It all started with a single conversation. But it would forever change the course of my life. I didn’t go on vacation that summer thinking I’d write a book about the topic we discussed at great length while the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. Nor did I ever think I’d leave my job. I was always the one searching for the best beach reads and new romance novels. Fast forward two-years. I published my first young adult fiction book. I’m writing new novels every day. And I left that job to start my own business.
So, what compelled me to write my first book? It’s the question I get asked most frequently. Well, I’ll tell you. It was that conversation that creeped into my mind every single day. It wouldn’t leave me—not in the shower, not driving my car, not walking to the beach. Any time I had some “down time,” it was there.
Like Oprah says, those ah-ha moments start as whispers then bang us over the head until we listen. That’s what happened to me. The only way to stop the thoughts were to write about them. What was it? A national mandatory community service program. Very controversial. Very intriguing. Very ambitious.
What would a mandatory service program look like? Why do it? Who would it help? Those were questions I would mull over in my head. What would someone’s life be like if they actually had to do this program? And then a lighting bolt hit me over the head. I couldn’t wait to get home , put the kiddo to bed and bring that someone to life. Her name is Ashlyn Waters. And Waters Rise is the story of how working in a year-long mandatory community service program, I call U Serve America, forever changed her life.
Who’s Ashlyn? Well, she’s a darling NYC socialite forced to leave behind her picture-perfect world for the complete unknown in the Redwood National Park. Her idea of camping is staying at the Ritz. In her mind she’s being sent to nature jail. What could go wrong?
I hope that you will take the journey with Ashlyn. She’s more relatable than you might think. Maybe you’ll be inspired by the characters and idea of U Serve America, too.