About Ashley Merrick:
Ashley lives in the Boston area and is an avid reader and writer. She started her career in journalism many years ago, writing obituaries for a local newspaper while still in college. After graduating, she joined the paper as a community news reporter. That led to a role in advertising, writing and selling radio commercials for a local station, which was one of the most fun jobs she has ever had. Somehow, that led to a sales role in the HR field and she has spent the last twenty years happily searching for talented marketing people for local software companies. Her favorite job by far though is writing the kinds of stories she most loves to read, sweet love stories where nice people find their happily ever after.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always written and dreamed of writing and it all stems from loving to read and wanting to tell my own stories. I have more stories than time to tell them. 🙂
Tell us about your writing process.
I love the idea of outlining, but so far haven’t been able to do it myself. My process is usually thinking about an idea, figuring out what the main characters want, and what is stopping them from getting it and then jotting down whatever I know so far, my story notes. I usually have a very rough idea of the overall premise and who most of the people are, and then I just start writing. I always write a scene at a time and think about what the goal of that scene is and how it will advance the story. I usually reread through what I wrote in my last session and tweak it a bit before diving in to new writing. Sometimes I will jot down ideas for the scene I am about to write. I usually find that the second half goes so much more quickly than the first half and I’m often racing to type as fast as I can to keep up with my thoughts. I love writing the second half.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
No, I don’t talk to them or listen to them. The story just appears, flying from my fingers. I always say that one of the most useful courses I took in high school was touch typing!
What advice would you give other writers?
To read widely and try writing the types of stories you enjoy the most. Finish whatever you start, that is how you learn and get better…it’s normal to have doubts in the middle…key is to push through and finish anyway. Took me too long to realize that.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I run a small business in addition to writing and for a long time my goal was to get an agent and sell to a big NYC publisher. But by the time I actually finished a novel that I felt was ready for that, the market had changed drastically and my research showed that self-publishing would be a wiser option, for me. I never pursued traditional at all and chose to self-publish on purpose. As a business owner, I like having control of the publishing process. I enjoy the marketing side of things and the ability to quickly adapt whether it’s to change a cover or release on a different date, I like being able to choose those things.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it is an exciting time to be a writer and that there are many different paths and options to explore. There is no right or better way, there is just what is best for you, and it’s nice to have choices. I see continued growth for self-publishing.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: contemporary romance, historical romance, mystery
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print