Underground Updates

At the end of Reintegration, I revealed the title of the Coming-Soon-Book-2.


Really, I should retitle it Ashley Has No Clue What She’s Doing. Because writing a sequel is tough. Reintegration was one of the easiest things I’ve ever written. Underground is a problem child. A lot of this stems from the fact that writing a sequel is an entirely different process than writing a stand-alone or a first book.

Sequels are a bit harder than first books because it’s all about balance. Balancing consistency with Book 1 and creating something fresh. Balancing introducing new characters and continuing to develop old ones. Balancing giving readers what they expect and sticking with my original story plan. Balancing what feedback to use from positive reviews and what feedback to use from negative reviews. Balancing providing recap of previous events and keeping the current story moving.

Too much balancing for a clumsy person like me, in my opinion. 🙂

It is a nice challenge, though. Underground has really forced me to build a deeper story than ReintegrationAs of right now, I’m almost 50,000 words in. Even though it’s giving me some troubles, I’m super excited about the story that’s unfolding for Katherine and the other characters. Underground is a little more exciting than Reintegration. The stakes are higher. There’s quite a few surprises. And I’m setting up for a twisty ending that leads into Book 3.

I’m hoping to share an official summary soon.

Sadly, my weekly writing time has drastically been reduced due to a lovely thing called homework. I’m dying to make progress on Underground, but speech outlines and algebra quizzes and lengthy textbook readings keep interfering. 😉

A sincere “thank you” to everyone who has read/reviewed Reintegration. Your kind and thoughtful comments always make me that much more excited to get back to work on Underground. 

I’ll continue to post updates on how Underground‘s progress is going.

Your turn:

Writers, what does your sequel-writing process look like?

Readers, what do you look for in a sequel? 


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Big, Exciting News!

Hello, everyone!

I have a big announcement to make that I am super excited about!

I’m publishing a book this year.

My dream, for years, has been to be a published author. Writing has been one of my favorite pastimes. My journey has been different from what I expected, but after a lot of prayer and research, I’ve decided to do something really scary and exciting and crazy.

Later this year, I’ll be self-publishing my dystopian novel, Reintegration. 

Right now, I’m almost finished with edits and the manuscript will just need a final look-over by my proofreaders (AKA my awesome mom and dad). Then it’s on to formatting and cover design!

I’m really excited, and also really nervous, that people are finally going to be reading what I’ve written.

Here’s the official summary:

A perfect citizen. A captured rebel. One decision could destroy them both…

As a Regulator, seventeen-year-old Katherine Holliday’s duty is to protect the people of the Federation from a group of violent rebels who have exiled themselves to the mysterious wilderness. When one of these rebels is captured within the Federation, the government leaders propose an alternative to execution, a procedure they call Reintegration. The procedure involves erasing the rebel’s memory and attempting to make him a member of society. The rebel, a young man named Matthew, is not the violent criminal Katherine expects, and she can’t help but befriend him. A few weeks after Matthew’s Reintegration, Katherine realizes the procedure failed and she is now presented with a choice no one else can help her make. Can she warn her superiors that Reintegration failed, which could mean death for Matthew? Or will she defy everything she knows to help him escape—and risk her own execution?

Be on the lookout for future posts with updates!!!!! 😀

P.S.–If you’re on GoodReads, would you consider adding Reintegration to your to-read list? You can find the page here.

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3 Novel Planning Tips


I’m what’s known in the writing world as a “plotter”.

Basically, I plan my novels in advance before I start writing them. I do outlines, character sketches, and detailed synopses before I ever type out “CHAPTER ONE”. This is just what works for me; it prevents me from losing focus halfway though the story. Extensive plotting keeps me from being overwhelmed after I finish the rough draft, since I was able to (mostly) avoid needless subplots.

Throughout the years, I’ve come up with some fun ways to make story planning easier. Here they are:

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Back From CCWC

Earlier this week I decided to update my blog’s theme. I’ve had this blog for (almost) a year now, so I thought it was time to change things up a bit. The site looks different, but I’ll still be writing the same kinds of posts.

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What Writing Has Taught Me About God’s Will

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28

The world’s a rough place.

Death, poverty, illness, war, cruelty…our world is filled with horrible things that we see on the news and deal with in our personal lives. And yet the Bible tells us God has a perfect plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11). Like in the verse above, God’s Word frequently reminds us of His goodness and His sovereignty.

Sometimes it’s hard to see amidst the chaos and hardship of life.

And yet, oddly, I’ve learned something about this verse….through writing fiction.

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Why I Love (and Write) Speculative Fiction

I love speculative fiction.

Most of what I read falls under the speculative category, and it’s also the genre I write in.

What is speculative fiction? Basically, it’s a general term to describe all genres that fall under science fiction and fantasy categories. Dystopian, time travel, fantasy, space operas….the list could go on and on.

In the secular market, characters in fantasy often use witchcraft and believe in multiple deities. Dystopian tends to be dark, depressing, and godless. Sci-fi tends to be evolution-based. Most secular speculative fiction often seems to promote a worldview contrary to what the Bible teaches.

Which is why I think there needs to be more speculative fiction in the Christian industry.

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