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In Conversation With Ashley Elliott Author of The Demon in Disguise
From:
Norm Goldman --  bookpleasures.com Norm Goldman -- bookpleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal, QC
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

 

Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest, Ashley Elliott co-author of The DemonIn Disguise.


Ashley was raised inConway, Arkansas. A survivor and an advocate for victims, she devotedmore than a decade to her quest for justice after her father’smurder and mother’s kidnapping.

She holds a BS inOrganizational Communication from the University of Utah, and is anavid hiker, athlete, bodybuilder who has competed in and won medalsin various competitions. She lives in Utah with her husband andchildren.

Good day Ashley and thanksfor taking part in our interview.

Norm: What is the one thing other people always seem toget wrong about you?


Ashley: The one thingpeople tend to get wrong about me is that I am not a nice person andunapproachable. I am very direct in my speech and it can beoff-putting to most. I am also an introvert, shy, guarded and thatdoesn’t help. It takes a while to get to know me.

Norm: If you could goback ten years and give yourself one piece of advice what would thatadvice be?

Ashley: I am a controlfreak so I would tell myself to relax. Life is much more enjoyable ifyou loosen the death grip on everything and relax. It’s a practicethat I work on daily.

Norm: When did theidea for The Demon in Disguise first emerge?

Ashley: When MichaelCoffino, my co-author, and I set out on this journey it wasn’t ourintent to publish a book titled The Demon in Disguise. It was towrite a book about the events in my life, it was an outlet for me andit was a form of therapy. It was cathartic. 

Norm: What was thetime-line between the time you decided to write your book andpublication? What were the major events along the way?  

Ashley: I believe Michaeland I started in February 2020. We then submitted The Demon inDisguise in December to about 10 different publishers. Michael and Idecided on a publisher in January 2021 and here we are with apublication date of September 24, 2021. 

We did not encounter anymajor events. I believed we unearthed more injustice. For example,Dick died in prison but due to laws I was unable to find out whatcaused his death.

I simply cannot rectify in my head how a criminal,a murderer has rights even after he is dead. I tried to obtain adeath certificate and could not, even though I was, at one time, hisstep-daughter. 

There are other questionsthat still remain unanswered. Why was my mother not notified byV.I.N.E ((Victim Information and Notification Everyday) of Dick’searly release or even by the state of Nevada?

Why was the state ofArkansas unaware of Dick’s early release? Why was Dick receiving anearly release? Who made these decisions?

These are just a few ofthe many questions that will remain a mystery.

Norm: What purpose doyou believe your story serves and what matters to you about thestory?  

Ashley:  To me, thepurpose of my story was to know what happened to my family. I want mychildren to know what happened. I want them to know that despite allthat our family has been through that these things do not define usand we are resilient. 

Norm: How did youcollaborate with Michael J. Coffino in the writing of the book? As afollow up, did you write more by logic or intuition, or somecombination of the two? Please summarize your writing process.  

Ashley: I found Michael onguru.com. I went to his web page and checked him out. I reached outto him and we scheduled a phone call. I knew right away he was theman for the job. He was a lawyer, private investigator, straightforward, easy to talk to and a published writer.

I believe we wrote by bothlogic and intuition. In the beginning, I would email Michael myattempts to sit down and write. These were more like extremelyemotional journal entries. 

Then Michael and I wouldspend an hour or two on the phone once or twice a week and talk aboutdifferent topics. He would record our call and have them transcribed.

We made a list of individuals to interview, submitted FOIA’srequests, and gathered everything we needed to construct a timelineof each crime. 

As he wrote the chaptersof the book he would send them to me to review. I would make anychanges until we came to the end of the book. It was a very catharticprocess.

Norm: Can you share somestories about people you met while researching this book? What aresome of the references that you used while researching this book?  

Ashley: I pretty much kneweveryone I was writing about. They had all been in my life at onepoint or another, therefore I don’t really have any stories to tellper se. 

Michael and I sent outFOIA requests to various offices to obtain all the files we needed todevelop and establish each crime.

The Faulkner CountyProsecutor's office was most helpful in supplying us with all thefiles from my father and Timmy Wayne’s murders and so was DouglasCounty for the kidnapping of my mother.

The state of Utah, I feel,was least help and that was a disappointment.

Lieutenant Barrett, of theConway Police Department, was the lead investigator on my dad’scase and he agreed to be interviewed for the book. He is anincredible man. He helped me the most overcome so many unansweredquestions.

Norm: What was one of themost surprising things you learned in writing the book?  

Ashley: The events of mymother’s kidnapping were one of the most surprising things Ilearned about. In my head, I had my version of what happened.However, based on the files that I received from Douglas County, itwas nothing like I imagined.

Norm: Did you think aboutyour reading public when you write the book? Did you imagine aspecific reader when you wrote the book?

Ashley: I would imagineMichael had a reader in mind but I did not. I wrote this book formyself. I needed to process what happened to my family in the mostlogical format possible.

Norm: In your opinion,what was the most difficult part of the writing process?

Ashley: I think the mostdifficult part of the writing process was having to read The Demon InDisguise over and over again.

Each time I read it I relived the mostpainful days of my life. I also feel that publishing my story isdifficult.

I am literally putting the most vulnerable portion of mylife on display to anyone that wants to read it. It feels scary toput yourself out there. 

Norm: Where did the titleThe Demon in Disguise come from?

Ashley: Dick Conte is TheDemon In Disguise. He came into my life disguised as a caretaker,loving husband to my mom, my uncle's best friend, an ER doctor,volunteer for the S.W.A.T. team, a military man and a mercenary.

Skeptical as I was, I allowed him to slither his way into our lives.In the end, Dick came into my life to kill, steal and destroy allthat I held so precious.

Norm: Where can ourreaders find out more about you and The Demon in Disguise

Ashley: Social Media. Itry to keep my content different on each platform. My WEBSITE, is the main hub of information. My FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE  is mainly quotes, events and I do bookgiveaways.

My INSTAGRAM AUTHOR is more personal. Ilove pictures so I tend to post more on Instagram. 

Norm; What is next forAshley Elliott?

Ashley: I would love toattempt to write another book but for right now I will be focusing onfamily.

Norm: As this interviewcomes to an end, if you could change one thing about the world whatwould it be? How would it change you?

Ashley: I would like tohave transparency within our government agencies. Transparency wouldhold those individuals who have power over me accountable for theirchoices and actions. They would no longer be able to hide behind aposition of power and cover up what I perceive to be wrongdoings. 

Norm: Thanks once againand good luck with The Demon in Disguise.

Follow Here To Read Norm's Review of The Demon in Disguise

 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

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Name: Norm Goldman
Group: bookpleasures.com
Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 514-486-8018
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