Welcome writers, readers, and wanderers!
Ashlee Cowles is the author of the award-winning debut, Beneath Wandering Stars (Simon Pulse 2016), a Young Adult novel about two teens who walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain. Below Northern Lights, a companion novel with the same characters, but set in Scotland, is now available! Raised in a military family without roots, Ashlee currently makes her home in Colorado. When she isn’t discussing classic literature with high school students as a teacher, Ashlee is probably traveling overseas or writing in a local coffee shop. Join her author newsletter to learn more and stay in touch!
The Longer Version
I named my blog The Wandering Writer because there tends to be a common element in the stories I love to read, as well as the stories I love to write: journeys. Physical journeys, journeys into the past, and journeys of the imagination–I love them all. From Laura Ingalls’s covered-wagon moves in Little House on the Prairie, to J.R.R. Tolkien’s fellowship adventures in The Lord of the Rings, to the epic expedition of Homer’s Odyssey, my favorite stories are ones where heroes bid farewell to safe borders and step into the wide world of the unknown.
This fascination with wandering makes sense, given that the realm of “the unknown” is one I’m pretty familiar with. Thanks to my U.S. Army “brat” upbringing, I am a third culture kid who feels at home in multiple parts of the world. It all started with my formative teenage years spent living in Europe, which sparked an interest in stone castles and historical stories. After this initial bite by the travel bug, I completed graduate degrees in Medieval History at the University of St. Andrews and Theological Ethics at Duke University–an itinerant scholar existence enabled me to live in Germany, Spain, Northern Ireland, and most recently, Scotland. In addition to writing Young Adult and Historical Fiction, I teach literature and philosophy at the high school and college levels–another adventure that involves all the big questions that matter most. When I’m not teaching, writing, traveling, or reading (um, what else is there?), I enjoy hanging out with my husband and our very social cat, cooking Spanish or German cuisine, and walks/runs/hikes in my beautiful home state of Colorado.
My debut Young Adult novel, BENEATH WANDERING STARS (Simon Pulse, August 2016), incorporates my love for exotic places, colorful characters, big questions, authentic friendships, and the inner transformation that adventures abroad tend to spark. Just like traveling, the world of writing and publishing can feel like a daunting leap. One of the main purposes of my blog is to connect with fellow pilgrims out on the open road. So whether you’re a writer, a reader, or a world traveler, I hope you’ll consider wandering with me!