Thursday, November 1, 2012

Not My Mother: A Memoir by Ashley Rae: Interview & Excerpt: Sizzling PR Tour Stop



Not My Mother: A Memoir
Genre: Memoir/Non-Fiction
Release Date: July 13, 2012

By the age of twelve, Ashley Rae had survived incest, child abuse, and the deaths of both her biological parents. Born to Baptists but raised by Buddhists, Rae found peace and healing on a Pagan spiritual path while obtaining her college degree and starting the career of her dreams.

Rae thought the hardships in her life were over...until she lost her job, started a new relationship, and found out she was pregnant with another man's child all in the same week. Terrified of cesarean surgery, Rae vowed to give birth to her child at home – but first, she had to find one.

Alternately haunting, humorous, and heart-warming, Not My Mother: A Memoir follows Rae over a nine-month quest to break her family's generational pattern of abuse and victimhood in order to become for her unborn child the mother she had always wanted for herself.

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From the moment Dad rushed us through the dark living room, too quickly for me to see her body, I'd been looking for my mother.  Even after her funeral in Virginia, I kept looking for my mother.  She came to me in my dreams and told me it had all been a mistake, and she wasn't really dead at all.  I'd wake up and jump out of bed in a hurry to continue our conversation, then freeze and fold in half, hyperventilating as reality hit me.

At twenty-two, I had not yet explored how the violence that I couldn't remember witnessing affected my life and my relationships.  Ike died when I was five.  Mom hated him.  His mom loved him.  I, on the other hand, had never given myself permission to have feelings about this man who'd loved me and killed my mother. Until I saw him staring back at me through my mirror in the flickering light of a white candle.


Tell us about your current release.


Not My Mother: A  Memoir is the story of how I took the first steps to healing myself after a life of trauma and self-hatred so that I could become for my unborn child the mother I'd always needed myself.


It started as my thesis for my MFA in Creative Writing, which one of my thesis committee members insisted I MUST publish.  After I signed the publishing contract a few months later, I read it all over again with the eyes of a reader picking it up off the shelf at the local bookstore, and I was totally disgusted.  (insert loud laughing here.)


I took out most of the “Jerry Springer” quality family-drama, a couple stories that weren't mine to tell, the gory details of some of the worst moments of my life because I felt that they were just too heavy, to depressing.  I added more humor, more beauty, more insight from the perspective of a much healthier me, and then I felt that it was ready to do what I wanted it to do:  to inform, inspire, entertain, and wow my readers.


When I read it now, it's like I'm reading about someone else's life.  New friends who've read it have told me the same.  A facebook friend told me the other day that she loves people like me who don't even have the word “depression” in their vocabulary.  I laughed for at least five minutes after reading that.  Not being depressed anymore is better than a dream come true.  I never imagined it was possible for me.  Which leads me into the next question:

Tell us about your next release.


My next memoir is tentatively titled Sentence Interrupted: Memoir of a Moody Mama, and is the story of how I healed myself of Major Depressive Disorder after surviving post-partum depression, a bad relationship, and homelessness as a single mother, all while reeling from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It's the story of how I learned how to be the mother I wanted for my child, and it's the story of finally learning how to forgive, let go, and allow my dreams to come true one by one.  Basically, it's the story of the last three years.  I'm really excited about it, even though it's tough to go back and relive those weeks and months of “Rock Bottom.”

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?


I learn all kinds of surprising things while writing.  I think I have at least one epiphany every time I write memoir and personal-life blog posts.  Writing helps me get enough perspective to make connections I might never otherwise see.


One of the most surprising things I learned while writing my first memoir was how to forgive my biological parents.  Exploring the story of their lives helped me to see them as victims they were.  It didn't excuse their crimes, but it allowed me to see how damaged they were.  My father was not a perfectly healthy man with a wonderful life who one day got bored with being happy and decided to shoot his wife and molest his daughter.  He was damaged.  He was sick.  Being angry with a sick man for behaving in a sick way no longer made sense to me, and I realized that I forgave him.

What are you passionate about these days?


I'm passionate about empowering people to heal themselves.  Everything I do, from the books I write, to the workshops I teach, to the weekend retreats that I organize, to my Love-Your-Life Coaching practice, and even the psychic readings I offer, all revolve around empowering and encouraging my clients and students to heal themselves and love their lives.

What makes you happy?


Cuddling my toddler makes me so happy I cry at least once a day.  Singing, playing, making arts and crafts, teaching, reading, serving my clients...heck, I'm just always happy nowadays.

Do you have a Website or Blog?


Several! is a blog I created in 2009 and also has some fun stuff like the handouts for my workshop “The Incredible Vagina,” a Healing By Moon Sign page, and stuff like that. is my new blog and main web site, which I created this year.  It's a work in progress, but it's got information on the events I do, the classes I teach, all my other blogs, and a place to order a psychic reading or life coaching session.


I started a fitness blog that I don't keep up with and I have a Moody Mama blog that I don't keep up with.  There are links to them on my main blog, but I think I'm going to delete them and just stick with the main two from here out.

What advice would you give to anyone trying to overcome depression, chronic stress, or other mood disorders?


Well, Laurie, I'm glad you asked that.  This is my advice, based on my own success:  take care of your body first.


Your body is the most powerful, priceless, and precious thing you own.


You cannot make any significant steps in mental, emotional, or spiritual healing while neglecting and abusing your body, which is the physical manifestation of YOU.


Make getting enough sleep a personal rule.  Replace fast food and junk food with nourishing real food as often as you can.  Drink water constantly throughout the day.  Give yourself 15 minutes of peace to meditate or just be every day.  Give yourself 30 minutes of heart-pumping sweaty time every day. 


And as you are doing these things for yourself more and more every day, remember to tell yourself that you each one is a step toward your own healing.  You are giving yourself love.  You are nourishing your whole being.  Be proud of yourself for taking each baby step!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?


You are powerful.  You are wise.  I appreciate you.  I believe in you.


And thank you!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, I love you, and you are wonderful!

Ashley Rae has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida and resides with her precious 3 year old in gorgeous Sarasota, FL.  She leads weekend retreats for psychics, kids, and writers, and teaches workshops on using writing as a self-healing tool, developing intuition, and about The Incredible Vagina, which is simply the best title anyone has ever come up with for any class, ever. She is presently working on her second memoir, tentatively titled “Sentence Interrupted: Memoir of a Moody Mama.” Also a professional psychic, energy healer, and a Love-Your-Life Coach, there is plenty to check out on her website at

Next Few Stops:
1 – Interview @ Laurie’s Non-Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews
2 – Long Excerpt @ A Little Bit of R&R Reviews
6 – Guest Post @ Jenna Jaxon
7 – Spotlight @ A Passion for Romance


Giveaway # 1

Giveaway #2


1 comment:

Donna McBroom-Theriot said...

Sounds like a great book and memoirs are my favorite! Hope I win. Donna

If you would like to pop over to my place, I have five books for giveaway this week. All listed in the right hand sidebar. Hope to see you there.