YEM speaks with author Ashley Frerking

Writer Ashley Frerking is the author of the novel Myrwen of Amaranaca. Mỹrwen of Amaranaca tells of a young woman’s courage and kind heart as she fulfills her destiny. As a child Melinda was always sick; she spends as much time in the hospital as out; friends are nonexistent. One day a boy by the name of Nathan shows up and turns her life upside-down. Can it be true—is she from another world? Not just that, but royalty? Melinda morphs into Mỹrwen and takes the biggest adventure possible. Will she save Amaranaca or die trying? Young Entertainment Mag spoke with Ashley about her works of writing.

Young Entertainment Mag: How did you first get involved in writing?
Ashley Frerking: From a young age I wanted to be a writer, and from as young as elementary school I was writing stories, complete with illustrations! But it wasn’t until high school that I started seriously writing.

YEM: Who are your writing influences?
Ashley: Fantasy is one of my favorite genres and some of the best fantasy writers of all time are C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. I grew up reading The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings and they both sparked my imagination more than anything else. They showed me that fantasy can be entertaining, but can also convey spiritual themes.

YEM: What inspired you to write this story? Where do your ideas come from?
Ashley: I wanted to write a story that I would enjoy reading: a fantasy story featuring a story female lead. I wanted to inspire young girls reading my novel. The majority of my stories come from movies I see or books I read, but I add myself into them and dream up a new plot line.

YEM: How did you come up with the idea for Mỹrwen of Amaranaca?
Ashley: In high school I was kind of a loner and this story was my escape. It’s what I always wished could happen to me: to be whisked away on a grand adventure bigger than me.

YEM: Was the main character, Melinda, inspired by anyone you know?
Ashley: If I had to say, as cliché as it sounds, I based her off of me. I felt out of sorts in high school, almost invisible sometimes. This would be the story of my life if I had a choice. One of my old professors told me Mỹrwen reminded him of me!

YEM: What advice would you give to readers that want to become writers?
Ashley: Reading is one of the best ways to become a better writer, keep at it! But along with that, naturally, keep writing! You’ll only get better the longer you write and sometimes discipline is the hardest part. Additionally, start developing a tough skin because a lot of writing is rejection and criticism. But remember, you can’t please everyone and you should write for the pleasure of it, not to please people or make money.