Monday, November 24, 2008


Hello! I'm so happy to be able to bring another guest to the blog today. Ashley is one of those authors that I come across in many of the groups I belong to and after seeing her name so often, I just had to get her over here so I could pick her brain. I hope she's ready for it. :)

Please welcome her to the blog!

Some days are easier than others to get into the zone to write romance. Some days the stars align and romance just flows from my fingertips. The characters behave, they do what they’re told without argument, and my emotions run rampant onto the pages. I love these days.

Unfortunately, I don’t wake up on the right side of the bed every morning. Or if I do, something happens to destroy my mood, much less the ability to feel so much romance as to make two other (sometimes three) fall in love. Today, for instance, I received a rejection – a big one. I thought this particular book was one of my best in a long time. I had big hopes for it. And then, my dreams are dashed.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), I have two edits on contracted stories I have to work on. I have other stories to work on I’ve promised to turn in. I obviously have to fix the rejected book.

So what do I do when this happens?

Okay, to be honest, sometimes my fingers get busy on my cell phone and I order expensive Chinese food or I join the daughter in a chocolate fest. Or I soak in the tub, scented with lilac, while I drown my sorrows.

Honestly, I can’t afford to wallow in self-pity long. Sometimes I can’t afford to give up any time for the pity-me bit.

Since this is my job as well as my passion, I have to hurry up and eat the Chinese, brush my teeth, and get back to work. Unfortunately, it’s not good enough to merely get back to work. I have to perform quality work and since I’m a romance writer, quality means being more than being technically good but I have to spin magic and weave emotions enough to snarl readers in my romantic web.

I think all writers have their own methods to get in the mood, and so do I.

My number one tool in my romance writing arsenal is music. I pop my headphones into my ears, turn on my favorite romantic music, and drown out the rest of the world. My favorite songs change with time and also with the type of story I’m writing. Presently, I’m on a David Cook and Chris Daughtry kick. But I also have a lot of eclectic songs I have programmed into my MP3 player.

Ashley Ladd

P.S. Ashhley also had an awesome excerpt that she asked me to post, but it was a little too good for this blog...if you know what I mean. But you're definitely going to want to read it, so click on over to her website.


Maggie Robinson said...

Already running late, but can't wait to read what's "too good!" Thanks for the post.

J.K. Coi said...

Ashley, welcome to the blog!
You've written in many genres, from contemporary to m/m, and all with a sizzling heat level. What was your first book and what happened to it? Is it published, or is it going to stay under the bed?

Also, you've done so much. You've served in the Air Force (military seems to be a theme with my guests lately) and you have an accounting degree. Why romance author?

Finally (for now), what's your favourite Star Trek episode?

Renee said...

That was a wake up call. On the tail of two rejections I haven't done much. Unfortunately I can't eat Chinese food.

I really don't think I'm upset over the rejections. I feel like I'm in a holding pattern. It's not easy trying to balance revisions and writing the new story, all the while querying. Sometimes it hurts the brain.

Thanks, Ashley for the inspiration to get my butt in gear.


J.K. Coi said...

Renee, it's natural to kind of go into a holding pattern when we get rejections, even if we aren't really upset over it. We need time to work it out in our head and find out what it's going to mean to us. But in the end, if we don't move on, the rejection has more power over us than we should let it have. Thanks for dropping by!

Bobby Ozuna said...

I write from experiences...and because of that, my writing has had a "So True" and "very real" affect on my audience. When you write romance, do you have to elaborate on an already exotic imagination or do you write from personal experience?

Thanks for sharing with us...

Bobby Ozuna said...

Oh and one more thing Ashley...I put no weight on rejection letters or what the "experts" think of your work. More than likely an intern who can't even draft a first chapter of a novel, much less an entire short-story, was told to stamp NO or REJECTED or the all too common, "We're sorry we cannot represent your work at this time...we do trust however you will find representation and we wish you the best of luck in your publishing endeavors."

The hell with them... don't EVER let a rejection letter bring you down....EVER..... It's their loss...NOT yours....

Amy Ruttan said...

Love, love, love music to get me in the mood.

Great post.

J.K. Coi said...

Music is wonderful for the muse, I agree. But for me, I can't listen and work, so I save it for the times when I want to do some plotting in my head like in the car, or while I'm running.

EmilyBryan said...

Hi Ashley. Thanks for being so honest about the whole rejection thing. I don't think there's an author on earth who hasn't experienced it because publishing is such a subjecting business.

I like to imagine that I'm hosting a cook-out and when I submit a manuscript, I'm just going around to my guests and asking if they'd like ketchup. Not everyone likes ketchup, but I don't get upset when they say "no thanks" because it's not personal.

Now, I know there are few things more personal than writing, but the decision to accept or reject is often based on other criteria than writing quality. Maybe they already have plenty of ketchup (books like mine)

J.K. Coi said...

Hi Emily. I love your analogy. You're right that not everyone will like ketchup and we don't get upset by that, because there are lots of people who DO.

Ashley Ladd said...

Thanks everyone and thanks J.K. for having me here. I'm justnow getting home from day job, etc. if you can believe it.

Ashley Ladd said...

My first published book was "Tigers Play" at New Concepts Publishing. I don't recall the name of my first book ever written and yep, it's under the bed still. Tigers Play was my second book, but first published.

Writing is my first love. The Air Force talked me into going into Accounting. Everybody thought the journalism/writing field was overcrowded. I don't know why I listened because I came back to writing anyway. favorite Star Trek episode is probably the one where Kirk goes to an alternative universe where Spock has a beard. I also love the Star Trek IV movie (with the whales).

Ashley Ladd said...

Bobby, good question. The main idea of myy stories come primarily from my imagination. However, lots of things that happen to me or that I see will work their way into my stories as well. Occasionally a plot is born out of something I've experienced. For instance, my oldest child was caught hacking into his high school's computer and changing his vice principal's password to "Jack A--". Everybody except the VP and me thought it hilarious, so it inspired a book. That was "Next to Forever" published by NCP, but is now out of print.

Ashley Ladd said...

Emily - great analogy. I try not to let rejections get me down too much. I usually revise and either resubmit to the same place or another one, depending how the rejection was worded.

J.K. Coi said...

I'm glad you made it by, Ashley! Yuck to the long workday.
I love when our own lives have such great fodder for our work. Like our kids hacking into the school computers, that's priceless :)

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Ashley - hugs on the rejection. I know they're not easy. Like most writers I have a fair sized collection as well. BTW - I love Emily's take on the cookout.

It's funny - I went into accounting as well but ended up writing. It's still a handy profession to have in a background.