AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: TIFFANY ASHLEY
Author Tiffany Ashley talks with the bunnies about her first interracial novel….
What is your most current work out?
Tell us a little about Love Script.
It’s hard for me to describe my book, (I always give away the ending), so here is the synopsis…
Determined to land a huge advertising account for his company, Nicolas Sinclair gets a LITTLE carried away and tells the potential client he’s married and about to celebrate his first anniversary. Now, Nick has a serious problem—he has agreed to a high-stakes cruise with this important client and must find a willing “wife” to join him.
Laney Parks is either in the wrong place at the wrong time, or the right place at the right time—She isn’t sure which. She isn’t even entirely sure how she got roped into posing as her hunky boss’s wife. She finds “sticking to the script” SERIOUSLY unnerving, especially when it involves cuddling up and kissing in public—and sharing the close confines of a cabin, and its single bed, with him.
What inspired you to write Nick and Laney’s story?
A few years ago, I was heavy into ebooks. I decided to try my hand at writing a short novel, which for me is tough. If you haven’t noticed, I tend to be a little long winded. I wanted to create a story that would help me escape from my everyday life. At the time, I hated my job and everyone I worked with. That pretty much set the stage for Laney’s situation. (Yes, there really is a Mary-Knight. And yes, she is a bitch.) I pretty much wrote the novel during my lunch breaks. Before I knew it, I had a complete manuscript. I think it took me four months to write it and another month to iron out the details.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I am a strong believer in story plotting. I don’t begin a writing project until the entire storyline has been plotted. It is extremely important to me to have a focused story. I can’t do this unless I outline the plot. I’m also very particular about tempo building, so I have to rely heavily on my gameplan to establish the right amount of suspense.
I write in a Step Format. When plotting a manuscript, it is essential to me that every scene builds on the next. I am a firm believer in cutting the fat. Even if I LOVE a particular scene, if it doesn’t serve a specific purpose, I will cut it from the manuscript.
Once the story has been plotted, I can give myself a little freedom to make minor adjustments as the story unfolds. But, for the most part, I stick to the original plot.
What inspired you to write in your genre?
I love interracial romances, but this genre is seriously underfed. I decided to write in this genre, because I really enjoy it and I hope it will inspire other writers to try this niche.
Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
Love Script (an IR novel) is the first IR novel I shopped to publishers. I plan to continue writing in this genre.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
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 heroes.
That being said, if you’d 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 newest novel, The Next Hollywood Heartthrob, the character closest to my heart is Sebastian Dunhill. He’s just (sigh) perfect.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life?
The characters and situations described in my stories are figments of my imagination. It’s more fun that way.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
That’s easy, finding the time to write. I have my hand in a lot of projects and sometimes I’m too tired to write. Or too tired to focus. Writing is such a mental experience; you really have to be energized in order to concentrate. I could write 8 hours straight if I had the time, but I struggle with organizing my time effectively.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
LOL. It would probably be my height. I wear heels all the time, so even my friends are surprised to learn I’m only 5’1.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Aside from being addicted to Apple products, Pei Wei, and furniture shopping…no, I don’t have any guilty pleasures J
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
This question rocks! I’m very particular about my writing environment. I MUST be in an open room with plenty of natural light (small places freak me out). And it must be noisy. Otherwise, I will fall asleep.
I’m usually drinking a Starbucks espresso (a guilty pleasure I forgot to mention earlier), and I’m an addict for music. I have playlists I created on my iPod, filled with songs that I’ve selected to listen to when I’m writing on certain manuscripts.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Heck yes! Music is such an intimate mode of communication. Sometimes a song can inspire me to write pages of material. In my current manuscript, The Next Hollywood Heartthrob, the entire relationship between the hero and heroine is inspired by a song composed by pianist Zade. The title is “Your Beauty…My Madness”. I almost want to weep just thinking about it! Yes, music is a powerful influence.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
If Love Script: Deluxe Edition were optioned for a movie, the hero, Nick Sinclair, would be played by a young Brad Pitt. I had a picture of Brad next to my computer when I was writing the manuscript. He’s always been the man I pictured in my head. (I love his casual cockiness. Very sexy.) But lately, when I think about the characters, an image of Paul Walker pops into my head. He really fits the idea of Nick’s character.
When I was writing the manuscript, I thought of a woman with Beyonce’s features. However, if I were casting for a movie, my heroine, Laney Parks, would be played by Tiffany Belle (she’s the cover model for Love Script: Deluxe Edition). On looks alone, she really captures the essence of Laney.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I think I was twelve years old when I read my first romance novel. The title was Shanna by Kathleen Woodwiss. Very mature literature for a young kid.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
My current project, The Next Hollywood Heartthrob, will be available Spring 2012. This will be a 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?
This book is one of the more complicated storylines I’ve written, and I love it. Like Love Script, there are some funny moments and some not-so-funny moments. But it wouldn’t be a Tiffany Ashley book without a few good love scenes. I’m positive my readers will enjoy this series.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following “Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
LOL. Telling someone you write erotica is a great conversation starter. Reactions are either pure shock or immediate interest. People certainly look at you differently!
Where can readers find you, Tiffany?
There are several ways readers can contact me. I can easily be found on Facebook (Tiffany Ashley), or followed on Twitter @tiffashley. Or visit my website at www.tiffanyashleybooks.com. I love communicating with my readers, so don’t be shy J
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
I actually don’t like the taste of candy. Strange, huh? But there are those rare moments when I MUST have a bite of Hersey’s milk chocolate. Don’t ask me why, but that’s the only candy I can tolerate.