Here’s an author interview with Ashley Ladd. Take it away, Ashley…
- How did you start writing erotica?
As a young adult (okay teenager) I used to bookmark the sex-scene pages of every romance novel I read. I also usually skipped to the back to read the happily ever after first. Thus, when I started writing I loved to write the very romantic, even sexy scenes. As time went on, I pushed the envelope more and more. Then one day I got an email from a writer friend whom I later found out is a very well known author (she was using a pseudonym online) and she suggested I write erotica as I was pretty close to it anyway. At that time, I was hearing a lot of good buzz about Ellora’s Cave so I took a chance and submitted a book to them. The rest is history.
- What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
Purrfect Justice is way up on my list. While dressed up as Cat Woman for a Halloween party, the heroine hears that the man she’s gaga about is in trouble (he’s a cop and she likes to listen to police scanners). Still in costume, she saves his neck. Then she starts making a habit of saving him, still wearing her costume to protect her identity. Meanwhile, the hero’s going crazy trying to figure out who this mysterious Cat Woman is, never suspecting she could be the police station’s mild-mannered admin assistant. It’s published by Ellora’s Cave and it’s been out for a long time so you can probably pick it up for a very low price.
As for why it’s my favorite… Well, I love cats and she’s dressed up as a cat. Seriously, Haley’s a normal person who finally lets her kick-ass side come out to save the man she loves. In the process she gets to do a lot of cool things like jump her motorcycle over a police cruiser.
- What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
Lora Leigh. Lisabet Sarai.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everywhere, anywhere. Dreams. TV. Movies. The five o’clock news. Newspapers. Magazines. People watching. Songs. Weird things my kids have done.
Inspiration is everywhere.
- Do you have any unusual writing rituals?
I don’t think so. I almost always have a diet cola with lots of ice. I often have a cat trying to crawl on top of my head or onto my computer as I write.
- Where’s your favourite place to write?
It was Borders until they closed. I went through bad withdrawals for a long time after they closed as I couldn’t write anywhere else, not well anyway. Barnes and Nobels (in my area anyway) doesn’t allow us to plug into power, plus I moved far away from them. My daughters like to hang out with me, but don’t like to stay at the library long – not a decent manga section-supposedly Borders had an awesome selection of manga.
So now, I write in my bedroom. I usually have to wear headphone and listen to my music to drown out my husband’s constant TV. He likes to watch fishermen, football, fish tank construction, and repossession shows – which bore me to death! Not a great place to write…but until a new book store (with power outlets) opens nearby, or I can build a deck onto my house, it’s the only game in town.
- Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
Haley (See the question about my favorite book “Purrfect Justice”).
Also Brad in “American Beauty” is pretty interesting. American Beauty is the sequel to Purrfect Justice. Brad is a cop that goes undercover as a gay man to catch a car thief ring. Brad’s anything but gay and quickly gets the hots for his new landlady who lives next door to one of the suspected car thieves. He often overplays his part while drooling over his landlady, making for some fun situations.
- Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
My nuclear family has always known what I write. My hubby couldn’t care less what I write. My kids were embarrassed even when I wrote only sweet romance as they think romance is just well, embarrassing (unfortunately, they feel the same way now that they’re all adults). My dad has always been supportive. I use a pseudonym to hide my erotic works from my extended family, friends, and employer however.
- What was your ideal career when you were a child?
I wanted to be a hot shot journalist like Lois Lane and land my very own Superman. That, or be an astronaut and trek around the galaxy with Spock and Captain Kirk or at least go into space with Captain Nelson (from I Dream of Jeannie).
- How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
Often I reread the most recent scene I wrote, edit if necessary, and jump into writing from there.
Sometimes, I read other people’s books. That always makes me want to get back to my own writing.
- What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
Write now, edit later.
- If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
Harry from Spooky Sojourn which will release in October 2014. He’s darned sexy and fun to be around. I want to hunt ghosts with him.
- What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
I love contemporary comedy romance. Time-travel is a close second.
- What are you working on at the moment?
“Gaycation” – about an erotic GLBT romance writer who tries to hide her identity from her friends and employers but of course will get caught. She also attends a gay convention to get more ideas for her novels and winds up getting way more than she bargained for.
- What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
The first time I wrote a male-male –female story was a BIG challenge. I thought I was signing up for a male-female-male story, not realizing that MMF is way different than MFM. By the time I realized my mistake, I was contracted to write an MMF. That book ended up being “Pirate’s Booty” in the “And Lady Makes Three” anthology published by Ellora’s Cave. It turned out to be my biggest seller. Thereafter, I started writing a lot more MM’s, MMF’s, and even MMMs.
- What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
Every time my editor accepts one of my books for publication, it feels like a wonderful achievement. Ditto for good reviews and nice reader comments.
I’m still waiting to see one of my books on the NY Times or USA Today best seller list.
I was an Eppie finalist many years ago. I haven’t entered any contests for a long time – money and time considerations.