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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Spotlight: Ashley Ladd

A lot of my stories are cathartic

A lot of my stories are cathartic. I haven't reached the age I am without having a few issues.

I may not have realized it at first, but some of my stories revisited issues in my life - a boyfriend who told me he was bi and wanted to keep his boyfriend and me at the same time. A rift with my father that affected me deeply - and then the painful process of reconciliation and rebuilding trust. I lost a lot of weight a few years ago and my heroine at the time felt like she was my partner in that journey as she was also losing weight. Not just a little but a lot. It wasn't easy to change my lifestyle and it helped me to write about it. It helped to inspire me to achieve my goal and get through the rough parts.

And now, I'm facing one of the largest issues of my life and I want to write about it. But I'm not sure if I should write about it, or if anyone would be interested. However, as I read over other spotlights here on Whipped Cream, I was surprised to see a romance writer writing about transgender romance. I don't mean that to be offensive. I've just never heard about them before which is probably surprising as I write so much M/M, MMF, and MFM erotic romance.

As I mentioned a person very very close to me has just announced he is a transgender female. I'm not even sure I have the term right. I'm still in the beginning stages of learning about all this. This person just came out to me. The same day I attended the counselor's appointment with this person, he started his hormone therapy. Eventually he plans to have sex reassignment surgery (SRS). He's not sure when he'll start dressing as a woman or when he'll change his name.

Right now, I'm still trying to process this change. Whereas I am supportive, or at least trying to be supportive, I'm still confused. I'm not sure what I feel. I'm not sure how to react.

Perhaps this is the best time to pen such a story to capture all the emotions on both sides as they're flying high and all over the place.

This person means a lot to me and no matter his (or should I say "her") sex is, I love him (or do I mean her?). He's still in love with his partner and vice versa. They're going to stay together. He still loves all the same people and things he did before. He's still the same person even if I didn't realize this one thing about him that was just revealed.

Excerpt From: Crazy in Love - released March 22, 2010

A mixture of awe, disbelief, enlightenment, and grief washing over her, Kacey Carlisle poured over her great-great-grandmother’s pension claim records. The ancient handwriting was almost illegible in places yet it was clear—her grandfather, August, hadn’t left his wife and family as the descendants had believed all these years. Her grandmother, Emma, had kicked him out.

Emma had sworn under deposition she’d feared for her life after August had returned home from the Civil War, physically and mentally ill. Other acquaintances had also testified under oath that August had suffered from crazy spells, that he’d thought spirits were chasing him. Others claimed August believed Emma to have been unfaithful. For sure, he’d been a tortured soul.

Kacey’s head spun so she took another sip of her soda as she tried to make sense of her readings. Clearly, there were two sides. Still, she sympathised with Emma. Her own husband, Heath, while not insane or abusive, had been ignoring her for a long time and so her thoughts had turned more and more to divorce. It broke her heart, but she could no longer deny it. Heath had fallen out of love with her. If she paraded naked before him, he’d only tell her to quit acting silly and stop blocking the TV.

Oh, yeah. She empathised with her ancestor. Men could be real shits. Who needed them?

Her heart cracked a little more. Who was she fooling? She still loved her husband, desperately, madly. Insanely. At least, they didn’t have kids who would get hurt.

Miffed at herself, she chewed her lower lip. So it would seem she was insane, too. Who would hang on when the situation was so hopeless?

Only a crazy person. Maybe she’d inherited Grandpa August’s crazy streak.

”It’s late. Come to bed,” Heath muttered on a growl. Barefoot, he padded through the hall and scowled at her. He scrubbed the heel of his hand over the beginnings of new stubble on his chin. “I’ll lose my job if you keep me awake all night. I won’t be able to function at work tomorrow.”


booklover0226 said...

I would be interested in reading about a gender reassignmnent character. IMO, the body is just a shell; what counts is inside the body.

I enjoyed the excerpt and look forward in reading Crazy in Love.

Tracey D

Ashley Ladd said...

Every Monday on my blog is "Monday Minute Fiction". This past week was a transgender romance.