Library

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Teen Week!

Published October 17, 2013 by Ashley Townsend

I’m super excited–and terribly nervous!–to announce that I will be at San Diego’s Casa de Oro library branch at 3pm tomorrow (Friday, October 18th) to kick off Teen Week. One or two Fridays of each month, select San Diego libraries will be hosting a day for teens and students, though all ages are welcome–you’re never too old to start reading!–to encourage everyone to come out to the library and promote reading. Just ask one of the librarians to direct you to the meeting room. I am so blessed to kick off this awesome promotion for literacy, and please be sure to bring your questions and your friends with you! 

https://www.facebook.com/CasaDeOroBranch

In celebration of Teen Week, come meet author Ashley Townsend (Rising Shadows). Ashley Townsend, besides being a voracious reader, wrote her first book while still a teenager. Learn what got her to start writing, her tips on the craft, and how she navigated getting published. All interested parties welcome! To learn more about Ashley, check out her website at https://ashley-townsend.com/. See you there!

https://www.facebook.com/CasaDeOroBranch

 

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Revision Derision

Published September 17, 2013 by Ashley Townsend

reclining

Editing and revising can sometimes be my least favorite part of being an author. You write something that, in the moment, you feel is so inspired. That is, until you read back over it and wonder how much sugar and coffee you had at the time to make you type such nonsensical gibberish in so hurried a fashion. Then comes the fantastic task of trying to make sense of what you were working on. And don’t even get me started on summarizing! Yes, I would love to describe 900 pages of my blood, sweat, tears, and emotional turmoil in 200 words or less. YES! You’ve heard me share my agony over writing a synopsis before, and it hasn’t changed.

But, there are also some days where revising feels like reimagining the entire story, seeing it from a new angle where the ideas you originally put down on paper can fit so seamlessly into a new and more complex plot that you’re devising—those are the days that just make you smile and remind you that you don’t want to be doing anything else, the days that give you the courage to keep pressing on.

courage ralphu  

Every spare second I have between work and school (halfway there for one of my classes, so huzzah!) is spent on my laptop, pouring over the “Chasing Shadows” manuscript at the same time that I plot out the series’ conclusion on my note cards. I introduced an entirely new character and renamed another to subtly throw in some Robin Hood elements for my own enjoyment, and then I had a “Holy mackerel!” moment when I realized that it would beautifully complicate time travel for Sarah; it makes everything so much more disastrous because they fear her presence is corrupting the past. My favorite “Rising Shadows” fan and fellow writer, who is actually named Sarah—you are the absolute best, girl!—enjoys tormenting her characters as much as I do. I think it must be an author thing, because the farther our characters fall, the higher we have to lift them up, and watching them rise from the mire is a beautiful thing. Anyway, after I let God take the reins on this story, he completely opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for the final book, and I’m adding some minor and major elements to “Chasing Shadows” that are totally setting the stage for a bunch of disaster and perfection in the next installment, which is coming along rather nicely. Even my fellow writer and blogger-friend, Sarah (who is 100% Team Will Taylor), fell for Damien Lisandro against her will. Honestly, he is one of my favorite characters, and I’ve never written someone into a story who controls what I write as much as Damien—every time he entered a scene or opened his mouth, he owned the scene, and I found myself grinning like a giggly school girl or grimacing because I wanted to fix him. I have never been so happy to change an older, moderately interesting character named Bormeo into a handsome, cheeky Spaniard who is caught up with the wrong people, but you love him nonetheless. I can’t wait for you to get acquainted with him, but he’s mine, so don’t get any ideas. 😉   

love fairytales best of all end

God has been so faithful throughout this process, and I love you guys for sticking by my side! I’d appreciate some prayer, though, because I have to make a few big decisions soon—kind of a huge career jump that I’m looking for the Lord’s guidance on. Wish me faith! (sounds way better than luck!)

And can I get a smattering of applause or a “woot, woot!” for a new record of absence to this blog on my part. Four weeks, baby! But, seriously, sorry about that, and don’t be shy about sending me scathing reminder emails to get me back on here. Haha. Time has flown these past few weeks. In that time, “Deception” by CJ Redwine came out, “Thornhill” by Ms. Peacock was released, I had my teeth cleaned at the dentist, and my baby sister, Katie, turned the big 1-7 yesterday. Can’t believe the little girl I used to finger paint with outback (actually, that was just a few weeks ago, but we’ve matured in that time!) is all grown up with her own blog and the title of official Zondervan Book Reviewer under her belt. So proud of you, Kiddo!

www.booksandwonderfulthings.wordpress.com

Oh! I almost forgot. Friday, October 18th, I will be at the Casa de Oro Library Branch for a few hours to talk about my books and the publishing process, and I’m especially looking forward to getting to know a lot of you at the party that day. A few of the San Diego branches are getting started with teen and college age groups one Friday of the month to get kids back into reading, but there is no age limit. Everyone is welcome! It will just be a fun afternoon of getting to know one another and getting involved. If you know anyone in the area, encourage them to come and bring a friend, or if you want me tell kids about the publishing process at your school or library, just shoot me an email. You have no idea how much I love meeting you guys!  

