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Kat Meets Cowboys #6: An Interview With Ronnie Ashmore

Ronnie Ashmore is a veteran police officer and two-time chief of police who started his law enforcement career as a jailer and worked his way up through the ranks.

He writes novels involving crime thrillers and westerns. He has an ability to give his characters an authentic voice and a sense of reality.

When he is not working or writing and has some spare time, he enjoys playing golf, fishing, and traveling.

KA: When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I have written since high school, though I never thought I had a full book in me. I’ve had short stories and poetry published since high school. Not until the release of my first book, Family Secrets, that, when it started selling, I knew I could do this.

KA: How long did it take you to come up with an idea for your first novel?

My first book, Family Secrets, set to be the first of a trilogy, is a police mystery set in a small town in Texas. Those characters, the people, were in my mind since high school. The storyline was what took some time to flesh out.

KA: How long did your first novel take to write?

From high school to when it was published in 2020 was close to 30 years.

KA: What advice would you give to new authors?

I don’t know that I am in the advice-giving position yet. But, solidly, I would say just write your story. Forget all the people who say it has to be this many words, or it has to have this trope. Just tell your story the best you can. Any advice any writer gives is only pertinent to that writer anyway, not the entirety of authorhood.

KA: What does a typical day when you are writing look like for you? Is there anyone who influenced your writing style?

Typical day of writing for me is get up between 3 and 4 AM. Write until I hit my goal, which is six pages per day. I do that for however many stories I am working on at that moment, which is usually two. Then I enjoy the rest of my day.

My writing style is difficult for me to categorize. And while I read everything that interests me, I have my personal list of writers who I enjoy reading like Dean Koontz, Lee Child, Ralph Cotton, Casey Nash, and of course Kelton, L’Amour, and Matt Braun. Probably Elmore Leonard had more of an impact on me than anyone. Really too many to narrow down.

KA: Where did the idea come from for your latest series?

The two series I have that are continuous are about John Riley and Sam Bolton. Riley is a coming-of-age story, kind of, where he is learning his craft as the books go along. Bolton was inspired by a certain girl I know that spawned the relationship between Bolton and his wife and the trials they face in Texas.

KA: How would you approach it differently if you were to repeat it today?

I’d write from a younger age. Though I did short stories, my full-length stories never turned out and I put them aside. If I were starting as a young man today, I would write them and keep polishing until they shined.

KA: What got you interested in writing Westerns?

Louis L’Amour was the first writer I remember reading as a child of about 7. His books were always around the house, so that’s what we read. As I got older, I discovered Joseph Wambaugh and Elmore Leonard and others. I’m not sure when the spark to write hit me.

KA: What do you think makes for the perfect Western?

An honest, truthful portrayal of life in those times. We know the stand-up TV gunfights were rare. We know the bad guys never treed a town. There are diaries and newspaper accounts of those times, so we know what it was. At the same time, you have to take a little poetic license to keep readers happy.

KA: What can we look forward to from you next?

I am currently writing a couple of new Riley stories; I just released a new Sam Bolton as well. The Riley stories are taking shape and hopefully will be out soon.

Katrina Achey resides in Pennsylvania with her fiancé and child where she works as the Social Media Manager for Dusty Saddle Publishing. Katrina enjoys reading, writing, painting and playing her guitar—anything that lets her express her creative freedom. When she’s not working, you can find her curled up on the couch with a good book or having a fun game night with her loved ones. Please email admin@dspublishingnetwork.com 

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