Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hi! I’m Aidee Ladnier and although I’ve been writing since I was a preteen, I’ve only been publishing romance for the last six years. I saw a call for submissions online and I’d been listening to a podcast where the host, Kevin Allison, ends each show by saying “Today’s the day. Take a risk.” So I wrote a story and submitted it. I took a risk. And the publisher liked the story and published it. And I haven’t looked back. My writing career is due in part to comedian Kevin Allison.
How do you make time to write?
This is a difficult question! I write on the weekends, of course. But during the week I have a demanding day job. So my writing is confined to early mornings before work and on my lunch hour. I sometimes write in the evenings if my DH has something he’s also working on. Otherwise, he gets that time. 🙂 And as you can imagine, prioritizing so little time to write means I only produce one novel a year—but I’m not in a race so it suits me fine.
What genre are your books?
To date, I’ve published paranormal, science fiction, holiday, and mystery. But I have a steampunk novel and a young adult that I’m also working on. I can’t seem to stick to just one genre. LOL! But all of them have love at their core.
What draws you to this genre?
The paranormal shifter genre is well-established and one I never thought I’d be writing in. I’m not that fond of either the alpha male or fated mate tropes. But I started thinking about werewolves and how they might be perceived in our world—as if they had a rare medical condition. My wolf wouldn’t be an alpha or even part of a pack, and he certainly wouldn’t have a fated mate. But he would be awkward and adorkable and lonely. I knew the minute I saw him in my head that I had to write about him.
What are your current projects?
As I mentioned above, I’ve got a paranormal young adult novel I’m working on. In it, two young women discover that it takes two people to lay a ghost. I’m also working on a steampunk novel that intersects the Spiritualist Movement of the 1900s with the delay of Westward Expansion. It’s got strange inventions, a technology cult, and a plot against the government to thwart.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Definitely an introvert, but I try not to let it keep me from experiencing the world. I believe that adventure lies behind every corner, but if you don’t answer that call to adventure, you end up sitting at home a lot. Which is pretty boring. I love meeting people and doing new things but I also have to take a little time for myself every so often.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Oooooo! That’s a good question. Usually, it’s television, the internet, online games, and good books. I always give them priority over my writing. I’ve been obsessed with the Great British Baking Show lately. And the Sims. Why oh why are they so much fun?
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
The best advice is to sit your butt in a chair and write. You can never finish anything if you don’t actually write. The second best piece of advice is to read. Read as much as you can in every genre you’re interested in writing. Read genres that you’re not interested in writing. If you like a book, start analyzing why you like it. Is it the characters, or the way the writer describes the setting, or maybe the plot twist at the end? If you’re not a reader, you’ll never be a writer.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
I have a website and blog at https://www.aideeladnier.com. I write about my books, publish short fiction there, and post all my coloring pages there. I love adult coloring pages, so I have one for every book I’ve written. I also lurk on Tumblr (http://aideemoi.tumblr.com/) because it makes me laugh. I post a bit on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/aideelad), too. But Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/aideelad/) is where my horrible sense of humor comes out the most. I find the most bizarre things to take pictures of.
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
I’d love to!! Here’s a scene after the “meet cute” where Tom and Frank are getting ready to have dinner with Tom’s family:
Tom rinsed the arugula, shaking off the water over the sink. “I couldn’t find candied walnuts, so I bought pecans instead.”
“The thweet oneth?” His niece Marcie jumped up and down, trying to see what he was doing. Her lisp was a new development caused by a couple of missing front teeth.
“Yep, the sweet ones, sweet pea.” Tom held one up for her inspection. Marcie smiled back, all but two of her teeth showing, and then took off out of the room.
“I had to drive to Waynesboro to get the gorgonzola, but it will totally be worth it.”
Annie stopped whisking her salad dressing and fixed Tom with a funny stare. “Hey, I hope you don’t mind, but I invited my store manager to dinner tonight.”
Tom shook the greens again but glanced back at his sister. “Sure. Why would I mind?”
“Well, he might be gay.”
Tom set the colander down beside the sink and turned around to face her. He leaned back against the counter and crossed his arms. “Might? Might, as in, you’d like to play matchmaker?”
Annie stirred the vinaigrette again. “Maybeee?”
“Uh-huh.” Tom grabbed the greens and tossed them into the waiting bowl. “I thought we were going to discuss what show to put on in your performance space.”
“Oh, we are.” Annie tipped her vinaigrette onto the waiting arugula. “He’s a creative guy, and he’ll have some good ideas. You’ll like him.”
