Guest Post from Author Ashlee Willis
In this Post…
- Guest Post from Author Ashlee Willis
- Things to Come: Author Showcase
- Book Trailer
- Ordering information
Last year I interviewed Ashlee Willis about her book, The Word Changers. Well, she’s at it again and is here to talk about some of the underlying themes in her new novella, A Wish Made of Glass.
Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with a young human child. Their kinship is the fabric of Isidore’s childhood. But when her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.
The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.
Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.
Hero and Villain: The Same Person?
by Ashlee Willis
I’ve always been fascinated with “the other side of the story.” You know. The dark side.
I loved the movie Maleficent, of which I’m sure most of you are familiar. I adored the book The Winter Prince, which is told from the point of view of Mordred, King Arthur’s illegitimate son. I couldn’t turn pages fast enough to see how the shameless Becky Sharp’s story would turn out in Vanity Fair. I watched, breathless with horror and awe, as Raskolnikov justified his own act of murder in Crime and Punishment. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, though she was horribly selfish and vain.
Although I’m sure many people found these characters much less than admirable, I rather doubt I’m alone in this fascination with protagonists who turn out to be more villain than hero. What is it that causes us to like the unlikable? What makes us so morbidly intent on watching to see what rule these unorthodox characters will break next?
For me, I think it’s that potential for change more than anything else. That mysterious, wonderful miracle that happens when the character’s depth of loathsomeness teeters sideways and flips, and changes into depth of true integrity and honor. Now, of course that doesn’t happen with every evil or selfish character. It doesn’t happen with most of them, in fact. But when it does . . . what a fulfilling moment!
Because villains aren’t born villains. Every person in life, and every character in a story, has the same chances of redemption that everyone else does. Becky Sharp may have led a less privileged life than Amelia Sedley, but her choices of how to behave were nonetheless the same. Maleficent could have chosen to pay back the greed and cruelty that had been shown to her; instead she made the brave choice of love. Cinderella and her stepsisters held very different positions within their household, yet the difference between their actions and hearts was still a simple one: Choice.
Sometimes the path is harder, sometimes it’s easier. But in the end, what it comes down to is a decision. As Dumbledore so succinctly says: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
Isidore is the protagonist in my novella, A Wish Made of Glass. She is also, in truth, the antagonist. I often look at my own life and think just that. I’m the one who gets in my own way. I’m the one who chooses to embrace my insecurities rather than let them go to reach for the freedom God offers. Satan is THE enemy, yes. But he holds no power over me which I don’t give to him. And I give him that power much too often.
Isidore is arguably not a very likable person. She has seen loss and sorrow in her life, and soon begins to see everything as a tragedy, everything as a danger—even the things that are, in fact, blessings. That doesn’t make for a fun person to be around. Perhaps, to some, it doesn’t even make for a fun person to read about.
Yet I always find enjoyment, even fulfillment, in reading and writing about the broken people. The fallen ones, the misled folk living out life in the shadow of doubt and fear and anger. Those people don’t need enemies because, in truth, they are their own worst enemies. What a great sorrow that is. My heart goes out to them. Because I used to be one of them. I know that dark path well.
My poor Isidore may not be someone you’d want to be friends with. Not at first. She makes wrong choices. She sees through a mirror, darkly. She judges others not based upon truth, but upon her own insecurities and anger and loss. Yet her journey is one that, at least in part, I think everyone may be able to understand just a little.
For God’s power and love have no limits. Even when we seek to destroy ourselves, as Isidore nearly does, even when we stumble blindly into every trap the enemy has laid for us, God is there waiting to take our hand and lead us back onto His path. And it’s a beautiful path – even more beautiful and bright to those of us who once knew the darkness, but have made the brave choice to leave it far behind.
To purchase A Wish Made of Glass or The Word Changers:
Things to Come…
What’s next? Come see me at the Author Showcase at the Houston Love Memorial Library on November 8th. I look forward to seeing you there!
- Amazon is currently shipping books pre-ordered through their website.
- When reviews are able to be posted onto Amazon, you can be SURE that I will be letting you all know!
- The Ebook will be available SOON!
- You can still order books through me by using the Paypal links below or on the Homepage of my website. These can be picked up at 1st Pres (Dothan) or Dothan Behavioral Medicine Clinic.
To purchase Daniel and the Sun Sword locally…
Single Copy: $15.00+tax