Interview with Ashley Grace Carpenter

How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
After discovering Smashwords, I realized that it would be the best place for me to begin what I hope will be a long and fruitful career. Smashwords just makes sense to me. With multiple distribution channels and its own store, Smashwords is somewhat of a one-stop-self-publish-shop. They really put self publishing in the hands of writers. And the royalties are very fair. Plus, there's the advantage of Smashwords being a major distributor to online retailors; that adds credence to the work published through Smashwords. And let us not forget about the free ISBNs.
When did you first start writing?
For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a writer. Creative writing in school was always one of the things I loved most. When I was in elementary school, I was fortunate enough to have a poem published in a national collection. I have the book my poem is in still to this day.

However, for as long as I can remember, I've always been very, very lazy. So on the precipice of turning thirty, I'm really only starting to write now. I can only hope that I will get better with time.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Control over my work. And it actually being something that I was able to do.
What is your writing process?
Mine is slow. Through distractions and fighting laziness, I actually manage to write. When I write I really take it one sentence at a time; but I guess that's how people write. And before sending it to the editor, I read over it over and over to make sure it reads well to me. I usually find stuff that needs a little tweaking, or a lot. In my first issue of Origami St.Claire, I deleted a six hundred word scene that didn't read well and replaced it with something much short that read better. But I'm happy with the end result, especially after the editor has had their hands on it.
How do you approach cover design?
For Origami St.Claire I am doing my own covers. I've decided to get licenses for stock art from adobe, fotolia if I ever end up need more than just the standard license. And I put the covers together using photoshop. I am by no means an artist but I ended up happy with the results.

For my first actual book, which will be a part of a series all its own, I already purchased a cover I love and will use that for when the book is finished.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Origami St.Claire, spelled with no space in St.Claire, is a former detective basically moon lighting as a private eye, with little success. Then on one rainy night a woman comes in. She's in dire need of help but leaves; not really wanting to involve Origami in her troubles. However, Origami has already made up his mind to help her and sets out to do so.

The story takes place in the later part of the 2300's, more than a century after nearly a century of war almost destroyed all of civilization. The city of New Manhattan sets the stage for Origami as he tries to find the real culprit behind a double murder; of which his client happens to be the primary suspect.

In the first arc of this new serial futuristic science fiction story we follow Origami and company as he endeavors to shed light on an organization operating in the shadows, and save his client.
Describe your desk
Right now, an end table that I use as a coffee table, while I sit on my broken couch. Soon, though, I'll work at a legitimate desk.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love story.

No matter what it may be in: movies, games, comics, tv. I love a great story, or even a good one, that just draws me in and makes me experience what the world on what ever it may be is.

I love being able to tell my stories, my way. And hope that someone who reads them will be drawn in as well.
What do you read for pleasure?
Comics. I love comics. I'm not the most avid reader or the biggest fan and I do tend to stick to what I like but I enjoy reading comics more than anything else right now. To me, reading a great comic is like reading a movie; it's the perfect pairing of visuals and words. And there's no end to how many ways a story can be told with all the different styles that out there from different artists and writers.

My love for comics, and anime, has even influenced my writing choices in doing serial fiction.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first real story I guess was a horror story when I was in seventh grade. That's my best recollection. We had a project where we did a story for Halloween. We cut out pumpkin shaped paper and had to write a three or four page story. My pumpkin was much larger than everyone else's, and my story was like eight or more pages.

It was a haunted house on a hill type of thing. They all die. It wasn't a fully realized idea and honestly might be something that I go back to later as reference for something. Idk.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I watch anime, tv, movies, read comics, eat, sleep and poop. And I play WoW.
Who are your favorite authors?
T. H. White and Terry Brooks. They wrote my two favorite books of all time. The Once and Future King. And. The First King of Shannara.
What do your fans mean to you?
First, I hope to be able to say soon that I actually have fans. Wouldn't that be neat.

And for whatever fans I will have... you mean the World. I will always hope to be able to write something that you will continue to enjoy, year after year.
Published 2015-09-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Origami St.Claire No. 2
Series: Origami St.Claire. Price: Free! Words: 16,080. Language: English. Published: November 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
In issue two, of the serialized story Origami St.Claire, while two of Civil's finest investigate the death Mr. Burges they receive a tip that leads them to the Origami Office of Investigations. Meanwhile, Maggie goes off on her own to look into the life of Mr. Burges. And Origami gets information that he hopes will lead him to Caterine.
Origami St.Claire No. 1
Series: Origami St.Claire. Price: Free! Words: 10,590. Language: English. Published: October 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Episode one of a new serialized sci-fi story. On a rainy night, Origami St.Claire sits behind his desk reading an ancient noir detective's story. Alone, he ponders the future of his own private investigative practice. Then she walks in, or rather breaks in. An over wrought Caterine Winter-Garden is in desperate need of help. And yet she is reluctant to involve the very man she came to see.