Friday, October 21, 2011

The Fabulous E. Ayers Is My Guest Today


 My guest today is E. Ayers, author of A Skeleton At Her Door, and I'm excited to have her visiting with me here at Life, Love and a Good Book.  When I invited her to be my guest today, we agreed that it would be fun to tell everyone the "story behind the story" of her writing life.

So, without any more delay, here is Ms. Ayers.  Take it away!


 
I'm a writer. If you took my keyboard away, I'd write by hand. If you broke all my fingers, I'd learn to write with my toes. The proof of that is in a closet full of boxes containing hand-written manuscripts. I wrote stories for my kids when they ran out of things to read and weren't ready for Stephen King or Fanny Flagg, but they were bored with what was considered age appropriate, yet too young for grown-up stories.

Now, I write contemporary romances. They are adult in nature, but not erotic. No, you don't want that 13 YO son looking over your shoulder the entire time, but if he happens to pick it up and read a sexy scene you probably aren't going to have one of those OMG-do-people-really-do-that discussions with him over what he read. It will be more of a yes, that's what people do. (Maybe someday I'll tell you about my daughters watching a borrowed video that had been taped over with porn. Yes, it was a mother's worst nightmare moment.  No, I take that back. The worst moment was when my oldest daughter was in eleventh grade and decided she wanted to speak to me privately about something personal. My tummy drew into a knot because she had a steady boyfriend... She only wanted to put her hair back to light blonde because it had darkened to a dirty ash color. And you wondered why I have gray in my hair?)

I have teenage granddaughters, which is totally impossible because in my brain I'm only 30 something. It was only a few years ago that their mothers were teens. I had a very early start.

I met my husband when I was still seventeen and fell madly in love. Five weeks later I turned eighteen and we got our marriage license on my birthday. That marriage lasted almost 37 years and we were still very much in love. He was my rock. He was that true to life hero. I think there's a tiny piece of him in every hero I write, but there's nothing that you could ever point to and say, that's him. He wasn't very romantic, it wasn't part of his personality, but he was very loving and very caring. Dirty diapers didn't scare him. He loved newborns and toddlers, and my family called him the human toy. He could fix any appliance, but didn't have a clue how to use them. I used to joke with him that he'd better die first or he'd starve to death. He used to laugh. I didn't expect him to take me up on it so soon.

I buckled down back in the '90s, went back to college, and took every grammar class I could. Originally I had CLEPed them. (Credits for taking a test that said I didn't need to take the class because I knew the material.) If I was going to write, I needed to know where to stick the darn comma. So there I sat in a room full of 18 year olds, wondering what the heck a predicate was other than the back half of a sentence. Talk about feeling like a fool! Most of the time, I know where the comma goes, but please if you say infinitive or nominative case to me, I'll still look at you with that deer-in-the-headlamps stare. Now, I edit for other indie authors.

I've published three novellas and two full-length novels. And there are more right behind those. Why? Because I could. I broke a contract with a publisher for a variety of reasons, and then decided I'd indie publish. Every book I put out has been vetted by several people and edited by a professional editor with an excellent reputation and years of experience as an editor and author. I know I don't want to read something that isn't well written so why would my readers not feel the same way?

If you love a Harlequin-style romance, you won't like what I write. Technically, I write slice of life, the romantic slice. But I write that whole slice and not just the romance so there are heavy mainstream elements. Let's face it; women today have lives, busy lives. They aren't sitting at home painting their toenails, and they aren't waiting for Mr. Wonderful to sweep them off their feet. And Mr. Wonderful is trying to figure out how to get out of the meeting because he's got a date tonight and if he's late... Life is difficult. She's not going to give up her career nor is he. They've got to figure out how to blend their lifestyles into something they both can handle.

My pet peeve with many romance novels is that the hero is always big, sexy, and gorgeous. Hmm, what is sexy and/or gorgeous is really in the eye of the beholder. Seriously, there are very few jobs or sports that give a man that perfect physique that so often appears on a romance cover. (Want to try buying that man some clothes? They have necks like bulls and waists of gazelles, and those thighs don't fit in a pair of jeans.) And the women are just as bad. Sorry, but most of us don't weigh 95 pounds and wear a size zero. Yes, there are some women who are naturally tiny, and for others tiny would be a size fourteen. My heroes and heroines are all very different with every body build. They are also very different people with different personalities and different backgrounds. I like making my characters real. No one is perfect.

Characters happen, and some can get very demanding of my time. But I can't write their stories until I find them the perfect mate because I truly believe we all have one. They must have a good tale to tell. Life throws things at us and people make mistakes, same with my characters. All the grit, the dirt, the family, the friends, the job, and the things you want to pretend don't happened are in there.

My biggest fear? Oh, please, don't let me become senile in my old age. Those nurses in that old folks home are going to think that I've led an amazing life. 
                                                                    *******

Thank you so much for being with us today, and, now, leave a comment for several chances at a free download of A Skeleton At Her Door--a very timely book for this Halloween season.

Here are some of the books that Ms. Ayers has published.  Hop over to her website and take a look!

