Good morning everyone! First off, I'd like to say thank you for all the kind thoughts and wishes during this difficult time. My grandma was a wonderful lady and will be greatly missed. Having your support helps immensely.
Today, I'm privileged to have another wonderful lady, a kind and hard-working author, visiting the blog. Ashley Ladd's writing spans the genres and offers a bit of something for everyone. I'm very glad to have her with us this Wednesday.
Ashley, author’s lives intrigue readers and other writers. Tell me about your typical daily schedule.
Weekends are my main writing time and the occasional evening. As I work a full time day job, I often don’t get home ‘til 6:30 or much later. By then, I’m exhausted. Until January, my daughter played on three ball teams so I was a softball mom extraordinaire. I lived at the ball field after work. I got more writing done then as I’d take my Alpha Smart and wasn’t distracted by the Internet and promotion like I am now that she’s too old for travel and rec ball.
I’m going to have to disconnect from the internet a lot more and get intimate with my Alpha Smart again.
Do you have a pre-writing routine to prepare yourself to get down to business?
I HAVE to have a large glass of diet cola with a LOT of ice. I also have to have my music. If I forget my MP3 player or it stops working, then I have to plug in ear plugs to block out the outside world.
Sometimes I need to read or walk or swim to get in the mood to write. It’s amazing how many story ideas I get when my ears are underwater and I only hear the hum of the pool. My mind also works great when I walk for awhile.
What’s your writing style? Slow and steady? Quick and prolific? All over the place?
It’s never been slow and steady. It used to be quick and prolific.
Now it’s all over the place. I’ve been spending WAY too much time promoting, tweeting, and chatting on the loops (that’s promotion, right?)
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned since starting work in this industry?
To get over myself. And to edit.
That seems contradictory.
First, I have to polish my books as well as I can before submitting and when working with my editors.
After that, I have to remember not to sweat the small things. To remember that reviews are subjective. To remember that you can’t please everybody all the time.
As long as I do my best and follow my heart and treat people right, then I won’t beat myself up if I’m not perfect.
Being a customer service manager has also taught me this.
What are you working on now?
A couple Class of ’85 Reunion romances for TWRP. One is nearly finished. These are sweet romances that my alter ego’s working on.
I’m also working on a transgender romance. Someone very close to me has announced he’s a transgender woman and is going through the transformation. I’m capturing my feelings as well as trying to capture what he’s going through in a realistic and emotional way.
What’s your favorite genre to write?
Time-travel romance. I love to put a character in a different time period and see how they cope. Contemporary romance comes in a close second.
I find a lot of authors like to read outside their chosen genre. What do you like to read?
When I’m not reading romance I love to read Stephen King’s horrors and Stephen White’s psychological thrillers. I also enjoyed reading The Left Behind series.
Beyond that, I like to read non-fiction about how to market and promote.
Tell me your writing story…when did you decide this was what you want to do? How long did it take you to get “the call”? When were you first published? Etc.
I’ve known since I was 6 I was a writer. That’s all I wanted to do although I longed to be a journalist. Later I switched gears.
I got “the call” in 1999 from New Concepts Publishing. I’d met Madris Guiterriez at my local RWA conference and was impressed with her and her company. My first published novel was “Tigers Play” in 1999.
How many books have you had published and for whom?
Twelve at Ellora’s Cave. Twenty-three at Total-E-Bound (three more coming soon which will make it 26.) About 15 at New Concepts Publishing. Another 8 or so at Awe-Struck. One at The Wild Rose Press. One at Amber Quill Press. About 60 total. [Holy Smokes! I knew you were prolific, but wow!]
What’s your latest release? Can you tell us about the book and how you got the idea?
“Charity’s Auction” released this week, Monday May 31st. It was born when a call came from TEB for MFM anthology stories. My day job is for a charity and they have several charity auctions a year. About that time, also, my hubby was in the hospital for several days so I had hospitals on the brain. So I married the two and voila!
It’s available at:
What’s your writing space like?
What writing space? My youngest stole my computer desk with my desktop.
So I use my laptop wherever I happen to be. That’s usually on my bed, on the dining room table, or at Border’s Café.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Be a customer service manager for a charity.
I’ve also been taking line dancing classes, going to the gym, walking and swimming. I’m also a huge movie buff and just finished watching Sense and Sensibility. I can’t believe I never saw it ‘til this week.
And of course I love to read and blog.
Tell us… What’s your favorite movie and why?
“The Mummy” with Brendan Frasier because it’s a wonderful mix of romance, comedy, horror, action and adventure. “Mulan” because I admire Mulan so much and because Li is the cutest comic strip hero I’ve ever laid eyes on. “Pillow Talk” because I love the banter between Doris and Rock, and the comedy of how he scams her then she scams him back. And now I’ve added “Sense and Sensibility” and “Pride and Prejudice” to my favorites. I love the poetry of the language and the complex characters.
Last questions… Coke or Pepsi? DIET Pepsi! I once worked for Coca-Cola and I am NOT fond of them. Personal stuff aside, Coke is too harsh and has a nasty aftertaste. However, if Pepsi’s not available I drink Coke as long as I water it down with a ton of ice.
Summer or Winter? Winter. The grass is greener, right? I live in perpetual summer so I’d love to have a change of scenery and outdoor sports. Of course if I had my own pool so I could swim every day like every other Floridian except my family, I’d change my answer to summer.
Cat person or Dog person? Both. I’ve always been a cat person and I think I’m part cat by now. I can’t live without a cat. But I love my puppies, too. They’re all my babies.
