James Rossiter is, and is not, my real name. My full name is Ashley James Rossiter Carter and I use my middle names for a couple of reasons. First, when I started writing I discovered that there is already an "Ashley Carter" and I didn't want to get us confused in readers' minds. (Especially since he writes steamy romances set in the slave-holding South, very different from what I write). Second, in addition to my fiction, I have published non-fiction as part of my job as a tenured professor (more on this below) and I wanted to make a separation.

I'm very used to using a variety of names. At home and with friends I'm Ashley, but students have been calling me "Doctor Carter" and "Carter" for years (even though I keep trying to get them to call me Ashley or "The Doctor"). I figured, why not add a third name to the mix.

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I've been reading fantasy and science-fiction since I can remember. The first books I recall having read to me at bedtime were The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Later, my after school sitter had a house full of novels by Robert Aspirin and Piers Anthony and I spent my afternoons reading them. I was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons at summer camp and by the end of high school had played that and tons of other RPGs.

During my undergraduate years (UW Parkside) I didn't read as much since I was busy majoring in biology, chemistry and mathematics (with a minor in physics) so there wasn't a lot of time for extra reading. When I got to graduate school I rediscovered fiction (thanks to JK Rowling, Orson Scott card, Nancy Kress, Lyndon Hardy, and others) and have been reading ever since. I wrote a few unpublished stories back then, but my focus had to be on getting my non-fiction scientific articles written and published.

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I earned my PhD in theoretical population genetics (Yale University) and then did an NIH-funded post-doc (Florida State University) where I performed artificial selection experiments with fruit flies. After that I moved out to LA and started a position as a biology professor (Calstate Long Beach) where I teach evolutionary biology and statistics for biology majors and have a research lab that studies evolution, behavior, and public health.

Feel free to check out my lab website to see more about my scientific research.
Now that I'm tenured, I've decided to revisit my love of writing fiction. A major theme of my work seems to be studying how and why things change. This is natural since it's exactly what attracted me to evolutionary biology when I was a student. I also have a very analytical approach to everything, magic included.

Check out the fiction page for information about what I've published so far.

The contents of this site are copyrighted by Ashley J.R. Carter.