                                                     http://www.ayersbooks.com/
Or better yet, drop over to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and just download them and enjoy an afternoon of good reading.

A Fine Line  (novella)

“I hate you, Dickie Warren.” Chloe Langston remembered the sentiment in high school. Realizing Dickie is Rich Warren her boss, old prejudices come forward. Will Rich convince Chloe to let go of the childhood misunderstanding that stands between them? Will he prove there’s a fine line between love and hate?
Amazon
http://tinyurl.com/3zfrp4j
B&N
http://tinyurl.com/3jsmmvz







Mariner's Cove  (novella)

Start with a house at the beach. Stir together a widow who still felt married, an irresponsible cousin, a misconception, an opportunity of a lifetime, a few tears, and a little humor. Add a generous amount of rain, plenty of sunshine, a love of sailing, and three children with very different problems. Put it all together in Mariner's Cove, then watch the friendship grow, and true love blossom.


Available at Amazon
http://tinyurl.com/3c58j5p

Available at B&N,
http://tinyurl.com/3zv9jr2



A Skeleton at Her Door  (novella)

When Angie opens her door on Halloween she finds a six-foot tall skeleton on her doorstep. Trick or Treat?
AMAZON

B&N 



Life and Love Come Together in River City


Wanting  (A River City Novel) 

If you ask businessman Mac McGuire, he'll tell you this is his story. He fell head over heels in love with Amanda Conner, an unfettered beauty with a turbulent past. Wanting her is one thing, gaining her trust is another. From the violence of River City’s housing projects, to the glamorous digs of the downtown, and out to the lake district, this is one time that his money isn't working in his favor.

Available at Amazon


A New Beginning  (A River City Novel) 

When Patrick Makowllen, a conservative investment adviser takes on the gifted artist Dallas Nixon, she destroys his budget, turns his life upside down, and tarnishes his sterling reputation. In spite of the chaos, she colors his life with more love and passion then he ever dreamed possible.

Available at Amazon
http://tinyurl.com/4ywdyus

Available at B&N,
http://tinyurl.com/3dfeqnf





Coming Soon:

A Snowy Christmas in Wyoming

A Challenge  (A River City Novel)










29 comments:

  1. Ms. Ayers, thank you for sharing your writer's journey. I get discouraged sometimes but, like you, I think I would find a way to keep writing no matter way. Continued success!

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  2. Sandra.McGregor60@gmail.comOctober 21, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Hi Pam,
    Thanks so much for dropping by. I think all writers occasionally get discouraged, but like Winston Churchill said in WWII...."Never Give up!"

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  3. Your description of writing is interesting to read, Ms Ayers! I've read A Fine Line, and thoroughly enjoyed the characters and their stories. I can visualize your toes punching out words on the keyboard! Too funny. But, I'll just bet on your toes following your brain waves, and writing a best seller. Thanks for sharing. I loved reading a bit of your background.

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  4. Sandra.McGregor60@gmail.comOctober 21, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    Hi Carol,
    I just finished A Skeleton At Her Door, which I'll be reviewing tomorrow on this blog, but I haven't read A Fine Line....yet. lol

    Thanks for dropping by and I hope you'll stop by again since I've got a great slate of authors lined up.....including my guest today!

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  5. Congrats on putting your writing out there and writing what you want to read.

    Wishing you many, many sales...

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  6. Pam, keep working on it. Don't ever let anyone smash your dreams, or tell you that you can't. It's your book, it's your words, it's your story, make it that best that you can. It's like raising children. We do everything we can to make sure they reach their full potential, and then we turn them loose into the world and hold our breaths. But along the way, there are ups and downs, and times that we think they aren't going to make it. And times, as parents, that we think we aren't going to make it!

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  7. "My pet peeve with many romance novels is that the hero is always big, sexy, and gorgeous. Hmm, what is sexy and/or gorgeous is really in the eye of the beholder."

    Two thumbs up. I couldn't be more on your side. I had the discussion with another reader about how many times a hero is described as less than perfect, but if the story is written beautifully the reader thinks the hero is gorgeous no matter his physical description. I always try to find ways to make my hero and heroine less than perfect. It's when you find that perfect mate, despite the imperfections, that true love satisfies.

    Thanks for sharing your life and your heart. Wishing you all the success with your writing.

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  8. Thank you, Ms DeVaney. It always gives me a thrill when someone reads one of my books and tells me how much they enjoyed it.

    Yes, the image of me trying to type with my toes...well, if you saw how I typed with my fingers. I almost flunked typing class because my little fingers just couldn't push those keys on those typewriters. So I type with five to eight fingers, and watch where they go.

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  9. Thanks, Carol/Annie. I wish you much success.

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  10. Hi, Dianna. Thanks for stopping by today. Yes, we need to stop trying to create an unrealistic standard for beauty, male or female. Even if you look at the top fashion models, very few are that beautiful. Many years ago, I worked for a doctor. When a fashion mag came in, that doc had a fit. He took a ruler and began to measure this young woman's face, and pointing out all of her flaws. He made me realize something very important. It's not what we are on the outside, but who we are and how we are perceived. We thought that young woman was beautiful because that is what was portrayed as beautiful.

