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Gather 'Round and Let Me Tell You a Story...

This is not going to be a short introduction! Well, I suppose I can take pity on you and give the short bio up front—then you can continue reading if, for some reason, you want the whole shebang. 

The short version is, I'm a writer. I write Young Adult Speculative Fiction under the pen name Ali Archer, and Christian Fiction under Ali Noble. I am a USA Today bestseller and my books have won numerous awards. Still, I really just love to write for the people who love to read my stories. Even better if they join my Facebook group so we can become friends. ツ I used to write all of it with my own name, but that got confusing, and when James Patterson released his Ali Cross novels, it got even more so! With more novels set to come out, it seemed like a good time to do a little rebranding. 

In fact, the concept of "rebranding" has a lot to do with the stories I tell, both in fiction and in the talks I give. Because hopefully, we're all growing and changing, becoming better people day by day. Sometimes, if we don't have far to go, the changes are subtle and don't require a grand gesture. Other times, when you are done growing, you simply aren't the person you were before—and you need to "rebrand" yourself.

I barely resemble the girl of my childhood. I did a little rebranding when I graduated from high school, but the real changes have come over time, making me into something entirely new. I even changed my name when I became a US citizen, because I just wasn't the same.

My parents divorced when I was four years old in 1972. It seems like that really wasn't that long ago, and women were enjoying more freedom than ever, but when my mom requested an abortion, she was denied it because at that time, a woman needed her husband's approval, which my dad refused to give. Mom already had a family—the nearest sibling to me is eight years older. Their marriage was falling apart since Dad was cheating, and he was abusive, to boot. I don't blame my mom for wanting an abortion, but I'm glad to be alive. 

I'm not sorry for the life I've lived, but I was brought into a very tumultuous situation where there was very little stability, and very little safety and security. While I remember being scared and alone, I also remember the presence of angels and can perfectly recall the way it feels to be embraced by someone on the other side who wishes for you to know that you are loved, and not alone.

I had a few of those experiences growing up, and they sustained me through many difficult and trying situations. I'm sure I would have given up a thousand times, if I hadn't had hope for something more. And I know I wouldn't have had that hope if God hadn't been there for me. 

Life has taught me that any obstacle can be overcome—eventually. That it is possible to survive, to wait and hope, if you believe there is more for you; if there is love out there for you. I've learned that everyone makes mistakes because they're so darn easy to make, but not everyone knows how to stop making them. I've learned how to be resilient, to have grit, and most of all, to have faith in myself and in God.

We don't always find ourselves in good situations in life—but good situations can be found. The thing is, first you have to find that good place within yourself. 

Believe in yourself and in your ability to achieve your dreams, and you can make it happen. That's not just a platitude, it's my truth, and I know it can be yours, too.