Tiffany Ashley Interview
I am delighted to be speaking with author Tiffany Ashley
today. Thanks for chatting with us today Tiffany
and welcome to FAR!
Hi FAR Family! Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me about the new book.
To start, will you please tell us a little bit about Love Script: Deluxe Edition
which is due to be released February 1, 2011?
Love Script: Deluxe Edition is an extended edition of the 2007 release of Love Script. In a nutshell, the story shows what happens when a lie gets out of control. Determined win a prominent (but difficult) account for his company, Nick Sinclair (a playboy businessman) tells a potential client he's married. When Nick finds out the client is embarking on a cruise with his wife, he devises a plan to book passage on the same ship, in hopes of luring the client to do business with him. But Nick has a problem. In order to follow through with his plan, he must find a "wife" quickly. Desperate, Nick finds himself persuading an employee he's never met before to play the role of Mrs. Sinclair. What he doesn't expect is the unbearable attraction building between them.
After a recent heartbreak, Laney Parks is looking for some alone time. Escaping on a Caribbean cruise sounds like a good way to try to get over her ex. So she isn't prepared for the unexpected run-in with the handsome CEO of the company she works for. The two of them have never spoken before. He doesn't even know she's employed for his company, but when her boss asks her to join him on a romantic cruise, posing as his wife, Laney isn't sure if she is in the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time.
What was your inspiration for Love Script: Deluxe Edition
Funny story. I actually had a job very similar to Laney's. I hated it there. (Yes, Mary-Knight is a real person. Yes, she is a total bitch.) I would sit in my office and wish I was anywhere else in the world but at work. Anywhere. Why not a tropical island? Tropical island + sexy lover? Perfect combination. This started the idea of Laney's story. From there, the book practically wrote itself. I completed the novel in three or four months.
What is a typical day like for you?
Typical day? Does that exist? Absolutely nothing is typical about my day. But there are a few things, no matter what, I find a way to get done. I use the first part of my day to check emails and my website. The middle of the day is spent putting out fires, working with my publicists, emailing the cover artist, and convincing myself I do not NEED Starbucks coffee (this one-sided conversation usual happens while I'm in drive-thru waiting for my Grande Carmel Macchiato). Late in the afternoon, I start writing on my current manuscript. I typically write 5-8 hours straight. Around 3-4AM in the morning, I drag myself to bed.
When did you decide to take "pen in hand" and write with the intent to publish?
I've always wanted to be a writer. I started writing my first novel when I was in middle school. It's always been a desire of mine, but I never had the nerve to follow through with it. I think, like most people, kids play around with the idea of being an astronaut, a princess, a fairy, etc., but as you get older, those ideals are left in 'fantasy land'. In the real world, you graduate from high school, discover if your family can afford college or not, and then you get a reliable 9 to 5 job. The security of paying bills always wins out over chasing your dreams. It's unfortunate, but it's reality. So, I never really thought writing was an option for me, but that never stopped my passion for the craft.
At a very young age, I was exposed to the writings of some really amazing authors (i.e. Sidney Sheldon, Rosemary Rogers, Sandra Brown, etc). I studied their work, marveled at the way they conveyed stories, devised story settings and established character development. That early exposure influenced the way I read books as an adult. Now, I expect greatness every time I pickup a book I consider reading. And I read A LOT. Needless to say, I've read many not-so-great books. As time passed, I found myself thinking more often, "I wish the author would have done..." or "Why didn't the writer use the flat characters more effectively?" or (my favorite) "I hate all these characters!"
The more I read, the more questions I had, until eventually I decided to see if I could do any better. Let me say here, writing isn't as easy as it might seem. It can be brutal. But I am so happy I took up the challenge. Completing a novel is immensely rewarding.
Do you have any special rituals to help you get in the mood to write?
Good question. I do loads of research on any project I begin. Once I know the setting, the characters, the basic plot; I surf the web looking for points of reference. I read articles, collect pictures, rent DVDs ... whatever I can do to solidify an image into my mind. Once there, I'm obsessed with the idea. Once obsessed, I can't NOT write. Every chance I get, I'm typing on my computer, jotting notes on the back of receipts, and leaving myself lengthy voice messages. So I guess to answer your question, my ritual is to completely submerge myself into the story I am trying to create.
Do you have any bad writing habits?
Oh yes! A glass of red wine is a good way to get relaxed to start writing. It loosens me up and can sometimes get my creative juices flowing. Unfortunately, as the hours add up, so do the glasses. I get a lot of writing done but I end up getting more than a little tipsy. I spend the next day trying to decode all the pages I wrote the night before. As you can imagine, this wastes a lot of time. As a rule, I only drink wine once a month and ONLY when I am facing serious writer's block.
