Where is the Love? How Writers are Forced to Cheat

Glorious-Sunset-front-final[1]I’m Ava Bleu, author of contemporary and edgy inspirational romance, and I just want to know why things have to be so hard for writers?

If you are a lover of romance novels you have probably heard more than one author explain that they still have their day job because it is terribly hard to earn a living income as a romance novelist.  And the fact remains that writers write because they must.  Day job or not, a writer is compelled to write. Alcoholics have their wine.  Food addicts have cake.  Writers have writing.  Okay, some of us also have wine and cake too, but that’s beside the point!

Writers need to live — pay mortgages, put our kids through puppy kindergarten, get our hair done — and these things cost money so we must work second jobs.  Yes, the nine-to-five is the second job despite the fact that it is usually the only job bringing an income.  The nine-to-five is not the job we love; it is the one that makes the job we love possible.

It’s much easier to understand when I put it in my own, personal romance novel terms:  My nine-to-five is the husband I have fallen out of love with but must stay with because of the needs of the children (and by children I mean food, shelter, puppy kindergarten, and those hair appointments).  The writing?  Clearly, Lady Bleu’s scandalous lover.  He’s gorgeous, he’s addictive, he’s a delicious, devilish rake. Sometimes he’s bad but he’s always good, if you know what I mean ;-).

I’m no harlot. I want to love my husband, but he doesn’t have my heart. The best possible solution would be if my scandalous lover could afford to keep me in the lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed. Instead of buying him dinner and sustenance (paper, toner cartridges, time), maybe he could afford to feed me for a change.  Instead of paying to dress him up all pretty with a website and postcards and a fancy new logo, maybe he could afford to get me something nice like an electric stapler or a tank of gas or, I don’t know … a shiny new savings account.  An actual real vacation would look fabulous on me and would go a long way towards keeping my respect.  I mean, you’d think he’d get tired of being a “kept” career and have the dignity to contribute a little more.  Just sayin’…

But who am I kidding?  Despite all he costs me, I would pay anything to keep writing.  The joy it brings is priceless.  So I will bite my tongue and pretend to love my day job for as long as it takes.  And someday – one glorious day – my lover will find his financial legs and we will sail off into the great beyond leaving only a dear John resignation letter to end the nine-to-five commitment I once held so dear.

Yes, it seems cold.  Yes, it’s reckless and scandalous and wicked.  But let’s face it … the heart wants what it wants.

And when it’s all said and done, doesn’t everyone want just a little wicked?


Ava Bleu lives and loves in the Midwest, countering bitter winters with smooth jazz and tasty edibles. She can be found in bookstores and the public library camped next to the cookbooks and/or on the town keeping an eye out for hero-material.

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Ava’s latest novel, Glorious Sunset (Blurb):

African King Taka Olufemi has traveled over four hundred years to find the woman who holds the soul of his murdered queen and he’s a little cranky.  With a ruby brooch as his vessel, the former king is forced to grant wishes to ungrateful mortals hoping to one day find, and win, the heart of his lost love.

But it will take more than good looks, superior intelligence and an impressive pedigree to earn the love of Violet Jackson.  The ambitious interior designer doesn’t remember Taka or their history.  Love—with its inevitable heartbreak chaser—has no place in Violet’s immediate life plan.  All the handsome “genie” can do for her is pony up on the three wishes he’s promised and try not to be a pain while he’s at it.

While the arrogant king is praying for his submissive queen and the faithless object of his affection isn’t praying at all, guardian angel, Aniweto, is praying for them both.  With Ani’s help, Taka and Violet’s epic love will be rekindled and this royal couple-behaving-badly will finally earn their happily-ever-after through the grace of the Almighty.

Buy: Glorious Sunset (Urban Books)

We All Have Our Weaknesses…

by Ava Bleu, guest blogger

When people find out I’m a writer (I love saying that! :)), the first thing they tell me is that they could never come up with anything interesting enough to write about. I tell them they surely could. They listen and nod politely but I can see the shutter closing behind their eyes because they have determined I’m b.s.-ing them. Nothing kills admiration quicker than condescension.

I really don’t mean to condescend. There is no writer gene that causes of wealth of ideas to sprout like water from a water hose. It really is all about being open to ideas that everyday life offers us. Truth is, all writers aren’t great story tellers. I have to work at it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a good writer, but I’ve had to learn how to tell a story and I’m still learning every time I hit the keyboard.

But I can see where they’re coming from when I look at it from another perspective.

I have family members who are natural-born verbal storytellers; you know, people who can tell a story so well it gives you shivers? Folks who leave you wide-eyed at the relay of what happened at last week’s missed family dinner or make you feel like you were there when so-and-so let Tom, Dick or Harry have it? People so gifted they could do a stand-up routine at the Apollo with little-to-no preparation and still have everyone in stitches? I am so jealous of these relatives I could spit.

I can’t tell a joke without messing it up. My characters are often very witty but my readers don’t know that creating these incredibly quick-witted, colorful characters is a lot of blood, sweat and tears on my part. Writing casual conversation is a bear.

My relatives, on the other hand, think the value is in the printed word. They think I’m hot stuff. So when they defer to me—the writer—to tell a joke or prod me to “just go ahead and tell the story…” as if I could ever present it the way they do… well… I get a little miffed at the way they condescend.

I guess we all have our cross to bear…

Ava Bleu


The Diva of Peddler’s Creek

African American romance novelist Taylor Beir will stop at nothing to get her mother off her back, including relocating to teach a little boy she’s never met how to read. But Christopher Doubleday doesn’t want to learn. Handsome older brother, Boyd, has an invisible stick up his backside. And she suspects sweet Mary and Jesse are trying transform her into the mythical “good girl” she’s never been; either by power of suggestion or bribing her with endless goodies from Mary’s kitchen.

Taylor may be down—and stuffed—but she’s not out. Someday the townspeople of Peddler’s Creek, West Virginia will realize their hostility is misplaced and recognize her for the gentle, misunderstood soul she really is. And they will admit that Taylor Beir truly is the best thing to ever happen to their tiny, dirt road, middle-of-nowhere, backwater town of Peddler’s Creek, West Virginia … if they know what’s good for them.

The Diva of Peddler’s Creek is scheduled for release October, 2010 from The Wild Rose Press.


He pretended not to notice…

…Taylor’s quick blink of surprise and then her sudden clutch onto the horse as she realized she was high in the air with no one to steady her.

“What the hell…?” she said, grabbing the saddle.

“Take the reins,” Boyd said from beside her, thrusting the leather into her hands without meeting her eyes. He couldn’t, or she would surely see the desire he was trying so hard to hide. The last damn thing he needed was Taylor getting wind that he found her attractive—any more than she already knew.

She took the reins quickly, annoyance making her movements jerky.

“Take it easy!” he barked, allowing his frustration to masquerade as anger and his desire to transfer into bluster. “I hope you realize you lost the wager.”

“What? No way.”

“I put you on the horse.”

“You didn’t have the patience to allow me to do it myself.”

“You couldn’t do it yourself.”

“I could have, you didn’t want me to.”

“You didn’t,” he said with finality, turning away. He could feel the heat of her anger from where he stood, but only had a split second to enjoy it when…

“You are such a son of a…” She paired the last word with an angry kick. More of

a jerk, really. But it didn’t matter whether it was a kick or a jerk, because a millisecond later the horse beneath her kicked up its front feet, taking Taylor high into the air.

Boyd watched in horror as Flame reared slightly, causing Taylor’s eyes to go wide with surprise, and a screech to erupt from her throat before his prize steed took off and she disappeared like a blur before him…

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