literature

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DEFYING SHADOWS IS OUT!!!

Published July 20, 2016 by Ashley Townsend

Defying Shadows has officially been released into the wild!!! 😃

http://amzn.to/2acv3rhhttp://amzn.to/2acv3rh

Hallelujah! It’s been a long time in coming, but I am so ecstatic that it’s out. Follow the link to the paperback of Defying Shadows here, and find me wandering San Diego Comic-Con tomorrow through Saturday. I’ll be the blond shamelessly promoting my own books. 😋 Follow the crazy person with the Defying Shadows tee and tote for a bookmark! 

And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter each day to be entered to win a paperback copy of Defying Shadows and an Amazon gift card. End this Sunday!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/efc81f6e2/?

New Interviews!!!

Published October 23, 2014 by Ashley Townsend

Here are the current stops in the Chasing Shadows Blog Tour!

Please check them out, like to give the bloggers some love, and share around to spread the word about Chasing Shadows. Who doesn’t love handsome blacksmiths, humor, and time travel intertwined with fantasy-science fiction in YA literature? I thought as much. 😉

http://citylifereader.blogspot.com/2014/10/townsendtales-book-tour-chasing-shadows.html

http://spillingwordskck.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/chasing-shadows-blog-tour/

http://inkspellreviews.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/chasing-shadows-townsendtales-blog-tour/

http://postcardreader.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/chasing-shadows-blog-tour/

http://wonderstruck-kcks.blogspot.com/2014/10/author-ashley-townsend-chashing-shadows.html

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! ^__^

 

 

Splintered Review

Published May 29, 2013 by Ashley Townsend

splintered pic

You know how much I love retellings of classic stories and fairytales, so I was pretty excited when I got “Splintered” from the library. It’s a very funky take on the original “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, with some crazy-wild twists thrown in that make “Splintered” very much the author’s own.

Inventiveness/Creativity: 9 (her admirable ability to wholly re-craft the story was what kept me pushing through to the end)

Overall Storyline: 7

Execution: 7 (this is a non-biased view of her actual ability, not my opinion of the story)

My Overall Interest: 5. I have to break it down into sub categories because I was a little    torn.

            Okay, first 200 pages: 8 for blow my mind creativity and a 6 for feeling detached from the actual story.

            Once Morpheous was introduced (next 100 pages): 9 for increased interest—I hate to say I kind of loved him—though the story had its ups and downs quite a bit after that (I know; I am completely dissecting the book).

            Ending: 4 Though it was technically a “happy” end where everything was tied up nicely, I was a little disappointed with how things were finalized. Call me a predictable sap, but I love perfect, even sometimes unrealistic endings.                It’s fantasy for a reason, people!

            Recommend: A one-time read, in my opinion.If you have other books to read, this one can definitely wait, unless you’re bored and just want some unique filler, then give it a go if you like funky and strange YA fantasy. But if you’re on a dystopian kick like I am, then maybe save this one for another time or read at your own discretion. (And now I remember why I usually steer clear of YA fantasy: What’s with the tongue kissing? Grodie!)

My take on it: Completely wild and crazy and unique as the story kicks off. Like I said, funky is the operative word.  Most of the creatures the author imagined are a little more grotesque (?) than the original fluffy white rabbit and almost cuddly, albeit blubberous, walrus and other creatures in Lewis’ tale and the Disney film, though I kind of liked that about it. But the good creatures and fairylike characters were fascinating and very inventive, and even the sometimes grodie creatures the author presented in the story to block Alyssa’s path were interesting, though at times they were a bit much. However, I loved the fact that our bad boy/childhood friend and Wonderland guide, Morpheous, was the Caterpillar-turned butterfly. He. Was. AWESOME! In, like, a crazy way. And I mean, Kuh-razy! He was ultimately what pushed me to finish the story. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the tale, but mostly I stuck it through because I admired the author’s ability to completely spin the idea and create a 100% unique backstory for generations of Wonderland characters, while also—technically—staying true to Lewis’ original tale. “Splintered” is a little dark, though it’s almost a juxtaposition to the brightness of the story, which I did like, though I think sometimes it got a little too strange for my liking. I know I’m going back and forth on my opinion of it, but this is how I felt reading the book. I wasn’t sure whether to be grossed out, roll my eyes, keep reading, drool over Morpheous, or applaud the author’s aplomb and finesse with such a crazy—dare I say strangely awesome?—storyline. I think I liked it more because I honestly was amazed and sometimes took a moment to marvel at the author’s craftiness. Praise for her talent aside, I can’t necessarily recommend this book, since I had to force myself a little bit to finish it—and Morpheous completely stabbed me in the back!—but if it sounds like something you’re interested in, don’t let my entirely confused and fickle review stop you!   

 

Hand-Cramping Goodness!

Published May 15, 2013 by Ashley Townsend

Okay, so it’s only been–what?–two or three weeks since my last post. Can you tell I’ve been editing like a mad woman? But, hey! 854 pages edited in two weeks is fairly good, though I still want to do it all over again (chalk it up to the inner OCD in me). I scrounged up my notecards today and realized that being an author looks a LOT like being a college student. No, seriously; I even compared these cards to the ones I wrote for my geology class, and they were practically a  match for Unabomber-ness. I tried to keep out most of the “spoiler” cards for Chasing Shadows, but if you’re like me and don’t want to know a THING about to-be released books, then maybe steer clear. I wrote everything down, from what each person was wearing in every scene, the type of weather occurring, dates, timelines, crazed, scratched-out notes at two in the morning, characters’ appearances, things to reference in the next chapter, outlying lands, names of forests/towns, logistics (east versus west wings, what side Sarah’s windows face), etc. Yet still WAY more entertaining to create these little numbers than to work on notecards about upper, nor’easter winds, or whatever.

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