Hi all,

Today we're delighted to have with us Ashlyn Chase, author of seven steamy books that have garnered wonderful reviews, in part because of her ability to give readers a good dose of humor with the romance. Something I, for one, look for in a book, so I'm going to head off and browse Ash's bookshelf for something good to read this weekend because I .... Oh--you don't care what Liz Jasper is doing this weekend and want to hear what Ash has to say? Okay then...


What I’ve Learned As A Reader Vs. A Writer

I’ve learned many things recently simply by reading tons of books in my favorite genre. How? I don’t recommend the way I did it—spinal surgery, followed by bed rest and a neck brace for several weeks, but everything has its uses, if you look for them. Sometimes, it’s an eye opener to take a step back (or several) and witness the life you lead.

First of all, as a writer, I rarely get the chance to just read. I mean, to read as much as I want, anything I want, every single day for as long as I want. Over that awful recovery time, I read print books, ebooks on a PDA and audio books. I purchased some and borrowed some from the library. I even had some that came from God knows where but they found themselves on my ‘to be read’ pile and I was extremely grateful to have them. Every media has its uses and for readers to have a choice is so valuable that everyone wins.

Observations:
It really is all about the story. Yes, good writing is essential but I learned even more beyond that. I read some New York Times bestsellers that put me to sleep. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I also read an author’s debut ebook that had me so awed and fascinated that I couldn’t put it down.

Editing counts too. Errors are such a jarring disappointment.

I learned what I like. I thought I knew this before, but I was able to fine-tune my taste and learn how much this subjective factor has to do with the enjoyment of reading. Seriously. It’s so subjective that reviews might as well be taken with a grain of salt. I’d been told that before, but I never believed it. Now I do.

It may take months to write something and get it just so. The reader will show their appreciation by devouring your book in a day.

I knew I wanted to write because of what books meant to me, personally. How they saved my sanity in periods of extreme and unfair challenges. How I needed a great escape. I think the confinement confirmed the awesome responsibility we have as writers. I hope I remember to give my best effort every single time. So far, I haven’t put anything out there that I’m not proud of. I may not please everyone, but I can’t control that. What I can be sure of is that as long as I please myself, I’ll keep writing and loving it.


You can learn more about Ash and her books at her website:
http://www.ashlynchase.com/.

Where there's fire, there's Ash

8 comments

  1. Cheryl // February 22, 2008 at 1:36 PM  

    I'm right there with you Ash; I can't remember the last time I read for just pleasure. My "to be reviewed" list is longer than both my arms put together.

    I, too, am bothered by the typos or missing words when I stumble across them in books. I think it's partially because I'm a perfectionist and I cringe if I ever see an error in one of my published articles, and also because I've always been an avid reader and mistakes used to be so unusual when I was younger, but now I rarely read a book without at least two errors in it.

    Best of luck with the rest of the tour. Keep writing and keep promoting!

    Cheryl

  2. Beth Trissel // February 22, 2008 at 1:45 PM  

    Great interview, Ash. You reminded me of what it's all about--reading. Good stories always have a place somewhere and touch lives in ways that we can't know. My own life has been deeply touched by many good writers.
    Thanks again for a fresh perspective. And I'll watch those typos.

  3. Mona Risk // February 22, 2008 at 2:33 PM  

    Ash, I think you gave the readers exactly what they want in a book: relaxation and fun.

    When I read a book I won't pay attention to a few forgotten typos, but I cringe at continious shifts of POV, slow pace, lack of conflict or useless dialogue that make me scream at the book, so...where are we going?

  4. Shelley Munro // February 22, 2008 at 4:30 PM  

    Ah, the curse of being a writer. I know I have a really good book when I stop analyzing and I'm just reading. Still, I learn something from every book I read.

    Also, being a writer cuts into your reading time in a big way!

    Great post, Ashlyn!

  5. Georgie Lee // February 22, 2008 at 8:52 PM  

    I enjoyed your interview. Reading a great book always inspires me to write best story I can.

  6. Helen Scott Taylor // February 23, 2008 at 9:08 AM  

    Great post, Ashlyn. I have a huge tbr pile. Some are novels I think I should read for research into the genre, some are ones that have been recommended and some just caught my fancy. I've learned to take a risk now and then and pick up something new.

    I'm not bothered by a few typos but too many annoy me. I've also tried some NYT bestsellers that don't work for me. I give them until chapter five if it's a book I think I should like. After that I chuck them if they bore me.

    One of my biggest bugbears is annoying characters who do stupid things.

  7. Mary Marvella // February 24, 2008 at 12:42 AM  

    I have several TRP piles. I do read for pleasure.I really need to do that often.

    Yes errors make me cringe, especially grammatical errors.I taught Engish /language arts for 15 years and old habits can die hard.

  8. Hi Fuzzies // February 24, 2008 at 4:45 PM  

    It's hard for me to enjoy a book that hasn't been edited properly. It looks bad on the publisher. Of course, my own book has an error that went through several people. It still bugs me!