Hi, my name is Ashley and I am a writer. I write for me, not
because I want to but because I have to. I have spent thirty years building up
to this moment, the moment of truth. This will be the pivotal moment of my life
because I am turning a corner, working to making myself stronger, better and a conqueror.
So now I sit here and reflect on what I’ve done for three
decades, what I’ve become and what I’ve accomplished. I remember my childhood, so
vividly it’s like I can relive it in a blink of an eye. When you think back on
your childhood, what stands out to you? For me, there are a few things that
shaped my world.
It’s 1991, my mom was picking my brother and I up at the
airport from visiting my father in Texas. It’s the first year of their divorce
and here I am, eight years old and my life’s purpose hits me like a ton of
bricks. Looking at the television monitor I see him. The President of the
United States. I had no idea who he was; just that he had captured my attention
while standing in front of the countries seal. I knew what I wanted to become,
the first female President. I declared it that very day to my mom’s friend who
was explaining to me that it was President Bush speaking to the nation.
From that moment I had one vision, the White House.
In 1993 my dad enrolled me in my first class of taekwondo. I
was this shy little girl, who had no idea how much this sport would come to
shape my existence.
In 1997, high school. We had one elective in ninth grade
that could be anything we wanted. My mom and I looked over the options and there
was only one that was for me. Debate.
How little I realized that all these things would turn me
into an outspoken, strong, creative and unique individual. Looking back I
clearly see how each item turned me into this person writing here before you.
I spent the 90’s in training, either with my debate team or with
my taekwondo family. Forty hours a week combined there was no wild and crazy
social life for me as a teenager. But there was fun. Debate taught me how to
think on my own, write ideas down on the spot, research and invent speeches
that would captivate my audience. Taekwondo taught me discipline, perseverance,
loyalty and patience. Both roads were not easy, both had challenges and
accomplishments. I would watch my friends succeed where I failed, I would have
to force myself to keep plunging on. Failure was not an option. Nemer’s didn’t
quit, and we certainly didn’t let others dictate our fate. We took each obstacle
as a challenge to prove who and what we were.
August 2001, Sam Houston State University was calling my
name, a small fish in a sea of unknown creatures. Business major, Political
Science minor. I was still convinced I was going into politics, where I could
make a difference in the world. Until Fall, 2002. I had one college professor
who hooked me, he changed my whole outlook on my future and I saw my new
calling, Economics. I fell in-love with this area of study. Everything about it
kept me begging for more; up to the point where it was all I wanted to do day
and night. Political Science and Economics kept my mind filled with knowledge
and ideas. I was learning more than I could ever imagine. Sociology and philosophy
proved to be the most thought provoking of my classes and that’s when my
writing really became a part of my being. I started writing poetry and actually
had a few poems published. Where that book is at, I have no idea, a box
somewhere, but the experience laid the ground work for what I had in store
almost a decade later.
Flash forward eight years, graduating college, finding a job
(not in the sector I of course planned) and starting a life with my husband I
found myself missing something. An intangible something that I couldn’t put to
words. And then I found a writing group and finally, I felt complete. It’s here
that I met my writing partners, the ones who pushed me to be a better writer. A
community of women and men full of encouragement and cheering.
A year later my first novel birthed and the Algula were
born. Zayn, Nikole and Haydar had taken over my mind and fingers, pushing out
my first novel, Blood Purple.
Is it a
masterpiece? To me, yes. It is
about Arabic Vampires, specifically, Lebanese. I
am half Lebanese and I have always had a desire to seek out my heritage and
find out WHO I am. This really is a book about my path of discovering myself. I
grow with each word I type, each scene I create and with the close of each book
I get closer and closer to the final discovery of what I was meant to be.
My characters are strong and powerful in their own rite, but
they are also weak, they crumble and hit rock bottom, and are forced to fight
their way back to the top. I weep with each of my characters when they stumble,
I rejoice when they succeed and here at this moment in time I am not even
halfway through the final book of this story line (Blood Green) and I have no idea how it is going to end. I discover
just like the reader, with each page that passes by.
Nikole, the heroine, and Leigh, the antagonist, are two
sides of the same coin. And I’m that coin. Those that know me can see the
similarities, in their personalities. Even an undertone of the story line is
based on how I have felt at different stages of my life. The Blood Series is
Ashley. Of course, it’s amped up for dramatic effect and excitement of reading
but when you stop and analyze different parts you will find me, raw and
But it doesn’t stop here; next you will find my mystery
series, Maverick Touch. I decided to participate in the NaNo writing of 2012
and I had no idea what I was doing or how I was going to do it, but I birthed
one of the best things I could imagine. Nadia Maverick, a quirky news reporter
that was inspired by April O’Neal of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She
uncovers some deadly crimes which she believes are being conducted by Carlisle
Ali, a Dexter type character.
Authors tend to write what they know, and in The Blood
Series I wrote what I knew, myself. But in Maverick Touch: The Cat I was bound
and determined to let this flow free of ‘Ashley’ influence. Oh boy how did I
When I read my book for the first time cover to cover I sat
on my couch in astonishment. There I did it again, me. I’m in these pages. But
not just me, people I love and care about. I see my best friends, my brother,
and my husband in the different pages. That’s when I finally accepted that as a
writer I am going to put bits and pieces of me into everything I write.
Now, May 22, 2013, a new decade is starting. An Era of
Success – that’s what I am going to call it. Because that’s what is going to
happen. Did I achieve any of the goals I started out having in my youth? No.
But I did achieve one thing; I’ve left my mark on the world. As a child I
thought politics was how I was going to be remembered. As a college student I
thought I would become an Economics professor and help shape leaders of the
future. But now, as I sit here in my true calling, I see I am going to leave my
mark in fiction. I’m going to provide the relief and inspiration to others with
So in my next thirty years here is what I will accomplish. I
will write not one best seller but many. I will touch a mass audience of people
and show them who I am and what I am capable of. I will live my life in a way
that happiness isn’t just out of my reach but in my grasp day in and day out.
And when it is all said and done, May 22, 2043 I will look back and smile
because I know I will have done what I was meant to do.