The Heroine’s Journey of Ashleigh O’Shea

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

As a storyteller, the best thing I love is creativity. Imagining a world far beyond our own, telling stories close to my heart and inspiring those who watch my movies or read my books. There is truly something special about creating something to call your own, a world that’s just for your imagination.

What is my idea of happiness?

My idea of happiness is, simply put, to be able to laugh every day. To be true to myself, and enjoy life, my loved ones, my stories. Doing things that bring me joy, and living my life as best as I can. 

What is my greatest fear?

My greatest fear is failure. I deplore the idea of living a life where I don’t strive to be my absolute best, to achieve my goals and dreams. 

What is the trait I most deplore in myself?

I get far too impatient far too easily, and that is something I could learn to get better at.

Which living person in my profession do I most admire?

There is no one person who I admire. In my industry, I have met so many people who have overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams. It is from this that I learn how to approach life. To take every obstacle and turn it into a challenge. 

What is my greatest extravagance?

The way I am able to turn every incident in my life into a story. The need to see the world as a movie, with myself as the main character, and the incredible journey my life is on.

On what occasion would I lie?

To keep a surprise, or to keep a secret from someone who trusted me enough to share it – to protect my loved ones. 

What is the thing  I dislike most in my work?

The competitiveness in my industry has caused me many headaches. The pressure to be the best, instead of just appreciating being around like-minded people, it gets frustrating after a while. I want less competition, and more collaboration in my industry.

When and where was I happiest, in my work?

Always, always, creating the idea. Writing a story, for a novel or movie, that is when I am most happy, when it’s just me and my characters and a story, and finding out the ending together.

If I could, what would I change about myself? 

So, at the risk of sounding full of myself, I am imperfect. But it is our imperfections that make us who we are. If I changed something about myself, I wouldn’t be me anymore. So there is not a single thing I would change. Self love is the most important love someone can have.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

I was the youngest award-winning author for my novel. I began writing it at the tender age of fourteen, and a year later it had a national award. While there are many accomplishments in my career that I am proud of, that one has to be the one I am proud of most. 

Where would I most like to live?

Venice….just imagine riding around in boats the whole time! 

What is my most treasured possession?

So not many people know this about me, but I am a huge nerd. I have a whole Harry Potter collection, sitting right in the middle of my living room. But my favourite item would have to be an old 16mm film projector, from around the 70s. That is my greatest inspiration.

What is my most marked characteristic?

If you asked me, my realness….I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not, what you see, is what you get.  My complete love of humanity makes me proud to be human, and makes me want to be real. Why fake something so perfect? I’m a massive geek, I care way too much about history, I love chocolate way too much, I get impatient, but I’m also kind and I try to be compassionate. I am flawed. And that makes me real. That makes me unapologetically me. 

What is the most inspirational location in my city?

My country is most well known for sites like Kruger National Park, or Table Mountain. But my city, a provincial capital, is most well known for a giant man-made hole dug by miners during the city’s early beginnings…..and while The Big Hole attracts many tourists each year, I think my favourite location would be The McGregor Museum, a place absorbed in history and stories.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

To be perfectly candid, I am much more of a stay-in with takeout pizza watching a movie type of girl. My favourite pizza place is Roman’s, they’re just so delicious!

What books influenced my life, and how?

 Ooh, this is a fun one. I grew up with many stories, all readers with big imaginations in my family, but my most influential book would be the Harry Potter series. It not only taught me things about life, like the meaning of friendship and love, but it also taught me to imagine. And my imagination is what  fuels my storytelling. 

You Can Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day?

Hmmm….I love music, all sorts of different genres, but I feel like my most favourite genre is classic rock. Definitely got some of the most memorable songs of any genre. 

Who is my heroes or heroines in fiction?

I have a few, so here goes: Hermione Granger; Feyre Archeron; Aelin Galathynius; Nehemia Ytger; Minerva McGonagall; Harry Potter;  Cassian, Lord of Bloodshed; Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court; Dorian Havilliard, Rowan Whitethorn….just to name a few. 

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My mother will kill me for saying this, but she inspired and encouraged my love of storytelling and I wouldn’t have achieved anything I have so far without her support. And now for less cliche answers, I would  have to say JK Rowling….before the controversies, she pursued, after so many publishing houses rejected her. A battle I face constantly. Quentin Tarantino for the same reason: no one wanted his stories. He had to sell his scripts to make ends meet and now he is one of the best directors in the industry. Alfreed Hithcock, a man who believed in his story so much, he broke all the rules to make his picture. 

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a  lifetime?

As a filmmaker, this is an unfair question…..there are so many great stories out there, I couldn’t possibly choose only one. So i’ll give you my favourites:

La La Land



The Imitation Game

The Theory of Everything


The Great Gatsby

Dead Poets’ Society 

Patch Adams

What role do stories play in my life and work?

Storytelling has been a part of my life since I was a child, I can’t imagine my life without them. Imagine never having read The Night Circus? Or having watched Chicago? My life is inspired by stories, and I never want to do anything else. 

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ mean to me?

It’s one of my mottos. I don’t believe life is answered and that everyone can have everything figured out. Life is a journey, full of surprises, heartbreak, love, and pain. It’s a wonderful, scary journey, and we have the freedom to do what we want with it. We can be whatever we want to be, have all the dreams in the world. 

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My film club students. I decided to take a risk and went on a daring venture to teach blind and deaf students the art of filmmaking and storytelling. This venture has made them inspired, given them dreams and goals, and they enjoy working with me on our stories, and I them. We’re a magnificent team and we will surprise the world yet!

Which people or companies would I like to work with?

Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Netflix. 

What project am I eager to work on?

There is a project I have been working on for about four years now, a drama piece that tells an inspiring story. I want to make this idea come to life, to have my very first feature film, to work with an experienced team of individuals, and one day, who knows? Maybe an Oscar in my future.

Where can you see my work?

All my work is currently available on my YouTube Channel, a link has been provided. Everything, from my own private short films, to the work I do with my students, can be seen there. My books are not available on any online platforms, as that is still a work in progress, however, all books can be ordered directly through me or my company, BonRo Studios. 

Here are all my socials:




Instagram: –

What do the words ‘Passion Never Retires’ mean to you?

James Cameron is 68 years old, and still making movies. That alone should tell you. 

Which creative professional should Peter invite to tell their story? 

Linda Fisher, author, public speaker, producer. 

Penny Kacere, composer, musician. 

Nimue Brown, author.

Amanda Nitsa Oz, author, storyteller.

Bridget Lotz, publisher, editor. 

How can you contact me?

Through my email,

Or any of my social media platforms:


Instagram: –

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