Ashley’s favorite thing to write about is basically anything to do with myths, supernatural, paranormal…but upon occasion she’ll write about normal teenage life. It comes somewhat naturally to her considering she’s nineteen herself. If the vampires or other supernatural beings still haven’t claimed her, you’ll most likely find her with her computer, working on whatever story plots invaded her mind at that time. Like most teenagers, she’s still unsure of what all she wants to do with her life. Become a marine biologist, graphic designer, editor, fashion designer? Or maybe just stick to writing, we might find out one day. She hopes to one day travel the world, take her mom to swim with the dolphins, and let her sister finally visit Graceland. She currently lives in North Carolina with her mom, sister, and three crazy dogs who think they’re human.
Everyone thinks that authors are automatically born with love for books. With me, not so much. When I was a kid, I hated anything to do with reading. I think I wrote a story for class once, I was forced to, but, other than that? Forget about it.
I only really got into reading when I was bored—I was probably loudly complaining about this—and my sister threw a book at my head. I don’t know if she literally did…memory loss from a concussion? Ooh. Either way, I started reading Alison Noel’s Evermore, and, I became hooked. One day, I absolutely could not find what I wanted to read—does anyone else smell the beginning of a storyline?—so, I wrote it.
I became serious about my writing when I was fifteen, sixteen, somewhere around in there. I submitted to agents, rejection galore. To publishers. Ahaha, nope. Then there was the frustration and just wanting to give up. Everyone experiences it, you’re absolutely not alone there, if you’re a writer whose reading this.
I had a book up on Wattpad, I was frustrated about it not getting any/many reads and then, overnight, it exploded. I woke up to a thousand reads, and throughout the day it kept going up, I nearly cried. Yay, my work doesn’t completely suck. It got up to 2,136 reads and was #301 in Humor. I still have the screenshots on my phone, this is how I know the exact numbers. Those little things mean everything to me, they help when I start doubting myself.
I got fed up with waiting on people—publishers to accept/reject my story—so, at seventeen, I published my first book, that one that was slightly popular on Wattpad. I posted it everywhere…anyone else hear the crickets? That’s what it felt like. And then, I contacted a few blogs (Back Off My Books, Kitty Kats Crazy About Books) and these fine ladies gave me some advice which should always be appreciated, no matter how old you are. You can learn something new from someone every day.
I did promotions—everybody loves free books—gave away nearly a thousand books. Shocked the crap outta me, I actually still have that screenshot on my phone. I think this is when an awesome woman named Serena Pettus—author of the Wolfe Brothers, & Southern Pride series, check her out—left a review on amazon for it. I stalked her until I found a way to make contact and then, asked if she’d be interested in reading the second book in my series. She did and we haven’t stopped talking. She even—thankfully—edited the second one for me.
I look up to this woman because, like I said before, she is amazing. She’s given me loads of advice and she’s actually the one who gave me the courage—along with my mom and sister—to try publishers again. And, whadoya know, I’m now signed with Inkspell Publishing.
I’ll be the first one to tell you, being an author is hard. Like this lovely lady who owns this blog said, you’re committed to your book for life (probably not word for word), you constantly have to sale it. It’s a popularity contest, and it’s like you’re in a race, you fight the urge to elbow your opponent to knock them down. You even get jealous of their success, I have and still do occasionally.
Now, on Wattpad, only half of the first Princess book has over seven thousand reads. And the second one has over five thousand. That still amazes me.
Being an author isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but whenever you inform someone new of what you do, there’s always a sense of pride. It’s hard, but, it’s worth it. Never give up on your dreams.
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