Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Ashley Ladd!

When co-workers, friend, and other acquaintances learn I write fiction, I invariably hear one of two things:

“If I had time, I could do that.”

“I have a wonderful idea. I’ll give it to you, you write the book, and we’ll split the royalties 50-50.”

Sometimes, they’ll say both.

Say what???

I just smile, shake my head, and make some noncommittal remark. I might try to laugh it off and breeze on. What do they really want me to say? The truth?

The truth, in their book, is probably not as pretty, or simple, as they’d like.

What makes a person think I have a ton of time? I hold a full-time day job (customer service manager), a wife, mother, grandmother, taxi cab, etc. My daughter is on two, not just one, softball teams and she doesn’t drive. Guess who drives her everywhere and watches the games?

One person who repeatedly says this is a co-worker. That means she does hold down a day time job, but her children are grown. She watches her soaps and QVC all night, every night. Why couldn’t she use that time to write a book, if she was serious?

The second suggestion is the one that really gets my goat. The idea of a book is the easy, quick part. I have hundreds of ideas swirling in my head for books. I have at least ten books started, awaiting their turn to be written.

The hard part is getting down the characterization, plotting, pacing, dialogue, and putting it all together which takes many hours, sometimes months or years. The author is supposed to share 50% of the profit with someone who merely offers the skeleton of an idea?

One of my author friends gave me a good come back I’m dying to use .She says it works for her and she’s my new idol. When someone suggests this to her, she tells them, “Okay, go ahead and give me the character charts and plot outline.” To date, according to my friend, no one has taken her up on this.

Writing a book is not easy. A lot of people think writers have to be crazy, or at least obsessed, to put ourselves through this massive amount of work when lots of times the majority of our compensation is a reader’s smile.

I vote for crazy. You should hear the characters talking to me.

Yep, you heard me. The conversations go something like this:

Max to moi: “Ashley, I don’t want to be ‘Max’, I want to be ‘Ryan’.”

Me to Max: “I’m your creator, and you’re ‘Max’.”

Max to moi: “Well, I won’t answer to ‘Max’. By the way, I’m in love with Victor, not Vicky.”

Me to Ryan: (big gasp from me) “What? This isn’t an MM or an MMF.”

Ryan (sticking his nose in the air and giving me the evil eye) to moi: “I said I’m gay. G-A-Y. Get the picture?”

Then I have the choice to let Max be Ryan and to let Ryan follow his heart, or to put his story on ice and move onto Charity’s story. Or Sheila’s.

“Ooh ooh, pick me! Pick me!” Charity and Sheila call out, then wrestle down each other in my mind, fighting for supremacy.

Sheila, now with a black eye, comes up for air, and panting, bribes me. “I’ll sell more stories than that simpering, whiny Charity. Pick me.”

Pouting, with a patch of her hair pulled out, Charity hugs me and looks up at me with big puppy dog eyes, “But it’s my turn. I’ve been waiting forever. Pick me.”

At times like these, I have to become Simon Cowell and judge which story has the X-factor and best chance (of winning readers and good reviews for moi).

I’m sure if you could read my mind, you’d have me committed. There are hundreds of voices in my head. No wonder I get a little scatterbrained. Not to mention that I think of myself as “Ashley” (my pseudonym) more than I think of myself as my real name. I certainly sign “Ashley” a LOT more than the name my mother gave me.

We writers are an odd bunch – at least a lot of us. At least me.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have fun. I am obsessed. I’d rather write than breathe. I like a feisty character – they keep things interesting.

I have to say that I miss my characters after I say goodbye. Sometimes, I just can’t say goodbye and bring them back in sequels. (To be released soon by Ellora’s Cave at www.ellorascave.com “Truth, Justice, & The Vampire Way” sequel to “Blessed Be” – vampire romance).

In the meantime, I’d like to introduce you to two very interesting characters: Tatiana Reece and Ace Dyer, in my brand new release, “Confessions of a Nympho”, at www.total-e-bound.com:

Confessions of a Nympho
By Ashley Ladd

Coming from www.total-e-bound.com 3/10/08
Story: Total-e-burning rating
Click
here to read an excerpt

In an effort to promote her books, erotic romance author Tatiana Reece decides it will increase her blog traffic if she starts a new blog in which she pretends that her personal life is as racy if not more racy than her novels. She calls it "Confessions of a Nympho" and she makes up some really hot, spicy stuff.

When tax season rolls around and she makes her annual visit to her accountant, Ace, the junior accountant handling her case—who has long been secretly in love with her—discovers her blog. Using an alias, Ace begins a torrid online affair with Tatiana that moves into a real world affair.

One problem. Ace disguises himself and when she discovers his true identity, she'll be furious.

If you’d like to get to know me better, please visit with me Wednesday March 12th at my chat at www.noveltalk.com at 9pm EST. I’ll be awarding a download copy of “Blessed Be” to a lucky chatter.

Also, come and listen to KS Augustin’s podcast with me at: http://radiofreebliss.KSaugustin.com
I want to thank Marianne for having me as her blog guest today. I very much enjoyed visiting.

Ashley
http://www.ashleyladd.blogspot.com/
http://www.ashleyladd.com

4 comments:

Judy Thomas said...

"Confessions of a Nympho" sounds like a fun fun read. And you made me laugh with the voices in your head (when I could hear them above mine, that is).

Mona Risk said...

What a funny blog, Ashley. So realistic. I've been there. Confessions of a Nympho is next on my list TBR.

Brandy said...

Just to clarify, as a non-author, I never thought writing was easy.

Your voices are hilarious! And Confessions of a Nympho sounds fun.

Thanks for the entertaining post! *G*

Diane Craver said...

Ashley,
I can relate to what people say to you when you tell them you're a writer. I've received the same kind of response. Some though realize it's been hard since I have a large family.

I'll visit your site - thanks for a great blog post!