Auburn featured in new book
The Auburn Plainsman, November 17, 2005 by Melanie Sollid
Carol-Faye Ashcraft is no stranger to the newsroom she portrays in her first novel, “Do No Harm.”
Ashcraft began her career as a journalist in 1966 while majoring in chemistry at Auburn.
Ashcraft accepted a job as a city desk clerk at the Montgomery Advertiser after her freshman year and never looked back.
She never graduated from Auburn, opting instead to pursue a career in journalism.
Over the years, Ashcraft has worked at both Montgomery papers, the now defunct Birmingham Post-Herald and papers in Memphis, Houston and Orlando.
Ashcraft is now regional manager of Lake Norman Magazine, a subsidiary publication of the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina. She writes fiction in her free time.
“Do No Harm” follows Mackey Logan, a journalist in the coastal Carolina area who has been assigned to uncover dirt on a nominee for the Secretary of the Interior.
Logan becomes suspicious of her assignment when she discovers there is more to the story than meets the eye. She must decide if she is willing to destroy the reputation of a man she thinks may be innocent to keep her job.
“A lot of what’s in the book are things I’ve covered as a journalist,” Ashcraft said.
A shooting spree Ashcraft covered in Memphis turns up in the pages of her novel. She said she relishes the freedom fiction offers to print things she never would have been allowed to publish in a news story.
Ashcraft credits an unpleasant neighbor with her first foray into fiction writing. The author realized she could deal with aggression toward other people by putting it into works of fiction.
“What got me started writing was a need to vent,” Ashcraft said.
Ashcraft described writing fiction as disappearing into an imaginary world. Ashcraft dedicates more than an hour at a time to her writing because when she begins the process, she goes somewhere else mentally.
“You have to be up at odd hours to write fiction,” Ashcraft said. “You start writing and then the characters start to talk to you.
“You get sucked into this other world you are writing about. The characters do what they want to and develop their own plots, even if that’s not how you had originally envisioned their roles developing.”
Ashcraft began writing “Do No Harm” 12 years ago. She has written four other manuscripts, which she is constantly revising and improving.
“I have been revising ‘Do No Harm’ all along to make it smarter and more stylish,” Ashcraft said. “You learn as you go along.”
She believes the result is a romantic suspense novel that will appeal to a wide audience, including members of the Auburn community.
Though Ashcraft has lived and worked all over the Southeast, she has never forgotten her Auburn roots.
Some scenes from the book are set on Auburn’s campus, and the novel’s heroine, Mackey Logan, is an Auburn graduate.
“It felt good putting Auburn in the book,” Ashcraft said. “Auburn has such a wonderful campus and a wonderful atmosphere.”
Ashcraft’s son, Jason, graduated from Auburn in December 1998. Her daughter-in-law, Carey Hubbs, also graduated from Auburn in June 2000.
“Do No Harm” is available for $21.95 at www.amazon.com. The book may also be purchased at most local bookstores or through the publisher, Seagull Press, at www.publishamerica.com.