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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Interview of Author E. Ayers

Latest Book: Campaign, A River City Novel
Buy Link:

E. Ayers is a multi-published and Amazon best-selling author of western and contemporary romances. Her books are never too sweet or too hot. She writes down the middle. She is proud to be part of the Authors of Main Street, an elite group of award-winning and best-selling contemporary authors.

Q: How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
A: I danced on the ceiling for a few days. It was actually quite lonely. I had no one to really share the news with other than one author friend. My mentor was furious with me for going independent and not through New York. She swore I had made a huge mistake. And my children decided I was crazy for even thinking someone might buy my book or want to read it. They still don’t support my choice of a career.

Q: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
A: I don’t have a set number of anything. I get up and grab my coffee and start. I leave the computer long enough to eat or occasionally run errands and I’m back at it. My big break comes from being part of a local writer’s group that meets once a week to write and twice a month as a general support and critique group.

Q: What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A: I spend a lot of time promoting and interacting with readers and other authors.

Q: How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
A: Probably way too much! Yet, I’ve never written any character that I could point to and say that’s me. In fact, many do things that I never would do or could imagine myself doing. But I think it’s difficult not have bits of the author come through in the writing.

Q: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
A: I get asked this a lot! Dallas is my favorite female character. She just marches to a different drummer. As a child, her abilities and talents were suppressed and disregarded. Being kicked out of her childhood home was actually a blessing in disguise.

Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: I want total quiet when I’m writing. I don’t want anything to sidetrack me. Most of the time, I write during the wee hours of the morning when nothing is happening and even the email is quiet.
I allow myself two squares of Lindt, 90% Cocoa, Supreme Dark chocolate per night. That’s my treat!

I can look at food and gain weight so I’m very careful about what I eat. And sitting at a computer for hours every day is not exactly a healthy lifestyle. I just tell myself that chocolate is an antioxidant and good for me, then I happily indulge.

Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: I love names and always have. I like finding names that match my characters and I’m not afraid to use a last name or even a first name that might be unfamiliar to some Americans. We’re a melting pot and I love ethnic names. It’s part of who we are.

I’ll use those names to my advantage in a story. Plus I think it adds diversity. We aren’t all named Mary and Tom Smith. And Tom Smith is just as apt to be a Black male as he is to be part Asian, Hispanic or pure blooded American Indian. Names can be nothing or everything.

Q: If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
A: Write those books and get them published! Of course the industry was quite different then, and I had no idea how to even go about publishing anything. I just wish I had started when I had little ones taking afternoon naps!

Q: Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
A: Oh, those are scattered all through my books, but the biggest one is the start of A Skeleton at Her Door. I was part of a huge neighborhood Halloween event and I knew there were several people getting their makeup done ahead of time so that it could be done quickly the night of Halloween. I opened my door a few days prior to the big event to the most amazing skeleton. I dragged him inside and called my girls to see him. The oldest came downstairs first. She walked around him and admired him. But when the second daughter came down, she sat on the steps and informed me it was not who I thought it was. Omigod! I dragged some totally drool-worthy guy into my house and I didn’t know him? Yep!

Q: Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?
A: The middle of a full-length novel. I’m not a plotter, I just go with my characters, but sometimes I have to have a little heart-to-heart chat with them. Can’t have a saggy center! I can’t let them derail a story or do something totally out of order. Nor will I let them do anything stupid.

Mentally I get lots of story starts that never go anywhere, because there’s nothing special or unique about them or their story. Once I get beyond that point, I expect my characters to cooperate and play by the rules. They never do!

The ending can be a little tension-filled as I tie up the loose ends.

Fun Stuff:
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Halloween! As a child, it was terrific fun. We ran through the neighborhood with complete freedom that doesn’t exist today. But I love that change in the season, the colors and pumpkins. I love pumpkins and all the yummy foods of the season.

Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I had traveled most of the world before I got married.

