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Palmerston teen author follows dream and publishes first fantasy fiction novella, Siren

by Kelly Waterhouse

PALMERSTON - Before even graduating Norwell District Secondary School, 16-year-old Ashley Hedge can add published author to her credentials.

“I had the inspiration for the  story from a dream [three years ago],” Hedge said.

Six months following that dream she completed a rough draft and this October she self-published her novella, Siren.

“It took so long to get it done, to go through the editing process and then find a self-publisher we liked,” Hedge said. Inspired by her interest in mythology, Hedge created  a main character who becomes a Siren, a beautiful female mythical creature that seduces sailors with her song, encouraging ships to crash into the rocks so that she can prey on the sailor’s lives.

“The story is about a girl in grade 8 who is very average. She ends up in the hospital and is supposed to be dead but learns that she has become a Siren,” Hedge explains. “My story is all about how she tries to control her powers and not hurt the people around her. Meanwhile there are dark forces trying to get her to use her powers for evil.”

The plot has many twists and turns, Hedge said, and the response from her peers has been enthusiastic.

“I am so happy that everybody loves it and that they are getting involved with the story,” she said.

 The requests for a follow-up story have encouraged her to working on a continuation of Siren. Hedge credits a former grief councillor for encouraging her to write following the loss of Hedge’s aunt and two cousins in a car accident. The book is dedicated to that councillor, who is now also deceased.

Hedge notes that the support and direction of Norwell  English teacher, Brent Bloch has been valuable to her work too.

 “I love writing; it is my passion,” Hedge said. “If I read, when I have a bad day, I lose myself, falling into the book with the characters, experiencing all the things that they are, and I want to recreate that feeling for my readers too.”

Hedge financed the publishing of her book by babysitting.

Siren is available online  through Chapters Indigo and Coles or through The Bookery in Listowel. Hedge hopes to have the books distributed to other local retailers soon. She is also planning speaking engagements at regional schools to encourage other students to write.

“I really hope that my book encourages people and inspires them to write too.”


November 25, 2011


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