By Ashley Ladd (Guest Blogger)
Have you ever found out that one of your favorite authors uses a pseudonym? Have you ever wondered why an author might choose to do so?
I’ll come forward. I’m one of them. “Ashley Ladd” is my pseudonym for my erotic romance novels.
I, like many other authors I’m sure, have several good reasons for using one.
First, my mother’s family is very straight-laced and religious. I couldn’t envision telling my very sweet aunt or my very prim and proper uncle that I write graphically explicit male-male-male love scenes. As it turns out, one of my children is now transgender female, and when I admitted that to them, they couldn’t, wouldn’t accept her.
Secondly, I work for a religious ministry full-time. I have a suspicion that my employers wouldn’t look favorably upon my extra-curricular activities. I might very well end up unemployed if they were to learn about my erotic romance novels. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to retire and write full time. Not yet anyway.
Unfortunately, one of my coworkers discovered my alter ego. One day we were friends and the next she unfriended me on Facebook and ran away from me at lunch. When I got up the nerve to ask why she’d unfriended me, she admitted she was disappointed in me. She’d found out I wrote erotic romance.
Additionally, I don’t want my activities to adversely affect my family. The mother of my son’s best friend stopped allowing her child to play with mine because my husband had made and displayed a ceramic dragon. She was very religious and thought we’d joined a satanic cult because of a silly figurine. I can only imagine that she’d look even less favorably upon what I write.
I’m sure other authors have other good reasons to hide their identity as well. I’d love to hear them.
Deciding to use a pseudonym was only the first step in the process. Next I had to choose a pen
I was watching a Cheryl Ladd movie during the decision-making process, thus it was one of many last names on the list of possibilities. Next, I wanted to choose a first name that was popular with the twenty-forty year old crowd. After that I made a long list of possible combinations and asked my critique group which one they liked. Ashley Ladd won the vote.
However, I wasn’t done there. I didn’t want to use another author’s or famous person’s name, or even a name I found on the Internet. Then I googled the name. At that time, no one else named Ashley Ladd came up on a Google search. So I adopted the name. When I googled Ashley Ladd to find mentions of my recently released romance novel Cooking Up A Storm, however, I found at least five other people named Ashley Ladd. Worse, a few years ago I received an email from another Ashley Ladd accusing me of stealing her name. By then, I had several books published as Ashley Ladd, and hopefully a following.
I don’t know if it’s possible to choose a unique name. I work with a large data base at my day job and very often see two or more people with the same “unusual” name. Most of the time when I speak to someone like that they presume they are the only person on Earth with that name, so I know it’s not a family member.
Should I have made up a really unusual name like Swanzetta to use for my pseudonym? It probably wouldn’t have helped. I’ve seen this name for a real person.
For better or worse, I am Ashley Ladd. To date, Ashley’s name is on seventy plus books, the most recent being a contemporary male-male erotic romance Business or Pleasure just made available today (July 25) for download at Totally Bound. It will be available on Amazon, ARe, and other booksellers as of August 22.
Guy Rogers is extremely attracted to his new realtor, Tom Beaudreaux. As a passionate vegetarian and animal activist, he’s ecstatic that Tom is a kindred soul. He could never be with a carnivore. Unfortunately, Tommy isn’t really a vegetarian or animal activist. He never said he was either, he just didn’t eat meat when he was with Guy. And maybe he emptied his house of all meat and dairy products before inviting Guy over. In fact, Tommy’s family owns the most popular barbecue restaurant in town and if his family has their way, he’ll manage the new location.
When Guy finds out that Tommy eats meat and his family owns a restaurant that is a monument to eating meat, he’s livid and doesn’t know if he wants anything else to do with Tommy.
But then Guy’s life gets crazy –his dad’s paranoia blossoms into violent dementia, he gets arrested for picketing a doggy mill, and then he winds up in even more legal trouble. When Tommy sticks by him through all his trouble and does everything he can to help him, Guy wonders if he’s been too militant and narrow-minded. Perhaps he can learn to live with people who have opposite views.
Tommy looked at him and mouthed, “Shit! You don’t think…?”
“I hope not. I don’t know.” Guy pressed the gas pedal to the floor and the car shot forward, fish-tailing.
Tommy fisted the door, hanging on tight. “I hope we’re wrong.”
Guy’s intuition told him he wasn’t. His knuckles turned white they held the steering wheel so tightly. Unafraid for himself but scared for his dad, he pulled into his driveway and jumped out of the car, with Tommy close on his heels.
The woman next door ran outside screaming, tearing out her already tattered hair. She pointed at her front door. “Your father’s shooting up my house and is holding a gun at my dad’s head. He’s going to kill him. You’ve got to do something.”
Tommy yelled as he began dialing on his phone, “I’m calling the police.” As if on cue, police sirens blared in the distance and grew louder by the second.
“I’m going in. I have to stop him.”
“Wait for the police. Don’t put yourself in danger,” Tommy ordered forcefully.
“I have to take the chance. He could kill someone before the police get here. I can’t let that happen.” He put himself in harm’s way for animals, so certainly he could risk his life for his own father and other fellow human beings. He had no choice. It would be his fault if someone got hurt.
So he ran through the open door flailing his arms, hoping he would be in time. “Dad! It’s Guy. Don’t do anything. I’m here. You’ll be okay.”
“He’ll be okay? What about me? He’s got a shotgun pointed at my head threatening to blow it off,” the elderly neighbor cried.
Publisher’s website: https://www.totallybound.com/business-or-pleasure
Contest! Leave me a comment with your email, telling me what you think about Guy and Tom. I'll give a $10 bookstore gift certificate to one of you!
Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, animals (especially cats), and playing on the computer.
She's been told she has a wicked sense of humour and often incorporates humour and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.
You can find Ashley at: