Good afternoon Ashley ! I have some questions that will help readers get to know you.
Tell us a little about yourself, and some interesting tidbits of your life.
At the age of 42, I decided to return to college. My goal was to obtain a degree in science to fulfill my dream of becoming a registered nurse. I tackled the hard classes first then realized I needed a few elective courses to finish out my degree. I can only draw stick people, on a good day, so art was scratched off the list. Music and theater were crossed off as well, since my taste in music is not the same as my taste for classical literature, and theater? Forget it. So, creative writing won out.
Expressing my emotions on paper is something I’ve been doing since early childhood, but it was a personal release, not anything I imagined I would ever share with anyone other than close friends and family members. That all changed after Creative Writing I & II—thanks to an incredible instructor by the name of Melody Berning.
Accountable to None was my semester project for Creative Writing II. When I turned it in to Ms. Berning in March of 2011, she encouraged me to publish it, and in April of 2011, I uploaded the electronic version on Amazon just to see if she was right: people would enjoy my writing. After a few hiccups and pitfalls, Accountable to None hit number 1 in suspense in December of 2011 in the Kindle store.
Nursing went right out the window at that point, and although I did graduate with a degree in science, a new and previously hidden passion emerged: writing.
Wow ! Your life really changed,and you found your passion !
When you write does the idea or the characters come first ?
It depends upon what I am working on. For the Eviscerating the Snake series, the character of Audra came first, and the rest of the story and the characters fell into place around her. Number Seventy-Five is about the dangers of online dating. The story came to me first, then the characters. My latest novel, a Christian suspense/thriller entitled The Lie, was a mixture of both. The idea for the story hit me one day and within an hour, the entire book was in my head.
In one hour , takes me that long to do a post ! Fabulous .
Do you have a writing routine ?
My long commute to and from work each day allows me to work out the scenes in my head, editing and re-writing mentally until the scene is set. Then, when I have time such as at lunch or late in the evening, I sit in front of the computer and let my fingers fly, literally closing my eyes as I recall my thoughts from earlier.
What has been the most satisfying accomplishment of being an author ?
That was the day I received a private message on Goodreads from a reader that just finished Accountable to None. She wanted to let me know that after reading the book, she was going to finally seek therapy for the buried trauma she suffered over ten years prior when she became a victim of rape. She told me that she knew she needed to let go of the pain and anger and face her demons, and thanked me for opening her eyes to that. I remember staring at the computer screen, mouth agape and heart pounding as tears streamed down my face.
That moment in my life made every difficult turn and bump in the road worth it. To know that my words helped another person is something I will cherish forever.
How did you decide on this genre, and do you write in any others ?
I love reading a book that makes your heart beat faster as your palms sweat and your throat goes dry. I also enjoy reading a book that allows you to place yourself in the situation and really ponder: what would I do if faced with the same situation? Suspense/thrillers are my favorite, but I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into just one genre. So, last year, I released my poetry and short story book, Ramblings of A Mad Southern Woman, that touches upon many things, including my faith.
What do you like to do when you aren’t writing ?
My husband and I love to be out on our boat, so most weekends during the humid summer you will find us lounging at the ‘Redneck Riviera’ sandbar, also known as Lake Catherine. I love plants and have a lovely flower garden that I enjoy puttering around in. Our children are grown and on their own now, so my husband and I treat our dogs and cats like kids. My husband has been trying to teach me how to water ski, but it is a losing battle.
What’s your favorite southern dish ?
No one made fried catfish like my grandfather. When he was still alive, when the word ‘fish’ was mentioned, I was there in a flash. I never did understand what he did to make his recipe so different from others, but he did. I have yet to find another person or restaurant that holds a candle to his yummy catfish.
What inspired you to write your first book ?
My muse for penning the Eviscerating the Snake series was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. The revenge on all those who hurt and betrayed Edmond Dantes and the incredible rollercoaster ride his journey takes you on intrigued me. My love for this book is what sparked my desire to write Accountable to None. With a modern setting to the tale, I wanted to delve into just what lengths a person is willing to go to as they attempt to seek justice on their own for heinous acts perpetrated upon them. The second novel in the series, Zero Balance focuses on the cost and reciprocal cycle that obtaining revenge has on the seeker. For once the cycle starts, where does it end? How far will the tendrils of revenge expand? Adjusting Journal Entries answers that question: far and wide.
Ashley, I feel I know you better, thank you so much for answering my questions.
Here are some of Ashley Fontainne’s links. Go and check them out.
Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Sony– books:Accountable to None, Zero Balance and Adjusting Journal Entries, Number Seventy-Five and The Lie are also available electronically at these retailers.
You can also visit her website and download ebooks of your choice (epub, mobi or pdf) for an even bigger savings.
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/ashley.fontainne