I’m super jazzed and honored to kick off the first Friday of Teen Week and hope to see some of you there! ^__^

 

 

Shhhhh! It’s Book Confession Time!

Published January 8, 2013 by Ashley Townsend

We all do it—cringe, cough, gasp, gag, flinch, faint. Well, usually the instances where I managed to do ALL six of these, other than when I encounter a lizard, tend to revolve around books. So, with the help of my ever-awesome and always-passionate fellow book lover and roommate—my younger sis, Katie, who also happens to review books. www.booksandwonderfulthings.wordpress.com–helped me compile a list of my reading and writing confessions. Perhaps she thought I could move past my sometimes mentally incapacitating quirks and hang-ups. Here’s to hopin’ I can look at the next book I read with fresh eyes! And for your edification; I am not crazy, just passionate. And we passionate lexophiles prefer the term quirks, not ticks or challenges. It might not seem like there’s a different, but I assure you, there is.

book 1

1) I cannot STAND when I see a brand new paperback open and placed face-down to hold the reader’s place in the story. I can almost hear the binding ripping. THAT’S WHAT BOOKMARKS ARE FOR!!!! Have compassion! I guess I should also lump into this category the presence of turned corners and covers folded back like a magazine. They give me the chills.

When I discover a really great hero at the library.....

When I discover a really great hero at the library…..

2) I tend to fall for the same kind of male lead in almost every book. And in case you’re wondering what that is, my character Will Taylor in “Rising Shadows” is pretty much the epitome of that ideal. My sisters tease me that I have a type, and I’ve tried to change, really. But tall, dark, and mysterious is just plain classic. And when he’s a blacksmith, well……. That’s just an added bonus. ^__^

3) Unless it’s a textbook, it pains me to see pencil and/or pen marks on a page. I get if you want to make notes, but I will personally buy you colored flags from Staples, if that’s the case.

4) Oober whiny or obsessive heroines bug the living monkey out of me. I’m all gung-ho for a girl who can stand her own, but when they go on this crazy, seemingly pointless vendetta or get obsessed over a weird pale kid, I tend to roll my eyes. So when I get a book with a selfless, mostly level-headed leading lady, it is quite refreshing.

book 3

5) Writing confession: I cannot listen to music too loudly when I write. I love listening to music and get inspired by it, but it has to be at a certain volume, otherwise I get distracted. Also, if I’m in the middle of an intense action scene, I either have to turn off the music or put on something without words.

book 4

6) People who say they have never entered a library for either business or booky goodness scare me. No, seriously; they’re probably robots, or something.

7) As much as I cringe at the sight of a new book lying face-down, some marks or an accidentally bent page are a beautiful sight on older books. I know, I know; it sounds contradictory. But a well-loved and frequently read book should never look brand new.

8) I love to read everywhere, and I really mean that. I’ve brought huge—I had to swap out my usual purse for a baby-snatcher—novels into the movie theater before when I thought there might be some down time.

9) I realize that it’s necessary, but filler is just a drag to write—that’s usually why I like jumping from one meaningful scene to the next action scene, with minimal drag between. I don’t skimp on backstories or necessary info, but do we need a four-page description of a vegetable cart? No. I’ll give you what you need and let your imagination fill in the veggie details.

10) It honestly confuses me as to why authors feel such a need to throw their readers for a loop that they would surprise us by killing a very necessary and loveable character with little or no to-do about it. If they’re going down, I want a flippin’ parade to honor them!

book 5

11) Like I said before, I can honestly read just about anywhere, but if I can, I prefer to curl up on my bed with a beverage in total silence. Or in a hammock, which I do not own. Hey, a girl can dream.

Trust me, there are plenty more where that came from, but I thought this was a good start. I’ve been reading so many books lately that I’m really starting to get what I like and don’t like in novels. Some have dazzled and amazed, while others made me question why, exactly, people read them. Just more motivation to write, which I’ve been doing a lot of lately. We’re up to 423 pages for Book II. Yippee! Can’t wait to share some of it with you all.

Check out my Goodreads page to see the kind of books that I really LOVE, and also the ones that I . . . well, the opposite of love. http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5839773.Ashley_Townsend

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