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Seeing my baby for the very first time…

For those of you who don’t know…the big box of books came yesterday.

MAJOR Squee moment.

The girls wanted to know…what’s in the box? Why is mommy jumping up and down?

Though I desperately wanted to show them, I told them we had to wait for daddy to get home. Then when he finally arrived, he really wanted to take a shower (he works construction, so we didn’t disagree — no matter how thrilled i was). We would wait. This was a family moment, and I wanted my family with me. A ritual I’ve envisioned since I was a little kid.

You know, a circle of love surrounding my labor of love. We’d wait. Really.

The girls had different ideas. They HAD to know what was in the box. It called to them. They conspired against my plans…and ran to the playroom. They found the little plastic knives from their tea party set. I figured, sure–why not. Plastic knives, nothing’s gonna come of that.

Well, I forgot to factor in the complete determination they had to get that thing open. They worked and sawed, and darn if they didn’t get the tape off. I was laughing so hard, I almost forgot to stop them before they tore into it.

They were dragging out the paper just as my hubby came downstairs. We all oohed at the cover. Held them, tested their weight. Flipped the pages. Then, DD#1 looks at me and says, “That’s IT??!”

Um. Go play outside.

I stroked the cover. Spied how my name looks on the spine. Enjoyed seeing the White Rose Publishing imprint logo along with it, more than I thought I would (YAY Niccola! RJ & Rhonda!)

AND for the first time in a long time, my hubby was speechless about my writing.  Sure, he’s supportive. He watches the kids while I do this thing that can’t be seen or touched. NOW he can touch it. See it. Hold it. He even took a copy to work to show off–to sell to his supervisor.

As for me, I’m still in shock. BUT, following those sage words of advice from my friend, Roxanne St. Claire — I’ll be working on the next one.

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All a Twitter

I’m an Anthropologist.

I’m a novelist.

I study people. I write about people. And now, facing the release of my first novel – and analyzing the beleaguered publishing industry – I’ve been analyzing the social networking platforms that we writers can use to promote our wares.

First of all – there’s the blog. No brainer. Here, I can show you (not tell you — wink) my writing style. My sense of humor. Where my interests fall. If yours match up, we’ve found each other. The music can play, and we can run across a field of flowers, spinning while the hills come alive with music. Or, at least, you can get a free read, a cheap fast, fun e-read, and news of the much awaited Novel… note to self! start the countdown clock! it’s almost May 1!! So, I have my “About Ashley Ludwig” Blog – current place of residence. I am also a regular blogger at www.mamawriters.com. This is where other ladies, like myself, who work, write, and raise kids, discuss our foibles and follies. The ups and downs. The ins and outs of the trade. On Wednesday, we highlight the authors who have “made it.” With publishing contracts or agents, or what have you. I drool over someday being a Wednesday MamaWriter.

Secondly – there’s FaceBook. I’ve friended many. I love FaceBook. Where else can you refriend someone you sat in front of in Journaling class in 4th grade? 🙂 Waves to Kym!

Third – there’s twitter. Now, Twitter is something that I have eyed much like the container in the back of the fridge that could be cookie dough, or could be meat loaf from two weeks ago. I’m happier thinking it’s cookie dough, and leaving it alone as testament to my new bent on health! but, it’s probably meatloaf. Still. I must determine the truth. It must be inspected. It must be dealt with. One cannot put off moldy meatloaf forever, however one wants to.

The point is this: The world is twittering. The news is twittering. The entertainment industry is twittering. And no one really knows why.

So, as an author – who could use some followers, and as an anthropologist, who is vastly interested in social behavior – I’ve taken two steps to twittering:

One, I am @QuickieReads. I read and review books in 140 characters or less. Is this fair? Well, as an author – I’d say, yes. I want to know how the review moved you. But ultimately, I want to know if you recommend it or not. SO, @QuickieReads will tell you this.

Two, I am @WireMamma. (See MamaWriters Blog above.) This is where I plan on twittering about the novel, about interviews, about my writing career in 140 characters or less.

