I met Ashley Fontainne at a big party she and her friend Joni were throwing on Facebook.  Ashley was giving away copies of Accountable To None to celebrate the up-coming release of its sequel.

Of course, being a book nut, I grabbed a copy, made a mess of myself at the party (Ashley kept filling my glass up!!) and managed to talk this lovely Southern lady into an interview.  She agreed – all too quickly.  Maybe they wanted me to leave.  But, true to her word, she answered my questions.

Now I have a bit of an update for you all as well.  Ashley has let me post a link to the book trailer video of the second book of this series.  It’s called Zero Balance (Eviserating the Snake 2) and if it’s anything like the first, it will be great.




Here they are:

Who would you like to collaborate with (being living or dead) and why?

Alexandre Dumas, of course! The depth of emotion and his beautiful writing style inspires me. To be able to watch and learn from the master of revenge would be epic.

What would be the best piece of advice you would offer a new author?

Don’t give up. If writing is your passion, then don’t let detractors stop you from chasing your dream. Take the criticisms in stride and learn from them, then apply that painful knowledge to your next piece.

 Is routine important to you?

Routine? In my crazy life, that is not a word I am familiar with.

What genre would you like to write a book in (that you haven’t yet)?

Ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you that I have a very dark sense of humor. Laughter and faith are two things that have kept me going throughout the trials of life. One day, I hope to pen a novel that is wickedly funny.

You acknowledge music within your books.  Do you listen to music during all processes of writing?  Do you listen music you know or new music when writing?

I use music as a stimulant for thoughts before and after writing a scene. If a particular song strikes me as poignant, moves me with a certain emotion that I feel would speak to one of my characters, I use it as a platform to write the scene. However, when I am actually sitting at my desk, I must have quiet to relive the scenes that have already played out in my head.

Have you read a romance novel?  Do you think you could write one?

Yes, I have read a few over the years. Romance is not my favorite genre simply because I am a huge baby. For example, the scene from Homeward Bound where the family is mourning the loss of their dog Shadow..when he appears on the horizon I still get a lump in my throat. Pathetic, I know, but if I cry at that scene, can you picture how much I would sob at a sappy romance tale?

What sport did you play as a younger woman?  Were you good at it?

At 5’10” you would think my answer would be basketball, but it’s not. I ran track and played volleyball for years until I moved to Arkansas. Girl’s volleyball was not offered at the high school I attended at the time, and running track was not in the cards either. It took me two years to acclimate to the drastic change in weather from the West Coast to the South, and by the time I grew accustomed to it, I had already graduated high school.

When you are coming up with an idea, do you look at the market for trends?  Or do you write for you?

I write for me. Since I love to read, my goal is to create a story that I would enjoy reading.

Where do your ideas come from?  Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole construct?

Stories just sort of appear out of thin air. Characters and ideas are all around us in the form of everything and anything. A brilliant rose in full bloom; a homeless person on the street; headlines in the news; a loved one’s passing. Inspiration surrounds us daily, we just need to take the time to incorporate it into an idea.

When you start a new story, do you have a title for it?  Does that trigger the story?

For the Eviscerating the Snake series, the title for the first book, Accountable to None, hit me when I finished the prologue. Before I completed that novel, the title of the following novels already formed before I even wrote the first word.

The title for my poetry and short story collection was a natural fit since Ramblings of a Mad Southern Woman is the name of my blog and BlogTalkRadio show.

Are movies of books ruining the book?

Great question! There are valid arguments for both yes and no. For me, when I read, I get lost in the words and the world the author has created. When reading, you visualize the location, the action, the image of each character. In other words, you think. Your mind takes in what the author has written and creates the scenes you are reading. When watching a movie, you may also become lost in the story displaying on the screen, but everything is laid out for you, hence thinking isn’t necessary. You just watch—all the work has been done for you. Does a movie ruin a book? Not necessarily, it just changes the dynamic of how you experience it.

Do you see ebooks threatening traditional publishing?

That question is a hot topic right now! A threat? No, more like well-matched competition. It isn’t a sprint, it is a steeplechase event, full of all sorts of twists and turns. The distance between the traditional publisher and the Indie author is shrinking, but it might take a long time to see which one crosses the finish line first.

Do you prefer to read established authors or debut authors? How do you choose which ones to read?

I read all sorts of titles, from classical literature such as Beowulf, The Iliad, The Count of Monte Cristo to Stephen King and James Patterson down to Indie authors. I only review works by fellow Indie writers. I support each and every small fish that is swimming around in this big pond-o-publishing, which is one reason I started my BlogTalkRadio show. So many struggling writers were helpful to me when I first jumped in that I wanted a way to give back to them.

Can I get an autographed book? (lol)

Of course!

Do you have a group of people that you show a new story to? How much impact can they have on the whole story?

I have three fellow authors, each that write in different genres, that I trust with telling me the hard truth and with an unpublished manuscript.

Do you set yourself a word limit for each book?

No. The word count only ends up mattering in terms of the classification of the book, i.e., novella, short story, novel, etc. I don’t concern myself with the amount of words, just the quality of the work and when the story is finished in my head, it’s finished on paper.

Do you write constantly or have breaks between books?

Since April of 2011, I have written three full novels and one poetry and short story collection. Constant? Oh yes, but now that the final in my series is completed, I believe I need to take a break.

Do you have characters running around your head?  Do they dictate events and their histories to you?

Constantly! They love to invade my dreams and tell me their stories. I just write them down.

What is your biggest (self-imposed) time waster?

Social media. Enough said.

Do you remember the first time you saw your book in a shop?

Not only is that memory engrained in my head, but it is immortalized in a digital photo on my phone. As an avid reader my entire life, to see my name on a book and on a bookshelf was overwhelming.

Do you read other people’s writing?

All the time!

Would you read mine?

Well of course, and thanks for asking!

I have include Ashley’s author blurb so that I could include her photo:

International bestselling author Ashley Fontainne is an avid reader of mostly the classics. Ashley became a fan of the written word in her youth, starting with the Nancy Drew mystery series. Stories that immerse the reader deep into the human psyche and the monsters that lurk within us are her favorite reads.

Her muse for penning this 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 her. Ashley’s love for this book is what sparked her desire to write her debut novel, Accountable to None, the first book in the trilogy, Eviscerating the Snake. With a modern setting to the tale, Ashley delves into just what lengths a person is willing to go when they seek personal justice 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 answered that question: far and wide.

Born and raised in California, Ashley now calls Arkansas home with her husband and four children. She also enjoys writing poetry and short stories and recently published Ramblings of a Mad Southern Woman: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry on Life, Love, Loss and Longing, which is available on Amazon. Ashley is also a supporter of the Joyful Heart Foundation that assists victims of violent crime seek help and find healing, and donates 10% of all book sales yearly to the cause.

Ashley’s website is:  http://www.ashleyfontainne.com/

Ashley’s Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Fontainne/e/B0055O0VBY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1349476905&sr=8-2-ent