Ashley Ladd has written more than 70 romance novels, including her latest book, Business or Pleasure, which releases today. I had the chance to ask her a few questions about her writing process and inspirations. Here’s what she had to say.
How long have you been writing erotica, and what inspired you to get into this genre?
I’ve been writing erotica for at least a decade. I was writing fairly hot when one of my author friends suggested I write erotica. About the same time I heard how well Ellora’s Cave books were selling, so I thought I’d try it.
What gave you the idea for your latest book?
Business or Pleasure pits a vegetarian/animal activist against a family who owns a barbecue pit, which is practically a monument to carnivorism. Lately I love to watch HGTV and Food Network and all the Gordon Ramsey cooking shows. So this is a marriage of the above. Also, there’s a subplot about dementia, and that was inspired by a family event.
Her Men is inspired by dreams and fantasies. It’s set in Biloxi, Mississippi where I was stationed in the Air Force way too many years ago to admit to.
Spooky Sojourn is a ghostly paranormal inspired by Totally Bound’s new Totally Five Star Hotel line and also by my personal visit to the haunted French Lick Springs Resort about 15 years ago. Although this book didn’t fit the parameters of the T5S guidelines, it’s being published as a single story.
Who are some of your favorite erotica writers or other literary inspirations?
Stephen King. I absolutely love his book The Stand. Stephen White. Sherryl Woods. Holly Jacobs. Tina Wainscott. Lisabet Sarai. Scarlett Scott.
Describe your typical writing routine. Where do you usually write?
How many words/pages per day? Do you keep set hours? What does your workspace look like?
I used to write at Borders until they closed. I still mourn them. It was the perfect place. My daughters could read all the manga they wanted. I could get a bagel and a soda. They had power outlets. I went into a big depression and stopped writing for awhile after they closed. I write at home now, usually in my bedroom, sometimes in the living room. I write between one thousand and two thousand words a day. I wish I could write more but there’s this very annoying thing called the day job that eats about 9 hours out of my day five days every week. Then I have to come home and fix dinner for my big family. Although just this past week, I’m happy to say, my family has started taking turns making dinner. Halleljulah! Lately, since I have four books releasing between July 11th and October 23rd, I’ve been using my writing time to promote – setting up blog tours, book reviews, Triberr, Twitter, Facebook.
Do you have any favorite beverages that help keep your creativity
My poison is diet cola. I always have to have a large glass overflowing with ice. I don’t like coffee, tea, or alcohol at all.
Do you have any writing supersitions or rituals when starting a new book?
Not really. Depending on the book, I’ll do a lot of research first and even ongoing as I’m writing the book. Sometimes I brainstorm first. I’m not one to write a synopsis first as I’d stray anyway.
What do you think makes for a good erotic story?
Romance has to come first, and a lot of it. There’s got to be heavy emotion. Without emotion, the erotic part is just body movements. I like to weave a good story with a lot of romance and meat to them. The romance leads to the open bedroom door… or in my October release, Spooky Sojourn, to a nudist beach in Miami.
What’s your favorite euphemism for genitalia, either male, female or both?
*blushing* I know I write erotica, but I’m really quite shy. The words start with c and p.
What are some of your other books coming out this fall?
Her Men will release September 29th. It’s a male/female/male ménage about a college marching band reunion. Julie’s never forgotten Timmy and James and now that she’s single again, she hopes to meet at least one of them again. When both show up single as well, she can’t decide which one she really wants.
Spooky Sojourn will release October 23rd. It’s a ghostly paranormal male/female romance about a haunted hotel. Deanna is hired to manage The Gilroy Hotel and Resort and one of her first jobs is to rid it of the ghosts – or whoever – is driving guests and employees away. She doesn’t believe in ghosts but is persuaded to hire paranormal investigator Harry DeVeaux, and sparks start flying immediately. So much so that she’s inspired by a romance writer’s convention staying at the hotel to write her fantasies about him in a blog. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) for her, Harry finds the blog and reads everything she’s written about him.