Since she was a little girl, author Ashley Ludwig has dreamed of seeing her name on the spine of a book. That dream was realized 2009 with the release of her first novel “All or Nothing” in 2009. Since then, doors of opportunity have continued to open wide.
Q: What are some of your current projects?
A: My latest novel, “Mammoth Secrets“debuts February 27, 2015 in both print and eBook. I’ve also re-released a sweet romance, “His and Hers” for Kindle eBook in January. What I’m most excited about for the coming year is working with my agent, Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency to sell “First Crush,” the first in a series of romantic suspense stories set in Southern California.
Q: What have been some of your biggest writing challenges?
A: Patience, I think, is the biggest hurdle for most writers, at least it is for me. Writing is the act of creating which takes a long time. Personally, I strive to write three pages a day, as I learned to do many years ago through “The Artists’ Way.” Those three pages a day ultimately weave into a rough plot outline, then a story synopsis, character sketches and, finally, fits and starts into a full-length novel.
I take part annually in the National Novel Writing Month — where writers are encouraged to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I’ve written three full-length novels that way. And yes, you can sit down and hammer out pages, but there is the editing process which must also be mastered.
Patience comes into play by polishing, honing your words. Mastering all forms of description, dialogue, storytelling. Ideally, all authors should work with a group of core writers whom they trust to read their work and provide honest, constructive criticism.
Q: How did you find an agent?
A: Finding an agent is a bit like looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack. This is an era where many are taking publishing into their own hands and I applaud those brave enough to do so. Authors are writing and self-pubbing and it’s wonderful — a bit like the days when the printing press was invented! There are so many avenues toward publishing. But, if you want to publish through an agent that takes a bit of effort on the part of an author.
First, my advice would be to write a book you would want to read. Then, rewrite it and rewrite it again. Polish your work before you send it anywhere. Read books on writing. “Stein on Writing” is a phenomenal resource. Steven King’s “On Writing” is a compelling, encouraging memoir. James Scott Bell’s “Plot and Structure” is a semester of Creative Writing 101, and the incredible “Hooked” by Les Edgerton will teach you how to turn the page.
When and if you do decide to find an agent, seek someone who shares your vision. Find agents who may be interested in you by reading and knowing your genre. Browse the author acknowledgements pages and master the art of the query letter.
Another bit of advice would be to attend local writer’s conferences. Meet with agents and editors face to face. Learn from them. A real writer never hears a no. It’s just a “not yet.”
Q: Where can people find your work?