Shay Smith - Shay SmithShay Smith is a woman and mother who is passionate about mental health advocacy and communication. She lives in a small community in East Texas with her family, which includes her husband and five children. Shay received her Master of Arts degree in literature with a focus on children’s and young adult literature. She has had several different careers from being a pharmacy technician to working as an obituary writer, but she feels most passionate about her budding career as a writer.

As Shay’s passion for writing has grown, she has stepped out of her comfort zone in the last year to publish her first work under the pseudonym Ashlee Keller. She most commonly writes romantic short stories but has recently taken up the pen to help others.

As someone who has been morbidly obese, lost a lot of weight and gained a little bit back again, she understands the hardships that the journey to a healthier self can be. She’s recently begun to speak out about her mental health journey for a postpartum depression community and felt that she’d be able to reach and help others through her own experiences with obesity. If she can help even just one person feel heard and understood, then she feels like she’s accomplished her goal. Shay wants to be able to be that person that others can seek out when they need that hope in what feels like a hopeless battle sometimes.

In addition to her writing, Shay is a busy mother of five with ages ranging from sixteen to a pair of one year old twins. When she’s not busy keeping her people alive and thriving, she enjoys reading, writing, cooking/baking, tabletop gaming and spending time with her friends. Despite the demands of her family, she finds many ways to allow her creative pursuits to flourish. She has found that allowing for her creativity helps her mental well-being. She follows the motto that you cannot pour from an empty cup and has gone out of her way to ensure that she takes care of herself in order to take care of those she loves.

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