editor/agent/line.

    Can’t wait! Keep writing–both of you. Lyndi, the uber-prolific-one. And, Jessica, who never met an idea she didn’t want to explore.

  3. Thanks Sherry, I’m looking forward to being on R&B for Valentines day! I love feisty heroines, when I read them, and Red just naturally had to be that way. Being the only girl in a family of older brother were-wolves, she either had to fight or roll over. And of course I couldn’t have her as a wimp!

  4. Hi Gloria. Late to the party indeed. Betcha the party doesn’t start till you show up! Thanks for the support and I think this is a game of rejections, who can garner the most and still be successful. In fact I think the most successful (NYT) authors can attest to slogging through the rejections. I’m either not submitting enough or just lucky with my minimal amount in my file. Time to re-submit again!

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  1. [...] time I was here I had fun being interviewed about my debut novella Little Red Riding Wolf, (click HERE for Lyndi’s interview) and today I’m pleased to be back on tour with the second in the Twisted [...]