I was recently interviewed on AwesomeGang, a website that connects authors with readers! I like this site because it features and supports many independent authors... like me! There is such a diversity of books & genres there, and it gives a chance for authors to be seen and heard.
In the interview, I share my story as a self-published author, what I'm working on now, what inspires me, and some of my other writing habits. I copied and pasted it below for you to read, or you can visit the site here: https://awesomegang.com/ashley-lynn/
Interview from AwesomeGang:
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written. I am an author, artist and nature dweller currently living in the forest in Wisconsin. After getting my BBA from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, I decided to go on a spiritual journey to learn more about myself and the Universe and became a nomad. This traveling inspired me to study permaculture design, foraging & wildcrafting, metaphysics & galactic history, and alternative ways of living.
I am the author of 5 self-published books: A Year Against the Rain – Lessons Learned Living Off-Grid on the Oregon Coast (memoir); Morning Motivations – Uplifting Poetry to Start Your Day (poetry); The Adventures Across Guided Journal; two zines, Earth Encyclopedia & Sacred Symbology (guided journals); Find Me in the Forest – Poems and Ponderings of Nature, Consciousness, & Self (poetry) and… of course I have many other manuscripts in the process of being published
I named my platform Adventures Across after my journey of being a spiritual nomad during my 20’s. From 2016-2020 I lived in sacred sites across North America and some of Europe, my favorites being Sedona, Arizona, Seal Rock, Oregon, the island of Ireland, and my current home in Wisconsin. On my website, you can find my entire journey laid out in photos, blog posts, and my portfolio. I also have an online art shop where I share fun t-shirts, original art, and books. Topics that inspire my gouache and digital paintings are the native prairies of the Midwest, sacred sites, effigy mounds, the Law of Attraction, galactic beings, astral traveling, and spiritual exploration. I turn many of my paintings into prints I make at home and t-shirts.
When I’m not creating, you will find me pruning tomatoes on an organic tomato farm in Wisconsin, doing my best to be an Earth steward not only for the planet, but for humans too. My dream is to have my own homestead with animals, a permaculture food forest, and a studio for every one of my favorite things – music, art, and writing. I hope to use my BBA to start my own edible landscaping business so I can bring healthy food right to people’s doorsteps in the form of urban permaculture and landscape design.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it? Find Me in the Forest is my newest book. Traveling, spirituality, consciousness, and nature inspired this book. The poems were written during that nomadic time in my life and are filled with whimsy, tranquility, and adventure. The book was originally going to be called “Poetry for Humanity” as many of the poems are meant to be motivational and inspirational. I changed it to “Find Me in the Forest” because it felt more personal to me and the poems written during that time of my life. The cover is inspired by being raw and natural just as I am, no filters or anything. At the core of our beings here, we are all humans with much of the same raw & vulnerable feelings, so being bare is something we can all relate to.
Do you have any unusual writing habits? I seem to have a journal for everything… a spirituality journal, a dream journal, a shadow work journal, one for just poetry and original music, a sketchbook for pencil art & random mind flinglings, a sketchbook for painting… then don’t get me started on all the guided journals that are half filled in!
Being an Aries, I start so many projects and books and some never see the end of completion. It is a blessing and a curse, really, my best work being published and what isn’t meant to be finds its way into the digital recycle bin!
What authors, or books have influenced you? Emerson, Whitman, and Thoreau have inspired me since the beginning of my writing career. Nature is SUCH an important part of my life and inspires literally everything I’ve written. Reading these three writers’ works has inspired me. Even though they were in their prime over 100 years ago, I find it fascinating that we share many of the same living ideals and feelings within about nature and philosophy. Time doesn’t separate what the soul feels within.
My first book, A Year Against the Rain, was inspired by Cheryl Strayed’s book “Wild.” During my last year of college, I read her book under the table during lectures and dreamt about the day I’d get to go out and have a grand adventure as she did. Because of her book, I prepared for my adventurous life outside of the Midwest, taking only what would fit in the car (much of it camping gear) and actually went out and did it. From the day I left, it was like the Universe guided me everyday after that, literally, to each of the places I went and lived on public land until I landed out on the Oregon Coast. It was a thrill, grand adventure, and some times very scary going out and leaving all the comforts of living behind to live in a rustic off grid cabin in one of the darkest and rainiest places in the US. It was here I faced some of my darkest memories and inner demons that transformed into the person I am today.
What are you working on now? I am working on a photographic memoir called “Frolic” which is a compilation of my photography in four places I lived and traveled. It is to celebrate the beauty of flowers, their spiritual essences, and the healing they can bring to our hearts. When I travel, I can’t help but to take 1,000’s of photos of the places I visit, most of the photos being of flowers. They have brought such healing, love, and grace to my heart after living through such darkness in my childhood. Flowers are like the spirits of the stars, embodied in our natural, physical world. My new book will showcase this!
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books? My best method is for sure word of mouth. There is something special about connecting with people in person and sharing the gifts that flow through my work.
Do you have any advice for new authors? Just create something, to get started! Your first book might not end up being your best. You can always get better. My first book was written beautifully, however I’ve improved so much as a self-published author over the years that even though I treasure it so, there are newer books that are more fulfilling pouring from my consciousness.
What is the best advice you have ever heard? Something a mentor told me was: “Writers write because they have to. It is not a choice, but a necessity.”
Don’t worry about the money or the outreach, it is all about fulfilling that heart’s desire within you that is the most fulfilling. Writers write because it is their heart’s calling. I will admit, there’s that desire for someone outside of myself to read my work and find deep meaning in it; though the healing and fulfillment comes from writing the story from start to finish and honoring and acknowledging yourself and your story. This is where the true gold lies.
What are you reading now? The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon! I love the infusion of historical fiction, herbs & plants, femininity, heart wrenching romance, and the mysteries around standing stones and sacred sites. No words for this series, just pure emotion in my heart!
I am always reading spiritual, metaphysical works. Abraham Hicks (Esther and Jerry Hicks) is one of my favorites right now, it just feels so good to read their books and to practice what they speak – and it really works!
What’s next for you as a writer? What’s next? I’m beginning a new chapter in my writing career, one of outreach and having author events. This is something new for me, and it is equally scary and exciting! I am eager to meet my readers in person, and who knows? Maybe I’ll head out on a tour across the country.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring? Outlander by Diana Gabaldon Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham Some sort of foraging book!
Again, here is how you can find the interview on AwesomeGang, and if you're a reader like me check out the other authors there!
You can also find me on Goodreads, I know that place is more popular for readers and authors. I update what I'm reading pretty often, and since returning to the library to rent books I've been reading so much more!
Being interviewed was a lot of fun and I hope it inspires others to write the books inside of them. Since the interview, I seemed to start a few more books than I intended, so I'll be busy typing this fall and winter!
I've been so busy lately; taking a break from blogging, YouTubing, and all the things Adventures Across felt so good. Now I'm ready to come back and share some amazing things with you :) It feels great to want to share more of my day-to-day life again and to shine my light in the online world.
Sending love and blessings your way!