Welcome! If you know me, then you can probably imagine how giantastic my smile is right now. If you don’t, then just imagine the biggest, cheesiest smile you can think up, put a bright red face to go with it, and know that I couldn’t be happier to have you here with me.
When a person admits that they want to be a writer, people to tend to give them the HA!-have-fun-starving, I-really-hope-you-can-afford-clothing, what-the-heck-are-you-thinking look. If you’re lucky enough, you might get a more excitable response instead and ask about what you’ve written or what you want to write, maybe even what literary works you hold to high esteem. Most of the time, though, you get that look and you’re forced to either bend to their will or stand up for yourself. Personally, I can never do either of those. I’m too passionate about writing to downplay that important piece (okay, chunk) of myself, but my fears hold me back from defending myself because the fact is, I can’t argue what I don’t know. No matter what I will always and forever be a writer at heart, but if I’ll get a book deal? If I’ll actually sell books? If I’ll be someone’s favorite author? If I’ll make someone smile or cry or feel changed in the way that some authors have done for me? I don’t know. I really, really, really wish I did. Believe me, life would be a lot simpler if that were the case. However, what I do know is that I’m willing to take the journey to find out regardless of what I find in the end.
In June of 2014, I began writing a novel and I’m proud to say that I have finally finished it. Since the first “novel” I wrote back in the 5th grade, I’ve written about mermaids, ghosts, superheroes and nightmares, but Falling Forwards is the first novel that I’ve completely embraced the idea of taking a chance on it and using it to reach for my dreams.
My favorite genre to read and write is romance. I love how romances have the ability to capture emotions and make you fall in love with the characters as you’re reading about them falling in love. Through all my years of school, I probably couldn’t tell you what happened in Othello or in The Catcher in the Rye, but lordy, I can definitely tell you the height, hair color, and hobbies of my favorite book boyfriends, as well as the things they’ve said and one in PERFECT detail. Some people collect baseball cards and spoons, I collect college-age male protagonists who can make me sa-woon like no other. Now, when I say that I prefer to write romance novels (which is what Falling Forwards is), I don’t want you to think of sexual encounters that you definitely do not want to be reading at your kids basketball practice or on the airplane next to an elderly, church-going woman, but I do want to say that I will never, ever let my father sneak a peek at a few specific pages because…well, romance. (In one of these posts, I’ll be sure to include a loose version of the query letter I’ve been sending around that way you get the gist of Cain and Max’s love story in Falling Forwards so that way you’re not following me blindly here.)
After a year of writing, editing and going through a whirlwind of emotions, Falling Forwards is on its way to various agents in competition for a prime spot on their client list which will hopefully lead to something great and (admittedly) unexpected.
The Elizabeth that most people know would never do something like this—invite friends, or complete strangers, on a journey that can either end awesomely, blandly, or heartbreakingly. However, when I sent out Falling Forwards, I became the person I’ve always wanted to be: Liz Ashlee, Aspiring Author.
The point of this website is to catalogue the journey from Elizabeth to Liz Ashlee, from unpublished to (hopefully) published. Every step that I take from here on out will be posted on this website—from rejection letters, to the new novel I’m writing, to what I’m learning as I take this journey. You hear about your favorite author’s success story, how they used to be a nobody and now they’re not, but you can really see it. Not when they’re a New York Times’ Best Selling Author, or attending Love n’ Vegas (or some sort of conference), or posting their novel’s new international cover. You don’t get that in-between. Sometimes you don’t even get a beginning. You’ve only got the ending and we all know that a book isn’t worth it without everything it has to give, beginning, middle and end. In real life there is no flipping to the end, just a whole heck of a lot of page turning.
So, if you’re willing to continue on with me…please grab your coffee (or tea) mug, put on some fuzzy pajamas and prepare to chipmunk on cookies, because this is bound to be a long (and emotional and risky) journey. Thanks for going at it right along with me.