The question becomes, who to follow and why? Should I follow Nathan Bransford, literary agent – because everyone else does? Should I follow fellow authors? Editors? Publishers? Publisher’s Weekly? The New York Times? As my list of following and followeds gets larger, this really gives me pause. Too much information ceases to be news and becomes noise. If everyone is tweeting, does anyone really pay attention? that said…if everyone is following each other around (mental picture of Verizon ads)…is anyone actually going anywhere? Are we all just stumbling around in circles, yammering into space?

Now, I realize I’m an inspriational author. But I have to give props to a blog I follow: Smart B*****S, Trashy Books. They are only following about 30 people. Their following is much larger – close to 3,000. But, these ladies are actually vetting their follows. In that small bit of information they receive, they are actually filtering out the noise to determine some sort of news. I’m fascinated with how they operate. Though the content is abrasive – ahem, that’s their point: They call them like they see them – their method is pure. I’m a fan. I love the irreverence. I respect the platform in the spirit it’s being given. And, (hangs head) I follow them on Twitter.

My goal over the next few weeks is to see how @QuickieReads and @WireMamma can work to deliver meaningful content to the twitter-sphere. I promise to strive to deliver meaningful news, and not random observations about cleaning out the fridge. Give me a follow… We’ll see where we go, and return to analyze the results one month from tomorrow…which, incidentally, is All or Nothing‘s release day.

Release Date!!

Hey, everyone!

I have a release date for All or Nothing! September, 25, 2009 — All or Nothing will be available in print and e-book format!

I’m too exhaustsed to be anything but relieved.

What’s next? Marketing! Back to finishing my current projects, and research on my next historical WIP. Last but not least–A vacation–hopefully more than one before summer gets here!

Thank you, everyone, for your enduring support. I’m so grateful for each and every one of you.

All the best,

Ashley

All or Nothing – Galleys are RELEASED!!

Good Morning, everyone!

It’s finally happened. All or Nothing has been released to my editor. At first, I was struck by abject terror. I knew receipt of the galley meant that the story, for all practical purposes was done. But that also meant one other thing. RuthAnne and Bowen’s journey is now set in stone. I’ve told their story, and now it’s time to share it with all of you.

So, prepare to catch a stagecoach, travel over the mountains and into the wilds of the Arizona territory, into a journey into the American West. Part mystery and adventure, part romance — this spring! All or Nothing’s release date is to follow.

Stay tuned to my blog for contests, prizes, and updates! I’m thrilled to have you all along for the ride.

If you haven’t had the opportunity… download my Free Read -Tessa Takes A Chance – from The Wild Rose Press. If you’d like to hear more of Tessa’s story, shoot me a comment!

All the best on this holiday weekend!

Ashley

Happy New Year! This year, it’s ALL OR NOTHING!

I must have still been celebrating the 12 days of Christmas. But, Happy New Year, everyone!

After taking a small break for the cold and rainy Southern California holidays, I’m back to writing full steam ahead. I’m giving serious attention to detail on the galleys for All or Nothing. It’s almost ready (hang in there, Elizabeth! 🙂 and mostly, it’s formality. My editor rocks, so there is nothing that as of yet has risen its evil head and proclaimed itself “deal-breaker!” I’m not expecting anything, but it is interesting the power of the mind, of night terrors, of wondering if your writing will be good enough when it is released to the world at large.

There’s power in print, you see. Not that e-books and pdfs don’t have just as much merit. I am a HUGE e-book fan – and self proclaimed super hero name is “Gadget Girl!”

Though I have yet to purchase a reader, (my laptop works just find in my opinion) and a net-book might be just what I need for an e-reader… if they get slim enough, and I can convince my husband that it’s worth it — with all the money I haven’t spent on e-readers and gadgets! But, that iphone is so cute, the Kindle is so cool, as I said… I love gadgets. So, I’m frugally scanning Craigslist for one to crop up.

At any rate – back to print. Print is permanent. I’ve been in the industry for 6 years – and I know, once the galleys are approved, that’s it! It’s done! warts and all, Professor Soren would say. Yes. At this point, I have to stop mothering the story. It’s a baby of a different sort, almost ready to be put on display for the world, to stand on its own merit. I know the characters, the setting, the plot twists, and jokes inside and out. And though I love it, it’s time to let it go.

This is even more profound a feeling than sending the synopsis to the Senior Editor at TWRP all those many months ago! So, hang with me, friends… a release date and many posts of shameless marketing are soon to follow.