It’s my favorite day of the week! Well, with exception to Forensic Friday! Today, I have the very talented author Ashley Fontainne with her thriller Zero Balance, the second installment of the Eviscerating the Snake Series. I have chills…
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Nine months ago, I served my own personal brand of punishment on those
that kept their silence when I was raped.
Nine months ago, I was the voice that found justice for a beautiful young life, viciously slain in her prime many years ago, and helped her grieving mother to finally find peace.
Nine months ago, I saw this rapist/killer escorted to jail in handcuffs and now, I reign from his old throne.
Nine months ago, my horrid nightmares were finally quieted after eviscerating the snake’s body and crushing its evil head.
Two weeks before the trial of Olin Kemper was scheduled to begin, the dreams came back. Haunting, disturbing dreams that I can’t escape nor understand.
A week ago, I realized that I didn’t kill the snake; I just wounded it.
And it’s back with a vengeance and after us all.
Book purchase link: Amazon.com
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Jennifer Chase: If your main character was trapped in an elevator with three other people, how would your hero or heroine devise a plan to escape? Would they take any of the people with them?
Ashley Fontainne: Audra Tanner is all about planning! She plotted and waited patiently for five years before she exacted her revenge, so she would have no trouble at all devising an escape route. Since the group is facing a life or death situation, Audra would focus her thoughts on a way for everyone to escape, and it would not be a far stretch for her to sacrifice herself to save others.
Jennifer Chase: How do you get inside your main character’s head when writing?
Ashley Fontainne: By writing in first person. Accountable to None was written in third person and I found that writing style is not conducive to truly crawling around inside the mind of your characters. So, in Zero Balance, not only did I switch to first person, but each character is written in first person, which I felt was a unique way of allowing the reader inside everyone’s head while building the suspense up from all angles. When you allow yourself to step inside the skin of your character and feel what they do and sense what is going on around them, you can then react by projecting their emotional state onto the paper. Of course, sometimes that can be a bit frustrating, especially when your character views things differently than you do (which can sometimes lead to their untimely demise!)
Jennifer Chase: What’s your specific genre? If you could write in any other genre, what would it be and why?
Ashley Fontainne: I prefer to read and write suspense/thrillers. I also enjoy a great murder mystery or well-written horror novel and would one day like to pen a horror story. One of my favorite horror writers is Barbara Watkins. Her novel, Hollowing Screams, is fantastic, and the short story collection she penned with Betty Dravis, Six-Pack of Blood, is phenomenal. The one thing that has stopped me from attempting the enter that genre is the fact that what is there left to write about? Ghosts, demons, witches, vampires, werewolves, etc., have already saturated the market! So, I would need to delve into something fresh, I just don’t know what that might be.
Jennifer Chase: Why should readers pick up your book Zero Balance?
Ashley Fontainne: Zero Balance has been compared to the TV Series “Dexter” and “Revenge” in terms of the fast-paced action and mindset of the characters seeking revenge. While a dark read, it takes revenge and retribution to an entirely new level, by exploring the aftereffects on the main character nine months after the first book ended. Audra finds out just how far the ripples from the rock she threw into the pond spread.
Jennifer Chase: What types of emotions will readers experience when they read your book?
Ashley Fontainne: Anger; sadness; shock; fright; hope; a bit of love and a whole lot of fear!
Jennifer Chase: Now, it’s time to play word association with your main character. Please respond with one word that comes to mind (in your main character’s voice) to the words listed below.
Plot – patient
2012 – finally!
Predator – Olin
Giggles – rarity
Rural – haven
Omnipresence – dreams
Thank you Ashley Fontainne for stopping by today!
My earliest memories from childhood are of reading. Growing up as an only child, I found solace from the lonely times in books. I believe, at one time, I owned every Nancy Drew book available, and read them all numerous times. During those early years of my life, I became hooked into the world of mystery and suspense. I began to write poetry and short stories in high school, although I rarely shared my musings except to a few select friends and one lovely English teacher. It was a beautiful release for me to scribble down my thoughts in a journal, whether the words stemmed from joyous events or tragic ones.
As I grew, I discovered Stephen King, James Patterson, Robin Cook and John Grisham. I fell in love with all of their works, especially those of Stephen King. The way that gifted man strings words together is nothing short of amazing. By the time high school rolled around and I was introduced to classical literature, I was thoroughly addicted to the written word, especially thrillers that tugged at the heart strings.
Out of all the great classical texts that deal with revenge, the one that became a part of me, and what inspired me to pen Accountable to None, was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. The physical and emotional pain suffered by Edmund Dantes left me an emotional wreck. His calculated plans against all those that used him as a pawn in their life-altering game fascinated me. Edmund’s transformation from the meek, mild-mannered gentleman into a revenge-fueled creature is truly a dark glimpse into the ravaged remains of a ruined mind.
Revenge for injustices perpetrated upon us is a tightly interwoven thread of the human condition. Responding to immoral acts in a violent manner has been a part of society since the beginning of time. The only thing that has changed over the centuries is the means by which an avenger might seek to accomplish their redemptive plans.
Accountable to None was written as homage to Dumas’ masterpiece. Set in modern day Phoenix, Arizona, the book centers around the upper management of a large, successful accounting firm, Winscott & Associates. I chose to set the scene at an accounting firm since, according to the most incredible words ever put on paper, the Holy Bible, the love of money is the root of all evil. Corporate greed is showcased through the actions of those that run the company. The heroine suffers unimaginable pain and vows to seek revenge, which she ultimately achieves after years of plotting and planning.
I wanted to take the entire revenge motif to the next level in the sequels, Zero Balance and Adjusting Journal Entry. Sometimes, we tend to cheer and root for the avenging underdog, especially when they finally achieve their long awaited revenge. However, rarely are the aftereffects explored once the revenge is completed. My hope is that after reading these novels, someone contemplating vengeful acts upon another will give pause and reflect on the unfathomably high price of revenge.
Where readers can find Author Ashley Fontainne:
Facebook author profile
Independent Author Network