Monday, February 18, 2013

The Plan with Charlene Ammons

Today I'm interviewing debut mystery/suspense author, Charlene Ammons, and sharing her first published book in her Honesuckle Chronicle Trilogy, The Plan.  Charlene based the book on researches of cases in the 1930's and 1940's.


Everyone claims to have a plan. Only one is The Plan. 

Omega, Alabama in 1941 was a place that only storytellers could dream of visiting. Times were hard and faith was wandering--that is until Mode Lee entered the picture. The handsome preacher brought what appeared to be miracle after miracle to the tight knit community.  However, evil things lurked in the wake of the arrival of this "Man of God".

It would take a frightened, mentally unstable child; the mother of the county sheriff; and a wild-natured redhead to bring the truth to light. 


What are your roots?
I'm a 6th generation Florida native.  My Daddy's family originally came over from Scotland and fought in the American Revolution.  They moved from North Carolina to Georgia and then to Jackson County,FL.  My Mama's family is a little more difficult to trace but I know they were poor farmers from Georgia and Alabama.  I grew up as the only child but my parents had children from previous marriages so I had half brothers and sisters much older than me. The whole family make-up played a huge impact on my life (especially a a writer).

Has your own family story impacted your writing at all?
Absolutely!  What writer hasn't had their family impact the writing they produce?  It is what molds the writer from an early age.  For me, my interaction (or lack thereof) with some of my family members influenced my feelings of being the back sheep...the outsider.  My parents had a very positive impact on me and they told me many stories of their childhood that flared my creative juices.

How do you describe yourself as a writer?
I'm moody and I like to preach.  I want the reader to feel the emotions in my heart and see the thoughts in my head.  I want people to think.  It's never just a story for fun.  There's always something behind it that we all can learn from.

Why did you pick this particular genre for your writing?
I chose to write in the Southern Gothic style because it's the two things that interest me...stories of the South (because we Southerners are so quirky) and the paranormal (because it is all focused on the unknown).  My books also have touches of romance, humor, and mystery because life is a little mix of all of these.

Why was it important for you to write this particular novel?
This first novel was important for me to write because I had so many thoughts running through my much confusion, anger, and frustration.  I had to get it out of my head.  It was therapy for me and I hoped it may be therapeutic for others to read too. The validation I received when people read it let me know that I had done the right thing by writing this story.

What was hard for you in writing this novel?
The hardest thing for me about writing this first book was just knowing where to get started.  I had all of these ideas in my head, movies really, but they weren't in any particular order.  Trying organize them was the hardest thing!

Are there themes that recur in your work?
I think there are several reoccurring themes in all of my books.  "Looks are deceiving", "Always root for the underdog", "There's nothing wrong with being different", "Strong, independent women", "Strong women are fragile too". 

What are you working on now?
I'm working on my third book in the series, The Bloodline.  It will really will focus on the history of the families from my prior books.  I'm very excited about it.

What would you like to write in the future?
I could write forever on the Honeysuckle Chronicles but I have several other story lines in my head.  Other characters laying in wait, ready to show their faces to the world.  Other places in time to travel to.

What three books did you read in 2012 that you loved and would recommend to others as excellent?  
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame Green; Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by EL James and The Hunger Games Trilogy by Susanne Collins.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in this interview. Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers of this blog?
Today is the one year anniversary of my father's death.  I find it appropriate that my last stop on this tour ends on this day...symbolic if you really think about it.  I just hope I've made my Daddy proud so far and that's all a Southern girl like me can ask for.


Ms. Ammons has a definite feel for the south, for its history, and for its characters.  Those all ring true throughout this story. Her descriptions of the south of 1942 with all its beauty, and its underlying horror, truly bring you into the era. She pulls no punches in condemning prejudice, the role of the power and corruption in government, and in particular the role of all powerful men who hold themselves up to knowing what is best for their women, their community,  and perhaps even their God.

