Writer Wednesday – AshleyRose Sullivan

1. Tell us who you are and a little bit about what you write.
I grew up in Appalachia, going back and forth between Kentucky and North Carolina, and I didn’t have siblings and I moved around a lot so I spent a lot of time on my own. Consequently, I guess, I make up stories. It’s just where my brain goes.

2. What is something that your fans would be surprised to know about you?
Honestly, I can’t imagine. I’m fairly open book–except for the stuff I keep very private. Though I doubt anything I keep private would actually surprise anyone.
3. What made you become a writer?
I couldn’t really help it.
4. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
For long fiction–plotter, always. Short is a mix of the two.
5. What is the biggest mistake that you’ve learned not to make while writing?
Not letting a piece grow cold. I tend to get really excited when I’ve just finished a new piece and want to send it out immediately. Sometimes this has proved successful but most of the time rushing work out to publishers/journals isn’t a great idea. It’s something I’m still working on.
6. What is the last book you finished reading?  What did you think?
I just finished reading The Mistress of Paris by Catherine Hewitt and I was actually a little relieved when I turned the last page. I’d been so riveted by the enthralling story of 19th Century Paris’ most infamous courtesan that I’d lost several nights’ sleep over it.
7. Would you like to pimp a specific project?
Lona Chang! I’ve always loved mysteries and Lona was begging to get caught up in one so I’m excited for this story to exist in the world now, after several years of living with the character privately.
8. Is there a URL or social media account you’d like to share?
ashleyrosesullivan.com
…On Adapting One’s Self…
In 2016 I was diagnosed with a condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Shortly thereafter I began to have debilitating, agonizing pain in my hands. This went on for months while I lost the ability to type for more than ten minutes at a time and, therefore, my most natural method for writing and communicating. (I’ve preferred typing since middle school when my most important friendships and conversations were carried out in chatrooms.) I was bereft. I’d turned in Lona Chang shortly before the problems began and I worried I’d never write another novel.
Now, nearly two years since the problem began, I’ve worked diligently to remedy the cause of the pain (knotted muscles in my neck causing inflammation in the nerves that run to my hands) and in the interim I’ve gone back to my roots as an artist and I’ve begun the slow process of learning animation because it was less painful for me to work a pencil than to type… and really, in the end, I couldn’t not tell stories. I had so many stories building up inside me that I took up a notoriously difficult craft just to get them out.
I’d always been afraid of losing my ability to create but when truly faced with it, like I’d done so many times before when I moved around as a child, always starting over, I adapted. Like a plant which brushes up against an underground obstacle, I just grew in another direction. I think it’s important, for any creators or story tellers or artists out there, to try not to despair in the face of sudden adversity and to continuously search for other avenues to express their creativity. I didn’t truly begin to recover until I’d done that.
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