Interview with Ayla Ruse
I love romance in any form and have all my life. I’ve always written—from the indulgent teen-age poetry to the scandalous, anonymous notes to my secret crush, but it wasn’t until I’d been married with kids that I finally took the scary plunge and submitted my work for publication. Now that I’m here, I can’t imagine doing anything else!
I love to hear from and chat with just about anyone, and I can be contacted in any of the following ways:
When or what made you decide to become an author?
I’ve always wanted to be an author. My grandfather wrote and his storytelling influenced me greatly.
How do you get an idea for your novel?
For Five Courses, it was by watching the Food Network Channel and other cooking shows. Some chefs are sexy as hell, and it aroused my imagination to put a couple chefs—who are naturally dominating anyway—against a woman who tests their rules.
What is the inspiration you use?
If you look up “hot chefs,” or something similar, you’ll get pages of inspiration.
What is your writing style? Do you just sit down and write or do you create character sketches, outlines, or notes?
I don’t use outlines or notes, but I have to ponder the story for a few days and work out what I want first. Then I’ll sit down and just write.
Who is the “Writing Muse” in your life? I.E. who gets your juices flowing when you are blocked?
Unfortunately, no one in particular. If I become blocked, I tend to shuck the writing and read a few days. Reading authors I love will tend to get me back on the wagon.
Walk me though the way you create a novel from conception to completion.
Oh, boy. Okay. First I think on it. Then I start writing. As I write, I don’t edit much, I just let it flow. I don’t write in chapters, either. I write in scenes. Keeping the end in mind, I write to that end. When I’m done, I’ll start at page one and work out the kinks at that point. It’s not unusual for me to completely rewrite scenes when I do this. I have a friend who laughs at how much extra work I put into doing it this way, and she’s right, but this method works for me.
How many novels have you written including all work in progresses you are currently working on?
I write mostly novellas at this point, but in total I have (or will shortly have including wip’s) 19.
Who is your “writing idol”? I.E. Who do you like and what is it about their writing that captures your soul?
There’s no one person or author I can excitedly point a finger to, but it seems I become most soothed and inspired when I read historical romances. I think, because this was my intro into romance, it’s like that comfy blanket you can’t let go.
What is your current work in progress and how did get the idea for the Work?
I’m about to start an erotic pirate romance. I’ve always wanted to write a pirate tale, so I’m glad I’m finally making the time to write one.
Describe the major conflict between the hero and heroine in your novel?
In Five Courses, the major conflict is when Melissa breaks the kitchen rules of chefs Trent and Mike. Her scandalous betrayal lead the men to discipline her in very erotic ways.
Is there any advice you can offer to anyone who would like to write?
Just this: Write. No matter what, no matter when, no matter where. I wasted a lot of time in my single life thinking petty things like I don’t have the right computer or the right space or enough free time because this club is calling my name. Well, I’m doing it now with three kids, a husband, and taking care of my parents. And pets. And homeschooling. My desk is atrocious, my computer is old, and free time is a fantasy. But I love it! So would-be-writers out there—No Excuses!!
Where are the bodies buried? IE Is there any old work in progresses you threw aside and decided not to complete and why?
Hahaha! I love that. Um, yes. I do have a few tucked away. Some complete and some not. The bones are pretty good on these old tries, so I keep them around with the hope that one day I’ll resurrect them with better polish.
What is a good villain?
A sexy one is a villain not because s/he gets off on evil for evil’s sake, but because they’ve been forced into villainy with the hope of redemption. But then, that kind of defeats the purpose of villainy, doesn’t it. If that’s the case, there is no “good” villain. If, on the other hand, you mean good as in bad, then it would be a person who has no conscious whatsoever.
Are there any last comments you may want to include?
Thank you, I’ve had a great time!
Below is a snippet from Five Courses.
Paying the price for breaking the rules has never been so delicious.
Trent and Mike rule their kitchen like they do their subs—with firm command and guiding strokes. Only they haven’t enjoyed a sub in months, not since Melissa moved in with them. She’s getting over a broken heart and seems so fragile that they don’t want to scare her away.
When the men come home from their club early one night, they catch her breaking just about every rule they have in their kitchen. Now the gloves are off.
Melissa, trembling under their gaze, is given ten seconds to decide her fate—she can walk away and lose any hope of growing her relationship with these men, or she can stay and submit to their creative punishment for her misdeeds…
Mike sank onto the couch with an audible sigh.
“Nothing catching your eye tonight, either?” Trent asked.
Mike turned his head and studied his best friend and business partner. He didn’t answer. He didn’t have to.
They both suffered from the same problem. Wanting a woman they couldn’t have.
The music pumped loud through their favorite club, the lights dim except for the stations. Mike crossed his arms over his chest and watched one sub being spanked, another being flogged and still another kneeling before her Dom.
“This sucks,” Trent commented without heat. “I’ve never had it this bad for a woman. I look around and all I see is Melissa.”
Mike nodded his head in agreement. “I don’t know whether to thank you or punch you for talking me into having her rent the middle loft.”
“I didn’t have to talk you into shit, Mike. She had nowhere to go. You would have offered her the loft by the end of that night if I hadn’t mentioned it first.”
Mike grunted at the truth in Trent’s words. That impulsive decision to give temporary aid to a woman in need had led to their four-story building being infused with the sights, sounds and scents of a woman they couldn’t touch. Amend that—wouldn’t touch. In the months she’d been living with them, she’d shown herself to be trustworthy, fun, spontaneous, dependable and of course, sexy as hell. Even when she raided the industrial-size refrigerator in the middle of the night sporting that ratty-ass robe of hers that covered every inch of skin, all he wanted to do was strip it off and feast on her delectable body.
Mike set his hands on his thighs. He liked control. Savored it. Commanded it. But the constant thoughts of the woman out of their reach made him antsy, which irritated him to no end.
Trent interrupted Mike’s thoughts. “She seemed happy to see us go tonight. Makes me wonder what she’s up to?”
Mike sat back. “Shit, Trent, we have it bad. As far as Melissa, she’s no doubt fast asleep.”
“I wonder if she ever dreams of us?”
Mike laughed. “Okay, I think you have it worse than me. When has she ever given any indication that she’s attracted to us? Not only that, she seems too vanilla. Remember the asshole she was engaged to? That was the kind of man who wants a quick fuck on Wednesday night from the wife, but gets nasty with any hooker he can find on the weekends.”
Trent scrubbed his face, calling Mike’s attention to him once more. “Fuck, Mike. This isn’t working tonight. I know it’s early, but I’m ready to head home.”
Mike agreed and followed Trent outside. The cool air felt good as they made their way to the car.
“There’s the Crewson job coming up next week,” Mike commented, forcing his mind away from Melissa.
“When we get home, I think I’ll work on those new crêpes.”
“Sounds good. I’ll probably whip up a batch of gelato. It’ll take my mind off Melissa.”
Mike chuckled. “Do you think she knows?”
“What? That we’re Doms?”
“Yeah. She’s submissive through and through, yet she sees us as nothing more than a couple of roommates.”
“I know. But then we’ve never put her in a position to force her submissive side, have we?”
Mike shook his head. “No.” He tapped his foot and looked up to Trent, adding, “It’d be sweet, wouldn’t it?”
They shared a smile before they climbed into the car to make the long drive back to their building.
Tuck it away, Mike, he told himself, almost like a mantra, preparing to go home to a woman they couldn’t touch.
You can pick up Five Courses at:
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