Do you have a character that is especially close to your heart?
Ooooo! That is like asking me to pick my favorite child. During the writing process, I become completely obsessed with my characters, so I love all of them in different ways. I'm a girlie girl but I think like a guy. So even though I love my heroines, I identify more with my male heros.
That being said, if you asked me this question 12 months ago, I would have said Nick Sinclair (from Love Script). However, now that I am 600 pages deep into my next novel, The Next Hollywood Heartthrob, the character closest to my heart is Sebastian Dunhill. He's just (sigh) perfect.
What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
Awesome question. The biggest misconception about being a writer is authors can't grow. Huge misconception. Authors write about whatever inspires them. The more we write, the more we evolve. If we don't grow, we don't get better at our craft and the outcome will be giving our readers the same book with a different title. As readers, we expect the same experience, but we want something different. How much sense does that make? "Same, but different". It's not very practical, but that is exactly what a reader expects.
Think about it. How many times have you read a book by an author you like and you think, "This novel is almost exactly like the last book I read from her/him." It's a disappointing experience. So having the same is not really what we want.
But this is a two-sided coin.
Not too long ago, I was talking to a friend about an author she read religiously. I was telling her the author was releasing a new book. She informed me, "I don't read her anymore. She's writing contemporary mystery now and I only read historical romance." How unfortunate! When an author gives his/her readers something different, suddenly it's too different. The struggle every writer experiences is finding the balance between these two things.
However, all that being said, writers must write what inspires them. And if that inspirations leads to changing genre from Historical to Contemporary, I think that is fascinating. It shows growth.
What's one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
I love to hear from my readers. I make a serious effort to read every comment and reply to every email or blog comment I receive. Don't be afraid to contact me.
Everyone has a different perspective on "getting away from it all" and a good book often helps to satisfy an escapist urge. As a reader or an author, what are the essential elements for you in good escapist reading?
I would say good character establishment, but I will take that thought one step further. What is essential for me is clever dialogue. If dialogue is done right, the character will be established through it. Reading the inner thoughts of a hero/heroine, 20 pages straight, is boring and a bit lazy. What makes a book believable is how the hero/heroine interacts with other characters. You learn a lot more about a person through interaction. Good dialogue tells you more than the obvious. It tells you lifestyle, upbringing, nature of the relationship, etc.
I am a sucker for works by Quentin Tarantino and M. Knight Shyamalan. The dialogue in their scripts are so riviting. It says so much about the character's dynamics and their lifestyle. You are instantly drawn into the story. I strive to achieve the same level of interest when I'm crafting a story.
Congratulations! You just won a year off from work to travel anywhere in the world and write the story of your dreams. Where do you go, what type of book do you write, and what's the title?
Ha! I wish! I would travel to a tropical island, where I could live near the beach. The book I would write would be set somewhere opposite of my location, probably New York, Paris, or the Netherlands (I write what I imagine, not what I see). The book cover would be a martini glass, rim pressed against a woman's lips. The title would be "LOVE . . . SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED."
Ah! That's pretty good. I might just use that.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My current project is The Next Hollywood Heartthrob. This will be a 3-4 book series. I am so excited about this book. I'm completely in love with all the characters. Here is the synopsis...
When Hollywood publicist Bailey Woods finds herself publicly dumped by actor Paris St. John, she vows revenge. She knows the only way to get back at her ex is to hurt him where it matters most: his ego. Opportunity knocks when a new client wanders into her office wearing an old T-shirt, worn jeans, tousled hair and the face of an angel. An unknown actor, Sebastian Dunhill doesn't know the first thing about being a celebrity, but he unwittingly becomes a pawn in Bailey's vengeful game. She will transform Sebastian into Hollywood's newest heartthrob-a feat Paris won't be able to ignore. But when her plot begins to take on a life of its own, will she be able to control the events she's set into motion?
The Next Hollywood Heartthrob will be available Spring 2012.
Do you have a website or blog where readers can learn more about you and your works?
There are several websites and blogs where I can be located but my website is the best place to get the most recent information about me. Check me out at tiffanyashleybooks.com
Is there anything else you would like to add today?
Look out for The Next Hollywood Heartthrob in 2012.
If you have a question or just want to say hello, please feel free to contact me at tiffanyashleybooks.com.
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for us today Tiffany
Interviewed by: Tammy