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. Asher’s latest is _Too Taboo_, a hefty bundle of 10 stories overflowing with hedonistic characters who know no boundaries.
What inspires you to write?
Locations inspire me the most, from the exotic to the commonplace. I’ve always found myself thinking about the different kinds of kinky sex people might have in certain places. Now, I write those fantasies down.
Everyday activities also inspire my writing. I find it fun to take a normal task that many people might do and figure out a way to make it erotic.
Tell us about your writing process.
I start by grabbing a pen and paper and sitting somewhere that is not my office. I want to be in a different space, both physical and mental, while I write out the 10-15 major beats of a short story or novella. Creativity seems to flow better that way.
I keep my 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.
Once I have that rough outline, I head back to the office and write my first draft all the way through in 25-minute sprints using MS Word.
What’s a sprint? I come up with the next 3-5 things that will happen 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.
This method allows me to sustain an average pace of 1,400 words per hour. That works out to about 30 pages per day. Way more than when I did detailed outlines. And way better quality, too, because I am in a flow state the whole time.
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?
My characters take the story where they want once they come alive within the rough framework of the beats, but I wouldn’t say they talk to me. I’m an outside observer chronicling their debauched antics and recording their depraved states of mind.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite books of all time are _The Silo Series_ by Hugh Howey, _The Martian_ by Andy Weir, _The Count of Monte Cristo_ by Alexandre Dumas, _Desolation Angels_ by Jack Kerouac, _A Moveable Feast_ by Ernest Hemingway, and the _A Song of Ice and Fire_ series by George R. R. Martin.
In addition to those authors, I also read a lot of Cheri Verset, Selena Kitt, Michael Crichton, Lee Child, Stephen King, and Isaac Asimov.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
It made more sense to self-publish. Trying to fight my way through the gatekeepers of traditional publishing and then paying them a premium for that honor did not appeal to me.
As a former creative director and copywriter, I had the skills needed to do almost anything a traditional publisher could do — at a much lower cost, with greater agility, and with more control. For that little bit of extra work, I enjoy a much higher royalty rate.
And I have a real stake in the success of any project. I’m highly motivated to write great stories, design sexy covers, and have my books found and read.
Because if I don’t, I don’t eat.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Self-publishing will continue to grow its market share as more people turn to reading on their phones and other digital devices. If traditional publishers don’t rethink their business model, their profits will continue to shrink.
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.