Friday, February 19, 2016

LOVING MATILDA BY E. AYERS OFFERS LOVE AND ADVENTURE

Some time ago I met a lovely author and am very pleased to have her as my guest today. Please welcome E. Ayers.

Readers love to get to know authors. Please share anything that lets readers get to know the real you.

There's nothing very exciting about my life. It's very quiet. I left the excitement behind when I married my husband. I was still seventeen when I met him. I thought he was crazy to ask me out. But a friend assured me that he was a nice guy, so I let him buy me a sandwich. Apparently he'd fallen instantly in love with me, but it took me that whole night to realize I was falling in love with him. Five weeks later, we were married. Two children, several houses, quite a few cars, and almost thirty-seven years with that wonderful man and I was a widow. That wasn't supposed to have happened. That was not in our plans. We were supposed to grow old together. We were going to finish renovating this old house, sell it, and build that retirement house with heated floors, solar panels, and floor to ceiling windows.

So here I am in this old pre-Civil War house that's only half renovated. With my eight-pound dog and a cat that is three times larger than the dog, I sit and write books, while praying that nothing else goes wrong in the house.

Our house is not as old as yours, but it seems plenty of things go wrong. When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?

I love to take a ride into the country, out to the mountains, or head to the seashore with my camera. I also love to do pen and ink drawings of what I’ve photographed. The drawing is actually tedious and very time consuming, but it takes such concentration that everything else has to leave your mind. Depending on the detail, it takes about an hour to do a square inch. It’s a real stress buster. I've enclosed a picture of a pen and ink drawing I did. Once they are framed, it's hard to take a picture without glare on the glass.

Pen and Ink drawing by E. Ayers


You should be very proud of that drawing. How long have you been writing?

Seemingly forever, maybe not quite, but close.

Why did you choose to participate in Debra Holland’s Kindle World?

A few years ago, she asked me to be part of her Sweetwater Springs Christmas anthology. That was a collaboration of all the authors in that anthology, and it was so much fun. So when Debra Holland asked me to be part of her Kindle World, I said yes!

Where do you prefer to write?

I have a desk and a PC in a “computer” room. I have total solitude in that room except for my dog that is usually at my feet or at my side, and she never talks to me. With the doors shut, I’m very isolated, making it easy to slip into my writing world.

I write the same way, except it’s my cat keeping me company. Are you a plotter or a panzer?

I’m a planner. I don’t start writing until I have a certain amount of the story in my head. Then I’m along for the ride and I allow the characters to direct the rest of the story.

What research did this project involve?

I’ve been working an old diary and my research is only to the time of the Lakota Alliance. Then I skipped to the 1890’s. That leaves a big gap and I had to fill in the blanks, plus research gold, the mining techniques and the geology behind the formation. I now know how to pan for gold! Don’t you think that’s a really handy skill for a novelist? I wonder if I'll ever have a chance to try it. (My granddaughter loves to go gem mining. So I have done a few odd things with her. She'd probably be willing to give it a go. I know there's a gold mine in North Carolina.)

There is one gold mine, the Capps mine, that was owned by an ancestor of my dad’s first wife—thus of my half-brothers and half-sisters. The man married a Capps daughter and when she died, married her sister. Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals? Do you write daily?

I write at night while the world sleeps. I don’t set word limits because when writing historical I often stop to look up something. Besides word limits and/or goals can be restrictive. There’s no point in setting myself up for failure. I just celebrate what I do accomplish.

I also write better at night. Do you write full time or do you have a day job.

I write full time now. Before I married I worked as a bookkeeper, then my hubby had me stay home and once the girls came, I stayed with them but as they got older, I knew I need to work to help pay for their college, so I went back into bookkeeping as the youngest was about to become a teen. I wound up as an office manager to a large medical practice, went from that to a CPA's office, and then into officer manager for a large property management firm. I quit when they girls were married and out of school. That's when my hubby and I started renovating houses. Then a dear friend asked me to come teach at her school. So I did. It was fun. But it was during that time that I knew I wanted to seriously write. I went back to college and took classes in English as a refresher. Then I started to write.

