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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday Spotlight: Ashlyn Chase

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 bright side if you look for it. Sometimes to take a step back (or several) and witness your life can open your eyes.

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 recovery time I read print books, ebooks on my PDA or laptop, and audio books. I purchased some and borrowed some from the library. Every format has its uses and for readers to have a choice is valuable and everyone wins.

It really is all about the story. Yes, good writing is essential but I want more beyond that. I want to be surprised. I want this book to be different from the last one. 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 fascinated I couldn’t put it down.

Editing counts. Errors can be a jarring disappointment. I saw a review recently in which the reviewer had only glowing this to say about the author’s book, but knocked down the rating because of poor editing. I’ve done the same as a contest judge.

I learned which subgenres 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. I’ve heard that reviews are so subjective they might as well be taken with a grain of salt, but I never believed it. Now I do.

I knew I wanted to write because of what books meant to me, personally. How they saved my sanity in periods of challenge or chaos. I think my period of confinement confirmed the awesome responsibility we have as writers. I hope I’ve given my very 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.

Check out my latest paperback, Vampire Vintage. It’s also available as an ebook, so you can have it either way you like read. Heck, you can even ask your library to order it for you. I wish you would! The ISBN# is 9781419958588



Lu said...

Great post, Ash. My reading time is limited too. Before I started writing I'd give a book a second/third/fourth chance. Now, if a book doesn't grab me immediately, it goes in my "donation" pile.

Have a great day. I hear there's a sun up there somewhere, we may get to see it this weekend! LOL


Fran Lee Romance said...

Thanks for a wonderful post, Ash! I'm impressed! Love your books.

Ashlyn Chase said...


If anyone wants to chat more, you can join me at my brand new yahoo group. Ashlyn's New Best Friends. Check it out!