For most high school seniors it’s a struggle for teachers to get a student to pump out a few pages for a narrative essay.
That’s not the case for John Ashley.
At just 18-years-old the Boonevile teen has no difficulty writing. Ashley has already published two books in his own science-fiction series. The first book in Ashley’s “Xavier Series” is 260 pages, an impressive feat, considering he hasn’t even graduated yet. The most recent title, “Before the Storm: Book Two in the Xavier Series,” recently went on sale.
Ashley said he was able to get them published after winning a contest on writing.com, providing a summary of his book in exchange for a chance at publication.
According to Ashley’s site on the series, the Xavier books are set in the year of 2067. In the first book, “The Scrolls of Xavier,” a new world is discovered amidst the dark expanses of the universe. Planet Earth is seeking to harvest resources from a planet known as Xavier997 in a post-apocalyptic future. Things don’t exactly go according to plan once explorers arrive on the planet.
The story centers around Captain Michael Dawn, the leader of a group of Earth’s most skilled soldiers sent to the planet, but problems ensue as they search for a series of scrolls holding the key to mankind’s survival.
Ashley says he started writing the series when he was just 12-years-old, inspired by some science-fiction films. Ashley says he finds inspiration from author Suzanne Collins, describing “The Hunger Games” as one of his favorite book series.
Ashley isn’t giving up on writing anytime soon either, despite plans to major in mechanical engineering at Harding University after graduation from Booneville High School. The teen says he plans to continue writing after graduation. He has not set a date for when book three in his series will be released, but insists it will tie-up some loose ends left in the first two books. Earlier this month Ashley released the name of the third book on his facebook page, saying the next book will be called "Seas of Darkness." The Xavier series will have a total of four books. Once they’re completed John said he plans to write a spinoff of his Xavier series and has a few other science fiction works in mind, though he says not ready to reveal the ideas behind those other works just yet.
The books are now even available in audio form. Ashley says he had a narrator audition online to narrate the book and made the format available in exchange for a portion of royalties from sales in the series.
As for other genres, Ashley said he would consider one-day writing horror. With two books under his belt and several ideas popping around, it’s clear John Ashley has a very promising writing career ahead of him.
Despite his success the teen remains humble and says his family has helped provide him editing critiques to help polish his works. When he’s not writing, Ashley is quite the adventurer himself. He lives with his family on an apple orchard in Western Arkansas and says he loves the great outdoors and amateur astronomy. Ashley’s books are available on amazon in paperback, kindle, and audiobook format. You can get an autographed copy for yourself from Ashley’s website by clicking here.