Hi Inspyromancers… I trust you all had a wonderful Christmas. I did (although it wasn’t without its own share of drama!) I broke my diet, picked up two kilos, and am back on diet again.
Can you believe it’s almost 2019? I can’t! Where did the year go? Oh yes, writing books.
I’m so excited to introduce you today to my author friend and fellow South African, Ashley Winter. Ashley and I met on Facebook a few months ago when I posted one of those cutesy baby pictures (you know like Anne Geddes started doing way back when? Oh, I’m giving away my age now?) I said something about that being an awesome job and Ashley posted on my page saying that was her day job. What a lucky girl!
But not only is she an awesome photographer, she writes books too. I invited her here on Inspy Romance today, to talk a little about her writing journey and to introduce you to her gorgeous Christian romances.
Over to Ashley…
“I love stories – watching them, reading them, telling them, writing them. Stories take people on a journey. Some are powerful enough to change the way people see things. They can uplift, encourage and empower. And if the message is filled with hope in Jesus, stories, even fictional ones, can change lives. Writing sows seeds throughout the world and across time. This is why I write.
I believe there was always something in me to write; to create something with words that would take others by the hand and lead them on an adventure I imagined. But, as a young South African girl tucked away in the small town of Dundee, there was an obstacle I couldn’t overcome. It may seem silly, but I was taught to ‘write what you know’, yet I had never read the sort of book I needed to write. I’d never read a Christian Fiction book set in my own context, in my own culture. It seems crazy now, but I couldn’t imagine that the rest of the world would be interested to read books set in South Africa. How wrong I was!
My thinking changed after reading a novel by Marion Ueckermann, called The Other You. Like I said, stories can change the way you think! It enthralled me completely! It was everything this South African girl was longing for in a novel. Something was birthed in me then. I knew we needed more Christian Fiction set in my beautiful country, with its rich cultural diversity and complicated history. My family encouraged me to go for it. Being surrounded by people who believe in you is invaluable.
As I started writing, it took ahold of me and I discovered a whole new side of myself. It was exciting, challenging and extremely revealing! Writing romance leaves the author feeling particularly vulnerable! Once my family recovered from the shock of the kissing scenes (blush, gasp, oh my goodness, I can’t believe you wrote that!) they became my biggest fans and are now my passionate alpha readers.
The last year and a half has been an absolute whirlwind! I have loved every moment of creating my all-South African Christian Romance series, Love in South Africa. The series begins with Rachel’s Blessing and should be read in sequence. The first six books have at least one main character from another country. This allows me to introduce the South African culture to international readers through a foreigner’s eyes, so that non-South African readers can gain understanding and become fully immersed in the story. Living in the United Kingdom for over nine years now has given me the tools needed to write my British characters with some insight. I have just released book ten in the series, Mariaan’s List, and am planning a prequel for book eleven which will take readers back into the South African apartheid era.
It is my goal with every novel, and in all I do, to bring Jesus glory. And along the way, if I can showcase my incredible country and its culture, and bring joy to my fellow South Africans, even better!”
You can see Ashley’s gorgeous photographs on her website: https://www.ashleywinterphotography.com/
Follow Ashley on her very active Facebook page. All Ashley’s gorgeous books can be found on her Amazon author page, or you can join her Facebook Love in South Africa Book Club. Book 1, Rachel’s Blessing, is available for free to all new subscribers. Just click here.
And not only is Book 1 FREE, but Ashley has kindly offered to gift Book 1, Rachel’s Blessings (without having to subscribe), AND Book 2, Deborah’s Choice, to one reader who comments on this post. Winners will be chosen in a week and announced on Sunday, January 6th 2019.
Ashley Winter is a South African Christian Fiction writer living in Wales, United Kingdom. Ashley and her husband Grant, along with their three sons, immigrated to Wales in 2009 to help with a church plant in Swansea. They have since had one more son added to the chaos, and they spend their days chauffeuring the kids and kicking them off their screens and other electronic devices. They have not been brave enough to add any pets to their collection of living things, as they already have so many to keep alive. Ashley finds her escape from the overwhelming masculinity in her home by disappearing into her wonderful world of fiction.