Meet the Exquisite Quill Authors

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Author Interview: E. Ayers

EQ Welcomes E. Ayers!

EQ Welcomes E. Ayers!

EQ: Welcome to EQ! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

There’s an expression in computer programming that is What You See Is What You Get or WYSIWYG (pronounced wizzy-wig), and I think that pretty well describes me. I believe I’ve always been that way. I might have been born with a sliver spoon in my mouth, but it didn’t mean very much to me. I was who I was. I realize it gave me opportunities and sent me places that other people dream about, but it all came with a price tag. Very early, I learned that money didn’t protect you from certain things and that everyone has the same basic need to be loved.

When my Prince Charming came along, I didn’t think twice. I married him! My world flipped upside down. I went from wealth to ohmigod poverty! My mom had more grocery money for a week for her and my dad, than my husband made in a month. Way too proud to let on how terrible things were financially, I managed. I counted pennies and we survived. Thus began my married life. The lessons were hard, but I also learned that our love could get us through almost anything that life tossed at us.

Then a few years ago, my husband died. It was a shock and my life shattered. I hadn’t just lost my husband, I lost my best friend, my lover, and my rock. I was too old to start over, and too young to be a widow. I had to pick up whatever was left and continue. It was my writing that kept me going and it still is.

Having lived in almost two separate worlds, I knew plenty about each and I bring the realism of those worlds into my writing. I love giving my characters freedom to be themselves. I don’t try to impose my personal beliefs onto my characters. And they have surprised me by doing things that I would never ever do!

EQ: Tell us a little bit about your historical  release.

A Rancher’s Woman came from my writing a short story, A Christmas Far From Home, featured in the historical anthology Sweetwater Springs Christmas with Debra Holland and several other friends. I had this budding relationship between Malene and a Crow Indian named Many Feathers even though the story was about Adie and Frank. Many Feathers just wouldn’t let that story end. He poked and prodded me into writing his story. And, well, I fell in love with him. His desire for a better life for his people and his wish to prove he was worthy of Malene, created a challenge that I had to pursue.

The year was 1896 and life was difficult for most women. Change was in the air and women were gaining rights that they had never had, but many women were still trapped by customs. Men ruled. Women obeyed their fathers and their husbands. Divorce was almost unheard of and placed a stigma on the woman. Our American Indians were trapped on reservations and were slowly being starved to death. The prejudice against them is almost unfathomable, as they were looked upon as being subhuman dirty creatures.

Malene had posed as a chaperone to her younger sister as a way to flee from an abusive marriage. Then this Crow Indian who looks totally different from any man she’s ever seen, fascinates her, and he’s also been kinder to her than any man she’s ever known. And he’s just as interested in her, maybe more so. It’s his job to make sure the two women and Frank Coleman arrive safely at the Coleman ranch. Circumstances tossed them together and a tentative friendship formed.

It’s a western, set against the harsh realities of life at that time. It’s Malene’s story of finding her way and her own independence. And it’s Many Feather’s story as he discovers he’s caught between his proud heritage and the ways of the white man. But tucked between the pages are two hearts, and a society that is determined to keep them separated.

EQ: What kinds of female characters do you prefer to write?
I like writing about strong females. Yes, everyone says that so let me explain. I admire those women who are physically strong, but deep inside women have an innate mental strength about them. That’s the strength that I like in women. Even with today’s attitude that women can do anything, we fail to foster that inner strength. It’s there, lying dormant. Even the meekest, most shy, and timid woman has it. I like writing about the women who find that strength and learn to stand on their feet and then spread their wings and fly. Those are the women who are the most interesting, the ones we want to emulate, and the ones we admire.

EQ: What kinds of male characters do you prefer to write?
Good guys! I don’t write about bad boys. There’s a lot of truth in the saying you can smooth the coat of the tiger but you’ll never change his stripes. Men are not going to change! They are what they are. They might need to learn a few social graces or be taught which knife to use, but that personality is there to stay.

I also avoid the totally alpha males. In real life, we probably do need them, but I find that men who are a combination of alpha and beta qualities make the best husbands. I want a male who will protect his woman and children if necessary to his death, and can be totally ruthless when he must, but I want a man who can cuddle a newborn, knows how to at least sort laundry, and can carry on an intelligent conversation that goes beyond grunting or sports. He might avoid the ballet like the Black Plague, but he’d willingly buy two tickets so his woman can go with her sister to see it.

