Thursday, April 26, 2012

Interview ~ Ashland Menshouse author of The Last Seer and the Tomb of Enoch

Can a ghost haunt more than your home?  Can a Bigfoot track more than footprints? 

Aubrey Taylor’s cozy life in the subdued, Appalachian town of Lake Julian had never been exceptional.   Shouldered by his lifelong friends, Buzz Reiselstein and Rodriqa Auerbach, he quietly endured the thrashings of a persistent pack of pesky bullies, which included the most-feared kid in school, Magnos Strumgarten, and his own obnoxiously, well-accomplished brother, Gaetan.  Comfortable in his humdrum niche of the absolutely average, Aubrey never pushed back…

…until fate dug a little too deep, and the unseen darkness of unspoken places stole his mediocrity.

When spurious specters and elusive mountain men battle for a tomb of Watchers, buried in ages past, only those who choose to search beyond the surface feel the grip of the ancients’ revenge.   Unusual disappearances, a colorful cadre of insightful townsfolk and a whirlwind of blunders and mishaps exposes the struggling forces that transform Aubrey and his friends into more than spectators amidst the oldest war of all.

Prepare to see the unseen as you’ve never seen it before.

Want to buy this book? Click the links below.  

The Last Seer and the Tomb of Enoch is Ashland Menshouse’s debut novel.  This adventure blend of science fiction and spiritual fantasy explores the stifling angst and carefree joy of adolescence in a world torn between tradition and the post-modern march of progress.

A little about Ashland
Ashland Menshouse received a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky.  He obtained a doctoral degree from the University of Kentucky and completed post-doctoral studies at Emory University.  He currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, where he spends most of his time working with ill and injured children.  Current projects include this novel’s sequel, The Last Guardian and the Keeper of the Magi, which is nearly ready for publication, and the third novel The Last Nazirite and the Shadowlight, which will be completed by the end of 2013.  Visit for more info.

1.What is your all-time favorite book?
“Arrowsmith” by Sinclair Lewis.  I both commiserate and identify with the struggle of learning a craft in the midst of personal and social upheaval.  For me, this book is a standard for traversing pain during applied sanity.

2.What inspired you to want to become a writer?
Words are the most powerful extension of ourselves. With a single word we can destroy and inspire, justify and repudiate, love and denigrate.   I have always had the greatest respect for words and their potency in every aspect of life.

One day, I hope to be a good writer: to write something which both gives someone hope and shows them a glint of the world from an otherwise hidden perspective.

I’ve always enjoyed writing.  It’s the one place where I am me, and I don’t have to be anything else.  When I was younger, I wanted to devote more time to writing, but life got in the way, and it fell by the wayside.  Now that the rest of my life is a little more manageable (and by that I mean I’ve finally reached a level of maturity where I’m a little better at dealing with a baseline degree of personal craziness), I can finally devote more time to writing.

3.What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Put your helmet on, keep your nose to the floor and never give up.

4.What jobs did you have before you became a writer?
I’ve worked in medicine in one form or another since I was 16.  It’s what I was made to do. 

5.Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m a savant at dominos.  It’s like triage, only with numbers.

6.Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’ve nearly completed the second book in the series, “The Last Guardian and the Keeper of the Magi”, and I’m already plot-planning for the third book, “The Last Nazirite and the ShadowLight”.

7.Please tell us why we should read your book.
You’ll never think of the things you can’t explain the same way again.  Plus, it’s just clean, chortle-inducing fun.

8.How do reviews, good or bad, affect you?
I like input good or bad.  I hope people enjoy what I write, but as I’m only just about to complete my second novel, I understand I’m still learning, and I want to improve, so any constructive criticism is welcome.

9.Favorite food?
I love food, nearly all food, which is exemplified by my husky stature.

I go through phases.  Things with vinegar as an ingredient are my favorite currently.  That could change next week.

10.Cat or Dog?
I have a cat, Hollie.  She’s 11 years old, and the best cuddle-buddy ever.  She’s more like a dog in some ways:  no attitude and loves affection.  I used to think she was a little on the dim-witted side, but as she’s matured, I’ve realized she’s been playing me for a fool.  I’ve discovered she lifts her right front paw up, like she’s injured, when she wants something.  I kept telling the vet about it.  X-rays, blood tests, physical exam, everything was normal.  Took me years to figure out it was all a ploy for love…or treats.

11.What do you do to relax?
What does relax mean?  I’m unfamiliar with this word.  Is it English?

12.What is one thing you absolutely need while writing?
A space to concentrate.  It’s amazing how I did all my homework in high school while I watched TV, now when I’m writing I need to be able to block everything out and focus solely on the story.  A little background noise is fine.  Sometimes I listen to some music, but it can’t have words, and usually it just annoys me after a bit, so I turn it off.

When I’m writing, I need every sense attuned to the world I’m creating.

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview.

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