Please welcome Ashley Ladd to my little corner of the web.Thank you for being here today.
First of all, please would you introduce yourself to anyone lurking here?
Thank you for welcoming me to your blog today. I’m Ashley Ladd, erotic romance writer for Totally Bound, Ellora’s Cave, and NCP. Although I’m originally from Cincinnati, Ohio I’ve been a South Floridian transplant for the past twenty-five years.
By day I’m a customer service representative but by night (and weekends), I don my magic erotic romance writer cape and spin yarns for readers’ enjoyment. I’m also a disabled Air Force veteran because of hearing loss and thus the VA and I are best friends plus I also write the occasional military romance.
I’m also mom to five and grandma to two and my hubby and I are going to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary this year. Besides all this, I have an MBA from Nova Southeastern University, I’m a crazy cat lady, and I can’t get enough of the Big Bang Theory, Food Network, or Star Trek.
What made you decide to start writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, since I was five or six. I didn’t have a choice, I was a born writer. It’s all I ever wanted to do (except for a brief stint when I was a kid when I wanted to be an astronaut).
What genre(s) do you write and how did you get into it/them?
I write mainly contemporary erotic romance – male/male, male/female, and the occasional ménage. I also like to write romantic comedy, time-travel romance, futuristic, BDSM, and military romance.
Which do you find easier to write: series or standalone stories?
I usually write stand alone stories. However, I have two series: Balls and Bats with Totally Bound and at Ellora’s Cave there is Purrfect Justice and its sequel American Beauty.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love to write dialogue, the snappier the better. My first drafts are always very dialogue heavy so I have to go back and fill in description and emotion.
Do you write your stories in order from start to finish or do you write out of order?
Almost always. A couple times when I had writer’s block I wrote out of order. That caused such a big snafu in one story that took forever to straighten out, that I swore I would never do that again. So far I haven’t written out of order again, but never say never.
Do you plot out the stories before you start writing, or do you let the characters take over? Or is it a bit of both?
I loosely plot my stories in advance, however, I’m much more of a pantser and love it when my characters take over. It feels as if I’ve already written the book when I’ve tried to plot too completely. Then I still go off in different directions.
Which of your own characters is your favourite and why?
Not to offend my other characters or make them feel unloved, but Haley from Purrfect Justice at Ellora’s Cave is my favourite. She’s a very kick-ass heroine, who saves her hero not just once, but several times, and in fun ways.
I also really love Harry DeVeaux from Spooky Sojourn which will release with Totally Bound in September 2014. He makes my heart go pitter patter and I just want to hug and kiss on him (don’t tell my hubby).
What are the best and worst things about being a published author?
The best part is getting to write—to create new worlds, give birth to exciting characters, and to play with the dialogue.
Unfortunately, that means I have to take time away from writing to promote my books. I’ve been so busy promoting my upcoming releases—Cooking Up A Storm, Business or Pleasure, and Spooky Sojourn—that I’ve barely written a word on my work in progress in a couple of weeks. Plus, I’m a little shy and it’s tough to get up in front of crowds and toot my horn.
How did you get into male/male romances? What do you like about writing them?
It was sort of a funny (aka stupid) mistake. I thought I was signing up for a male-female-male ménage story with my publisher and it turned out to be a male-male-female ménage. By the time I realized my mistake, I had promised to write the story. It was my bestseller ever. That was Pirate’s Booty in the And Lady Makes Three anthology at Ellora’s Cave.
I like writing male-male romance because I have very dear gay friends who are more romantic and devoted to each other than most of the heterosexual couples I know.
If you also write male/female romances, which do you find easier to write?
I still find male/female romances easier to write than male/male romances. I suppose it’s because it’s harder to get into the male’s psyche being a female, than into another female’s psyche.
What is the best and/or worst reaction you have had after telling someone you write same sex romances?
One of my day job coworkers found out what I write and unfriended me on Facebook. She avoided me in general after that, as if I carried the plague. It was extremely uncomfortable as we were in the same department and had to sit in the same room day after day for a couple years.
What form does your ménage usually take? (eg, all men, all women or a mixture)
I’ve written a mixture of ménages – usually male/female/male, but I’ve also written male/male/female and male/male/male—in fact Cooking Up A Storm my most recent release features male/male/male ménage. I wrote one short story with a foursome for Totally Bound, where the real couples were the two men and the two women, but they all got it on together.
Which do you find easier to write: romances with only two participants, or those with three or more?
It’s easiest to write the traditional male/female romance although I like to stretch myself and write ménages (and more).
What is your favourite genre to write/read?
Contemporary comedy romance, either male/female or male/male. I also enjoy reading chick lit and time-travel romance.
If you were a shape-shifter, what animal would you be?
My first reaction was: unicorn. That’s strange as I love love love cats and I’m sure I would be a cat.
If you could travel through time to the past, do you think you’d survive in your favourite time period?
I’d really rather travel to the future, to trek through the stars with someone like Captain Kirk and Spock. If I travelled back in time, I’m fascinated with World War II, and I think I could survive well enough in the 1940s.
If you could have any magical power at all, what would it be?
To fly. Then I could trot around the globe whenever and wherever I wanted.
What do you like to do to relax when you aren’t writing?
I love to watch movies, especially at the theatre. I usually go to the cinema between 2-4 times monthly.
Who are your favourite authors when reading for inspiration?
Stephen King. Stephen White. Sherryl Woods. Tina Wainscott. Holly Jacobs.
What is your favourite genre to read?
Contemporary romantic comedy.
Do you enjoy films and/or TV shows? Which are your favourites?