EQ: What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your writing?
Being totally realistic. The romance genre is filled with the fantasy of a hunky man sweeping a woman off of her feet and I don’t write it. I write about life! But with the happily-ever-after of a romance. I write stories that could happen, not Hollywood renditions. I don’t whitewash things.

People don’t always like what I write. We want to believe that the world is a nice place when it isn’t. We want to think that there is no prejudice even though it still exists. Children are molested, people get away with murder, money talks, and life can be brutal and extremely unfair. On the other hand, I have this total belief that people who belong together will work through what life tosses at them so that they can reach that happily ever after. Getting to that point isn’t a single battle, but often a series of things until they realize their lives can mesh together.

I don’t think anyone should ever give up a dream or a career to be married. That’s total nonsense, yet it is perpetuated in many romances today. Yes, it happens. We all know that Edward VIII gave up the throne to marry Wallis Simpson. If someone must give up what is important to him or her, it will cause resentment.

Marriage needs to be an equal union of two people who love and respect each other. And today, she might be the breadwinner and he’s the stay at home dad. It’s all about having choices, acknowledging, and appreciating one another.

Find E. Ayers at these places:
(Twitter) @ayersbooks
(Shared Blog)
(Amazon Author Page) e/B005AYJ0XE

Read these titles by E. Ayers:

Wanting (A River City novel)
A New Beginning (A River City novel)
A Challenge (A River City novel)
Forever (A River City novel)
A Son (A River City novel)
A Child's Heart (A River City novel)
Coming Out of Hiding (a novel)
A Rancher’s Woman (historical western novel)
With This Ring (novel)- NEW June 2014
I Thee Wed (novella) -NEW June 2014
A Fine Line (a novella) *
Mariners Cove (a novella)
Ask Me Again (a novella)
A Skeleton at Her Door (a novella)
A Snowy Christmas in Wyoming (a novella) *
A Cowboy's Kiss in Wyoming (a novella) *
A Love Song in Wyoming (a novella) *
A Calling in Wyoming (a novella) *
Sweetwater Springs Christmas (anthology) *

Coming soon:
Campaign (A River City novel)

* sweeter reads


Jane Leopold Quinn said...

I agree with you, E, that women are strong of mind but that we want a partnership with another person. Equal partnership. I liked Many Feathers. He had intelligence and sensitivity and totally deserved his own happily ever after.

Rose Anderson said...

Interesting biggest risk -- being realistic. Coming to that mind can be the hardest thing a writer can do. Loved the interview. :)

E. Ayers said...

Women are strong, even the most timid and shy ones have that ability. I think it comes with estrogen. That doesn't mean every female has to be giving orders, or taking charge. Anyone who has had a baby or watch one being born knows how strong a woman really can be.

E. Ayers said...

Thanks, Rose!
Being realistic is so far from the norm that it's a shock to read. But it's the only way I can write. I write life. Everyone has ups and down, or makes mistakes, and people are never perfect.

momofemmett said...

I've loved your writing so much for the last 2 years. Your characters are so easy to fall in love with. I don't know about anyone else, but I wish the books would never end! I especially LOVE the River City Novels. You get to know a lot of people who live there, each book contains something of the others in the books before them. It's amazing how you can keep them separate and remember who is who. But in reading them, you make it seem so easy. I'm looking forward to the next one...

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful interview. I love that you write real heros and heroines. :) Real life is much more interesting than writing about fantasy of the rich guy who sweeps you off your feet.

E. Ayers said...

If you knew how many times I have to stop and go find something from another book! Such as the spelling of Makowllen or what's the name of the neighborhood where Cassie bought the house or Jim's, from Riverlights, last name, and which book was that in? I so need a database!

E. Ayers said...

Real guys can be rich, too! But sometimes I think people want that sweep - the fantasy. But how many women do you know who can take a 2-hour lunch with their GF's in the middle of the work week? How many people are saying, "Don't answer the phone, it's work and they will want me to come in!" Now that's real life! :-)

Victoria Adams said...

Wonderful interview and post. Something to think about when writing my next book.

E. Ayers said...

Thanks for stopping, Victoria. I think every author has his or her own take on what they consider to be a romance story. I would never expect a fae, space, vamp, etc to be realistic or for the H/h to follow the norm. I think some books lend themselves to be total fantasy.