Ashley Townsend Interview: Part 1

RisingShadowsBlogTour(1)

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!”

CHAPTER 1:

Avicii — Wake Me Up

CHAPTER 2:

Jason Reeves — The End

CHAPTER 3:

Schuyler Fisk — Waking Life

CHAPTER 4:

Ben Howard — The Fear

CHAPTER 5:

Nico and Vinz — Am I Wrong

CHAPTER 6:

The Script — The End Where I Begin

CHAPTER 7:

Switchfoot — Slipping Away

Penny and Sparrow — Brothers

CHAPTER 8:

Josh Rosenthal — No More Lies

CHAPTER 9:

The Workday Release — A Starlit Sky

CHAPTER 10:

YPPAH — Never Mess with Sunday

CHAPTER 11:

Levi Robin — Breathe Easy

CHAPTER 12:

Bastille — Bad Blood

CHAPTER 13:

Jason Walker — Down

Keith Urban — Stupid Boy

CHAPTER 14:

Hunter Hayes — You Think You Know Somebody

CHAPTER 15:

Need to Breathe — Won’t Turn Back

CHAPTER 16:

Danny Elfman — Oz, the Great and Powerful

CHAPTER 17:

Brand X Music — Sorcerer’s Secret

CHAPTER 18:

Hurts — Unspoken

CHAPTER 19:

Kacey Musgraves — Back on the Map

CHAPTER 20:

Lady Antebellum — Learning to Fly (cover)

CHAPTER 21:

Augustana — Borrowed Time

CHAPTER 22:

The Weepies — Can’t Go Back Now

One Republic — Feel Again

CHAPTER 23:

Hunter Hayes — All You Ever

CHAPTER 24:

The Civil Wars — Dust to Dust

CHAPTER 25:

Two Steps from Hell — Resistance is Fatal

CHAPTER 26:

X Ambassadors — Unsteady

CHAPTER 27:

Mads Langer — Fact-Fiction

Jan Kaczmarek — Finding Neverland

CHAPTER 28:

Gabrielle Aplin — Start of Time

CHAPTER 29:

Jimmy Eat World — Hear You Me

Florence and the Machine — Heavy in Your Arms

CHAPTER 30:

Sea Fournier — Goodbye

In the Nursery — Kryptka

CHAPTER 31:

Switchfoot — When the World Caves In

CHAPTER 32:

Parachute — Hurricane

CHAPTER 33:

Brand X Music — Curious Developments

CHAPTER 34:

Greg Laswell — Comes and Goes (in Waves)

CHAPTER 35:

Ray LaMontagne —Be Here Now

CHAPTER 36:

Ed Sheeran — Give Me Love

Abel Korzeniowski — First Kiss

CHAPTER 37:

Christina Perri — A Thousand Years

CHAPTER 38:

Bastille — The Draw

CHAPTER 39:

Two Steps from Hell — Black Blade

CHAPTER 40:

One Republic — Burning Bridges

CHAPTER 41:

Tom Petty — Square One

CHAPTER 42:

Avicii — Heart Upon My Sleeve

CHAPTER 43:

Husky – History’s Door

CHAPTER 44:

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus — Cat and Mouse

CHAPTER 45:

Adele — Skyfall

Sons of Sylvia — John Wayne

CHAPTER 46:

Brand X Music — All or Nothing

CHAPTER 47:

 Blackmill — Journey’s End

CHAPTER 48:

Kodaline — All I Want

CHAPTER 49:

Of Monsters and Men — Silhouettes

CHAPTER 50:

Lord Huron — Ends of the Earth

EPILOGUE:

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!

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