Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! Today I have Ashley Marie Nestler visiting with her standalone novel, Beautiful Nightmare. Ashley has also taken the time to answer a few questions about herself, which we’ll get to later. First, an introduction:
Ashley Nestler is a published author as well as an educator on writing and the publishing experience. She is also the CEO of Literary Vacation Club (a monthly subscription that sends out lesser known novels and items to tantalize all 5 senses) and Hedren’s Chest (a monthly subscription that sends out lesser known horror novels and small business horror accessories). She works hard to help small authors be seen, and she loves to read all things horror, crime, fantasy, and science fiction.
Connect with the Author
About the Book
What if your true love was only present in your dreams? In the dystopian town of Lunamoon, everything is structured. Humans are created by science and everyone is programmed to follow certain regulations; but one girl, Shawneleigh, never lived up to the Council’s regulations. Shawneleigh has the disorder of narcolepsy, a disorder that causes her to fall asleep at random times without warning. Because of her illness, the Council banned her to life in a hospital since she cannot be counted on fulfill other duties.
Lunamoonians all receive prophecies for their lives through dreams that the Dream Maker sends to them, but Shawneleigh hadn’t received a dream in years until she found herself falling into a dream during her sleeping spells. It is during these spells that she meets a man named August who claims to be the Dream Maker himself. He also lives in solitude outside of Lunamoon, and they begin to form a bond; however, Shawneleigh cannot control when she falls asleep, and soon August finds a way to manipulate her illness. The only problem is that when he manipulates her sleeping disorder, she continues to grow sicker. But no matter how hard they try, they can’t stay away from one another.
“Beautiful Nightmare: Some Dreams Become Your Reality” is novel about love, life, and the importance of those who care about you. Love, above all else, is the best thing that we have to give.
Get it today on Amazon!
Keep reading for an interview with the author:
Why did you decide to be a writer?
I suppose I never decided to be a writer. I have always felt as though writing was my calling. I remember writing in journals since I was a child, and my imaginary worlds always brought me comfort. Being a writer just comes naturally for me!
Did you have a hard time sharing your work with the public?
I did have a very hard time sharing my work with the public. For as long as I can remember, my stories have always been for me. I never wrote so that others would read my work, and I was afraid of losing my passion by releasing to the public. But once I published my first novel, Beautiful Nightmare, I found that I liked sharing what I had created with the world. Sharing the written world is so important, and I believe that all writers should be able to share their work without fear.
Do you have a “day job”?
I do have a day job! I own and run two subscription businesses: Literary Vacation Club and Hedren’s Chest. Through Literary Vacation Club is send out monthly book boxes that are based on a different destination. I mainly feature indie novels in the box to help other indie authors out, and I create different items to go with the book that relate to the 5 senses. This experience brings the book to life! I also own Hedren’s Chest, which is a horror book subscription service. I also frequently feature indie horror authors through this box to help market them.
What genres do you write?
I am a bit of an eclectic author because I write across the board. I write young adult fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, and contemporary. I just tend to write whatever comes to mind, and I take it from there!
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I would love to try writing science fiction. I love the imagination that goes into writing science fiction, and creating futuristic worlds is so intriguing to me! I hope to experience with this genre soon.
What inspires you to write?
What inspires me the most to write is seeing the injustice that is present in our world. I love sending messages through my writing, and I believe that strong writing can help and teach others.
What authors have most influenced you?
My favorite author of all time is Jodi Picoult. I love the messages that she sends through her writing, and how she always hits on hard topics without sugar coating anything. Her novel, The Pact, has impacted me the most. Teenage suicide is horrific, but she paints the issue in a careful, thoughtful manner. As someone with a personal connection to this subject, I appreciated the care that she put into writing about it. The Pact gave me the courage to address bullying and suicide in my own novel, “Behind Broken Glass Walls”.
When did you first consider yourself an author?
I suppose I first considered myself an author when I was 15. It was this year that my first poem was published in an anthology, and my writing career just took off from there!
What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?
Oh man, marketing myself has got to be the biggest obstacle that I have faced. It is hard to be seen in this broad, literary world, but I have worked a lot on my social media and engagement and it has helped me to be seen!
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received as an author?
Someone once told me that my novel “Beautiful Nightmare” is destined to be a classic. That just astounded me!
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
The best writing advice I ever received was from a publisher that I worked with. They said that you need to make sure that your characters don’t run away with your story, meaning that you shouldn’t create such a big cast of characters in a broad universe so that it overwhelms you. Sometimes as authors we try to create such a big setting and plot that it becomes too much, so it is better to remember that simpler is better!
Do you have any advice for other authors?
Always remember that you are writing for yourself. Don’t let the critics get you down. Your work isn’t for other people, it is for you, and as long as it brings you enjoyment that is all that matters!