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Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Spotlight: Ashlyn Chase

Reinventing Myself
Ashlyn Chase


In some of my bios, I mention the idea of the writer’s theme. It’s not the theme of a book; it’s the theme of all that author’s books. Whether or not we writers realize it, an all-over pervasive theme usually emerges in every book by a particular author. I’ve come to realize my theme has to do with characters who reinvent themselves.

I’m well qualified to write it too. I’ve reinvented myself many times—both as a writer and a person. I worked as a registered nurse for twenty years. Before that, I attended Massachusetts College of Art, hoping to become a famous artist and travel the world showing in premier galleries. Then I got real.

Reinvention number one: From artist to nurse. Nursing doesn’t allow for a lot of creativity. In fact, it’s actively discouraged. You follow doctor’s orders, period. And if they get “too creative” it’s your job to reel them in. But as you might have guessed, I’m a creative person and that trait doesn’t stay buried easily. Most artists will tell you they become very uncomfortable—physically, emotionally or both—if they can’t create. I’m no different. To satisfy my creative urges, I took a course in screenwriting. It wasn’t as messy as painting and I had since married a neat-nick.

Reinvention number two: From nurse to writer. I tried a couple of other things along the way. I trained as a hypnotherapist and an interior designer, but for some reason my clients eventually began smoking or gaining weight again, and it was discouraging. I never earned a dime with my Interior Design training. There were just too many pitfalls, so I used my knowledge to design my own home and offer opinions to friends—if asked. But it was writing that stuck.

Reinvention number three: From hot suspense to hot comedy. I was a published author. I had a few devoted followers and some great reviews, but something was missing. My joy and spontaneity. I wasn’t having as much fun as I would have liked. Writing these books had turned into work. Then I had an experience that changed me again. I wrote my first erotic comedy. I let myself go buck wild, and it just poured out of me. What resulted was an off-the-wall novella that every reader and reviewer loved. It was nominated for a CAPA and an Eppie award. And I loved it too, plus I loved the experience of writing it.

Reinvention number four: From short to long: I had heard that what readers and publishers wanted were not one, but several related books in a series. So I tried to come up with an idea for a hot humorous series. Let’s see…write what you know…use your voice…and try to make it a long, rich storyline that can go on and on and on…

The Werewolf Upstairs is the second in the series and it’s available now! Here’s why you won’t want to miss it. Both my main characters want to change their careers, but to what? All they know is that they want to find their bliss—that thing I have now. So here’s what they did…they used their dates to try out different professions. They took a dance class, a cooking class, a skydiving lesson, etc. Now, use your imagination and picture the disasters that could happen! Yup, lots of comedy fodder there.

So, that’s it. No more hints…just the promise of a happy ever after ending for all—both personally and professionally.

NOTE: In addition to being included in the weekly drawing, one lucky commenter on today's post will receive a copy of The Werewolf Upstairs.

11 comments:

Maureen said...

I am impressed with all the changes you made in your life and it's wonderful that you weren't afraid to try different things in order to find what you really wanted.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks, Maureen.

I learned a little bit about palm reading and my life line looks like a long and winding road. LOL.

Dalton Diaz said...

It's all book fodder, really. It's not Big Brother watching, it's writers! You never know when something you do will end up in a book.

Ashlyn Chase said...

ROFL, Dalton! You kill me.

So that everyone understands how funny that is, she inspired a book simply by falling into a hole and spraining her ankle!

KatieO said...

Your reinventions and career trajectory are so inspiring! Congrats on another great book! It's on my TBR list - you're always one of my favorite authors ;-)

Ashlyn Chase said...

Katie, what a sweet thing to say. Thank you!

Ash

Mai said...

Wow Ash, you've done a lot in your short, few years on this earth. LOL can't wait to see what's next :)

wanda f said...

I have to agree with a prior commenter Your reinventions and career trajectory are inspiring.
The Werewolf Upstairs is a must read for me I loved Strange Neighbors and I know The Werewolf Upstairs is going to be just as awesome .Thank you for sharing with us today .
Wanda
flanagan@mebtel.net

Sherry said...

Ash, there you go again, you are a true renaissance woman. You think about it and just do it.. I am so impressed and awed by you.. When I grow up, I want to be just like you..

Love you,
The Sherry...

Christine H said...

I too have always been impressed with your life! All that you have accomplished and have been successful doing. Your amazing in so many ways!! I hope the book is doing as good as all the great reviews you've been given!!

Love, Christine

Christine H said...

Oh I wanted to add something. Sorry about what you went through, I'm not a writer but I was constantly entering contests last year and loving it and reading like crazy and I've been burnt on both. I don't know how you got back to it in a week. I've been trying for months and months. Nothings happening. So I can't wait for whatever is holding me back to let go. I want to enjoy those things as much as I once did. I was so happy at the end of 2009 and through most of 2010, but stalled since then. Maybe I'll take a break from everything and read for a week too and let everything else go and see how that makes me feel. I think it might work. But I feel pulled in so many directions, not sure if you did or still do, but it's hard to keep up with everything. But what you said has helped me. I'll let you know how my week of reading goes!!! :)

Love ya, Christine