A Word From Ashley . . .
I’ve lived in Richmond, Virginia, a city I love for its history and traditions, for most of my adult life. I love to travel, garden, try out new recipes, and take pictures of God’s amazing creatures and the beautiful world he created for us. I’m an exercise fanatic. Channeling my restless energy through exercise enables me to settle down and focus on my work. I play tennis and attend a circuit training class three days a week. But my real love is swimming. I plotted most of my novels while swimming laps.
I experienced the fragility of life when my brother Neal died of an accidental drug overdose in 1999, at the age of 37. He touched the lives of many with his wonderful sense of humor, his infectious laugh, and his tortured soul.
I learned a lot during the many years my family suffered the fallout of my brother’s addictions. After Neal’s death, I wanted to share those experiences. I wanted to tell anyone willing to listen how substance abuse and mental illness destroys families. I wanted to counsel groups of students about the dangers of alcohol and drug use. But every time I tried to talk to others about Neal, my voice shook and my eyes filled with tears. So I let the experts do the talking. I chaired education committees at my son’s school to promote alcohol and drug awareness among parents. And I helped to organize a series of leadership symposia where we brought in world-renowned speakers to empower students to become better leaders through honor and integrity and character.
But none of my efforts were enough to fill the hole in my heart created by my brother’s death. So, I turned to writing. My first novel, Saving Ben, January 2013, is a tribute to Neal-the boy I loved, the man I could not save. Saving Ben is not a memoir, but the story of a close bond between brother and sister.
I released Her Sister’s Shoes in June 2015. I spent my summers growing up in the salty marshes of the Lowcountry. The unique way of life inspired me to stage a novel against the backdrop of moss-draped trees. I turned fifty while writing Her Sister’s Shoes. With my youngest headed off to college, I experienced a mini mid-life crisis in 2014. Both Jackie’s and Sam’s characters were outlets for my feelings at the time.
Since that time, I’ve released more than thirty Southern women’s fiction novels about family and friendship. My favorite settings are the South Carolina Lowcountry, the mountains of Virginia, and Richmond. Readers are my inspiration for writing. I love hearing from you, so feel free to drop me a line.
Feel free to drop me a line. I love hearing from readers.
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