    Now, look at the people who you care about. Who has that sweet slightly-lopsided smile or the longest eyelashes you've ever seen? Oh, you forgot her smile was lopsided? And those long eyelashes are his only good feature, right?

    I have a line in A New Beginning and I think it sums up this discussion rather well. 'She would have described him as handsome and sexy, but probably the rest of the world would think of him as an average man.' Dallas saw the man she loved as being very special, because she loved him.

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  11. Sandra.McGregor60@gmail.comOctober 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    I'd like to thank those who stopped by today and hope you drop back tomorrow for the review of A Skeleton At Her Door.

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  12. Intriguing blog! Thanks for sharing. I'm another writer with manuscripts "under the bed" needing to be self published. 2 down and a dozen more to go.

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  13. How cool to have a mom who writes stories for you! Your books sound fresh and intriguing. I'll have to check them out. Congratulations on the venture into Indie Publishing. It's a fascinating world out there, isn't it?

    And hey, we're the same age, LOL. ;)

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  14. Thanks for the awesome post. I have to agree with your statement about writing. I've written for years first with pen and paper, then on typewriter, now on computer. It's something that gets in your blood. Keep on writing, and good luck in your endeavors.

    A.M. Burns

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  15. Sandra.McGregor60@gmail.comOctober 22, 2011 at 4:49 AM

    Mary,
    Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

    I think all of us have manuscripts "under the bed" and now we have a way to share them with the reading world. Fantastic!

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  16. Sandra.McGregor60@gmail.comOctober 22, 2011 at 4:50 AM

    Linsey,
    Thanks for coming by for a visit. I enjoyed A Skeleton At Her Door and can't wait to read a couple of the others.

    Have a great day!

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  17. Sandra.McGregor60@gmail.comOctober 22, 2011 at 4:56 AM

    Mystichawker,

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I have to laugh when I think about the one page "stories" I wrote as a child that I wanted to sell for a dollar. Oh, my, what delusions of greatness I had back then! lol

    Oh, and I did the pen and paper route...then begging hubby for time on his computer to type the pages. Ugh

    I'm blessed to have my own office & no longer share a computer w/ hubby, and I can honestly say that there's no way I can ever quit writing.

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  18. I started out the same way, writing stories for my kids. And yes, I'd probably write with my toes too! Nice post E.

    ~Rose Anderson

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  19. I love that you write characters that actually have a LIFE. They have to work, cook, clean, pay bills. That part of their live doesn't have to be a main storyline, but it should be included. I also like that you use different body types. We have enough commercials and magazines bombarding us with what Hollywood thinks we should look like. We don't need it in books, too. We should be able to read and escape...not read and be reminded that I''m not that size two and never will be (without surgery..ha ha)

    Thanks for sharing,
    Michelle
    Concilium, 2012
    www.conciliumbooks.com
    www.michelle-pickett.com

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  20. Hi, Mary. I've already discovered that those manuscripts under my bed need to be tossed. The stories are in my head. I know the words, but I can promise they are not well written. One of these days, I'll sit at the computer and rewrite them. The more we write, the more we learn, the better we get.

    Good luck with your manuscripts to books adventure. This is such a wonderful time to be an author.

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  21. Lindsey, thanks so much for stopping by.

    I think my daughters' friends were more impressed that I wrote stories then my girls were. Even now that they are grown, they have that mom-is-writing-again look on their faces. LOL

    I do hope you find a book that you'll love and that you'll be back to read many more. My novellas are lighter. My novels tend to delve deeper into the characters lives. (Maybe because I have more words?)
    E.

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  22. Hi, A.M. Writers write. It's what we do. You are so right - it's in our blood. Once it is there, it won't go away.
    E.

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  23. Hi Michele,

    I've actually heard that you can't have the hero or the heroine strip the bed, or do laundry because it's not romantic. My reply is that it's truthful. Somebody has to clean the toilet!

    I hope you'll read my third River City novel A CHALLENGE when it comes out in November. Tate Zaro is very tall and probably wears a size 16. I wouldn't call her pretty. She's striking and she'll turn heads just based on her height. She's been an athlete and now has a career. She's not your average heroine. (Those gals would shrink into the wall if Tate walked into the room. LOL) But she falls in love with the one guy that no one else can capture.
    E.

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  24. Thanks for stopping by, Rose. Once bitten by the writing bug, it's incurable.
    E.

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  25. I also love what you say about unconventional heroes and heroines. Bravo! Look forward to reading your novels, especially A CHALLENGE.

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  26. Thanks, Gwenan. As people we don't all fall from the same mold, therefore our heroes and heroines shouldn't! The fact that we are all different is what makes life interesting, and it should be celebrated.
    E.

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  27. Hi E~

    Great blog...Thanx for sharing a little bit of your personal self with us! :)

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  28. Wonderful blog, E. And how lucky you were to find your hero. :)

    Marci

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  29. Thanks Jane and Marci for stopping by. I've never lived a charmed life and very few people do, but it's amazing what we can get through when surrounded with love.
    E.

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