Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Guest Author, Ashley Ladd

Please join me in welcoming author, Ashley Ladd. She has kindly agreed to join us for the day.

You write Romance in a wide range of sub-genres, do you have a favorite? What is it about that particular genre that appeals to you as an author?

I love contemporary comedy romance. I also love time-travel.
I’ve always loved romantic comedy and I love adventure. Time-travel has a lot of possibilities for both.

Is there one sub-genre you find to be more difficult than others? Why?

Vampires are hard for me to write although I haven’t given up. “Carnal Lust”, a vampire, sort of, time-travel romance will release from May 17.
I’m still learning about vampire lore. The world-building needs to be spot on and the vampires need to be intense.

I noticed you have books with several different publishers, as do I. What are the challenges of maintaining titles with several companies? The benefits?

What’s tough for me is that I want to write enough books to have at least a couple a year come out from each publisher. But that’s a lot of writing. And when they each have interesting projects going on, I want to join all. Since I have a full-time day job, it’s not always possible to get all this done.
Another drawback that’s happened is that two or three publishers will give me edits at the same time and a limited time in which to return them. Can you say “busy”? “Overwhelmed”?
Also, books have come out all in one or two months which makes it difficult to promote. When things like this happen, I get little or no writing done.
The benefits are that if one publisher should cease to exist, or if for some reason I no longer enjoy writing for them, I have others with which I have a relationship.

You’re also amazingly prolific. Do you have a secret formula for productivity? What about a motivational or organizational tool that helps keep the books coming out?

I type fast, about 100 wpm. J
My motivation? My characters want to live. The next book itches to be written.
Honestly, I’ve gotten caught up in promotion this past month or two and haven’t done much writing. I’m mad at myself and am going to kick myself and get jump started again. I like to have several releases annually.

As an electronically published author, what advice can you give to someone looking to dive into the industry? Any warnings or cautionary tales?

Usually I watch a publisher for awhile before submitting to them. I watched Ellora’s Cave, researched how they were doing, listened to what authors, readers, and everybody was saying about them before submitting.
Once I went with a brand new publisher. Within about a year, they closed. It happens. But established publishers are less likely to fail than a start up.

What do you love most about being an author? Why is this better than a nine to five?

Actually, I do the nine to five thing. I really do the nine – 6 or 7 thing. I’m a customer service manager for a charity. I really enjoy helping people and I enjoy what I do.
I also love being an author. I keep saying I’d love to be able to be a full-time author, but I’d miss my job and coworkers. I’d miss our mission of helping the poor. Yet it would be nice to make my own hours, to take vacation whenever I want, not to worry about being sick and deserting the office or angering my boss if I’m out too much.
If I were a full-time author my days would be too solitary, even with the Internet. When I go to the day job I’m surrounded by several people my age. We go out to lunch. Sometimes we meet in the evenings.
However, I would love to have more time to write and more time to promote.

What is your all time favorite wine? Chocolate? Dangerous man?

I don’t drink wine or alcohol. In fact, I can’t stand the taste. My poison is Diet Coke. I also like milk.
Chocolate’s okay. But I like butterscotch even better.
Dangerous man? Indiana Jones for sure. I love Indy. J

What do you find the most fascinating or exciting about the Romance genre? Have you always written Romance? Always read it?

I’ve loved romances since I graduated from Nancy Drew mysteries. That was at about age twelve. I used to buy every month’s new Harlequin and Silhouette releases. After I devoured them, I bought shopping bags full of used romances.
Sometimes I read Stephen King, Stephen White, and I also love the Left Behind series. I like chick lit, too.

You manage to write the scenes that “make me blush.” Have you ever experienced stage fright when it came to erotica? Is there anything you’d suggest to an author who might like to try their hand at the hotter than sensual heat ratings?

I’d have stage fright admitting to writing erotica if I used my real name. I use a pseudonym so my coworkers and church members won’t know I write erotica. That helps me to write sexy scenes without reservation.
I like to have fun when writing but I also try to be realistic.

Anything they absolutely shouldn’t do?

My editors don’t like it if I forget to use safe sex (they want condoms used unless the characters are married). They remind me to make the characters use condoms. My editors also don’t like for characters to smoke or do dangerous things someone might try to imitate and get hurt in real life. It’s confusing as I see characters do dangerous things on TV all the time. I read about them in books published by the big publishers. Each publishing house has its own set of likes and dislikes. It’s good to read several books by a publisher before submitting to get a handle on them.

Do friends and family embrace the fact that you write erotica, or is it ever an issue? (Note to readers: even writing sweet to sensual Romance has earned me some interesting reactions--no disrespect to erotica meant here at all)

My mom died before I was published in even sweet romance. Somehow I don’t think she’d be a fan of erotica.
My dad is fully supportive and has given me editing tips.
My kids are embarrassed even of sweet romance much less the erotic stuff. Once I asked my oldest son to fix my computer. His wife got into my erotic romance and teased me unmercifully.

What is your favorite cover art? Were you ever disappointed by one of your covers? If so, how did you handle it?

I’ve been a little disappointed by a couple covers. But not so badly I complained. I don’t want to be a troublesome author. Also, the publishers know more than I do, so I trust their judgment.
I love the covers for “Make-Believe Lover”, “Civil Affairs”, and “The Perfect Gift”.
What is your favorite book of all time (by another author)?
The Stand by Stephen King. The characters and story are awesome.
I also enjoy all of Sherryl Woods romances.

Tell us a little about your latest release.

“Bad Conduct” was released by April 19th.
It’s the stand alone sequel to “The Perfect Gift”.When Captain Ty Gibson comes home from a tour of duty in Iraq to marry Bianca, their sometimes third lover Brendan stirs up a mess of trouble.Captain Ty Gibson has made up his mind. He loves Bianca and he's going to marry her. But when he comes home from his tour of duty in Iraq, their sometimes third lover Brendan fights for Ty. Although Bianca once enjoyed their occasional ménages, she's ready to settle down with just one man and wants that one man to settle down with just her.Brendan's troublemaking jeopardises everything in Ty's life – his future with Bianca and his military career.

Where can readers find you?

Thank you so much for stopping by!


Ashley Ladd said...

Thank you so much for letting me visit today. I just got home from my day job or I would have stopped by sooner.

M Pax said...

Wow, Ashley! You are a machine. Enjoyed reading your interview.

Elaine Hopper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley Ladd said...

Thank you, M Pax. I don't know if I'm a machine. Lately I've been a tired machine. :)

Frances Pauli said...

But your work is fantastic, Ashley. And to write well and pull off a day deserve large quantities of chocolate, at the very least.