Meet Ashley Flynn

Major Gifts Officer, Sanford Health

Ashley Flynn was on maternity leave after having her first child when she spent countless sleepless nights creating poems for her daughter.

“I wrote all these poems while rocking my daughter,” says Ashley. “It’s just a time I felt really inspired.”

Her daughter, Nina, started daycare in the spring, and as Ashley was back at work, she didn’t find any books that addressed what it was like for a new mom.

At the same time, Ashley began putting her poems together into a book. She planned to give the poem book to Nina when she was older.

“There are all sorts of baby reference books and new mother advice blogs, but when it comes time to go back to work and totally alter your lifestyle, I feel like nobody really talked to me about that transition, and there was no book on it,” Ashley says.

That’s when Ashley wrote a poem about her experience as a working mother. She spent a few hours over the span of two days writing a book based on that poem. When she shared it with her mom and her husband, Colby, they were moved and knew more people needed to read it.

At the suggestion of her family and a few friends, Ashley decided to pursue getting the book published, even though she didn’t know anything about the process.

“That process is actually hard,” she says. “Working full-time made it challenging. I decided to self-publish and found a lot of roadblocks. I ended up stumbling upon a book agency.”

The agency – Wise Ink – worked with Ashley on the storyboards, illustrations and editing.

“It was really fun,” Ashley says. “What’s neat is I own all the rights to the book.”

Her book, “My Favorite Job Is You,” was released close to Mother’s Day in 2018. Ashley planned a tour to promote the book while she was pregnant with her second child. She was in charge of all the marketing.

Ashley promoted her book at an event in New York City and a few events in Kansas. She also had a book launch party and did interviews with local TV stations and book readings in Sioux Falls.

“The tour and launch were exciting, but I wanted to get the book out to moms,” says Ashley. “The whole point of this journey was to touch other mothers and speak to their hearts.”

Ashley’s book is available on Amazon. As for future books, Ashley said she would be interested, but it would need to be about something she felt compelled to write.

“If God put something on my heart, I would love to write another book,” says Ashley.

Ashley and Colby have three children – Nina, Beau and Pearl. Ashley is a University of Kansas graduate and works for the Sanford Health Foundation as a major gifts officer.

“I absolutely love my job. I feel like I hit the jackpot with my team,” Ashley says.

Her advice for those who want to write a book is to make sure their goals don’t get lost in the process of publishing. She liked the company she worked with because she had the opportunity to use her own words and had control over the edits that were made.

“Don’t lose the heart of the book,” says Ashley. “Make sure the content is whatever you want it to be.”