As if on cue, the doorbell rang. Marcie’s footsteps thundered down the hall.
“Don’t forget to look out the glass first,” Annie called out to her. “You don’t open the door to strangers, remember?”
“Hey, kiddo.” The deep voice wasn’t strange at all.
Tom grabbed a rag to wipe off his hands and ambled into the hallway.
There was the buff guy from his apartment, Frank, clothed this time, in dark jeans so stiff and pressed they could have been dry-cleaned. His biceps bulged out of a short-sleeved brown shirt that brought out the auburn highlights in his hair and made his eyes appear almost golden. Frank’s cheeks reddened just enough to spread across the bridge of his nose, making him utterly adorkable. And gay. Tom so wanted to tap that. All those lascivious thoughts he’d tried to bury about Frank’s lickable frame were now roaring back to the forefront of his mind. And his pants.
“Hey, neighbor.” Tom transferred the towel to his other hand and held his right out to Frank.
“Neighbor? I didn’t realize you two knew each other.” Annie had followed Tom out of the kitchen. Her eyebrows rose in faux innocence. “So glad to see you, Frank.” She pecked him on the cheek as she closed the door behind him.
“I’m sure you didn’t, Sis. Especially since you were the one that told me Mrs. Anderson had a vacancy.” Tom booped her on the nose to let her know she wasn’t fooling anyone.
“Fwank, come and thee my new printheth pony!” Marcie hauled on Frank’s hand, her little sock feet sliding as she lost traction on the parquet floor.
“Hey, Frank.” Annie’s husband, John, swooped in to grab his six-year-old around the middle, hefting her up in a tickle hold. “Let’s get you washed up for dinner, young lady.” Marcie’s squeals and giggles echoed down the hall as John carried his daughter to the bathroom.
Annie gestured at the kitchen with a thumb that made her look like she was hitchhiking her way back to dinner. “I’ll go finish cooking.” Her sly grin hitched up the corner of her mouth. “Tom, could you entertain our guest for me?”
Tom smirked as his sister scooted past. He waited until she disappeared around the corner before zeroing in on Frank again. Frank stood frozen in the hallway next to him.
“So, clothes.” Tom did a visual sweep of Frank from head to toe, not missing the fidgeting fingers or the crooked eyetooth that bit into the pad of Frank’s lip.
Frank’s cheeks went strawberry red, and he ducked away from Tom’s gaze. “I usually wear clothes.”
“That is a shame.” Tom laughed as Frank’s ears turned red too. “You’ve got to tell me—what were you really doing in the bushes?” Because no way could somebody this well put together be that stupid. Annie had nothing but good things to say about her “store manager,” so Frank couldn’t be the guy brainless enough to fall out of an open second-story window.
Frank studied his shoes before peeping up, shamefaced. “Running naked in the woods?”
Tom almost laughed out loud at the absurd, obviously untrue answer. And then he sobered up as the image took shape in his mind of Frank’s gorgeous frame, free and unbound, dashing through the forest. That would be a sight to behold. And Tom would pay premium for a front-row ticket.
But he realized that whatever Frank had been doing, it had embarrassed the man, or he wouldn’t keep evading. Tom should just drop it, but Frank was so fun to tease.
“Is that what they’re calling it nowadays…?” Tom strode back toward the kitchen. “Wanna help set the table?”
Frank hesitated a moment in the entryway and then followed him.
Annie had already set out the stacks of plates and silverware. Tom handed the plates to Frank with a bow, their fingers brushing. The heat of that small touch sent a frisson of excitement down Tom’s spine. He met the golden brown of Frank’s eyes, seeing them wide and shocked as if he’d felt it too.
“I haven’t seen you around the apartments much lately.” Tom grabbed the silverware, and they escaped Annie’s watchful eyes by ducking into the formal dining room.
Frank smiled, but it flattened a little around the edges of his mouth. He moved to the other side of the table, laying down plates as he went. “I was afraid of giving you a worse impression than the first one.”
Tom tilted his head and nodded, placing the flatware at attention beside the plates. “Hey, I understand. I’m willing to put awkward first meetings behind us if you are.” He finished with the last spoon and found himself in front of Frank again. “But I have to say, some of what I saw was too good to forget.”
For a moment, Tom stared straight into the gold of Frank’s eyes. A rising anticipation fizzed in his veins. He was definitely going to get to know Frank better on this trip.