Monday, October 27, 2014

Guest Post - Spooky Sojourn - Ashley Ladd @ashleyladd #Ghosts #ParanormalRomance

Today, Ashley Ladd author of Spooky Sojourn has dropped by for a chat on the guest couch.  So, grab your favorite beverage, put your feet up and enjoy yourself.

How long did you write before you were published?
I was first published in the year 2000 by New Concepts Publishing, thus about 10 years on and off. My first book was a sweet romance titled “Tigers Play”. Originally it was titled “Tigers Play Too Rough”.

Interesting.  NCP was my first publisher, too.  How long did it take you to write your current book?
Spooky Sojourn took a bit over two months to write. I work full time days so I only get to write for two-three hours nightly and on weekends. Usually I write between 1K-3K words daily.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a big time pantser. I know the beginning, the end, and a few high points in the middle, but basically, I research and plot as I go. I feel as if the story’s already been written when I plot it in too much detail.

Yeah, I think I'm a plantser, but my outline often turns into a rough draft.  Where do you write?
In my bedroom usually and sometimes in my living room. Have laptop will travel. We have a small house with six people thus my computer desk is in my boudoir. I used to write at Borders until they closed. I loved having books to research at my finger tips as well as their awesome cafeteria so I could nibble on a toasty bagel with cream cheese and sip on my favorite diet soda.

Yup, I'm laptop and bedroom, too.  When do you write, morning or night?
Night. I work 9-5 for a living and I have trouble dragging myself out of bed just to get to work much less getting up early to write. After I get home, make dinner and clean it up, I get to write for a couple hours. Even on the weekends I write more in the afternoon and evenings than in the mornings. If you asked my husband he’d tell you I’m like Garfield the cat–I don’t do mornings.

Ooh!  Another author after my own heart.  I don't do mornings, either.  What is the most you have written in one day?
Once or twice I wrote 10,000 words in a day. I’m on vacation from the day job this week and hope to write at least 5,000 words a day and maybe even beat my best of 10,000 words.

10K in one day is impressive!  If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Fly! I’d fly all over the world all the time. Sometimes I’d just soar and enjoy the wind in my face.

What is your best guilty pleasure? (By best I mean worst.)
I drink way too much diet soda. But I don’t drink coffee or tea (blech!) and I don’t like the diet waters either. I’m trying to ween myself off soda and drink a lot more water. But things aren’t looking good on this front.

I drink coffee and tea, but coffee has to have a lot of milk, and tea has to be sweetened.  Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
She’s a new author, but I’ve only recently read my first book by her: Tina Wainscott. I just read “I’ll Be Watching You” and I absolutely loved it.

I haven't read her.  I'll have to look her up.  What are your current projects?
“Gaycation”—Molly is an erotic romance writer who writes MM and BDSM romance under a pseudonym so her family, friends, and employers won’t discover her secret identity. She uses her vacation to attend a gay convention to get more story ideas for her books. For better or worse, she gets way more than she bargained for.

Sounds familiar.  I can definitely identify with Molly.  Will you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! Here’s an excerpt from Gaycation:

Finally, she was signed in and herded into the banquet room where a Continental breakfast was set up. To her surprise, she was seated at a guest of honor table. She quickly discovered she was surrounded by the keynote speaker and other special guests. Although honored, her nerves ricocheted against her ribs, ready to snap.
            “Welcome…” the keynote speaker, Kyle Yarbrough, leaned over and read her name tag, “Nice to meet you, Molly Cooper. So you’re an author? You’ll have to tell us all about your books.”
By now she had read her companions’ name tags as well and noted most had written heavy-weight non-fiction books dealing with common daily issues faced by the LGBT community. Beside them she felt like a fraud. She had come to help herself, not to help them. Suddenly, she was ashamed.
Swallowing hard, she nodded. “I’d be delighted. And I’d love to hear about your books too.”
After they began to converse, she grew more comfortable. They were bright and funny and refreshingly candid and several times she laughed out loud at their stories.
            Then it was time for Kyle to make his initial speech and the room quieted as the lights dimmed and a spotlight followed him. She listened in awe and clapped when he was done. One by one, they called up everyone at the table. By the time it was her turn, indigestion had blown up in her chest. She hadn’t realized she would be called on to address the entire crowd and explain to the group at large why she was here. Praying they wouldn’t boo and hiss, she let them know how honored she was to be in their midst, and that she looked forward to meeting as many of them as she could, to learn about their point of view, and to do them justice in her books so that she could bring positive awareness to their community and their issues. At least that’s what she intended to say.
When her gaze landed on a man that resembled her boss, Reid, her mouth went dry and her throat clogged. Unable to take her gaze off the man, she stumbled over her words. When his eyes flashed with surprise and recognition, she knew it was him.
DamnHell! What the hell was Reid doing here?

