Thursday, October 11, 2012

Retreat Guest Blogger Avril Ashton

l always wanted to have a sexy bio, one to reflect who I am, but after drawing a blank, l could only come up with: I eat cake and I read books…ooh, and I write ‘em too. No one liked it and after massive peer-pressure and pouting, I managed something more…suitable?

A Caribbean transplant, Avril now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y with a tolerant Spousal Equivalent. Together they raise an eccentric daughter who loves reading and school (not so much school anymore). Avril’s earliest memories of reading revolve around discussing plot points of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys with an equally book-minded mother  

Always in love with the written word, Avril finally decided to do the writing in August of ’09 and never looked back. Spicy love scenes, delicious heroes, and wicked women burn up the pages of Avril’s stories, but there’ll always be a happy ending; Av remains a believer of love in all its forms.


In grade school I had the most gorgeous male teacher. Mr. Forrester. He was tall and muscular with the most blinding smile. At eleven/twelve I recognized his allure and basked in his attentions whenever it fell on me.

To this day, Mr. Forrester remains one of less than a handful of teachers in my life who stick out. But, while I remember his beauty, I remember more his encouragement with my writing.

Buy the book
I wasn’t an outgoing student. I preferred to sit in my classroom and read while everyone else played in the yard. I always had my head in a book and Mr. Forrester saw that and nurtured it. He compelled me to read aloud in class (the single most frightening experience of my childhood) and whenever someone needed help with reading, with spelling and writing, he offered my assistance.

I didn’t really care for that; I preferred being invisible, being all by my lonesome. Eyes on me isn’t a pleasant feeling, not in my book. Still, I did it, helped other kids with studying Spelling and English. I did it because Mr. Forrester asked it of me and I liked that he saw where my interest were.
Math was torture, but English was it for me.

I excelled at essays. Sailed through them with the greatest of ease. I loved writing them. One day Mr. Forrester asked me to write a short story for a fair the school was having. That terrified the crap out of me. Everyone would see it; other students, teachers and the public at large who’d be in attendance. I said no.

I was twelve.

Mr. Forrester sent a note home with me for my mother, explaining what he’d asked of me and my refusal. My mother thought I should do it, she felt I could. That I was good enough. Better even.

Those two people saw me. I felt that, I knew that, but putting myself out there for everyone else didn’t sit well. I was a bullied kid already for being too bookish, too poor, too not popular, I couldn’t take the ridicule of opening myself up, showing my heart. Because that was what writing was, showing my inner-most self.
In the end, with Mr. Forrester and my mother backing me, I wrote a short story, a nice suspense about Mr. Gomez and the mysterious footprints outside his house. Can’t remember how that story ended, but it was a hit and afterwards Mr. Forrester would pull me and my mother aside to discuss my future. I should tell stories, he told us. I’m good and passionate about writing.

Nice words to be sure, but life has a way of getting in the way of plans. It’s funny that way. Life happened to me and I gave up on the writing thing for more practical pursuits.

Now here I am.

Funny how life happens when we least expect it.



Let's Chat:
Leave me a comment below, I'll be stopping by to chat with readers.




19 comments:

Lucy Monroe said...

You know, Avril...I want to hear how you went from there to here. :) Hugs!

Linda Henderson said...

The cover of your book is amazing, certainly makes me want to pick it up and read it.

ad0ffae6-78f6-11e1-8cde-000bcdcb5194 said...

It's always interesting to find out people's paths to writing...I always thought you'd know right away if it was your calling, but I guess that's not always true! Great story.

vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

Lorna said...

I love hearing about teachers who inspire and help students become confident! He sounds like he was a really great teacher.

How did you feel after you sent off your first manuscript to a publisher?

infinitieh said...

It's amazing how the really good and the really bad teachers stay with us while the okay ones are forgotten.

Debby said...

I love to read about one become published. I would love to try my hand but I am afraid I would not make a good author.

brandi said...

Hi again, Avril!

flchen1 said...

How so very cool that you were blessed with such a teacher and such a mom, Avril! What a wonderful way to prove them right and to see how you've fulfilled your writing destiny :)

Shadow said...

Aww. What a story. Thats awesome. Talk about going full circle. Im glad you went back to writing. :) And i have to agree, i liked being invisible at school too. I was a book reader like you and i HATED when they called on me in class, especially to read aloud. I wanted the bell to ring, the ground to open up and swallow me, etc. lol What happened with the fair? Did you win first place?

Avril Ashton said...

Lucy I read Mary Lynn Baxter's Like Silk, cried like a baby, then plotted my first story. I wanted to do what she did, make people feel.

Avril Ashton said...

Thanks Linda. The cover artist at Evernight is awesome.

Avril Ashton said...

LOL Lorna, I hit send and immediately went to bed. I'd worked the overnight shift at the EDJ and was tired but I sent off the MS then fell asleep. I woke up three hours later to an acceptance so I didn't get the chance to dwell on nerves tho they were there. And still are.

Avril Ashton said...

'Sup Brandi ;)

Avril Ashton said...

I agree. I get my reading addiction from my mom.

Avril Ashton said...

LOL yep Shadow, I won :)

Avril Ashton said...

Thanks for hanging with me guys. I'm stuck at the EDJ with no wifi so I'm coming to ya via my not so reliable phone :)

Elf2060 said...

That is a great story, I love to hear about teachers who nurture. I was also painfully shy in school and hid in my books but I also had a teacher who was determined to coax me out of my shell. I am still shy but she did help me to develop more self confidence. Thanks for sharing your story.

ashlynn monroe said...

So sorry I didn't get here sooner. This was one of those crazy days where unhappy surprises are waiting! Had to run my mom into the emergency room because of a fall. She's going to be fine, but it really was crazy. Thank you so much for putting this together Lucy. I've been enjoying seeing all these great book posts this week.

joder said...

I've read and enjoyed Love the Sinner and am hoping for a sequel soon. I like the bad boy with a good heart theme.

gogi1_2 AT yahoo DOT com