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: http://www.ashlynchase.com . If anyone would like to follow my career, check out my news blog: http://ashlynchase.blogspot.com . 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!