The Story Behind Growl by Ashley Fontainne

Growl was inspired by three things I love in this world: my mother, cats, and Native American culture. I love animals, and there has been a furry feline in my life ever since I can recall. In fact, the white housecat in Growl, Tinker, is named in honor of my first pet. All of my novels have an animal in them, either a cat or dog. This time, the main character also has the previously Growl 2unknown ability to change into a large cat.

Since my youth, I have been fascinated with Native American culture. Their loyalty, strength, connection with nature, and bonds to each other I wanted to explore. I tried to do so in a way never quite done before, so I honed in on the ability to skin-walk (better known as shape-shifting). It took a lot of research, zeroing in on the beliefs of the Choctaw Nation (according to oral legends) and also websites that translated their language so I could create the names of the two main characters, Nahu’ala (roughly translated – to keep sacred) and Hattak’katos (translated man – cat).

After combining those two elements, I added the third, which came about after a long conversation with my mother. We both noticed a trend in current books we wanted to address. In numerous coming of age books, there seems to be a lack of a strong family unit. We also noticed a common theme of main characters who want to embrace their newfound supernatural gifts, no matter the costs to others, i.e., they all seem self-centered. So, the decision was made to bring some grace, humility and good old Southern charm to the story through secondary characters, such as Sheryl’s parents, grandmother and great-grandmother. Of course, there is also plenty of suspense, gore, and mystery!

If I had to sum up the entire book in one sentence, I believe it would be this line, spoken by the main character, Sheryl:

“A choice I didn’t want to make but a duty I was unable to ignore.”


Ashley FontainneAward-winning and International bestselling author Ashley Fontainne is an avid reader of mostly the classics. Ashley became a fan of the written word in her youth, starting with the Nancy Drew mystery series. Stories that immerse the reader deep into the human psyche and the monsters that lurk within us are her favorite reads.

Her muse for penning the Eviscerating the Snake series was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Ashley’s love for this book is what sparked her desire to write her debut novel, Accountable to None, the first book in the trilogy. With a modern setting to the tale, Ashley delves into just what lengths a person is willing to go when they seek personal justice for heinous acts perpetrated upon them. The second novel in the series, Zero Balance focuses on the cost and reciprocal cycle that obtaining revenge has on the seeker. For once the cycle starts, where does it end? How far will the tendrils of revenge expand? Adjusting Journal Entries answered that question: far and wide.

Her short thriller entitled Number Seventy-Five, touches upon the sometimes dangerous world of online dating. Number Seventy-Five took home the BRONZE medal in fiction/suspense at the 2013 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards contest and is currently in production for a feature film.

Her paranormal thriller entitled The Lie, won the GOLD medal in the 2013 Illumination Book Awards for fiction/suspense and is also in production for a feature film.

The suspenseful mystery Empty Shell, released September 29, 2014. Ashley then delves into the paranormal with a Southern Gothic horror/suspense novel, Growl, scheduled for release in the Spring of 2015. Plus, she will be teaming up with Lillian Hansen (Ashley calls her Mom!) to pen a three-part murder mystery/suspense series entitled The Magnolia Series. The first book, Blood Ties, is due out the Summer of 2015.

Ashley also hosts The WriteStuff, a popular BlogTalk Radio show, each Friday night at 10 p.m. CST.

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