There are so many. The TV shows I love are Big Bang Theory, Love It or List It (HGTV), Star Trek, Two and a Half Men, Charmed.
The movies I love are: The Mummy, Pillow Talk, Night of the Comet, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Independence Day, Dick, John Tucker Must Die, Mulan, Left Behind, Star Trek, Star Wars
LM notes that there are quite a few of her favourites in those too. 🙂
Do you like to travel? What are your favourite places to visit?
I’ve always longed to travel a lot and haven’t had much chance. Despite joining the Air Force with the hope of travelling a lot, I’ve only been out of the United States three times: to Canada for lunch once and to Haiti and Jamaica with my day job on mission trips.
While in the Air Force I was stationed in Omaha, Nebraska and Biloxi, Mississippi.
We honeymooned in San Francisco and I love that city.
I only get four weeks off a year—which is a lot for a working person—but I usually visit my Dad and the rest of my family in Cincinnati, Ohio when I can get away. Since my dad is getting older and can’t come to see me anymore, I have to go to him.
Is there anywhere you would like to visit which you have not had chance to yet?
I’d love to see my grandpa’s homestead in Montana that my uncle now owns. I’d also love to see Australia and New Zealand.
Do you like to cook? What is your specialty dish?
I love to watch Food Network and Gordon Ramsay’s shows. Unfortunately, my youngest daughter doesn’t think I’m much of a cook. However, my family really likes my crepes (usually filled with ham and cheese or Nutella—sometimes I also make cheese blintzes) which I make from scratch. They also really like my ham and cheese quiches.
What is your idea of a perfect romantic date?
I love to go to the beach when the moon is out. The beach is also pretty romantic during full sunlight too. J When I was an airman in Biloxi, I spent many an hour crooning on the Biloxi beaches with my boyfriends. Those were the days.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Go into computer programming or web design instead of Accounting and Business Adminstration. Also, to be careful what I eat and to exercise more.
What are you working on at the moment, and what are we likely to see from you in the coming months?
I’m working on a male/male/female ménage contemporary romance for Totally Bound’s new Totally Five Star hotel line. It’s called “Gaycation” and the heroine is a male/male erotic romance writer who attends a gay conference.
Please tell us about your latest book.
Cooking Up A Storm is my most recent release—the general release is July 11, 2014
Available at Totally Bound: https://www.totallybound.com/cooking-up-a-storm
Brooks and Rique desperately want to win a coveted chef’s job offered by an eccentric millionaire in paradise. Even more, Rique desperately wants to stay alive.
Brooks and Rique desperately want to win the head chef’s position offered by an eccentric millionaire Jonah Verleun on his beautiful, private but peculiar island that includes a zoo full of exotic animals, an amusement park and a monster shark tank beneath Jonah’s bedroom floor. While Brooks wants the job to escape his heartache and the lover who thwarted him, Rique is hiding from the mob, hoping to live long enough to pay them off with the prize winnings. Fierce competitors, they cook up a storm in a series of cooking challenges while trying to turn down the heat on their intense attraction. When a hurricane strikes the island, the storm Rique has been cooking up explodes, and no heart—or body—is safe.
They ran, hunched over, zigging and zagging as bullets flew around them. Rique damned himself for putting Brooks in this mess. He wondered if the mob held the others prisoner and that’s why they didn’t answer the door.
He turned the first corner they came upon and then the next. He stopped dead and the air left his lungs. A moment later Brooks ran into his back almost knocking him over. He swayed dangerously but managed to stay upright and spread his arms wide to keep Brooks from stumbling forward.
He couldn’t believe his eyes. One of Jonah’s tigers lay in their path crouching low, baring his teeth, and eying them as if they were dinner.
He tried to quell the jitters attacking his stomach so the animal wouldn’t smell his fear then whispered to Brooks through clenched teeth, “What do we do now? Freeze or run?”
“Run. But where?” Brooks whispered back, a frown trembling on his lips.
“To the closest protection.” He prayed their hunters had lost them, that they wouldn’t run back into a barrage of bullets. As Rique bunched his muscles to run, already feeling the animal’s fangs ripping into him, he noted how the tiger’s thick muscles corded in his shoulders, and how saliva ran down his snarling lips.
“Dear God, we’re going to die.” Panic laced Brooks’ voice. “If we get out of here alive, let’s both turn down the job and move in together.”
Swallowing hard, Rique couldn’t reply so he nodded. Besides, as much as he wanted to live with Brooks, he couldn’t do it as long as he was indebted to the mob. However, the point was moot. He couldn’t see a scenario in which one of them didn’t die in the next five minutes.
Feeling responsible, Rique couldn’t let anything happen to Brooks as long as he was alive. He would take on the tiger giving Brooks time to reach safety. “On the count of three, run!”
As Rique whispered, “One,” hisses, then a blood-curdling growl wrenched the air. It was a different sound than the tiger was making. Then a crocodile bellowed and jumped out of the bushes and snatched the tiger by its belly. As it dragged the struggling creature back to the bushes, the tiger howled in surprise and pain. It clawed the air in vain as the reptile’s powerful jaws clamped tighter biting through flesh and bone.
Where can we find you and your books on the web?
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/Ashley Ladd
Please comment on this blog post leaving a valid email address to be entered into the giveaway. The giveaway will run until midnight GMT on 18th July 2014. Ashley will choose a winner at random on 19 July 2014.
Don’t forget to refer to the terms and conditions at the following page:
PRIZE: Ashley will be giving away one pdf or mobi copy of her book Cooking Up A Storm.
Retail value £2.50/US$4.28