At seventeen, I had almost two years of college credits.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: An architect. That kept changing but whatever it was, it was always math based. I was looking at an engineering or a pure math degree. Except I met husband, and the rest is history.

Q: Favorite food.
A: I don’t have an absolute favorite, maybe cheese. (Remember chocolate is not a food, it’s an antioxidant.)

Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: Sitting on a boulder in the middle of Peddler River eating a picnic lunch with my husband. The dogwoods and redbuds were blooming in the under-story of the large trees. The water swirled and flowed so swiftly we almost had to holler to be heard above it. The sun was warm, but the air was still crisp. It was picture perfect in every way, just nature and us.

Q: Favorite drink.
A: Oh, pick one – coffee, tea, or scotch.

Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Winter nights! You can always add blankets, but you can’t cool down enough when it’s super hot!

Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: I don’t really have a bucket list, but I have a goal. I want an RV and I want to go to Wyoming. But I want to stop and visit so many friends along the way. Have camera, toothbrush, and my laptop!

Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: Sometimes I think I’d like to climb into people’s head and see what they are thinking, but then maybe it’s better if I don’t know such things.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
(Twitter) @ayersbooks
(Shared Blog)
(Amazon Author Page)

Brad Shoemaker was blindsided when he discovered that love could be silent, and Kathryn “Ryn” Demary is mute. But when Mayor Bruno Giovanni is forced into early retirement, he chooses Brad to run in his place. Ryn is determined to campaign at Brad’s side, but instead of being an asset, she just might be his biggest liability. Ryn finds herself campaigning not just for Brad to become mayor but also for his love. Politics can get dirty and Ryn’s caught in the middle.

A few minutes later, Bruno, Ryn, and Brad walked into the lobby, where every reporter who thought he or she was going to cover another boring council meeting, suddenly had questions. Brad smiled as he shook Bruno’s hand for the fifth time in less than two minutes as cameras captured their images.

Soon Kate stepped into the swarm and whisked her husband away, leaving Brad to face the press alone.

Ryn smiled as she watched Brad. She was so proud of him and what he was doing. Then she heard her name.

“Yes, she was with me that night.” Brad smiled broadly.

Oh, what a night. She bit the insides of her cheeks to keep from laughing.

“Is she your girlfriend?” a reporter asked.

Oh, I do want to hear this answer.


That’s it? Nothing more?

Another reporter held a microphone to her face. “Ms. Demary, are you going to help him campaign?”

She smiled as her fingers flew across her tiny keypad. She held it up and then signed, “I’m willing to help in any way I can.”

“She’s mute. Is she deaf?” another reporter chimed in.

“I can hear.”

“Her hearing is fine. She answered you.” Brad moved closer to where she stood.

The tall man who held the microphone asked, “Shoemaker, you know how to sign?”

“I’m taking a crash course in it. I can understand quite a bit.” He reached over and put his hand on her back. “Her ability to communicate, as easily as she does, is amazing. She was volunteering at the Give Youth a Chance headquarters the other day and helping a young man with his Spanish.”

“How, may I ask?”

“Via her computer.”

“Really? I wish I’d seen that.”

“If you all paid a little more attention to what that organization is doing, you’d discover what a huge benefit they are to the community. With your writing skills, you should be out there volunteering a few hours a month.”

A dark-skinned man put his hand on Brad’s shoulder. “Quiet date, huh, Brad?”

Brad looked at her with a sheepish grin and winked. “Real quiet.”

She frowned at him playfully and gave him a poke in the ribs, and typed, “That’s because he barely gives me a chance to talk.”

The reporters laughed and began to disperse.

“Hungry?” Brad asked.

“Yes. You seem to know those men.”

“We are a small town in many ways. The guy who is my age…we went to school together. Known him all my life.”

She nodded. You have no idea what a small town is.

Anything else you’d like to add?
My website is about to be completely redone! I’m excited, can’t wait for the new look. But in the meantime, sign up for the Authors of Main Street Newsletter. Once a month we send out a letter letting you know what the authors on Main Street are doing, including new releases.(Authors of Main Street Newsletter)

Sign up for a chance to win a free book!


