About Asher Ames:
Former copywriter and creative director Asher Ames went from writing sexy advertising copy to spinning taboo tales of forbidden lust — and ended up one of Amazon’s best-selling self-published erotica authors. Even after releasing more than 50 titles, Asher has yet to satisfy an urge to write about off-limits relationships and temptation close to home. Too Taboo is Asher’s latest bundle, crammed with 10 stories about hedonistic characters who know no boundaries.
What inspires you to write?
Locations and activities inspire most of my work. I usually start with either a place or a task, and then figure out how it might lead people to have different kinds of kinky sex.
Tell us about your writing process.
Once I know the setting or activity I want to explore, I write out the 10-15 major beats for a short story or novella. I usually do this initial discovery somewhere that is not my office, with a pen and paper. My creativity seems to flow better when I’m not in front of the computer staring at a blank page and blinking cursor.
I keep these outlines tight and light. One sentence per beat. I tried heavy outlining and my characters always ended up deviating from plan, so now I just keep it simple and save time.
Once I have that rough outline, I head back to the office and write my first draft in MS Word using the Pomodoro technique. The short explanation of this method is that I come up with 3-5 things that will happen next in the story and set a timer. Once the timer starts, I write straight through for 25 minutes. No stopping for typos, grammar, research, or editing. I just write.
When the timer goes off, I take a 5-minute break. Then I do it all over again. Rinse. Repeat. 3 hours in the morning. 4 hours in the afternoon. I’ll sustain an average pace of 1,400 words per hour, about 30 pages per day.
By forcing myself to just write, my first draft acts as a super-detailed outline. After that, I go back in and do a strong second draft edit, adding more details, plugging any plot holes, writing new scenes, doing any research I glossed over while sprinting, refining character traits, etc.
The final draft is a quick polish for any remaining grammar and typos.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I wouldn’t say my characters talk to me. I’m like a reporter, chronicling their debauched antics and recording their depraved states of mind, without them knowing I’m there. They do tend to take the story where they want to, once they come alive within the rough framework of the beat sheet. In that sense, they ‘tell’ me where they want to go.
What advice would you give other writers?
This will come off as super opinionated, but here are my 2 cents:
1. Write. You’re not a writer if you don’t write. Talking about writing is not writing. Coming up with ideas for stories is not writing. Making plans to write in the future is not writing. Outlining and character studies and research seem like writing but are not really writing. Writing a terrible first draft in an attempt to tell a story with characters that fall flat is writing. So write! Write a garbage story and stew in the stank. Then rewrite it. Then write something else. Then keep writing.
2. Don’t confuse writing with editing. It will bog you down if you edit while on your first draft. Let yourself suck. You can polish later once you see the whole story and know your characters.
3. If you want to accomplish anything, treat writing like a job. Stick to a schedule and set goals. Keep an eye on the competition and market. Track your words per hour and total time spent on each story.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Back before I became a copywriter, self-publishing was a dirty word. It cost a lot to print books, and you had to print them in huge batches. You also had to distribute or sell them yourself.
I gave up writing fiction for about a decade because I didn’t want to self-publish and I didn’t enjoy playing games with the gatekeepers of traditional publishing, like agents and publishers.
When I returned to writing fiction, everything had changed thanks to the ebook revolution, on-demand printing, and Kindle Direct Publishing.
For me, it now makes more sense to self-publish. As a former creative director and copywriter, I have the skills needed to do almost anything a traditional publisher can do — marketing, book covers, advertising, outsourcing, project management, etc. And I do it at a much lower cost, with greater agility and control.
For that little bit of extra work, I and other self-published authors enjoy a much higher royalty rate and a greater return on investment.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
More people will read books on their phones and other digital devices. This will accelerate the growth of self-publishing, especially if traditional publishers don’t rethink their business model.
What genres do you write?: Erotica
What formats are your books in?: eBook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.