I have to say I had a difficult time with this book, especially the first 40 to 50 pages.  The style she has chosen to use for her story is a combination of omniscient point-of-view with dips into the closer points-of-view of several characters, but particularly two protagonists and the antagonist.  It is also written more as a set of vignettes of the town and its people with the overarching mystery of a serial killer that is wreaking havoc in this backwater of the south. This writing style is not one that is common in genre fiction, but may be experienced in literary fiction. It took me awhile to understand the narrative structure and be able to move on.

However, the story did catch me by the midpoint of the book and I was invested enough to hope that the violent serial murderer would be caught and the town would have some relief from his horror.  There were some characters I needed to see survive and be saved, and Ms. Ammons did reward me with that. In some ways, it is like reading an angry treatise from a confused and vengeful child--a child trying to deal with the devastation wrought on her life and on this one town.  It is simultaneously scary and realistic enough for you to remember it long after you close the book.

Buy Links:  Amazon | Barnes and Noble

* * * CONTEST * * *

Charlene is giving away a paperpack copy of her book to one lucky winner.  Use the Rafflecopter system below to enter, and don't forget to comment here on the blog about the interview, the amazing book trailer, or ask Charlene questions about the book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

W. Charlene Ammons was born and raised in northwest Florida. As the daughter of the local chief of police, she was exposed to the law enforcement community early in her life. She later received her degree from Florida State University and entered the field of law enforcement, where she has served as a field training officer and an investigator.

In her sprare time, she enjoys gardening, playing guitar, and collecting all things related to The Beatles. She currently resides in the Florida panhandle with her husband Brian.

Mrs. Ammons has penned two books: The Plan (Book 1 in the Honeysuckle Chronicles) and The Lesson (Book 2), which was released in February 2012. The third book, The Bloodline, will be released this spring.

Visit Charlene on the Web:  Website | Facebook | GoodReads

Even though I'm the last stop on Charlene's tour, you can certainly go back and read some of her interesting guest posts and interviews at the previous stops.  If you hurry, you may even have a chance to enter a couple more times in her giveaway at each stop.

Feb 5th- Promo -Lavender & Camomile Press
Feb 6th- Guest Post -Lurking Musings
Feb 7th- Review -Stephanie's Book Shelf
Feb 8th- Promo -Up-To-Date Reviewing
Feb 9th - MEET & GREET  -Facebook- W. Charlene Ammons
Feb 10th- Promo  -Confessions of a Book Addict
Feb 11th - Interview -Ethereal Book Reviews
Feb 12th- Promo -The Fear of Opinions
Feb 13th- Guest Post & Promo -A Tasty Read
Feb 14th- Promo -Elizabeth Los
Feb 15th- Review -Im Simply Debbie
Feb 16th- Review -Pure Jonel
Feb 17th-Guest Post -Sab the Book Eater
Feb 18th- Interview -Maggie's Meanderings YOU ARE HERE!


W. Charlene Ammons said...

I want to thank you for hosting me and giving an honest review. You hit the nail on the head when you say the story seems to be like reading an angry treatise from a confused and vengeful child--dealing with the devastation wrought on her own life and the town. I wrote The Plan when I was 20 years old and I was dealing with a lot of hate and anger at that time in my life. I would like to think the time and experience between the writing of my first book and my second book (10 years) shows through. Maybe one day you can review it as well.
Thank you again!

Stephanie Manning said...

Thanks for hosting today Maggie!

Maggie Jaimeson said...

Hi Charlene,

Glad to have you here. I completely understand how first books go. They are generally books of the heart and represent an emotional experience. Of course, every book is emotional for me.

Please do check back here over the next several days. With it being a holiday weekend, I suspect many of my readers may not check in until tonight or the next couple of days.

Evelyn Bohn said...

Wow! This book sounds kind of scary. Do you think it would give me nightmares? I like suspense books but not if they are so scary you can't stop thinking.

Could you tell us a little more about the other two books in the Honeysuckle series? Maybe those won't be quite as scary.

Evelyn Bohn said...

Oh, I also forgot to ask if this book is available in ebook format? I have a Nook and I prefer to buy ebooks because they are cheaper and because I don't have to add more bookshelves in my tiny apartment.