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And Now Introducing...AYLA RUSE!

I usually have to come up with something interesting when I blog. I struggle. I tax my brain. I force myself not to bore blog readers with mindless promotion. But today, I'm saved! Debut author AYLA RUSE has consented to an interview. So sit down if you're standing, strap in, and take a look at a talented new author with one heck of a sexy story.

I’m pleased to introduce new author Ayla Ruse. Ayla is a woman of mystery, working around her house during the day, going about her domestic chores with seeming innocence while secretly plotting with demons to take over the world… okay, she home schools. Her little demons are only interested in taking over her world. Ayla’s been writing for years but took time out to start a family and raise her kids. When not instructing her kids, picking up after her family and generally doing everything, she manages time to write. Her first release, The Deciding Factor, is a contemporary ménage due out in January 2011. Now to find out more about Ayla, I’ve come up with a bevy of questions to sate my curiosity and yours.

1. Welcome Ayla! When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Oh, it was at a very young age. Elementary school really. I wrote an imaginative and quite descriptive piece (complete with pictures) about a little girl visiting the Loch Ness Monster in his underwater home. I had plans to write a series. I knew it was the best story in my class (in truth, I have no clue), but from that moment on I could see myself writing for life.

2. Why romance? Have you considered other genres?

Yes, I have considered other genres. Horror, thriller, mainstream, fantasy. In fact, I have a very slow-going WIP that is a fantasy. However, I choose to write romance because I am in love with love, and most any other book you read usually has romantic elements in it anyway. I thought, why not go ahead and write about the relationship in full? Besides, I am an avid romance reader and this is one genre with which I am most familiar.

3. Most writers are readers. Who are you favorite writers? Have they influenced you at all?

Whew. Okay. Yes, I am a reading addict and many authors have influenced me. From the genre to the voice to the technical aspects of writing, I pretty much study while I read because every published author out there can give me pointers to improve my own writing. Now, as to specific writers…I love to read so many – you really don’t have enough space! I will, however, write down a few auto-buy names: Eloisa James, James Rollins, Mary Balogh, Nalini Singh, Cherise Sinclair, Bronwyn Green, Marie Harte (true!), Karen Marie Moning…and the list goes on and on and on. It’d probably be better if you asked me whom I do not read!

4. Are you a pantser or a plotter?

I want to say that I am both, but at heart, I am a pantser. I may spend days or weeks with the story and characters in my head before I actually sit down to write (would this be the plotter part?), but it isn’t uncommon for me to become so engrossed in my current scene that it takes off and away from me. Or the story itself will go in a completely different direction from where I began. Once I put the draft down on paper, I read back over it and decide if fits in the story or if it went off the beaten track. It’s not unusual for me to scrap many, many pages, or even characters. Going through something I’ve written makes me think of the cutting room floor of a movie’s edit room. Some may think this is extra work for a writer, but this is comfortable for me, and it’s the way I’ve always written.

5. When do you write? What is a typical day like for you?

First, let me try to describe a typical day: I am not a morning person, so I drag my butt out of bed just after the kids wake up (they are my alarm clock, be it 5 am or 8 am). I somehow muster through breakfast (yes, for the cats and dogs, too) and coffee (zing, now I’m awake), and while my three little hero’s-in-training dress and wrestle (“I said not in the house!”), I transform the dining room into a classroom. I then round up the boys to begin our school day.

This challenging experience can last until early to mid afternoon, depending on how attentive they are and how many home school events we attend. Then they get free time and I get down time until we have to hustle off to their karate classes/scouting events/family happenstances. After supper I try to do a little housework, tuck the kiddos into bed and finally, finally, have an evening to write.

Some nights I’m lucky to get an hour or two, which as anyone who writes, knows this is not a lot of time to immerse yourself into your creation. As compensation, I’ll take a night or two of mommy-hood off, where my husband puts the kids to bed while I sneak out of the house to write all night. You know, it really is amazing I write at all!

Your first novel, The Deciding Factor, releases January 17, 2011. Tell us a little about the book.

The Deciding Factor is about a woman who wants more from life than work and meals-for-one. Aly isn’t looking for love, she’s looking for adventure. But her world turns upside down when fate lands her working part-time for Sawyer, her very first lover. Sawyer wants to reignite their passion, and Aly’s more than game. Then she runs into her very first love, Luke. First love, or first lover? The men want her to choose. Hot and sexy, or cool and controlled? How can she possibly decide? When in frustration she throws out the unbelievable suggestion of a ménage, the men take her up on her offer. What begins as an adventure soon turns into something more that has everyone second guessing their choices. Will their issues bind them together or tear them apart? Sawyer or Luke? Or just maybe, all of the above…

7. What was the hardest part about getting your book published?

Hands down, the submission process. Submitting a manuscript to any publisher is such a tedious and time consuming task! And that’s not even talking about the waiting period. Still, after rejection upon rejection upon rejection, when you get that acceptance letter, it makes all the tedium worth it.

8. Do you have anything you’re working on right now?

As a matter of fact, I do. I have a simple m/f futuristic {apt?} short story almost ready to go, and a steamy m/m/f contemporary heating up my computer’s hard drive.

9. What is your biggest pet peeve in a romance book?

Hmmm…it would have to be when the main characters do not express, in words, their love for one another. Even if the author made the character one who would die before uttering the words, he or she still needs to make (or attempt to make) that verbal commitment by the end of the story. Yes, action speaks louder than words, but c’mon. Those three little words do mean so much, especially backed by the action.

10. What advice would you give to new authors?

I have three pieces, actually, and I use these same pieces myself almost every day:

1. Write. You’ll never be published if you don’t put away the excuses and write. Trust me, I know. I can excuse with the best of them.

2. On every bad writing day you have, with every rejection you receive, ask yourself, “how bad do you want it?” If you want to be published badly enough, any rough patch will pass.

3. Always keep your goal in sight and remind yourself that this is what you want, above all else, then do what it takes to make it work.

11. How do your friends and family feel about your career?

They are excited for me, even though most of my male relations wave their hands and say, “Good for you, but I don’t want to know the story details.” You’d think they still believe I’m a virgin.

A fun quiz

Blond or brunette?
You didn’t mention black hair, that’d be my favorite.
Vampires or werewolves? Werewolves.
Eric or Bill? No contest. Eric.
Vanilla or chocolate? Believe it or not, vanilla, but never plain. It has to have a topping.
Series or single title? This is a toughie. I love a good single title, but I will do a series as long as I can begin with the absolute first book. If I cannot begin with book one, I won’t read the story.
Roses or Carnations? Roses for a more intimate and personal meaning, and if they are the more exotic kind. Carnations if it’s something nice and I want it to last for awhile.
Nook or Kindle? I don’t have either yet, but I’m looking at the Kindle.
Football or soccer? Neither really
Romantic night at home, or fun out on the town? Is there such a thing as a romantic night at home? (“No, you cannot have a drink, now go back to bed.” “Okay, you have to pee so I’ll stand by you so the bathroom monster doesn’t get you.” “Your snuggle time is during the day, and now I want snuggle time with Daddy.” “Shoo.”) Once upon a time, a romantic evening at home would have been my preference. Now, going out on a date with my love is romance for me.

You can read more about Ayla at her website and blog, She’s also new to Facebook, so feel free to stop by and Friend her!

Thanks to Ayla for this fantastic interview. And to everyone celebrating it, Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your pumpkin pie and turkey.



Devon Rhodes said...

Thanks Marie and Ayla for a fun interview! Congrats and welcome!

Ayla Ruse said...

Thanks, Devon. It's great to be here.