On this edition of #Friday5, I’m super excited to present my interview with author Ashley Amber!
Ashley is the process of releasing her novella, The Flip Side of Sad, on March 30th, 2021. Newest singing sensation, James Letta, is promoting his new album, The Flip Side of Sad and he’s having what he believes to the toughest day of his career. That is, until a ghost makes him relive it over and over again. A ghostly spirit decides to trap James inside his own album in order to make him learn the lessons of its lyrics, hoping she can help him get on the flip side of sad. It’s a meeting between A Christmas Carol & Teen Beach Movie.
Growing up in Boston, Ashley discovered her love of writing early, entering a Reading Rainbow contest at 9 and getting a certificate from LeVar Burton. She ended up publishing her first novella, ‘Masterpiece’ under a pen name at 17.
She self-published her first novel afterwards to rave reviews, recommended by USA Today and The Guardian. In addition to releasing the Flip Side of Sad, Ashley is also currently looking for literary representation and a traditional publisher for her LGBTQ+ NA book series.
Before becoming an author, Ashley ran a music blog and a soap opera blog where she interviewed musicians and actors. She spent her teen years writing for Teen Ink under a pen name, with two articles becoming the Editor’s Choice, while two others were featured in their print magazine.
What is your greatest accomplishment to date?
Right now I would say it’s getting The Flip Side of Sad off the ground. It wasn’t even in my plan to release this novelette, despite it being a story 10 years in the making. It was sort of a spur-of-the-moment decision to publish it as an actual book and I’m so happy with all the support it’s gotten!
What’s a book you re-read over and over again?
Chords of Strength by David Archuleta. There’s so many inspiring quotes and lessons in that book.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
My dream dinner table of writers would be Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Louisa May Alcott, Chris Colfer, Casey McQuisten and Brit Bennett!
A place you’ve never been, but is on your bucket list?
Disneyland Paris! Their castle is beautiful!
Who was the greatest influence/inspiration in your career?
Chris Colfer. I’ve always admired the way he wrote stories for his grandmother to critique (I did the same thing when I was younger!) and the way he worked to make his writing dreams a reality.
What’s your greatest joy?
I’m probably supposed to say writing, huh? I have to say dancing, because I’ll always be a dancer at heart and someday may even pursue it again.
Greatest “A HA “ moment?
My greatest aha moment was the night I came home from a terrible shift at my old day job with Disney and realized that I had an entire book series just sitting on my computer gathering cobwebs and that it would never amount to anything if I didn’t take the steps to make it happen.
Greatest pet peeve in business?
Everything is about money. It gets frustrating. Usually, it’s either platforms wanting money for promotion or the goal being to sell as many books as possible. Of course, all these things are careers and paychecks for people, and I want to make a living off of writing, but I wish it wasn’t everyone’s one and only concern all the time.
At this stage in your career, what would you consider to be a dream project/opportunity?
A dream opportunity right now would be to have a book signing or attend some sort of book event and meet my readers face-to-face. Maybe once the world goes back to normal!
What piece of advice would you give young people just starting out in their career?
Just. Keep. Writing. Don’t stop. I’m not saying you have to write every single day, that’s actually not good advice to follow. But keep at it, or else you’ll lose your flow. I stopped writing for a few years when I was pursuing other career paths and I majorly lost the mojo for a while!