At Gothic Bite Magazine we love welcoming new patients to become part of our asylum. We question them and learn about them. It doesn’t matter what creative field they are part of because they’re our patient now. This week, we welcome Ashley Greathouse
Patient Name: Ashley Greathouse
I’m an extremely boring person, most of the time. On the rare occasions that I am doing something extraordinary, I can be found travelling around haunted Indiana, exploring the many paranormal hotspots the Hoosier state has to offer.
I run and co-host a small team of two with fellow author Melissa Slate-Bindschadler, our investigations can be found on YouTube at Encounters With Darkness, or you can listen to our podcast on your favourite platform.
Still, the most terrifying thing that I have done is become a mom. My son and husband are the most important people in my life, but raising a teenager can often be frightening.
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Kids today they’re so intelligent. On the one hand, they give me so much hope for the future. On the other hand, their level of wisdom is so on-point that it’s scary.
MARY DEAN KAZEN: When did you find out you would want to write novels?
ASHLEY GREATHOUSE: I’ve always wanted to write, but it wasn’t until I was turned thirty that I began to take the idea seriously. I was going through a hard time in my life and used writing to manage my anxiety.
Once I realized that other people were enjoying my ‘nightmares’ as I like to reference them, I was hooked on pushing out more.
MDK: What made you want to write horror?
ASHLEY GREATHOUSE: Originally, I wanted to write an epic fantasy, but my story quickly took a dark and twisted turn. I wouldn’t say that I wanted to write horror as much as I would say that the genre chose me.
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MDK: When writing about horror, do you do research, and if so, how far do you go with your research?
ASHLEY GREATHOUSE: There are always parts of a character’s history that leave me unfamiliar, so for those moments, I will lean towards hitting the books to make sure I’m delivering realism.
Of course, there are some questionable Google searches in my history, but I promise, those are writing-related needs-to-knows.
MDK: What is most important to you when writing your novels?
ASHLEY GREATHOUSE: Plot twist. Yes, definitely my plot twits. I want to leave my readers unable to guess where the story is going. However, I do leave clues throughout my work.
MDK: Which authors influenced your writing?
ASHLEY GREATHOUSE: H.P. Lovecraft. Not saying I agree with all of his work, but I cannot deny the influence he made in horror. I love how he would write based off of his own fears.
MDK: Which of your novels is your favourite, and why is it your favourite?
ASHLEY GREATHOUSE: As of right now, The Schatten. The story is based on a chilling encounter I faced as a small child, which obviously stayed with me. Of course, my nightmares are based on my own insecurities and fears, but this story hits different.
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MDK: Do you have any real-life experiences that inspire your stories?
ASHLEY GREATHOUSE: Always. Each story has splashes of things that I have gone through. I like to think my solid emotional connection pulls the readers in.
MDK: What made you decide to be self-published?
ASHLEY GREATHOUSE: The freedom. In 2019 I was actually still submitting query letters, trying desperately to get signed by a top publishing company. It would take a lot to pull me away from the Indie world.
Finally, I received a response that made me realize maybe I didn’t want to take that route as much as I initially thought. The agency reached out with news of how much they enjoyed my story, The Schatten.
Their only reason for passing was they wanted the story to be longer and encouraged me to lengthen my manuscript and resubmit.
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I did take their advice, but I never resubmitted my story. Instead, I published it on my own. I suppose all I truly wanted was validation regarding my storytelling abilities.
MDK: What sets you apart from other horror authors?
ASHLEY GREATHOUSE: My delivery. One repeated phrase in reviews and feedback is that I have a unique way of shocking my readers.
MDK: Tease the readers about your books.
ASHLEY GREATHOUSE: Each stand-alone book is linked together under one universe. My newest story, Petals, which will be released in early 2022, will finally reveal everything that ties them together, but the hints are all there, just waiting for you to find them.
MDK: What can readers look forward to from Ashley Greathouse for the rest of 2022?
ASHLEY GREATHOUSE: Aside from Petals, I have joined forces with other writers and have three different anthology projects coming out.
The titles are still being worked on, so keep your eyes open! I’ve also taken on a four-book series titled NEWS, which leans more into fantasy than I have ever ventured before.
In this series, I really pushed myself to write outside of my comfort zone and deliver diverse stories.