Students talk writing and publishing

Two Seton Hall students have recently fulfilled their passion for storytelling by writing and publishing novels.

Photos courtesy of Aubrey Casterline and Ashleigh Wilkerson

Aubrey Casterline, a sophomore creative writing and philosophy major, is now a published author before she’s made it halfway through her Seton Hall career. Her book, “Stay,” is currently available on Amazon.

Casterline said she got the inspiration for her book partially from her own life experiences and her love for South Korea. She has Tourette syndrome, so the main character of her book is somewhat based upon herself, but not completely. “I wanted to experiment with some more tragic emotions and how I would react as a mentally ill person with Tourette syndrome,” Casterline said.

After writing the book and editing it 10 times, Casterline said she set up an account with KDP Amazon, and from there she made selections for how she wanted the book to look. After 24 hours, she said that Amazon approved the book to be published and then it went on sale.

“Getting published was fairly easy, considering I self-published it,” Casterline said. “I decided that instead of trying to find an agent to publish me like a traditional author would, that I would self-publish on Amazon because it is a shorter process.”

Sebastien Fortes, a sophomore creative writing major, said he is currently reading Casterline’s novel. He said, “I like the fact that Aubrey uses the active voice more so than the passive voice, not beginning by bogging the reader down with exposition and details.”

Photos courtesy of Aubrey Casterline and Ashleigh Wilkerson

Casterline said her current project is a fantasy novel that she has been working on for two years. She said she plans to have this book traditionally published. “It is all very exciting and is a completely different writing style from my first book,” she said.
Ashleigh Wilkerson, a senior journalism major, is also a published author. She wrote “The Silent Curse,” a novel about a woman named Mariah Shante Beauvoir who returns home for an interview with journalist Justyce McCall in the house where she grew up.

She opens up to him about all that she endured as a child and a young woman, finding herself and the truth about those she loves the most.

Although it is fictional, Wilkerson said the novel focuses on real issues such as infidelity, neglect, mental illness, colorism, crime and much more.

“I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember from short stories, to poetry, song lyrics,” she said, “basically about anything under the sun.”

Wilkerson said she derives inspiration from everything. “The greatest inspiration comes from everyday events and people that have struggled with similar situations,” she said.

Wilkerson explained the publishing process. “It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” she said.

Wilkerson said she worked closely with her publishing company rewriting and editing parts of her novel.

She said she visited the office to work on page formatting, the cover and other finishing touches.

“I’m blessed to have a wonderful team, BlackGold Publishing, located in Virginia,” she said. “From the beginning they saw my vision and instantly everything clicked.”

Wilkerson said she is currently working on her next book, “TWELVE,” which will feature poetry. It is scheduled to be published at the end of this year.

Claudia Emanuele can be reached at

Author: Claudia Emanuele

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