So, as you may know, I hit 150 followers on Twitter a while back and to celebrate, I decided to hold a Q&A. Honestly, I didn’t think that I would get very many questions, but I got enough to make this post and that’s all I needed. This post was also supposed to be a video, but it got delayed because my laptop broke, school kept me busy, and it seems like everything that could go wrong while I tried to edit the video went wrong. Everything is good now, though. Also, I am going to be answering most of these question from a perspective that is outside of my character lore because I am still trying to work out all the details.
Anyway, let’s get on with the questions!
Q: Were there any big moments for you where you decided, “Yeah, I’m a writer now?”
A: Yes, there actually was an enormous moment that made me realize that I wanted to write for a career, but it didn’t hit me that it was the moment until just recently. I always liked storytelling and I naturally turned to it, but that doesn’t even begin to cover it. I understand that the topic that I am going to talk about here can be pretty triggering, so if you don’t want to hear about suicide, then please skip ahead to the last paragraph before of this answer. After that point, it will be safe for you to read.
So, about seven years ago, I was in a really bad place mentally. I got picked on and made fun of a lot and the bullying was pretty relentless. I was diagnosed with major depression, generalized anxiety, and chronic insomnia and put on medication for them without proper therapy first. This is why I am a huge advocate for therapy that provides you with more tools than just medication. Like, I don’t think medication is horrible, but they didn’t even try to give me other outlets or teach me how to deal with my feelings first. Anyway, at one point, the bullying and the meds got to be too much and I decided to try to kill myself and when I was slipping in and out of consciousness I started thinking about everything.
At the time, I had already written a novel-length fanfic and I was in the process of uploading new chapters every week. I had some incredibly friendly and supportive readers, some of which I chatted with occasionally and I thought of them. Then I realized that I was kind of screwing them over because some of them were really invested in my story and they were never going to get the end of the story if I wasn’t around to upload it. When I thought about how I’d be letting them down, I got help. My writing and the people I met through it was one of the things that saved me and pulled me out of that dark time. I still get depressed from time to time and I’ve returned to therapy for months or years at a time since then, but I have never allowed myself to get back to that point because I want to be around to share my stories.
That was the large moment, but there was another small one afterwards. After I finished uploading all of the chapters to that fanfic, soooo many people got pissed at me for how I ended it. For context, one of the characters lost her memory after spending the whole fic getting it back, two of the characters died, and the last one was left all alone. Before anyone goes to roast me in the comments, give me a break, I was a much younger and less-experienced writer at the time. I was just kinda like, “Haha, wow, I made these people feel things. That’s kinda cool.” And so I just kept writing.
Q: What makes you go, “awwwwwww?”
A: Honestly, there are too many things for me to list. I think the things that make me say awww the most are cats, though. Especially my cats because they are dorks and sometimes they snuggle together and take care of each other, which is nice. It brings a smile to my face. (Actually, while I was typing the answer to this question, two of them were snuggling next to me. 10/10, very adorable.)
Q: Pantser or plotter?
A: Okay, so for anyone who doesn’t know what these words mean, a pantser is someone who writes stories and things without an outline or some sort of plan. I am a hardcore plotter because any time I have tried to write anything without a solid outline I can’t finish it. I may be able to write small drabbles without an outline, but not a full-length story. So, I’m a plotter.
Q: Who are some authors who inspire you? (Don’t have to be published, could be fanfic/other authors too)
A: I used to read fanfiction all the time and I think some of my writing style comes from a specific one. I actually made an account on Fanfiction.net just to let her know how much I enjoyed reading her story and I was very surprised when she responded to me. She was very humble and I admire that still. I also really looked up to James Patterson and I even took his Master Class a few years ago. I especially liked his Witch & Wizard series that he wrote with a few different authors (Cate Tiernan, Jill Dembowski, Ned Rust, Emily Raymond). He typically writes in different genres than me, but from the books that I have read, I really like his overall style and the pacing in his books. That’s one of the biggest lessons that I took from his Master Class, that and outlining.
Lately I’ve been trying to look more into fantasy, slice-of-life, and LGBTQ+ light novels since they are closer to what I write to find some authors that I click with, but I haven’t had much luck so far. If you have any that you would like to suggest, please leave them in the comments below. I may even do some reviews on them in the future.
Q: What is the true meaning of life to you?
A: Ah, well this is a loaded question and my answer to it will probably change a lot with time. At this point, I think life is all about finding what you like and cherishing it. You should really take the time to enjoy things while you can because you never know when your time will be up.
Q: You were reversed isekaied? How’s Earth?
A: It’s summer where I am at, so it seems like everything is on fire, but other than that Earth is great so far! I would actually like to see more of this world soon, if current events will allow it.
Alright, so that is all I had for this Q&A. If you liked this post, please give it a like and maybe a comment down below telling me what you think. Also, if you would like to ask me a question, feel free to drop it in a comment below or post a tweet with the hashtag #AskAshelynn. I would like to start collecting questions from time to time to answer in these sort of blog posts or in videos because I think they are fun and I personally like reading/watching Q&As from content creators that I enjoy.
Anyway, that’s it for today. Thank you for reading! またね～!