Last spring, my first-ever audiobook happened. It was a perfect-storm project where the ideal narrator submitted a random audition for a novella she deep-down wanted to land much more than she cared to admit at the time, whose reading blew away the anxious author who fretted that his vision be dramatized by a kindred spirit who “got it” (and knew that boy-howdy did she!). And they were backed by a supportive publisher making their first ventures into audiobook and who knew they had something special.
Ashley Roland is a talented horror author and artist I’ve known and admired for several years. She writes as A.D. Roland and creates fabulous cover art as Adra Steia. As a contracted cover artist for Damnation Books, she created the cover for Haunting Blue and then created additional artwork for my “way-too-ambitious” book trailer. If you haven’t read them, I wholeheartedly recommend Swamp Baby and Winterborn but only if you’re brave enough! After a few years away, I’m thrilled to announce that Ash has returned as an Indie author with a new fantasy release.
Ash, your early writing is primarily horror. Why did you decide to make Dark Consort a New Adult Book? How did this affect the writing and editing process?
I was already in the process of taking it from an adult fiction novel to one that was more encompassing of readers, so it wasn’t too hard to rewrite and then edit backwards to make sure it was suitable for older teens (with very permissive parents!).
You released a handful of titles under small publishers–now you are transitioning to self-publishing your work. Why the transition? Talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each.
I enjoy being part of the community of small press authors. I’ve developed some fantastic business and personal relationships because of my involvement with several small presses. I chose to self-publish because I spent 3 years writing Dark Consort. I didn’t want to spend another year or so waiting for it to come out. I wanted complete control over the book, especially the ability to make sure the price is agreeable to the reader. I love writing and I want people to read what I write. Being able to control distribution, pricing, and availability is perfect. I love getting paid to write, but I honestly love hearing how much someone enjoyed reading my book just as much. If an ebook is priced more than a trade paperback, most people aren’t going to buy something from a writer without a sturdy backlist and a million 5-star Amazon reviews!
Besides being a successful horror author, you have grown your book cover clients. You also had some success in photography. Seems like a real “art war” within you. Are you pulled in several directions these days, or do you have a single favorite way to express yourself?
Some days, I say I’m a writer at heart. Other days, I’m an artist first and foremost. I spent a couple of years away from writing to focus on my art, and I’ve spent the last year cutting back on art projects to focus on writing. I’ve been in school for a while, so that took up all my spare time. I had to choose between writing and art, and unfortunately, I had to choose the one that actually paid the bills. Now that I’m out of school, I’m really enjoying being able to spend hours at the computer, writing!
Your last novel came out in 2010. Why the gap between books?
The gap happened because I got an awesome job managing a portrait studio. It was hectic, demanding work and I just didn’t have time to write. Then the company closed, and I decided, “What the hey, I’ll go back to school!” Two years later, I’m done (temporarily) with school, and figured out it was time to push the chick out of the nest. So far, Dark Consort is really doing well!
What’s next for A.D. Roland?
Dunno. Stuff? I don’t really know, honestly. I have the sequel to Dark Consort, entitled Last Consort, in progress, as well as a supernatural thriller in the vein of Winterborn.
Ruler of a withering kingdom, Ceron has come to terms with the fact that the only way to save his country is to carry on with one of his ancestors’ worst traditions–the kidnapping and sacrifice of a mage to revive the dying magic of Aichinn. Through his short reign, he’s fought hard to bury his hateful legacy and create a new, peaceful rule. The demons that have plagued his bloodline, however, have other plans. Vile plans. They want blood and war, death and destruction. Even as he fights them, tooth and nail, he realizes he can’t fight them forever.
Kaeda just can’t get it right. A healer mage in the lush, bountiful Northlands, no matter of training seems to awaken more than a trickle of her magic. When the mysterious visitor from a southern state offers her an escape from the looming banishment, she takes him up without a second thought. Unfortunately, the stranger isn’t who he says he is.
He’s the dreaded King of Nightmare and Shadow, the Lord of the Goblins, the Dark King Ceron. And he wants her. Despite being kidnapped, imprisoned, and deceived, Kaeda discovers she’s meant for so much more than what Ceron intends. The very land of Aichinn embraces her, and her natural abilities flood forth. The dying kingdom has a chance to live again. With the awakening of the land’s magic, Ceron’s demons rise in full force, determined to wield the burgeoning power as their own.
Kaeda is Ceron’s only chance to save Aichinn–if he doesn’t destroy her first.