Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have always loved reading and writing as well as film. I have a masters degree in English from California State University, Fullerton with an emphasis in creative writing. I’ve worked as an educator for about the last 10 years, five of which were at the college level.
This is my first book published in my name. I edited this collection of essays and wrote a chapter about the film ParaNorman for this particular book.
I have a chapter called “The Rebirth of King’s Children” in Kevin Wetmore’s collection Uncovering Stranger Things (2018) and a chapter “Using Flash Fiction as a Pedagogical Tool to Teach Creative Writing Online” in Tamara Girardi and Abigail Scheg’s Theories and Strategies for Teaching Creative Writing Online (2021).
My flash fiction tends to get kind of wacky… it appears in several literary magazines including Flash Fiction Magazine, Postcard Shorts, Maudlin House, Beautiful Losers, Helen: Unincorporated, and others.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My collection of essays was just published a couple weeks ago from McFarland Publishers.
Our Fears Made Manifest: Essays on Terror, Trauma and Loss in Film, 1998-2019 focuses on a variety of films from different genres, tying them together through the connective idea that they speak to unspoken cultural fears in American society.
I have been a film buff since I was a child. I’ve always spent time analyzing deeper meaning in movies; it wasn’t until graduate school that I found out how much a film can say about a time period or a group of people. It isn’t always what the director intended, but popular culture exists because it does something for people. It scratches subconscious itches in people. Movies can help guide us or speak to silent turmoil without us even realizing it’s happening.
I wanted to explore the vicarious satisfaction that IS film and examine the ways that society views the exchange between the screen and their own lives.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
In my fiction, I use what I refer to as “the snowball effect”. In this, I will begin with writing that seems totally logical, but toward the climax, I will begin to implement a lot of sensory details meant to sweep the reader into the scene, losing themselves. I want my reader to feel like they just got hit in the back of the head with a 2×4. I want them to lose themselves for a minute.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I recently came across Chelsea Martin’s work and am reading Caca Dulce. I felt a strong connection between her work and my own. My current publication is academia, so it obviously isn’t in the same style, but my fiction feels as though it comes from a similar place–one of self discovery and laughing at the lunacy that is being alive.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on a collection of short stories about a character named Julian Pepper who undergoes a lot of personal discovery through her battles with increasingly poor decisions.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’ll let you know once I’ve figured it out.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep trying. You are going to be rejected uncountable times. It makes you feel like crap. It makes you question every decision you’ve ever made. Just keep doing it. Something will stick; you just have to find it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t jam forks in the toaster.
What are you reading now?
I am currently reading Pay It Forward for my day job. The last book I read for fun was What Dreams May Come. It blew my mind.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I have some ridiculous projects in the works… a children’s book involving poop, a book with a silverback gorilla as one of the main characters, and my short stories about Julian, several of which have already been published.
I guess I just want to have fun with the experience and hope someone gets something out of my manic scribblings.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Where’s Waldo (Once I found him everywhere, I could use the pages to make a fire)
King’s It (even though I’ve already read it twice)
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Author Websites and Profiles
Ashley Jae Carranza Website