Monday, 8 August 2011

Monday Magic - ASHLYN CHASE

The Life of a Loser Writer
Ashlyn Chase

As I sit here, gumming my breakfast of cottage cheese and peaches, I’m feeling a little “off.” Whether that feeling is due to the root canal I had yesterday, or the splinter in my index finger, causing me to type funny, is anyone’s guess. The thing is, it’s one of those days.

Either I can give up and read all day, or I can bravely soldier on, typing with the hunt and peck method, sans my right index finger. (Sheesh, I couldn’t even play “chopsticks” on the piano today.) But I’m a writer. It’s what I do, day in, day out, rain or shine, three-hundred and something days a year. I might miss a few days for an illness or family holidays. It’s rare though.

Okay, I just made my fifth typo in this short article. I’m now weighing the frustration of typing like this vs. the frustration of not writing at all. Ah, hell. I’ll keep going.

Many writers think I’m “prolific.” I laugh because even on a good day, I type about seventeen words per minute. The truth is, I never learned to type, but I can’t not write. (Pardon the double negative.) Many writers know exactly what I’m talking about. If you think I’m feeling “off” now, imagine me on a day (or several) without writing! It’s such a habit that without it I’m apt to wander around bumping into things, because I don’t know what to do with myself.

Stephen King says he usually lies in interviews and claims to write every day except Christmas and Easter…but the truth is, he writes every day, three hundred sixty-five days a year. I guess he didn’t want to feel like a loser who can’t take a day off for family or friends. I know what he means, but that kind of obsession doesn’t make you a loser. It makes you an author. He even tried to retire a few years ago—and couldn’t.

I had friends visit from the other side of the world and spend a week in our guest room recently. I’d looked forward to seeing these wonderful people, yet I was also trembling as I predicted hours away from my keyboard. If that makes me a loser, so be it. I’m a loser.

But considering I wouldn’t even know my Australian friends if it weren’t for writing, I have to say I’ve gained far more than I’ve lost. I have friends and fans all over the world now. My friend Rebecca is an author whose talent of handling description without bogging down the pace captured my attention. I wrote to her and told her about my admiration for her writing. Soon she was critiquing for me. Not long after that, I was returning the favor and critiquing for her. The bonus was how much I enjoyed getting an early peek at her stories.

You’d be surprised how well writers connect, even with very little else in common. I’m almost twenty years older than my Aussie friend. She writes coming of age stories for children and I write hot, steamy love stories for adults. It doesn’t matter. We share the craft and business of writing along with the writer’s life.

Similarly, I have a local critique partner. We couldn’t be more different, personally, but I admired her writing and knew she could teach me a thing or two. She writes historical romances, and mine are always set in a contemporary time period. But when she put out a call for a critique group or partner I was right there, raising my hand.

If anything, she’s more dedicated than I am. She knows how to type and puts my daily word count to shame. We just returned from attending a writer’s convention together. Even with all kinds of scheduled events going on we managed to critique a few pages.

Hey, look at me. I’ve written an entire blog article with an aching gum and throbbing finger. It just underscores my point. If you’re a loser like me and can’t not write, you just might be “prolific.”

****

Thanks Ash for joining me today!  I can relate to the frustration at being away from the keyboard. I have it every day when I go to the day job!

Ash has a wonderful new book coming out soon...here's the information about it:

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR
by Ashlyn Chase

Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Sensuality: MILD

Description: 4 1/2 stars review

Vampire Sly has been suffering a broken heart since he lost his wife 26 years ago. What Sly can’t imagine is that his family and friends are desperately trying to get him involved with a Wiccan woman whose psychic powers may end up not only easing his heart, but saving his undead life as well. In a literary world chock full of vampires, this is one that’s absolutely fantastic. With its humor, dialogue, theme and heart, Chase has put together an outstandingly fun romance with a great twist!

