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!
**Graphic content warning. Taboo, violent themes prevalent throughout. Reader discretion advised.**
Colour My Ugly (Colour Series #1)
Rowan was born to be a murderer, trained to do nothing but kill. He spends his days hidden in plain sight waiting for the next life he gets to snuff out.
When the name that crosses his desk of death is one he cannot possibly murder, he makes a decision that will alter the course of both their lives forever.
Lauri has been dying at the hand of her husband for eight long years, his lust for revenge and need for her suffering has finally ended. He wants her dead. Her body is broken, scarred and ugly, but it’s her heart and mind that are beyond repair.
When she wakes up dead her whole world changes and she can finally begin living.
Some people are not good, but they can be good for each other.
Monochrome My Madness (Colour Series #2)
I will let her, because my broken black heart beats with love for her.
Death follows me like a shadow creeping silently after me, tethered to my blackened soul. I am cursed to carry it with me everywhere I go. It is never far away from me, and I am perfectly happy with that. The dark shadow of death keeps me alive in this rotten fucking world.
Light through the grey shadow changes everything. It changes me.
He took my madness and broke me. I am going to kill him.
Are you ready to love and let die with Callum and Shannon?
My Black Hole Heart (Colour Series #3)
One Little Girl
Avery Spillane-Leahy the daughter of two killers, the criminal prodigy of the biggest kingpin in modern time. She is flawless, but only on the outside.
Loss, love and lust can crack even the toughest diamonds.
Inside she is a gaping hole, nothing that gets close is safe from her ruthless blade. She cares for no one, so that no one can wound her. She learned from what Rowan and Callum lost and became an empty vessel unable to be harmed by emotion.
One scorned brother, an old flame and an angel of death dare to come into her world. They will all leave again, some of them in coffins, but they will all go.
The question is what will be left of her?
When the Colours fade and the Grey Madness is gone she is left all alone, a Black Hole Heart with nothing left to lose.
“The root of all suffering is attachment.”
The Goodbye Man (Red Market #1)
I am Caesar
Broken and conflicted.
I am a man who gives false goodness to those who crave it.
I provide solace to the ones who beg to be saved, giving them the goodbyes they want.
But, my quiet little world s about to be shattered by the whispers from heaven and hell.
I am Mateo
Unlovable and unworthy.
I am the boy everyone runs from.I keep love close to me in little jars of perfection.
Reminding me of a thousand goodbyes I never had to say, because I left them before they could leave me.
I am Svetlana
Dirty and Used
Birthed into brutality while still trying comprehend my version of normal.
I am an injured lamb, eaten by filthy wolves day after day.
Just as salvation seems like it’s within reach, a goodbye form this world is all that I wish for.