Top ABC-7 News Anchor, Dan Ashley has accomplished much in his lifetime, but being a character in a novel was probably not even on his radar.
I know Dan Ashley personally; he is a larger-than-life figure in the Bay Area. For example, aside from his news job, he’s also a rock star having performed solo and with his own band along with huge names in the music business, such as REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, and Melissa Etheridge, to name a few. He recently performed at the much-celebrated Outside Lands concert in San Francisco and even has his music, solo, and band albums, available on various music sites such as Apple Music.
Dan is also extremely charitable with his time. His philanthropic work includes fundraising for Friends of Camp Concord as well as the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for which he holds his annual ‘Rock the CASA’ event at the Lesher Center.
Now, for his most recent feat, he is a character in a book that I recently published, “American Dead,” the third installment of a mystery trilogy.
Writing is difficult enough. Developing a story, characters, and plot twists, is time-consuming and challenging. Things became more complex in the series finale, book three of the Texas Dead Trilogy, when during a conversation with Dan Ashley, who is also a Walnut Creek resident, the question of using real people in fictional books came up, and I suggested he be in it.
“When William asked if he could include me in the book ‘American Dead’,” Dan explained, “I was honored by the idea. Truthfully, I did hesitate as I had never been included in a work of fiction before.”
Dan explained. “William is a great writer and also a very dear friend, I knew that I would be pleased with how I was portrayed, and I certainly am. He did a great job from start to finish and the parts that include me are such a treat.”
In addition to recording the nuances of his personality, I also did not want Dan to just be an incidental character. While he is not the main character, Dan’s presence becomes an integral part of the final chapters of the story. He even becomes an action hero.
“To have been included in William’s great book as a work of fiction was a first-time experience and a lot of fun to see,” Dan said. “I knew that I was in good hands.”
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[This article was previously titled Dan Ashley: Now Immortalized in Print in the Diablo Gazette printed and digital versions September 2023.]