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Better Than The Best BY JAMES OH

Better Than The Best BY JAMES OH
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Thursday, 27 September 2012


About the author:

Ashliegh Wolfgang first gained notoriety as founding member and vocalist for National recording artists "The Orphan Punks".

The Devil's Serum is his first foray into fiction writing, a love he has had behind the scenes for decades. Ashliegh claims writing influences from historical authors such Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft to contemporary authors such as Anne Rice and Clive Barker.

Ashliegh currently lives in the suburbs of Chicago, IL (USA) with his wife Heather and children Addison and Samantha.

Now, onto the interview.

When did you begin to write?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, whether it was poetry or lyrics in my former life as a musician. I’ve always loved words, I’ve been writing in story form for more than a decade.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I think I’ve always viewed myself as a writer. I think people have an image of themselves that may or may not be what others perceive. Even before I was ever content to release anything, I’ve always had notebooks of ideas and phrases, and just anything that I thought I may want to revisit later.

How much did you write before you were published?

A lot! I actually had finished two novels of biblical proportions that I wasn’t happy with, and eventually tossed out. It may have been the silliest thing I’ve ever done. I’m my worst critic and it took me years before I was willing to trust other people’s opinions in regards to my writing. I know that I will continue to edit and re-write until a story is pried from my hands if I don’t have someone else read it, fairly early on.

What is your favorite part of writing?

I’m a reader just like everyone else. I love having the stories develop on the page. I get excited and even surprised at what comes next. Sometimes I find that I can’t sleep if I’m in the middle of a book because I need to know what is going to happen next, just as I would if I were reading someone else’s book.

So far what is your worst criticism/attacks, and how you overcome it?

I’ve received some less than stellar reviews as I’m sure all writers experience. It’s painful when you’ve put part of yourself out there, and you feel like you’ve been rejected. I believe it’s just like anything else in life, you have to do things that make you happy and in the process you’ll make others happy as well…just not everyone. I think all writers have to realize that they are never going to appeal to everyone at the same time, so there is no reason to ever try. Appreciate the ones that love what you do, and ignore the ones that don’t, although it is often easier said than done.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

It’s a cliché I know, but I’m most proud of my children and their accomplishments than of anything I could ever achieve in my professional life.
Wow! The next book sounds really good too. Are you planning on writing more in the years to come?
I just released The Devil’s Apprentice this week, which is the third book in the Ramblings of the Damned Novella Series. I currently plan to have two more installments released before the end of the year. Beyond that series, I have several partials and even more ideas that I expect will be published at some point.

What does your writing process look like?

It’s fairly messy. I have character notes scribbled on everything…backs of receipts, unopened mail, etc. I imagine if you could look inside my head it would be very similar looking.

How do you come up with title of your books?

With this series I’ve been very conscious of having similar titles and similar covers, so it’s easy for readers to know the books are related. The Devil’s Serum, The Devil’s Folly, The Devil’s Apprentice…I’ve kind of locked myself into a theme with these titles so it actually makes it fairly easy to title them. So far I have never had a title until I was ready to publish. I write the story first and then find a title that fits, I think if I had a title first it may influence or restrict my writing.

Can you enlighten us a little more about your books?
The Ramblings of the Damned series is a collection of journals from Christian Laurent. Christian was born in 1870 in the American Midwest and at age 40 he finds an ornate silver flask and drinks the mysterious contents. He wakes up, several days later to discover that the drink has given him immortality. So it’s a retelling of the love, loss, confusion, and eventually understanding of a man destined to outlive virtually everyone that he comes into contact with.

Is there anything else you would like your readers to pay special attention in regards to your book, which you have not mentioned above?

While all of the books are centered around the same characters and the stories are cohesive, each book focuses on different points of importance to the protagonist and therefore I think the feel of the books change dramatically. The Devil’s Serum (Book One) is absolutely a love story more than anything, while The Devil’s Folly (Book Two) has substantially more action and adventure. The Devil’s Apprentice (Book Three) combines all of the previous elements while refining the overall story and purpose.

When do you plan to publish your book 4, if applicable?

I hope to publish Book Four (currently untitled) of the Series in early November at the latest.
How many volume of books for the above series ?

I currently have a five part story arch planned but I can’t say for certain that book five will be the last we see of the characters.

Tell us your guided principle that governs your life? How you cultivate these values?
Stay positive. It feel so much better to be appreciative for the things that go your way than to be discouraged by the things that don’t. Everyone knows someone that causes the lights to dim when they walk into the room because of the permanent cloud that they allow to follow them around. Sadly that feeling can be contagious and before long that person is wondering why everything seems so doom and gloom. A smile can be every bit as contagious and before you know it, everything seems a little brighter.

Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?
Write, write, and write…if you believe that your writing is good enough then who’s to say it’s not. The most famous authors in the world have been rejected multiple times and received scathing reviews. The only person that can stop you from being successful…is you.

Anything else you want to say?

Thanks so much for the opportunity to be interviewed and allowing me to introduce my books. I hope your readers will consider giving them a read, and if they enjoy them I hope they’ll tell anyone that will listen.

Thank again for joining us today. Let us wish him a fulfilling day everyday.


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