Ashlei Hardenburg-Cartagena is a queer German-Puerto Rican karaoke league champion. A child of divorce, she was destined for Jersey Girl realness when she discovered her family’s generational evolution from working in organized crime to working in law enforcement and the armed forces. Naturally, this made it difficult to come out of the closet but fostered her love for suspenseful thrillers and buddy cop blockbusters. It wasn’t until she attended Vassar College that she finally put her complex mixed-ethnicity, queer-kid identity struggles into her writing.

After graduating with a BFA in Film, Ashlei hustled as an Office PA on shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones, then took a quick detour as a Production Manager on true crime docuseries like Mark of a Serial Killer and Homicide for the Holidays. After her writing drew recognition from Final Draft’s Big Break Competition and Roadmap Writers, Ashlei took the hint and moved to Los Angeles, quickly being accepted into the Warner Bros. Writers’ Workshop. Following the Workshop, Ashlei was staffed on THE GIRLS ON THE BUS (HBOMax).