Please say hello to Cate Ashwood and
A Forced Silence
Thank you so much for having me today! I am thrilled to be here to talk about A Forced Silence and I was hoping to tell you where the ideas for the characters came from.
When I stopped by at Love Bytes yesterday, I talked a little bit about how A Forced Silence came to be. The book went through countless permutations in the four years since the story formed in my head. Originally, the characters were somewhat autobiographical. I had never written a book before, and I took the whole “write what you know” thing to heart.
I met my husband, Chris, in high school. We couldn’t stand one another. After graduation, we both moved away, and years later we met again when a mutual friend from high school was in town for a few days. He wanted to grab dinner with both of us, and I nearly cancelled because I’d hated Chris so much. But it had been years and we’d both grown up, so we started dating soon after. He was just starting school to become a paramedic at the time.
The way my husband and I met is similar to Adam and Sam and was the initial spark of the idea that led to the book. As I wrote, the characters changed (Sam started off as a history teacher) and their personalities became their own.
Although there still exist some parallels between the characters and us, there are now more differences than similarities.
For paramedic Adam Carson, his world is lights and sirens and saving lives. Pressures at work keep him firmly in the closet, and life is too busy to contend with the complications that come with dating and relationships. When a familiar face from his past turns up where he least expects it, Adam starts to question whether or not there is room in his life for those complications.
The last person forensic pathologist Sam McKenna expects to see at pub night is Adam, the guy who made his life hell in high school. The attraction is instant, but Adam isn't gay and Sam has no interest in pursuing him. Still, the leftover animosity from their teenage years isn't enough to extinguish the lust growing between them. After both are called to the scene of a horrific murder, Adam admits he’s not as straight as he led Sam to believe and they seek comfort and distraction in each other's arms. One night becomes many as the murder investigation intensifies, but when Adam is faced with losing Sam, he is forced to make a choice: to break his silence, or to give up everything for the job he loves.
“SO, YOU and Adam, huh?”
Sam looked up from the file folder he was currently poring over, startled. He was so immersed in his work, he hadn’t heard Ford walk in, and the question threw him. “What?”
“You and Adam. Know each other,” Ford clarified, sitting down on one of the two blue fabric guest chairs Sam almost forgot was in his office, he had visitors so rarely.
He sat back in his own chair, his gaze falling on Ford. “Oh. Yeah. We went to high school together… had a couple of mutual friends. I don’t know him all that well.”
“Yeah, I guess it is.”
“He asked about you.”
“What?” He couldn’t read the expression on Ford’s face.
“He asked if I knew you well. If I had your number.”
“Did you give it to him?” Sam asked, trying desperately to keep his tone even. Despite every effort not to, he’d spent more time thinking about Adam over the last few days than he had done in high school. It was driving him to distraction, and not being in control of his libido was pissing him off. He thanked whatever deity happened to be watching over him that he hadn’t had anything major come through the morgue in the last week. All the deaths at Saint Joe’s were easily explained, and all were caused naturally. “No. After you acting like a complete basket case the other night, and even now you’re being fucking weird, I figured if you wanted him to have it, you’d give it to him yourself.”
Sam wasn’t sure how to respond. His immediate instinct was to be defensive, but Ford was right. He was acting weird. He needed to straighten his head out and stop thinking so hard. He could forget he ever ran into him and go back to the way things were the week before. Boring and simple.
“What’s going on, Sam?” Ford pressed.
“Nothing. We knew each other in high school, that’s all.”
“Uh-huh. I don’t believe you. You had a thing for him? Or have, maybe?”
Sam closed the folder of the case he was working on and sat back in his chair, staring pointedly at Ford. “It’s more complicated than that.”
“So explain it to me.”
“We weren’t exactly friends in high school. We had mutual friends, but in general we couldn’t stand one another.”
“It’s complicated,” Sam repeated.
“You keep saying that.”
“It was a long time ago. I don’t think it even matters anymore. We had a mutual friend, Mason, who I’d been best friends with since kindergarten. When Adam came on the scene, Mason’s attention was divided, and I guess there was some jealousy there.”
“Is that all it was? Jealousy?”
“I don’t know. There might have been some other feelings there. I was figuring out my sexuality and what it all meant. Adam was… well… is… you know. You’ve seen him.”
“Hot as fuck?”
Sam laughed. “Something like that. It was all exceptionally confusing. I was attracted to him, but at the same time he made my blood boil, and not in a good way. There was jealousy over Mason, but he was an asshole too. He’s called me Dexter since the eighth grade, which I hated, and apparently he never stopped.”
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About the Author:
Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.
Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, son, and two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.
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