E. Ayers said...

Waving hello to everyone! It's so great to be here on RB4U. Don't be afraid to say hello or ask a question. I'll be in and out all day long and I love chatting!

Rose Anderson said...

Great to see you here. :) Thanks for joining us today. I enjoyed your interview. So true, the part about starting earlier. I started when my children were little and just didn't stick with it.

Best luck with your newest. It looks like a very interesting story.

Barbara Lohr said...

Hi Elizabeth, when you say you "write down the middle," what do you mean. Never have heard this before. What kind of romance can people expect from your books? Thanks!

Barbara Lohr

momofemmett said...

Hello E!

Lynda Bailey said...

Loved your interview, though I was dismayed your kiddos don't support you wholeheartedly. That's kinda their job, IMO, after all the support you gave them... :(
BUT Campaign looks like a winner. Best of luck and many sales!

Judy Baker said...

Hi E, your new book sounds interesting, best of luck. I know what you mean when it comes to support - thank goodness for author friends and reader fans

Melissa Keir said...

I also would love to be able to read people's thoughts, but I'm better off not knowing. I'd be so angry.

Best of luck with your latest release! :)

vicki batman said...

A wonderful interview and a great cover. I just love the falling stars. I laughed at your super power.

Sandy said...

One of my best friends was mute when I was very young. It didn't stop us from being friends at all. We only lost touch when her family moved away.

Your story sounds fascinating, E., and I'm sorry your family doesn't support you in your career. I hope you show them you made the best choice for you and them.

E. Ayers said...

Rose, thanks so much. If only we had started earlier! But in those days you typed a manuscript and then took it to the big publishing houses and knocked on their doors, or somehow you magically obtained an agent.I used to save the unused portions of my children's spiral bounds and that what I used to hold the stories that I wrote.

Barbara, write down the middle of the heat scale. If zero contains a little hand holding and a chaste kiss and five is scorching hot, I wobble between a two and three. Those who enjoy the hot stuff will read mine because I'm not too tame, and those who prefer not to know all the details, will find themselves reading through the love scenes.

Rose Gorham said...

Good luck with your new book, sounds like a great read!

E. Ayers said...

Waving at Emmett's mom. Couldn't ask for a better friend!

Lynda, I have no clue why my girls refuse to support me but I have a nephew who makes up for it ten fold! And he doesn't read my books, but he thinks it's fantastic that I'm following my dreams and making it happen.

I know several authors who have sons who also write. One actually runs off twice a year with her son so that they can write in the quiet of the mountains! That's such a terrific bond.

E. Ayers said...

Judy, as you know there's nothing better than reader fans! But the support of fellow authors is so very important. Thank you for the well wishes!

Melissa & Vicki, I think we've all said we wish we know what they were thinking, but I believe it would be hugely disappointing. But there are times that I'd love to know what someone really thought!

Thanks for the luck, that's the one thing we all need in this business!

E. Ayers said...

Sandy, did you learn to sign? They didn't always teach it years ago. Maybe someday, you'll bump into her. Wouldn't that be fun? So much to catch up!

Thanks Rose G. for stopping by. Politics and romance are odd bedfellows but I'm crossing my fingers that people will try it.

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

Congratulations on your latest release, Campaign, E. And on your level-headedness to consider chocolate a healthy antioxidant. ;-)

jean hart stewart said...

Love having a mute heroine...A lovely plot..

E. Ayers said...

Yes, Jane, the more cacao, the healthier it is. So it's a yummy vitamin!

Thanks, Jean. She was fun to write.I did have to ask my local university's English department about her and after a bit of discussion, they came to the conclusion she typed or she signed was handled the same way as she said. And everyone who read it before it was released said that is was very smooth and they practically forgot she was typing or signing her words. They just saw Ryn.

Morganne MacDonald said...

Wonderful interview! Can't wait to read, Campaign.

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