Tiffany, welcome to Marilyn’s Romance Reviews.
Hi Marilyn! Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me about the new book.
How long have you been writing and what was your call story?
At a very young age, I was exposed to the writings of some really amazing authors. I studied their work, marveled at the way they conveyed stories, devised story settings and established character development. That early exposure influenced the way I read books as an adult. Now, I expect greatness every time I pickup a book I consider reading. And I read A LOT. Needless to say, I've read many not-so-great books. As time passed, I found myself thinking more often, "I wish the author would have done..." or "Why didn't the writer use the flat characters more effectively?" or (my favorite) "I hate all these characters!"
The more I read, the more questions I had, until eventually I decided to see if I could do any better. Let me say here; writing isn't as easy as it might seem. It can be brutal. But I am so happy I took up the challenge. Completing a novel is immensely rewarding.
What are you currently working on?
My current project, The Next Hollywood Heartthrob, will be available Spring 2012. This will be a 3-4 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.
Is there a back story to Love Script?
Funny story. I actually had a job very similar to Laney's. I hated it there. (Yes, Mary-Knight is a real person. Yes, she is a total bitch.) I would sit in my office and wish I was anywhere else in the world but at work. Escaping on a tropical vacation was ideal. This started the idea of Laney's story. From there, the book practically wrote itself. I completed the novel in three or four months.
Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you.
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.
Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with and why?
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 heros.
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 next novel, The Next Hollywood Heartthrob, the character closest to my heart is Sebastian Dunhill. He's just (sigh) perfect.
What is the best thing about your job as an author? What is the hardest thing?
The absolute best thing about being an author is creating your own world. Turning a thought into a story, then a story into a world...it’s amazing. But it is also exhausting.
The hardest thing about my job is dealing with the business side of publishing. It’s easy to get caught up on the business side of things, you lose your enthusiasm for the artistry. It’s a balancing act you have to master.
Describe a day in the life of Tiffany Ashley.
Absolutely nothing is typical about my day. But there are a few things, no matter what, I find a way to get done on a daily basis. I use the first part of my day to check emails and read comments on my website. The middle of the day is spent putting out fires, working with my publicist, emailing the cover artist, and convincing myself I do not NEED Starbucks coffee (this one-sided conversation usually happens while I'm in drive-thru waiting for my Grande Carmel Macchiato). Late in the afternoon, I start writing on my current manuscript. I typically write 5-8 hours straight. Around 3-4AM in the morning, I drag myself to bed.
What is something you definitely want readers to know about you?
I love communicating with my readers. They are awesome! I make a serious effort to reply to every comment and email I receive. It's important to me that readers know I'm an ordinary person who just happens to have an awesome job. I try to make myself available to anyone wishing to reach me. My personal email address is displayed on my website for that purpose.
Scene you like most and would never cut.
My favorite scene is actually a scene my readers are pretty fond of. I get more emails about the ‘tennis shirt’ scene than any other scene in the book! I love it. That scene really sets the stage for sexual tension between Nick and Laney.
Thing your heroine would never be caught dead doing/saying:
Laney Parks is a pretty conservative woman. When compared to Nick Sinclair, she is his polar opposite. So as a result, Laney wouldn’t be caught dead doing anything Nick would normally do (i.e: swearing, lying, casual dating). Laney thinks everything out; unlike Nick, who can be very impulsive. I believe this is one of the many elements that draws these character together.
Scene in the book that moved you the most as you wrote it, or made you the most happy?
Wow! It’s hard to answer that question without ruining the book for readers. Love Script: Deluxe Edition is an emotional roller-coaster ride. I think the scenes that moved me most happened in the last three chapters of the book (Again, I’m trying not to give the ending away). Nick and Laney go through so much within these few chapters, it’s hard to limit my choice to a specific scene.
Have you learned or found any bizarre facts while doing research?
Interestingly enough, I have never been on a cruise (I have a fear of large masses of water:). So given the fact Love Script takes place on a Caribbean bound cruise-liner, I had to do a lot of research just to understand the setting I was creating. Everything was a learning experience.
What is one thing in your history that has influenced your writing, whether it’s a character, your work habits, or your favorite plot conflict?
Tough question. I have a short list of influential authors but if I had to choose one, I would say Rosemary Rogers is my ultimate favorite author. Her books are so well written and are impossible to predict where the storyline is headed. I grew up reading syrupy historical romances my mother had laying around. Rogers was the first author I ever read that lacked 'love at first sight' nonsense. The characters had true grit. I loved it. As a result, I am inspired to create edgy stories with an alpha male hero. No one can say Nick Sinclair is soft.
Right now, I’m focused on completing the Hollywood Heartthrob series. When I’m not obsessed with that project, I’m plotting the sequel to Love Script. The working title is Love Undefined.
What are you currently reading?
Honestly, I haven't picked up a book in months. I've been so busy with pre-pub projects for Love Script: Deluxe Edition, I don't have any energy left to read. That sucks, because I love to read. I have a blog on my website where I post book reviews. I hope to return to that soon.
Before I let you go is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?
Firstly, I would like to thank the readers at Marilyn’s Romance Review for giving me the opportunity to chat with you. The interview was fun. Thank you.
To my readers, I want to thank you for all your support and words of encouragement you have given me over the years. I am extremely fortunate to be able to do what I do and have the readership I have:) Look out for The Next Hollywood Heartthrob, coming Spring 2012. You won't be disappointed!
Visit me anytime at http://www.tiffanyashleybooks.com/.
CONTEST - LIMITED TO US RESIDENTS
Thanks to Circle 1 Publishing, this blog is offering a trade size coy of Love Script by Tiffany Ashley. To win a copy of this book, please answer the following question:
Have you ever been in the wrong place at the wrong time? The right place at the right time? That's how Laney Parks felt in Love Script.
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