Name Ashley Suzanne!
Age The glorious age of 31
Where are you from born and raised in Metro Detroit
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart since I was 19, I have two gorgeous children who are well on their way to breaking little girls’ hearts … I have practiced Real Estate since I was eighteen, and have recently purchased a property management company. I write full time, work full time and go to school full time. When I say I have zero time, I mean it in the most literal sense.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just finished writing Cutter, a follow up to Raven, the first book in the Fight or Flight series. It was super fun to write, took a lot out of me and like most recent, most recent, I’m sitting in my husband’s clothes devouring whatever paperbacks on my shelf that I haven’t read yet.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing when they started teaching me how to write. I wrote little stories with little illustrations. Just ask my mom, she’ll be excited to show you about the book I wrote when I was 6 or 7. Then, as a teenager, I was published in a poetry collection. I wrote for anyone who would ask. Then I had kids, fell out of love with reading and writing, and began a career. In my late 20’s I found my passion again and penned my first full length novel in 2013 and it’s been a whirlwind since then.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Since I could pick up a pencil and make a coherent sentence. So, I was probably 25 LOL
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The death of my husband’s best friend. I wanted him to have something to hang onto forever. Something that gave Danny the ending he deserved. Then it all spiraled from there
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Kind of yes, kind of no. My stories are told by the characters. They speak differently, sound differently, use commas differently. Each of my stories is different, but the same. It’s really weird to understand unless you fluently speak crazy.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Each title was different, but I really try to use the title to be the ultimate meaning behind the book. Example: Mirage was a story of what ifs … Inception was a prequel that went back to the beginning … Awakening was about realizing what you’re supposed to do … Façade was about a woman living behind the guise of strength when she was anything but .. .Epiphany was the final, end all be all of the characters … each book has meaning, each title represents that meaning
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
YES!!!! That love is possible. It’s not easy, it’s work every day, but ANYONE and EVERYONE deserves love, even if you don’t feel you do. And having the best of friends to support you can’t hurt.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
Realistic is a strong word. It’s called fiction for a reason, but I have drawn on personal experiences to use for the characters emotional state, set up a scene or draw a conclusion. A little bit of me is in every story.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I draw inspiration from just about everywhere. Conversations with friends, stories they tell me, things I’ve experienced first hand, things from movies, horror stories … just about everything can fire my imagination.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I once read that in order to be a great writer, you must read great writing … and I do. On top of being one of my very best friends, Madeline Sheehan is my go to. When I’m stuck, can’t figure out how to bridge scenes to make sense, use words properly, I’ll read ALL of her books in a single weekend and usually I’m right back on track. Not only that, she’s there when I need her, to bounce ideas, help plot stories or tell me what I’ve done wrong. She’s my very favorite friend, the best professional resource, and the other half of my brain … she’s nothing short of inspirational.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just started Confess by Colleen Hoover
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I must admit, I’m not as much of a reader now that I’ve become a writer. Most of my reading is written by authors I know and trust, but I’ve come across a few amazing new writers who deserve all the accolades due to them. I’d have to scour my kindle to give you an accurate account of who’s a rockstar, but just keep an eye on the big blogs, they usually hit it right on the head.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
In 2016, I’m working on a few things … First of Many (which will be the most emotional story I’ve ever written), Smolder (a follow up to Rekindle in the Up in Smoke Series), Inescapable (which is a story about the child of the characters in the Destined Series), and maybe a few surprises here and there, who knows … I’ve got 365 days to figure it out.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
That’s huge, dude. I’ve had so much support, I couldn’t name just one … If I did, I’d have to say the entire reading community, from authors to bloggers to readers to promoters … they’ve all been my support system and I wouldn’t have come this far without them
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Well, it sure as hell isn’t a hobby anymore LOL. But, yes, I’m a full time writer. For over 2 years, my sole income has been that of my royalties, so I am a writer.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a single word.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I wanted to tell stories and I was always getting in trouble for being a “social butterfly” … so I started to write down everything, from what the teacher did, to how my parents grounded me, to the boys I liked … my diary was much more than a journal, it was my life
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Absolutely. This is a snippet from Cutter (a book I just turned into Random House for publishing in July) Unable to be in the same room as Josette, I wipe away the start of what could have been tears and walk toward the door. My hand touches the handle and I risk a painful glance back at what was supposed to be my family. The family I wanted more than anything in the world, but conceded to Josette’s wishes to have an abortion. I honored her choice even though it ate me alive. I didn’t fight her on what was the biggest decision of her life, but instead of telling me she kept the baby, she hid my daughter away like a dirty little secret.
“You’re unbelievable,” are the only words I can mutter before I clear out of the room. Out of the house and back to my apartment above the gym so I can think. Think of what, I have no fucking idea, but it seems like the appropriate thing to do at a time like this.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sticking to a deadline … I like to procrastinate so deadlines sometimes make me nervous an when I’m nervous I can’t function
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Okay, this has to be done in categories … favorite all time author: Margaret Atwood, most importantly, The Handmaid’s Tale … because it’s been in the forefront of my mind since I read it 15 years ago … favorite indie: Madeline Sheehan, because all of her work is amazing and fantastic and brutal and raw and it makes me want to be better … she’s the best writer I’ve ever read in my life … and favorite traditionally published author … Penelope Douglas, because have you read any of her work? Have you read Bully? Do you know a love like Tate and Jared? Because I want to and I want to squeeze her.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I typically do a few conventions a year, mostly in the Midwest, but sometimes I’ve traveled to the south, the west or even to Europe
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Depends on the book and what I want. But I have three designers. My Random House books are done in house by the amazing design department. Some of my indie books are done by Toski Covey Photography and Perfect Pear Creative Covers and others by MGBookCovers … all of whom are amazing, talented and I’m honored to work with.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Sticking to a plot. My mind wanders. I’m ADD and OCD … it’s a horrible combination.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Every time I finish a book, go through the cover design process, editing process and release, I learn something new I put into the next book … it’s about getting better … they say, you know, you’re only as good as your last book.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
WRITE!!! Do not stop writing … even if your books don’t sell, or you think it’s too similar to something else … JUST WRITE!!! EDIT, WRITE, EDIT, WRITE, REVISE, REWRITE, EDIT, WRITE … never ever ever ever ever stop working on you and your stories … GET BETTER WITH TIME!!!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Keep an open mind … don’t let stereotypes drag down a story that could be really good, but what you feel like could turn you off … don’t discount a book until you’ve read it
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I read all by myself was James and the Giant Peach
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’d love to meet Poe … there’s just something so hauntingly beautiful by his words.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Loving mother and wife, because at the end of the day, that’s all that truly matters.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Reading, watching movies, hanging out with my family and talking to Madeline all day.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy, any Nicholas Sparks movie, stupid reality TV shows … all of that
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Addicted to French fries, pink and black, and anything that makes me happy, or sad when I need it.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d still be working a full time real estate job.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
www.AshleySuzanneBooks.com it’s my blog and my website.