Bestselling Author Ashleigh Giannoccaro writes edgy dark romance and erotic horror, self published by choice she writes the stories others don’t dare. Currently rising in Johannesburg South Africa with her husband and two daughters Ashleigh enjoys writing stories that make you fall in love with the unlovable and leave you asking questions. When not writing she can be found with her kindle in a sunny spot reading or traveling with her family.
What did you say you write?
I am often asked about what I write and what my books are about? There is no simple answer to the question, I write dark romance, what is that? I tell the love stories that no one thinks of, the ones where the hero is actually the bad guy and you end up loving the villain. Why do I choose these stories, simple — they are the ones I love to read. I love romance, but not the mushy kind and I adore reading scary books, the ones where you chew your nails off, but always wish they fell in love (and maybe get in on a little). So i took the two worlds and combined them into my own love stories, where you can chew your fingernails and swoon over the villain.
How did it start?
Colour My Ugly is my first book, and it started as an item on my bucket list.
- write a book one day
Well one day I sat down with the tiniest little notebook computer and I started, three months later I had my first book ready to throw in the bottom drawer, at the time my friend and book blogger read it and threatened me with death if I didn’t publish it. So my self publishing journey began with a disastrous encounter with a vanity press and after that lesson was learned I went it alone. I taught myself, learned everything I could, asked other authors, begged for help, made mistakes and built my tribe. That first book was one giant learning curve on everything you should and should not do. By the time I came around to release the second book in the series I had found my feet and my team — it takes a team to do this, choose them wisely. With and editor, formatter, PR company and Designer by my side Monochrome My Madness had an unbelievable release and I was over the moon, this book was my baby, that one story that is just your favourite. It was also the story that brought me to my writing partner Mary, who read it and pitched the craziest co-write on earth to me.
What about *those* books?
When Mary suggested the concept of The Red Market books to me I told her we would get banned by the book police in a second (we did but only the Apple ones). What she suggested was absolutely crazy, it hadn’t been done before and it certainly would be a boundary pusher. But I jumped in with both feet, She was an author I admired and who’s work I really enjoyed, why not do it? So The Goodbye man was born, together we wrote and and published a full length novel in three months, the craziest, darkest most messed up erotic horror story ***sorry mom***
But The Goodbye man did something neither of us ever dreamed, it got that beautiful shiny orange banner from Amazon, the one that says bestseller on it. It stayed at number one (in erotic horror) in both the USA and UK for three weeks. Not only that it stayed there ahead of and right next to Anne Rice — I am a fangirl. With that came other amazing things, I was invited to sign at the Books Are Bigger In Texas event in Houston where 80 indie romance authors came together for a signing. In Houston Mary and I launched the second Red Market Book with the same success as book one, only this time I was in the USA surrounded by my book people to celebrate and it was a memory to last a life time.
The Red Market books brought other things too, haters and trolls and unsolicited religious emails, there were many people who were very upset that we dared go where they thought we shouldn’t. We went into this knowing it would be either loved or hated, we chose to challenge our readers and their moral compass. We wrote the story we wanted to tell.
In between the two Red Market books I published My Black Hole Heart, the final book in the Colour Series, and it was bitter sweet. The characters that started my journey had to say goodbye and I had to write The End.
And now what?
After my visit to the USA and seeing the reality of Indie publishing first hand I have come home with a new energy even more determined than before. Indies are the future of publishing, because we are the ones breaking all the rules. Dark romance is my passion place and where I intend to keep going with my books, while I loved the insanity of erotic horror my poor heart needs a break before I go back.
I am currently preparing to release my next book Cirque a Dark Romance / psycho-erotic thriller as well as finishing the first draft of another dark romance for release early in 2017. When I am not writing I am helping other authors as often and as much as I can. Why? because when I started this journey a few very special, very successful and very busy authors took their time to help and guide me, now is my turn to pay it forward. I’m also that lady preaching self publishing every single chance I get. DO IT FOR YOURSELF!