Sly is one of those undead creatures that you actually want hanging around. He spends his time walking around the neighborhood and keeping it safe from crime. Unfortunately, to save a young woman one night, Sly bites into a bad guy who’s wearing more bling than Mr. T, and his fang gets chipped on a bit of sterling silver — poison! He rushes to his friend Morgaine’s apartment for her help in curing what ails him. Morgaine yearns for the hot, dark vampire. She is psychic and can stir up any pot of elixir or poultice that Sly needs. When the werewolf downstairs moves out of 1B, Sly’s daughter Merry plans to move her father in and get him hooked up with Morgaine. Add to this a vamp on the prowl named Malvant, who wants nothing more than to stop Sly and Morgaine’s happiness, and Sly’s undead life becomes extremely real. (SOURCEBOOKS, Aug., 384 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed By: Amy Lignor

***

Okay folks - Giveaway time!

For all those who leave a comment here, you'll go into the draw to win a download of my favourite Ash book of all time VAMPIRE VINTAGE!

So comment away and add your email to the comment so we can contact the winner!

And thanks Ash for being my guest today for Monday Magic!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, a vampire book with heart! I think that's fantastic. Good luck!
Cheers,
Lami :-)

Maggie Nash said...

Oh Lami...Ash's Vampires are totally to die for. I love all her books, but I really have a soft spot for Vampire Vintage :-)
Thanks for stopping by!

Maggie

Vickij said...

I agree, Lami, a vampire book with heart is fantastic - but a vampire book with a hot, dark vampire is even better!! I'm off to check out Vampire Vintage now, Maggie!!

Cheers,

Vicki

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks so much for your kind words about Vampire Vintage, Mags. I'm so glad you mentioned it. Guess why? I'm completing the series!

Remember how there were four women who performed the summoning spell in the first scene? Well, I just finished Haley's story. It's called Hey There, Tiger. EC contracted it and it's in my editor's hands. Now I'm starting Barb's story.

I'm having so much fun with this series and these characters!

Virginia E said...

I hope your finger heals soon. I remember the fun of trying to type with a cast on my hand *shudders*.

Prolific is ignoring the excuses and just keep doing. It's amazing what you can accomplish that way. I'm enjoying reading the results

vlettel at cox.net

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks so much, Virginia!

Ashley said...

I read my first book by you last week. It took me a day! Loved it!

asweet520@hotmail.com

LorettaLynn said...

I so want to read some of these:)
They look so good
enter me please
elliott2668(at)yahoo(dot)com

Dalton Diaz said...

I never write as much as when we work together. I believe that makes me the loser!! Don't let yourself fall out of these habits. They're good ones.

Ashlyn Chase said...

Ashley,

I'm so glad my book gave you some pleasant reading. Do you mind my asking which book it was?

Ashlyn Chase said...

Best of luck in the drawing LorettaLynn!

Ashlyn Chase said...

Aww...Dalton. You are SO not a loser. You have the most incredible family, and they're that way because of you!

booklover0226 said...

I'm so thrilled there is another book in this series. While reading the first two books, I had many LOL moments and each time I looked around to make sure no one was looking at me... even at home!!!

Vampire Vintage sounds pretty good, too. I'm adding it to my wishlist.

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Allie Standifer said...

Don't take it to heart Ash. We'll get loser t-shirts together & hold our heads up high. Can't wait to get my hands on another great read by you. Keep up the amazing work!

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks, Tracey. I live to make people laugh. Seriously!

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks, Allie!

Yup, you and I could rock the t-shirts!

N.J.Walters said...

Wish I could be as consistant a writer as you, Ash. I'm more of a 4-5 day a week writer.

The Vampire Next Door sounds fabulous.

Jacki C. said...

I am picking up my copy of Vampire today.
Ashlyn - I've had a root canal and it's no fun. Add to that a splinter in the finger and you deserve a lot of credit for being able to type at all today!
Jacki

Ashlyn Chase said...

Oh, NJ. I don't usually make my word count on weekends. During the wek I try to 1,000 words per day. Not a lot, but it adds up.

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thank you, Jacki!

Your support has been tremendous.

Maggie Nash said...

And the winner of the ebook copy of VAMPIRE VINTAGE is...

Drumroll....

Tracey D!!!

Ash will contact you Tracey. Congratulations. You'll love this book!

Maggie

Ashlyn Chase said...

Congrats, Tracey!

And thank you for having me Maggie!
It's always a pleasure to hang out with you.

Hugs!

booklover0226 said...

Thank you, Ash and Maggie!

Tracey D