Bronte or Austen? Austen!
Star Trek or Star Wars? Both. You CAN’T be a member of my family and NOT like Star Trek and Star Wars. I mean, it would be criminal. But if I had to choose one I like a bit more than the other, it’s Star Trek. I’m a total trekkie. I was in love with Mr. Spock for YEARS. I thought Scottie was pretty cute, too, especially his sexy accent. I wasn’t a Kirk woman until we got to meet the young Kirk in the newest movie.
I used to want to become an astronaut and travel the galaxy with Kirk, Spock, and Bones. Really. Then I joined the Air Force so I could travel the world at least. Instead I got stuck in Omaha, smack dab in the middle of the US surrounded by prairies full of corn and Big Red (University of Omaha’s mascot – a farm boy in a red and blue overalls) staring at me from just about everywhere.
Team Edward or Team Jacob? Huh? My daughter-in-law’s the Twilight fan. I saw it once at her house and thought it was merely okay, nothing special. She’d kill me if she knew I said that. I thought Jacob was a lot cuter than Edward, though, so does that put me on Team Jacob? [Yes, it does ;-) ]
McDonalds or Burger King? I HATE HATE HATE Burger King. McDonald’s has okay breakfasts and fries. If I have to have fast food, I want a chicken salad or chimichanga from Tijuana Flats.
“Charity’s Auction” Blurb:
Although head nurse Char Reynolds is desperately head over heels for bad boy Dr. Dexter Graham, he's moved on. Still she gets caught up in bidding for him at the hospital's auction for the new children's wing and wins. His smug expression drives her to also bid on and win the very hunky Dr. Ben Price, Dexter's nemesis and to plan a very naughty, very sexy night with both men.
Excerpt From: Charity's Auction
Charity “Char” Reynolds stared at Dr. Dexter Graham, her eyes narrowed, her heart doing the cha-cha while mathematical calculations flew around in her head. He was gorgeous with his dark, five o’clock shadow, the sexy glint in his eyes, and his broad, powerful shoulders. If it weren’t for that smirk on his lips, he’d be perfect. But he was far from it. He only looked perfect.
The good doctor was a bad boy through and through. It was a tossup whether he mended or broke more hearts. His record on the operating room table was stellar. Off, however, was horrendous. He’d broken so many hearts with that killer smile and huge dimples he should be thrown into solitary confinement for the rest of his miserable life.
Amy Koch, the hospital’s chief administrator, adjusted the microphone with her only hand. Then she tapped the instrument and blew into it. “Can you hear me?”
When the sound from the mic blasted through Char’s head, she clapped her hands over her ears in self-preservation. “Have mercy, woman.”
Once her brain stopped spinning and she was able to see again, she looked over a sea of other people holding their ears. Tentatively, she removed one hand, keeping it close just in case the mic went crazy again.
So far so good. Slowly, she lowered her other hand but kept it at the ready as she warily kept her eye on Amy.
Although, she felt sorry for Amy since the car wreck that had amputated the administrator’s left arm that she couldn’t find anything to like about her caused her to war with feelings of guilt and distrust. Even before the accident, Amy had only been out for number one, stepping on anybody in her way, claiming it was for the greater good. Now people overlooked her mean tempered whining—until they came into her sights. Char had been dead centre in Amy’s far too often. As head surgical nurse, she and Amy butted heads daily.
“Welcome to our first annual charity auction.” Amy beamed at the audience and batted her fake lashes. When she moved, the spotlight made her rhinestones shoot laser beams around the room.
Amy clapped her hand against the mic and shot a grin as fake as her lashes at the audience. “I hope your cheque books are fat and happy and your fingers are itching to write outrageous amounts for the new children’s wing. Let’s get this thing off the ground tonight!”
Cheering anew deafened Char, and her lips stretched so tightly over her teeth they ached.
Her best friend, Beth, another surgical nurse, elbowed her. She rubbed her hands together, and there was a hungry gleam in her eyes. “My cheque book’s ready, willing and able. I moved money from savings to bid on Dr. Hottie.”
It was all Char could do to hold her smile in place and not growl at the sweet strawberry blonde. Since she’d never breathed a word about her brief fling with Dr. Hottie, she couldn’t accuse her friend of trying to steal her ex-boyfriend, yet her claws extended and her skin crawled. When her throat stopped constricting, she said as airily as possible, “Oh, really? Great minds think alike. Me, too.”
Their third musketeer, Jody, a surgical intern jumped up and down and waved her psychedelic-coloured cheque book in their faces. “Me three! Let’s do a ménage à trois with him and have our wicked way.”
Beth scrunched her nose at the perky child. With a duh hanging in her voice, she said, “Ew. I don’t want to see your naked tits. Besides a ménage à trois is three and there would be four of us.”
The three of them would be much too good for the louse. What she wanted to do to him involved whips, chains and video. He’d be so sorry he’d ever broken her heart…
“Aw shucks.” Jody scrunched her nose and pouted. “You two make three times as much as me. I’ll be lucky if I can buy Dr. Rob. I might as well go home since you two party poopers won’t share. It’s way too smoky in here anyway.” She covered her mouth with her hand and coughed as if to add emphasis.
Char’s gaze landed on Dr. Hunky, aka Ben Price, plastic surgeon to the rich and ritzy Boca Babes. “What about Dr. Hunky? He’s mighty cute.”
Charity’s Auction is available at:
Ashley, thanks for being here!!! Readers, here's where you can find Ashley:
Thanks so much for having me, Brynn! ~~Ashley