Today’s post is very special to me because I am writing my first author interview. I joined the Double Decker Books blog tour for Ashley Townsend, and here we are! Alright, here is Ashley’s interview with Double Decker Books!
Q: What are the major themes of your work?
A: I crafted the entire series around the fact that forgiveness is never too far from reach and also the idea that everything we do is a choice—that we aren’t victims of fate or circumstance, but that we can choose to turn our lives around. This comes up more than anything in “Chasing Shadows,” and nearly every character at some point references how they “don’t have a choice” in life, while their circumstances say otherwise.
Q: What’s your inspiration or who is?
A: Pretty much anything can spark my interest and inspire me to write—a particular song lyric, wondering how I can describe the waves lapping on the shore, films. I also do a lot of people watching (I sometimes come off like a perv, but it isn’t like that!), and they are definitely interesting, in a good and a bad way. History is also really inspiring to me, and I love thinking up ways to drive life into a period of history or a public figure to get people interested.
Q: If you could meet one character from your book who would it be and why?
A: ……. ^____^ Okay, my first instinct is Will Taylor (your next medieval, blacksmith book boyfriend), and I’m still sticking with that. But I would also love to meet Sarah; she sort of has a way of quietly sneaking her way into your heart and becoming your best friend. I love her for her fears, strengths, her wacky sense of humor, and the fact that she is one of the most realistic characters I have ever written or read about. I feel like I could learn so much from her over a cup of coffee … perhaps in another century.
Q: What inspired you to write your first book?
A: I wrote the “bones” of it when I was 14, and it was the first totally creative assignment we were allowed to work on in my writing class. It was just a cute story to start out, and then I was watching BBC’s Robin Hood with Jonas Armstrong (full disclosure: I’ve been a Robin Hood nut since I was four and love that show with an undying passion). I was playing around with the story at the same time I was watching the show and just went, “Wow. I want to do something like that.” It just sort of evolved on its own from there.
Q: What are your current projects?
A: Love this question! ^_~ Well, I have about 13 projects that I have half-plotted and want to write all at once—if I had twelve arms, that would be super helpful—but what I’m really dedicating myself to right now is Book III in the Rising Shadows Trilogy to wrap it up, and I’m planning on finishing up a fairytale series next that sort of Pirates of the Caribbean meets Neverland. There’s also a dystopian novel I have in the works. It’s about the perfect soldiers who are like robots, supposedly created in petri dishes, but the female doctor training them realizes that they’re humans being sacrificed in one man’s pursuit to take over what’s left of East America.
Q: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
A: I should never cram in a half hour of writing before work. -_- Yeah, I’ve learned that I don’t stop once I get started. I have also found that I really need to set aside writing time, because I’ll either spend three days straight writing and not sleeping, or I take a week or two off completely because I don’t have a full day to dedicate to a story. So I’ve found clever ways to keep my mind in writing mode, even when I’m not typing away, like using plotting notecards, or mentally going over scenes to make sure that they connect.
Q: Do you have any strange writing habits?
A: I have to be wearing my penguin socks or my frog slippers, have a coffee nearby, and no distractions, other than random trailer music or my particular writing playlist on a loop to inspire me. I listened to “All or Nothing” by Brand X Music 26 times in a row (I counted) while I wrote this one scene because it totally set the mood for me.
Q: If you didn’t write books, what would you do for a living?
A: Probably teach or own a bakery, which I still plan to do! I always wanted to teach creative writing as a kid, because I have a passion for the English language and love encouraging kids in their writing, and I have a baking fetish that will never fade. I also really want to become an acquisitions editor for either Harper Collins or Balzer & Bray. Then I’d get to read great stories for a living!
Q: What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
A. I love every aspect of writing and will never tire of it, but I do get frustrated with myself when I can’t articulate a thought properly. It’s torture to have something in your head that seems awesome and then just sounds horrible on paper.
Q: What is one of your favorite parts in your newest book?
A: NOOOOOOO! Ugh, such an evil question. Now I have to go by genre *sighs*
Well, for romance, when something tragic happens to Sarah, she comes to _____ (I can’t spoil it for you!) and is a total wreck. But he’s so tender and it’s so painfully obvious to the reader that he’s in love with her. I just can’t get over how vulnerable the moment is between them. Soooo beauuuutiful! Basically I’m a fan of whenever vulnerability comes into play.
Action would definitely have to be when Sarah and Will witness a body burning in the forest and have to flee the guilty party. It’s a very intense, fast-paced scene, and then Sarah slips through an icy lake, and Will has to fish her cold body out. It was so much fun to write, I can’t even begin to tell you.
Also, I love any scene with Damien Lisandro, the handsome Spanish lord staying at Serimone Castle with Sarah. *sighs* Where to begin. He is so charming and secretly wounded and dashing and amusing and such a good friend to Sarah. Try not to fall too hard, ladies.
Ashley and Double Decker Books also sent out a playlist for Ashley’s book, “Chasing Shadows!”
Avicii — Wake Me Up
Jason Reeves — The End
Schuyler Fisk — Waking Life
Ben Howard — The Fear
Nico and Vinz — Am I Wrong
The Script — The End Where I Begin
Switchfoot — Slipping Away
Penny and Sparrow — Brothers
Josh Rosenthal — No More Lies
The Workday Release — A Starlit Sky
YPPAH — Never Mess with Sunday
Levi Robin — Breathe Easy
Bastille — Bad Blood
Jason Walker — Down
Keith Urban — Stupid Boy
Hunter Hayes — You Think You Know Somebody
Need to Breathe — Won’t Turn Back
Danny Elfman — Oz, the Great and Powerful
Brand X Music — Sorcerer’s Secret
Hurts — Unspoken
Kacey Musgraves — Back on the Map
Lady Antebellum — Learning to Fly (cover)
Augustana — Borrowed Time
The Weepies — Can’t Go Back Now
One Republic — Feel Again
Hunter Hayes — All You Ever
The Civil Wars — Dust to Dust
Two Steps from Hell — Resistance is Fatal
X Ambassadors — Unsteady
Mads Langer — Fact-Fiction
Jan Kaczmarek — Finding Neverland
Gabrielle Aplin — Start of Time
Jimmy Eat World — Hear You Me
Florence and the Machine — Heavy in Your Arms
Sea Fournier — Goodbye
In the Nursery — Kryptka
Switchfoot — When the World Caves In
Parachute — Hurricane
Brand X Music — Curious Developments
Greg Laswell — Comes and Goes (in Waves)
Ray LaMontagne —Be Here Now
Ed Sheeran — Give Me Love
Abel Korzeniowski — First Kiss
Christina Perri — A Thousand Years
Bastille — The Draw
Two Steps from Hell — Black Blade
One Republic — Burning Bridges
Tom Petty — Square One
Avicii — Heart Upon My Sleeve
Husky – History’s Door
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus — Cat and Mouse
Adele — Skyfall
Sons of Sylvia — John Wayne
Brand X Music — All or Nothing
Blackmill — Journey’s End
Kodaline — All I Want
Of Monsters and Men — Silhouettes
Lord Huron — Ends of the Earth
Radical Face — Welcome Home
This is an author interview with multiple parts, so check out all the tags with “Ashley Townsend Interview” as the title!