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home : news : news Tuesday, October 13, 2015

6/14/2014 Email this articlePrint this article 
Labor of love. Ashley Showens Paulsen, a 2009 graduate of Central Community High School, has just released her first book, “The Merge.” Released May 11, the book falls into the same category as two of Paulsen’s favorite series, “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent.” The book is available for download on Amazon and Barnes and Noble or on Amazon and Createspace.com for the paperback version. Photo by Kate Howes
Paulsen proves anything's possible, even becoming an author

By Kate Howes
Staff writer

Just a few months ago, Ashley Showens Paulsen never had much interest in reading books.

Now, she's written one.

The Central Community High School graduate says in February ideas started popping up in her head.

Paulsen decided she ought to write them down, even if it was just for her own pleasure.

"Then I thought, it would be cool to write something," she relates.

And that's exactly what she did.

Paulsen's book "The Merge," released May 11, is about a young girl, Piper, who lives in a quiet part of the new United States called Ukuthlia. Piper's parents died five years before, and she still is dealing with her loss.

However, she becomes a heroine after she becomes part of a team to protect her home of Ukuthlia from the deceitful president of the neighboring region of Amandla.

Paulsen promises the book will tug at readers' heartstrings with its romantic background and send their heads spinning with various plot twists.

"The Merge" is geared toward readers in their early teens and above.

It falls into the same genre as "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent," subject matter Paulsen enjoys reading.

Even though she never had done any writing before, Paulsen says she simply started the process the only way she knew how - one chapter at a time.

"I knew how I wanted the book to begin, and I knew how I wanted it to end," she relates. "I just went with it."

Paulsen says without the help and guidance of certain individuals, she never would have been able to share her story with readers.

"My husband, Rory, has been very supportive," Paulsen shares. "He put me in touch with someone he works with, Joe Collins, who publishes books. I've had a lot of support from people."

As for her plans to publish another book, Paulsen says a sequel to "The Merge" already is in the works. She also has three other story ideas waiting in the wings. While she reads most anything she can get her hands on now, Paulsen says she initially wondered if her aspiration to write a book was a bit far fetched.

Then it occurred to her, every famous author had to start somewhere.

"I asked myself, what really makes me that different from other people who write books?" Paulsen relates. "I'm 23, not experienced with writing; but this could be something just for me."

Employed at First Trust & Savings Bank in Grand Mound, Paulsen says she jots ideas down whenever the mood strikes. Her favorite part of the writing process is when she gets stuck in a character's mindset.

Paulsen says the more emotionally invested she becomes in her characters' lives, the more personal and fulfilling the process becomes.

A year ago she never would have dreamed she would become a published author. Paulsen hopes to not only give her readers a great book, but also set the example if a person puts her mind to achieving a goal, she can do anything.

No matter how far fetched that goal might seem.

"So far I've sold about 39 books," she says with a smile. "My hope is that I just keep writing more and more, and people love what I write."

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