Monday, June 21, 2010

Ashlyn Chase Guest Post & Giveaway

This is my first guest post, and I'm really excited to welcome, Ashlyn Chase, author of Strange Neighbors! I have been given the opportunity to giveaway 2 copies of Strange Neighbors, details are at the end of the post!

My Journey Into Publishing

I don’t know when I started writing. I’ve always been a creative soul, and most “artists” need to find a creative outlet in some medium. I began my creative journey in visual art. I took private lessons in drawing and painting and even attended Massachusetts College of Art, expanding my horizons into sculpture, photography, and printmaking. I majored in Fine Art, which was about the worst thing I could have done for career prospects. Art education or commercial art degrees might have led to a job, but I had to go back to school in order to make a living. By that time, I had a daughter and needed to make enough money to support the two of us, so I went to nursing school.

My creativity still needed expression though. I began writing poetry. Really, really bad poetry. But I found I enjoyed the “art” of storytelling. I did it with my daughter when she was little. Sometimes we’d sit on the bank of the river behind our apartment building and she’d say, “Mommy, talk me a story.” I’d make up some adventure, like finding a stolen ice cream truck, starring a little girl with long, blonde hair named Holly. She loved those.

Eventually, I discovered a screenwriting course through the University of Massachusetts that I could take if I switched to the night shift. By then I was remarried and could manage it, so I did. I learned all about inciting incidents, plots and subplots, the three act structure, increasing the stakes, plot twists, final battles and resolutions. But Hollywood was hard to break into, especially from opposite corner of the country! I actually had an agent who tried to sell one of my romantic comedies and had no luck. Oh well. By that time, I had some stories that begged to be told one way or another. I figured New York was closer than Hollywood—maybe I could try writing novels.

My first novel was a learning experience. I’m glad I did it as an original work, but the story wasn’t my best. Eventually I decided to adapt one of my screenplays to novel format. It worked! By then I’d discovered it was pretty difficult to get published as a new, unknown writer in New York too. So I submitted that “reverse adaptation” to three e-publishers and lo and behold, they all wanted it!

About a dozen ebooks later, I’d found my voice and my genre and was happily epublishing with the largest epublisher and the largest publisher of that genre in the world. I wasn’t even looking for a traditional publisher anymore. But that’s when fate stepped in, I guess. A simple conversation with a bookseller at a conference led to a pitch, and then an offer. I wasn’t even planning to pitch anything that weekend! So, I’m a great believer in networking, and being in the right place at the right time with the right idea. Wow. That’s probably way more than you wanted to know.

The abbreviated version of my story is on my website: . If anyone would like to follow my career, check out my news blog: . Or you can sign up for my newsletter. The form is on my website’s home page. I enjoy chatting with fans, so I have a yahoo group and you can join that from my home page too. Thanks for your interest, and to those who read this whole post, thanks for your attention span!


Sourcebooks has given me the opportunity to giveaway 2 copies of Strange Neighbors! The Rules are pretty simple:

1.) There will be 2 Winners, U.S. & Canada only, the books will be sent out by the publisher.
2.) To be entered in the giveaway, you must leave a comment on THIS post, with your e-mail address so I can contact you.
3.) You must be a follower of this blog!
4.) The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, July 5th.


+5 For following me on Twitter, @justpeachy36
+5 For being an old follower
+3 For being a new follower
+5 For adding this giveaway to your sidebar
+10 For getting the word out about this giveaway on twitter, facebook, a post on your blog!

Thank-You for your participation!


Lorrie said...

Sounds like a long, but wonderful journey into the writing field. I'm so glad you made it.
Good luck and may your journey be long and prosperous.
Author of Gypsy Crystal.

Christine H said...

Hi Ash, I actually forgot to tell you I finally started Strange Neighbors. I was reading by a very bright book light at 2 am waiting for the power to come on. I very much enjoyed what I got to read too, but then I new I would. Then Jeff wanted to get out it was getting hot in the house so we drove for Milkshakes and came home and the power was back on! We were thrilled. But I guess electricity loss is what it takes to get me reading again, plus no other distractions like the computer!!!!

I'm just so happy your happy about the direction your writing took you to the series. I know it's going to be a huge hit! The first book already is!

I'm going to enter even though I have the book. I love giving things away so I have a person in mind I'd give it too.
+5 For following me on Twitter
+5 For being an old follower
+10 For getting the word out about this giveaway on twitter, facebook:



Ash, I couldn't find the full length story of the one you told, maybe you can tell me where it's at. Thanks, Hugs, Christine

Dalton Diaz said...

Wow, I didn't know all of this about you, Ash! I have seen you work your butt off over the last 6 or 7 years I've known you, so it's not surprising, tho. Your success is well-deserved, heartwarming, and inspiring.

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thank you for the very kind words, folks. I really appreciate all the encouragement.

Christine, if you email me, I'll try to answer your questions. Meanwhile, good luck in the contest!


Jenny Girl said...

Very interesting career path,art, nuring, writing. Nursing could definitely give you some fodder for stories!
Very interested in your book and look forward to reading it.

Thanks for the contest Debbie!
+5 old follower
+5 post on sidebar

justpeachy36 said...

Your welcome! I love having giveaways! I have another one coming up this week also with Shana Galen, author of The Making of a Duchess. You should check it out as well.

Nicole Morgan said...

This isn't the first time I've gotten a peek into Ash's work. She's a great author and Strange Neighbors sounds fantastic!

This is my first time visiting this blog and I love it! :)

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks, Nicole!

I'm so glad you stopped by.


abhishekduggal said...

+5 For following me on Twitter, @abhishekduggal
+3 For being a new follower
+10 For getting the word out about this giveaway on twitter

EmilyBryan said...

I'm glad you did the art education even though you had to go back to school to get a job. You fed your soul with those early Art degrees and no one can take that from you.

Besides, nothing is ever wasted on a writer.

Aik said...

Hi Debbie, please count me in for this giveaway! Thanks!

+5 For following you on Twitter, @aikchien
+5 For being an old follower
+5 For adding this giveaway to my sidebar
+10 For getting the word out about this giveaway on twitter

aikychien at yahoo dot com

♥Heather♥ said...

I'm a follower!

Vicki said...

I am a new Twitter follower, and tweeted the contest:

Check this out:

Please include me in the contest.

Cathy M said...

Hi Ashlyn

I love learning fun facts about authors, and so glad that a little luck got your book out there for your fans to read.

Great job on the trailer, the music sounds like something I would have heard on Twin Peaks, very gothic.

+ 3 new follower

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Emma Michaels said...

+5 for being an old follower. Wonderful contest!!!!

Emma Michaels

k_sunshine1977 said...

i can't wait to read this more than ever now!

+3 For being a new follower

k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

Marianna said...

My sister is also a multi-talented artist who draws and writes. Def an amazing skill.

+3 new follower

patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

Kaye said...

Sounds like a serendipitous career move going to that conference. I'm glad it worked out so well for you.

+5 old follower


Edna said...

I am a new follower so please enter me for the book


Brandlwyne said...

Hi I put this on Facebook!/group.php?gid=116958684997453&ref=ts

I am a follower on twitter & put the site contests on there.

Brandlwyne said...

my twitter is @ brandlwyne

Andie said...

Wow, that's great that you kept trying even though you didn't think you were doing very well. I admire your perseverance.

scottsgal said...

I enjoyed your guest post and look forward to reading your book

+5 old follower

msboatgal at