Ashley Mays writes young adult fiction to inspire young women toward strength, dignity, and laughter.

How Things Began
My exceptional journey into the world of the written word began in the fourth grade during a state-mandated writing test. I wrote about a mysterious bag of Mexican jumping beans in the janitor’s closet. When I got to college many, many years and many hand-written novels later, I’d determined there was no other course for my life than an English degree. (That decision was only about 50% driven by the fact that English degrees don’t often require math classes.)

In the Middle
About halfway through college, in a move of lunacy and sheer desperation, I picked up my life and chose to move to Colorado Springs in order to attend the Focus on the Family Institute. By some miracle they decided I’d be a good intern for Brio magazine, Focus on the Family’s magazine for teen girls, which I’d read growing up as the daughter of a librarian. Brio combined my love of writing with my heart for mentoring teens, and after I graduated college the miracles continued when my friends at Brio hired me as their Editorial Assistant.

Sadly, the magazine closed in 2009. I continued to write on my own, returning to the world of fiction where my soul finds joy and sunshine. (And pain and frustration, because let’s face it: this writing thing? It’s not ever easy.) I’m represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management, and we have a couple of my books on submission right now. The submission process is excruciatingly slow, but you’re welcome to ask me how it’s going or toss me questions about the whole waiting-to-publish thing if you’d like.

My fiction won the Oregon Christian Writer’s Cascade award in 2014 in its category, and the same novel was a top-three finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest. All that was pretty exciting, but I love it even more when readers say my characters are their best friends or that my story moved them to butterflies and tears.

Where We Are Now
I like to say my fiction inspires young women toward strength, dignity, and laughter–all things I had to fight for when I was growing up as a quiet, creative wallflower.

Beyond my writing life, I’m pretty simple. If it’s creative, I’m a fan. I spend a lot of time painting, drawing, playing the guitar, and fiddling with my website design. I love summertime and warm weather, find great joy in sleeping in on Saturday mornings, and have a serious weakness for peanut butter.

Thanks for stopping by and spending some time with me!

Love always.