I was enjoying the freedom when my husband died. Everyone thinks you get Social Security when that happens. No! I wasn't old enough, nor did I have small children at home. I had to go back to work if I wanted to keep my house and pay the bills. I went into medical records. Nice easy job that paid well. Several times they wanted me for supervisory positions because of my background, but I didn't want the hassle. I'd come home and write. When I realized that I was making more money by writing than in my job, I quit. Oops! A few months later, the tables turned and had to fight my way back financially. But I'm glad I've persevered. It's difficult some months, but it's worth doing what I love.

Certainly there’re ups and downs in writing. Losing your husband was the worst blow. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise readers.

I think I'm out of surprises. Okay, here's something that I find almost hysterical looking back at it. My mom tried to push me to apply to colleges in the west. She really wanted me to go to the University of Wyoming. She figured that since I was such a nature girl and I loved horses, I needed to go to school there so I could meet a young rancher, marry, and live on a ranch.

The problem with that was Wyoming is not against the ocean. It wasn't even a day's drive from the ocean! I learned to surf when I was fourteen and I loved it. I surfed almost year round. I was a strong swimmer, competed on swim and diving teams, etc. There was no way I was leaving the ocean! So until someone moved Wyoming a little closer to the ocean… The answer was no. I was not going to go to college out there.

Yet here I am. I'm not writing about surfers, I'm writing about ranchers. Maybe my mother saw something in me back then that I failed to see in myself. Is there a wonderful man who's a rancher looking for someone to share his life? I'm an extremely good cook and with my writing, I'm very quiet. I know how to ride a horse. I still love nature and I can balance a checkbook! J

What is something unusual you learned while researching and writing this book?

I’ve got to say the commercial mining operations of gold. Yet I really don’t mention much about it other than the constant pounding from the stamp mill.

What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Ultimately…enjoyment of their time spent between the pages with my characters.

Don’t we all? What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Take classes, learn the craft of writing, and never ever put out a book until it is properly vetted, edited, and ready for prime time! Too many think they've written a wonderful story and honestly many have written a wonderful story but crafting that story is a skill that is learned. Remember when I said I was on swim teams and diving teams. I knew how to swim before I was on those teams. I knew how to do a few dives from watching others do them. But until you've been coached and practiced for hours and weeks and months, you aren't ready to do it in competition. You think you are straight going into that water, but you aren't, and you will throw a rooster tail! It's the same thing with a book. Readers don't want rooster tails.

A great analogy. Tell us about your Kindle World novel with a blurb and an excerpt.

LOVING MATILDA Blurb:

Matilda “Matt” Berwyn, forced to live disguised as a boy in a mining town, longs to escape and blossom into the female she's always wanted to be. But her desire to leave Morgan's Crossing escalates when she realizes she's being stalked.

Stockyard hand Zeke Hillerman knows her secret and has fallen in love with her. He helps her flee to his parents’ home in the east to learn to be a lady, while he struggles to start his own ranch. As Matilda grapples with Victorian expectations of young women, Zeke’s plans for their future unravel, and he realizes that the cost of her ticket out of Morgan's Crossing may have been his own heart.



LOVING MATILDA Excerpt:

Zeke awaken and stretched. He had found the perfect spot for sleeping. Using his bedroll as a pillow, he’d slept through the night and well into the morning hours, leaving him feeling refreshed and ready for the ride to the Reiner stockyard. He scanned the water below and didn’t see Matt. Unfortunately, he couldn't wait forever. It was important that he return to the stockyard in a timely manner. But that didn't stop the disappointment that ran through him.
As he prepared to leave, movement caught his eye and he stopped long enough to realize it was Matt. She's not playing. She really is panning for gold!
He stood there mesmerized. Whatever she was finding wasn’t small. He left his horse and went back down the pass to get a better look. A spear whizzed through the air and landed near Matt.
Zeke instantly stiffened. His rifle was with his backpack, leaving him only with his knife. There was no time to think. He had to protect Matt. He took off in a full run, his boots barely touching the ground. A blood-curdling yell resonated across the peaceful landscape as an Indian ran towards Matt. He saw the Indian attack Matt.
Zeke dove for the young man slamming him into the creek bed. With his fist raised, Zeke looked into two dark orbs that instantly widened…
"Who is he?" Gray Fox asked.
Matilda sat in the creek after she dragged the man from the water and watched him. "Not sure. Think he's going to die?"
"As hard as you hit him with that rock, he might."


