2022 Jan 22

Interview with Ashley Stoddard!

Kelly and I got our beginning in writing in the RPG world. Playing in games based on General Hospital was one of the biggest of the time. We met talented writers and have kept in touch with many of them. Ash is one of those people we’ve forged relationships with for years as we’ve written together on and off. She has a history of writing rich and very complex characters with depth that isn’t displayed in most. Ash has always been able to add layers and make characters special and very distinct. Taking on the characters of Sebastian Navarro, Dylan Frasier, Rory Devonshire, and original character Cameron “Cam” Blake. Let’s catch up to one of my favorite writers, Ash!

Hey Ash, how are you doing? Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

I’m doing well and it is definitely great to be back. I have been a 911 telecommunicator for the past thirteen years. Writing has been my escape for years and I love being able to figure out just where a story can go or needs to go. I also love playing video games with a major storyline that has twists, turns, and the occasional sidequest to keep me entertained. I’m a tattoo lover with lots of ink! In my limited spare downtime, I enjoy reading books, especially those aimed towards furthering my writing.

Where did your love of soaps start from? How does your love of soaps and drama dovetail into your writing? .

My great-grandmother got me into watching soaps when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I remember we’d watch Days of Our Lives, One Life to Live, and then finish the day out with General Hospital. I always seemed to find a way to connect with the story that the writers were putting out there, though there were some that were a little more difficult to comprehend at a young age. I wouldn’t get back into soaps until my teens when I was home from school during summer vacations. But it was still an amazing escape. I loved the drama and the romance, the action and adventure that these characters were bringing to life on my television screen day in and day out. I’ve probably watched every soap that was and is produced in the States at one time or another. I honestly just love telling a story and making that connection with the readers.

Soaps bled into my love of role playing games and I couldn’t believe my luck when I was able to combine the two when I discovered General Hospital Happenings. That RPG really got it all started for me and I was able to create some characters that I still remember and love to this day. It’s also where I met and began writing with the both of you! I missed the good ole days of GHH, but I’m glad that I can continue writing with a few of the amazing writers that I met so many years ago.

How did joining Blissful come about? What characters and romances on the Blissful canvas do you enjoy? 

I originally joined Blissful a few years ago when I had been developing my own series Valley of Angels. Things got hectic in my life and with my job. I ended up having to leave the writing staff to focus on things going on with my life. Chris originally approached me once more about rejoining the writing staff roughly a month ago and I was a little hesitant. Life is still just as hectic, but learning that there would be other writers to share the entire writing process with and no time frame for completing my share of the writing, made things easier for me. And it has definitely been a relaxing thing to come back to. I’m certainly glad I accepted both Chris and Kelly’s invitation to come back!

You’ve hit the ground running with Sebastian and I truly think you’ve incorporated your flavor while keeping the essence of the character. Tell me what’s your process taking on two very popular recasts in Sebastian and Rory?

Honestly, I’ve been catching up on the series and reading through scenes involving both Sebastian and Rory. I’ve been doing what I can to make myself as comfortable as possible with taking them both over from their previous writers. In a way, I feel like I’m putting my own spin on each, but still doing everything I can within my power to keep them true to their cores. I can’t wait to fully tackle Rory and see where he goes and grows with the series. And I honestly hope that the readers enjoy my spin on both of these amazing characters.

Cameron Blake is the first original character to join the canvas not from Kelly or I! Which makes him very important in my opinion. What can you tease about Cam? 

First off, he’s been around Atlas Falls forever. Born and raised in the beautiful city, but he didn’t always stay there. He graduated from the local high school around the time of the 9/11 tragedy and felt a sense of duty to serve his country. He wanted to follow in his fathers footsteps in as many ways as possible to help his fellow man and enlisted in the military. Cam has been back in town for a couple of years now, leaving the military in order to care for his ailing father. And has joined the fire department to honor his father while helping his mother out with the growing medical bills due to his fathers’ health. Cameron does have a little connection with several citizens of Atlas Falls, and I look forward to exploring those in the future.

Anything else you want to tell the fans of Blissful?

Stay tuned! We’re just getting started!

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