Sounds like fun.  Okay, name one entity (person, place or thing) you feel supported or inspired you outside of your family members.
My editor at Totally Bound’s been absolutely awesome. I can’t say enough wonderful things about her.

Lastly, is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Adding description. I toil over it. I love to write dialogue and my first draft of most of my wips look like movie scripts. I have to go back and add in what everything looks, smells, feels, and tastes like.

Title: Spooky Sojourn
Series Name (If applicable) N/A
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary Erotic male-female contemporary paranormal romance
Book Length: 50,000 words

Someone’s trying to kill Deanna, but is it the ghosts she doesn’t believe in, the rich socialite who might be a murderess, or someone else with a beef against The Gilroy Hotel and Resort that Deanna has just been hired to manage?  The Gilroy’s owners want the ghosts, or whoever is causing the trouble at the hotel eliminated, and they are pressuring Deanna to do the job as quickly as possible. Harry DeVeaux, paranormal investigator comes highly recommended to do the job and against Deanna’s better judgment, she hires him.

Although Deanna thinks Harry’s crazy for believing in ghosts and Harry thinks Deanna has a closed mind to the possibilities of ghosts and they highly annoy each other, sparks fly. Deanna can’t help but fantasize about Harry and inspired by a romance convention visiting her hotel, writes her fantasies in a private blog that Harry finds, hacks, and reads. Ooh la la!

          Deanna reread her fantasy, barely able to believe she’d penned it, wondering if she should delete it. Did she really want to make out with Harry, a perfect stranger, on a public beach? Did she really want her words on the Internet, even in a supposedly private blog under a make-believe name?
          Well, it was confidential, right? As long as she didn’t give anybody the web address or password or tell them about it, it would remain secret.
          Enough fantasizing! She had to get back to work. Dragging the files out, she familiarized herself with the ghost sightings as well as Lynette’s and Grant’s history. By the time she finished, she knew how they’d died and the theories about their suicides-slash-murders. She also knew that everybody was afraid to point fingers at the now very influential and powerful Roxanne Cambridge-Anderson. Could Roxanne be behind the haunting [FB1] nonsense? Did she want the hotel shut down? But that made no sense. The rumors portrayed Roxanne as a murderess. It wouldn’t be in her best interest to keep their legend alive.
Deanna’s temples began to ache the harder she thought about everything, so she decided to go to sleep. Hopefully she’d awake if any hijinks took place in the bowling alley.
          About three a.m., deafening booms awoke her. Light brightened lane fourteen and all but one pin lay scattered on the wooden floor.
          Groggy, Deanna tried to gather her senses. She looked around then, to her horror, she saw an iridescent figure of a man on lane fourteen picking up a glowing ball. Collecting her presence of mind, she grabbed her webcam, pointed it at the ghostly shape and turned it on. Shaking, she tried to hold her computer steady. Not believing what she was seeing, she knew there had to be a rational explanation. Perhaps some machine was projecting the image onto the lanes. Perhaps a real person stood in front of her in glowing phosphorescent powder.
          Whatever or whoever it was, picked up the ball, and knocked down the spare pin. Then the ‘apparition’ bowled three strikes in a row.
          Unexpectedly, he turned and glared at her, fire shooting from his eyes. Pins flew from all the lanes at her. Her heart racing, she ducked under the score table.

Buy links:

Author Bio:

Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, cats, and playing on the computer.

She's often incorporates humor and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.

How you can contact Ashley:

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