LOVING MATILDA Buy link: http://amzn.to/241E1cR


E. Ayers, Author

How can readers learn more about you and your other books?

Find E. Ayers here:
http://www.ayersbooks.com
http://ayersbooks.wordpress.com
http://AuthorsofMainStreet.wordpress.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/MtXen
Twitter: @ayersbooks



20 comments:

E. Ayers said...

Caroline, being part of this project has been a total joy, but I'm thrilled to have been able to work with you. The author world is indeed small and to be friends with someone I've admired for years... I feel so honored.

Rosemary Morris said...

My sincere thanks to E. Ayers for opening a fascinating window into her life both past and present. I really enjoyed the interview and consider her advice about writing invaluable.

michelezurloauthor said...

That drawing is incredible! It's great to have something you can do to relax and focus. Goodness knows how hard it is to focus sometimes!

Rose Anderson said...

A very nice interview. I didn't know you could draw too! Best luck on your newest. I hope it skyrockets for you. :)

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

What a gorgeous drawing. Having another one or more creative outlets besides writing can be a life saver. And I love the premise of Loving Matilda. Many sales for you. ;-)

Jill James said...

What a beautiful drawing. You are very multi-talented!!

E. Ayers said...

Thank you all for your kind comments about my drawing. And I hope everyone enjoys reading Loving Matilda as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Caroline Clemmons said...

I loved the book LOVING MATILDA. You did a wonderful job writing that story. Thank you also for your kind words about me. What an honor you paid me.

Barb Caffrey said...

Wonderful interview, E. Caroline, thanks for having E. at your blog...great drawing, and an interesting book! What's not to like?

Best of luck, E.

Joan Reeves said...

Enjoyed the interview! I knew you could draw, but I didn't know you surfed! I'm impressed!

Lori_Soard said...

Fantastic interview! I love all the detailed info. Will have to go grab a copy of this book now and add it to my TBR list.

E. Ayers said...

Thank you, Caroline. So far, those who I know who have read the story have enjoyed it. I'm crossing my fingers that everyone else does, too! I haven't read yours yet. It's up next.

E. Ayers said...

Oh, it's amazing the things we did as teens! Thanks for stopping, Joan. I wonder if I could even manage to stand on a board today.

Nice to meet you, Lori. Let me know what you think when you're done the book.

Waving hello to Barb. Thanks for the well wishes.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, E. and Caroline,

Excellent interview! Having just had an historic Western romance published by Five Star/Cengage, I'm very interested in reading other authors writing new novels in the same genre. Best wishes, E., on the success of your new novel.

Lou said...

Dear E, a fellow writer and horse-lover--I really enjoyed your interview! So nice to work with you in the Montana Sky Kindle World!

E. Ayers said...

Jacqueline, wishing you all the best with this new-to-you genre! I've learned to much about our west and about the people who lived during those years.

As a young child I can remember a teacher saying that it wasn't how much you knew but knowing that you needed to know it and how fast you can find the answer. Oh, does that apply today!

E. Ayers said...

Lou, it's been a blast working with everyone and getting to you and several of the other authors. I have all the books loaded into my Kindle and I'm reading every chance I get.

It's been a long time since I've been on a horse or a bicycle. LOL But I don't think we ever forget. Now I live in a small town and I'm limited as to the number of pets I'm allowed. I envy friends who keep horses and other large animals. Goats are so funny! But horses seem to know our hearts.

Carol said...

E., you're drawing is fantastic! I've seen one other drawing by you and knew you were talented. :) I enjoyed finding out more about you through the interview. I'm reading Loving Matilda and find it quite interesting. Good luck with your newest!

E. Ayers said...

Thank you, Carol, for all your kind words and for stopping by.

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