MP-What triggered the Ramblings?
AF-Ramblings of a Mad Southern Woman is a collection of poetry that for years, sat locked away in a journal. The short stories arose from not only bits and pieces of my own life, but experiences of others that I wrote for my Creative Writing class in college.
After the success of my first two novels, Accountable to None and Zero Balance, I was jokingly bequeathed the title “Queen of Revenge” by several of my author friends. While I appreciated the sentiment, I wanted readers to see the softer side of me, one that doesn’t deal directly with seeking revenge.
The title was inspired by the name of my blog. When I first entered the realm of “published author” I was inundated with all of the social media options available to communicate with my audience. The one that I was least familiar with was “blogging.” Trying to juggle a full-time job, college, family and kids plus the whole new world of promoting my work overwhelmed me. The day I decided to start a blog, I sat staring at the screen wondering what in the world I would call it. My husband happened to call me during that time and asked me how my day was. I replied “I feel like a rambling mad southern woman trying to sort all this out” and thus, the title was born.
MP-Do you think there a difference between horror and thriller?
AF-The difference is strictly in the mind of the reader. What one might classify a horror novel, like one reviewer did for my second novel, Zero Balance, others that read it might prefer to classify it as a suspenseful thriller. Perspective from the individual in terms of their own life experiences may guide them to their own interpretation of the works they are reading.
Some tend to classify something as horror if it is rooted in paranormal/supernatural aspects, such as works by Stephen King, and Clive Barker. A thriller can exist in all sorts of works, including horror, if it keeps the readers glued to the pages wondering what will happen next.
However, sometimes the most frightening thing in life is the cruelty we bestow upon each other which can truly be horrific.
MP-How has the self-publishing route been?
AF-When I released my first novel, Accountable to None, I could not have been any greener in terms of my miniscule knowledge of publishing. I made several rookie mistakes but each day, through the help of more seasoned authors, I am learning and growing. Now that my third book is available, I am much more comfortable with the entire process. I have an editor that I trust completely, a fellow author that is incredibly gifted in not only cover design but also with book trailers, and several author friends that “beta” read for me prior to publication.
My second novel, Zero Balance, is published through World Castle Publishing, which affords me the opportunity of duality. I am currently self-published and with a publisher simultaneously, and there are pros and cons to both.
MP-Can you tell us a little bit more about your radio show?
AF-Ramblings of a Mad Southern Woman (also the name of my BlogTalkRadio show) started as my way to give back to other authors that are just starting out. I wanted to offer a free platform for them to tout their works in a friendly environment, making them feel comfortable and at ease. I also wanted to have more established authors as guests as my way of saying “thank you” to them for taking me under their wings, so to speak. I wanted to give Indie authors a chance to promote their work to the listening audience.
Bennet Pomerantz came onboard as my co-host a few months ago and it has been so much fun. He adds a special “zing” to the show because of his vast knowledge of the publishing world. Although I have enjoyed doing the show, I made the painful decision to shelve it after then end of June to concentrate on finishing the third and final installment of my series. Running the show and gathering all the necessary information from my guests, promoting it each week, and answering inquiries from writers that wished to be on, simply became too much.
MP-In your horror series what inspires you?
AF-Primal fear of what others can do to you.
As I said earlier, horror can be construed differently depending upon the reader. Ghosts, werewolves, vampires and monsters of all sorts do not frighten me since I don’t believe in them. Don’t get me wrong: a gifted writer of paranormal works may cause me a shiver or two while reading, but the mere fact that I know those things are not real renders the slice of fear more like a dull poke for me.
Things that truly have occurred or are based upon reality are what frighten me. For example, The Silence of the Lambs comes to mind. That book/movie struck a nerve in me because a viscous killer such as Hannibal has existed in our society. Man’s inherently evil nature is what sends my hair standing on end. So, when I write, I try to use realistic scenarios that are completely plausible and could actually happen. To me, that is the scariest thing of all: what we are capable of doing to each other.
Follow Ashley at http://www.ashleyfontainne.com/
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