Welcome writers, readers, and wanderers!

Image (c) Lancia E. Smith - www.lanciaesmith.com
Image (c) Lancia E. Smith

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 About Ashlee Cowlesunknown” 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.

About Ashlee CowlesMy 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!



26 thoughts on “About Ashlee

  1. Robert Louis Stevenson is the main author I credit for my interest in historical fiction, when I read TREASURE ISLAND and THE BLACK ARROW in 7th grade. Alexandre Dumas’ books — particularly THE THREE MUSKETEERS, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK, and THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, also gave me a love for the classics and historical fiction.

    I enjoy your blog, and look forward to receiving them in my email box, and reading them.

      1. I agree. Of all Dumas’ work, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO is my favorite. It ranks in the top three of my all-time favorite books. Sorry about the capital letters. I haven’t figured out how to do italics in my comments yet.

  2. I credit Robert Louis Stevenson for my love of historical fiction, which started when I read TREASURE ISLAND and THE BLACK ARROW in 7th grade.

    Also, Alexandre Dumas played a key role in my interest, particularly THE THREE MUSKETEERS, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK, and THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. These books not only heightened my love of historical fiction, they gave me a love for the classics.

    I enjoy reading your posts. and look forward to receiving them in my email box.

  3. Hi – I love what you say about writing about the past is like exploring a foreign country! That is so true – that’s why I like writing and reading about the past too. Glad I’ve found your blog and thank you very much for reposting my blog post on Richard III. Very much appreciated.

  4. Ashlee, I’m thrilled to have found your blog! Absolutely wonderful! We seem to have quite a few things in common. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts and getting to know you on our respective blogs.

    By the way, have you read Lewis’s Till We Have Faces? It’s my favorite of his and I’m teaching it next year for the first time. Very excited! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Angela. I’m delighted to have found your blog as well! Till We Have Faces is probably one of the few Lewis books I haven’t read…I should really look into it!

      1. It’s such a wonderful book, unlike anything else he’s written. It made me see things differently…… I recommend it, when you’ve the time.

  5. Hello, Ashlee ~

    Thanks so much for visiting and following my blog. Yours is so delightful! I will take some time (once I get back home from a business trip) to browse around, and find out more about you and your writing.

    Take care!

  6. Dear Ashley, it seems we do have so much in common. TS Eliot, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewsi, the Middle Ages, Madeleine L’Engle, and my “master ” the great Russell Kirk… I’d like to stay in touch with you, and to correspond, if possible…
    God bless you.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Marco. Andrea has told me many wonderful things about you and your work in Italy…I hope we are able to meet at a Kirk Center gathering one day!

Comments are now closed.