Sunday, July 21, 2024

Up Close and Personal with Ashleigh Dana Burnell


Up Close and Personal with Ashleigh Dana Burnell

After going through a very challenging time in her life, Ashleigh, aka ADB_stories, escaped into the world of books. She read about 400 books in a year. During this time, the thought occurred to her to try writing.

She had a screenplay she’d already written and thought about turning it into a novel. She just kept going from there and hasn’t looked back since. She created stories she hoped people would read and characters she hoped they could relate to. These books she wants to be published through the traditional publishing route.

The more she wrote, the more she discovered different minorities that were not being written about at all. It made her more determined for her stories to be read by people.

Why didn’t you go through the traditional publishing route from the beginning?

When I started writing my other books, I knew I would be using a lot of language and graphic things that a lot of publishing firms like to stay away from. I didn’t want that censorship,” she said. “So with those stories, I decided to self-publish.

You use your own terminology in your work. Why did you opt to change instead of using common, widely accepted terms?

I don’t like copying other people. I feel so much more confident creating my own everything because the only rules I follow are the rules that I create.

In my personal opinion, I don’t think it’s a lot of creativity if you’re just following somebody else’s mythology instead of creating your own.

Writing Style

Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

I’m big on outlining. Everything for every story lives rent-free in my head, but I like to be able to keep track of what I need to do when I need to do it. When I’m about to start writing a book, I sit down and go through every chapter and dot point what’s going to happen in those chapters. This way, I can figure out the flow, connect characters, and set up future events. This way, I don’t have any plot holes. I am very, very methodical.

I also have a tendency to have characters having a conversation in my head, and I’m playing out scenes for the books. I hear  something he said, and I’m like, “Oh, that’s so good!”

It’s such a good line, and I don’t want to forget it. So I have to write it down right away in the notes on my phone. And then, I have to go through those notes and put that into my planning to figure out where it will fit into the story. So there’s a lot of structure and planning before I sit down and actually write the book.

I do map out everything using pen and paper.

Writing Habits

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

I have to have complete silence. There can’t be any noise around me whatsoever. If someone interrupts me, I’m done. It will ruin my head, and I won’t be able to focus.

Let’s talk about your work.

Sure. I currently have two lines of books. 

In the Queen Among series, you can’t just read one book. Every single book sets up the next one, and they’re all leading up to this big event that is coming up in the next book. Bite-size Luna was never meant to be part of the line-up. People were asking about the story of Sorrell and Alden after they read A Queen Among Alphas.

In the Codename Trilogy, you can read any book on its own, though it is a trilogy. Each book can stand alone.

Codename: Blackheart 

As a huge lover of action films, assassins, and John Wick, I noticed the more I watched these films that we didn’t really have a big female action character of the same caliber. 

I’m very big on female empowerment, so I do write very strong female characters. I want to write the female equivalent of John Wick.  I want this woman who is deadly and dangerous; people fear the sound of her name, but I also want to have a lot of fun. I want people to see she kills people, but she’s also a really nice person.

I set out with this plan to write this really strong female assassin story.  I really wanted to dive more into the mystery, suspense, and thriller stuff with a sprinkling of erotica in there. 

I thought I could do a trilogy and talk about each generation. It’s their family tradition. It’s a passed-on job focusing on these strong women and these strong family ties.

My favorite quote from Alina is, “I’m not a psychopath. I’m just immoral.”

Advice to aspiring author

Write what you are really passionate about, even if it isn’t popular. There’s a big chance that there’s someone who would really love that story and really connect to it if you’re that passionate about it. 

Social Media

You can connect to Ashleigh here:

  • Twitter: ADB_Stories
  • FB Group: Queen’s Court
  • Official FB: Author ADBurnell
  • Instagram ADB_Stories

Read the review of Bite-size Luna on our sister website, Just click the picture below:

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