Scene

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A Glimpse of Sequel Sounds …

Published September 11, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

So, you all know how much I love music and enjoy creating playlists. Well, ta-da! Here’s a sneak peak at the playlist for the sequel to Rising Shadows. This is just a little taste of the ridiculous number of songs that I’m sorting through until I find the perfect ones for the sequel. It has been so much fun writing the book while selecting music for the playlist, because most of these songs have actually inspired scenes and feelings that I hadn’t yet written in or imagined. These are my favorite songs so far that I listen to constantly, and I specially selected these to share because each one inspired something in the book. Music addicts like me honestly have to add these to their iPods or get them on YouTube, just so they can get a feel for the tone of the next book. I’ll also be listening to each song as I write about them, and I recommend that you pull them up and listen while you read to get the full effect. Enjoy!

“Heavy in Your Arms” – Florence and the Machine

            My first possible-scene-obsession-song of the summer. My magical music guru, Katie, led me onto this sweet little morsel. She was listening to it while I was working on the playlist for Rising Shadows and thought the lyric about “the one who creeps in corridors” would be perfect for the Shadow. Then we spent the better part of an hour shooting ideas for the scene back and forth, throwing out characters ideas, and playing with the symbolism for the scene versus the song literally directing it. Like the rest of the book, I already have it written out in my head, but even Katie has no idea what I’m actually going to do with it.

“Give Me Love” – Ed Sheeran

            Ohmysweetgoodness! It is going to be a very emotional and intense scene, and you’ll get what I mean when you reach about 3:45 in the song (You can stop after 5:30). My sister Liz turned me onto his “Small Bump” song, and we purchased the rest of the CD days later, where “Give Me Love” became our next blare-in-the-car tune. Like the rest of these songs, this one inspired a certain part of a scene that I already planned on writing, but it definitely added more emotional depth to this particular moment. I am so looking forward to writing this one! I love drama! … In books. Real life, not so much.

 

“World Spins Madly On” – The Weepies

            This song has a really great sound to it—I love the guitar—and it just puts me in one of my very thoughtful, I-must-write! type of moods. When a song inspires me to write or I think it would really fit well with a scene, I become obsessed with it and just leave it on repeat for hours as I play the scene out in my head, trying to match the lyrics or have them affect the tone of the scene. I drove my sister Katie nuts the other day because I listened to it fifteen times in a row, after which she begged me not to make it sixteen. ^__^ This song has a very melancholy sound, which for some reason, I am drawn to when writing. Little spoiler: This is from Sarah’s perspective just after someone close to her dies … And that’s all I can say. Sorry, it’s just a tormenting taste.    

“The Shadow Proves the Sunshine” – Switchfoot

             I have been a Switchfoot fan for years, and when I heard this song just before the release of Rising Shadows, I knew I had to write something into the second book where this was the “theme” song (it appears fairly quick after “World Spins Madly On”). Every time I listen to this song, I immediately think of Will (sigh) and have this really melancholy moment with him. Plus, this track has the word “shadow” in the title. I mean, come on; I had to add it. I have not typed out this scene yet, but trust me, it is completely written in my head—drafted, revised, and spell checked!—and I cannot wait to be able to finally get this scene down on paper.

“Awake My Soul” – Mumford and Sons

            My older sister Elizabeth introduced me to this one—thank you, thank you, thank you!—and I have added it to just about every playlist on my iPod so I’m never without it. “How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes, I struggle to find any truth in your lies … But my weakness I feel I must finally show.” When I heard these lyrics, I immediately pictured a moment between Will and Sarah; they have this fantastic draw to each other, but they also fight it constantly—Sarah, because she knows she can’t stay in the twelfth century, and Will, because he’s afraid to let anyone in. There’s also the fact that the song talks about truth and trust, which has always been a theme in their relationship, and then the line about weakness completely describes Will opening up to her. Ah. Don’t you just love it when a song can sum up your first book in three and a half minutes?    

“Demons” – Imagine Dragons

            I already have one of their songs, but when I heard “Demons” on a movie trailer, I purchased their new CD without listening to the rest of it. Not recommended, but this time it actually turned out really well! I dedicate this entire song to Will, especially for the sequel. Once again, I got this song three days ago and have listened to it probably twenty or more times.  

More scene-inspiring music for the sequel!

“Winterlove” – Parachute

“Eyes Wide Open” – Gotye

“I Won’t Give Up” – Jason Mraz

“Twenty Years” – Augustana

“Hear You Me” – Jimmy Eat World

“Rivers and Road” – The Head and the Heart

“No One Ever Taught Us” – Jason Reeves

“Always” – Switchfoot

“John Wayne” – Sons of Sylvia

 

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The Drama in Writing

Published August 17, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

Some people might think that being an author is one of those easy jobs—sit on your backside whilst fabricating stories to entertain your readers. But there are so many issues that come along with a career in writing that no one ever really thinks of. I decided that it’s my job to tell you just how “hard” my life is because I got to live my dream of being an author.

Okay, so first off, being an author makes my life very difficult at times. This trauma has nothing to do with deadlines or even writing the stories, but no one ever explained how awful it is write the sequel to a book and not be able to share it with my readers! I am simply dying to give you a little taste of what I’ve been working on after “Rising Shadows.” I want to ask your opinions about the plot, share the profiles of the new characters, spill the beans about where I want “The Shadow” trilogy to go, shock you with who’s going to end up dead in the sequel, explain the repercussions of time travel and how I’m introducing new legends, and maybe, possibly whisper about what will happen to Will and Sarah because of it. Every time a new idea or scene pops into my head or I spend hours writing plots and scenes that surprise even me, I immediately want to share it with my readers and friends to get their opinions. But, alas, I cannot spoil too much as of yet. I told you my life is difficult. *sighs*

Issue #2: Life is a story to me. Everything I see, touch, and experience are usually a little more dramatized in my head and always seem to come out in my stories. When I get excited over something, I wonder how a character might respond to it—would they share in my joy and want to join me? Sit in the background and long to experience life? Or if I can’t fix something or don’t have an answer to it, I want to see if my characters can figure it out, and sometimes we help each other along; I offer some advice and give a little push, and then see where they go and what they discover. Also, my writing-inclined mind keeps me from just falling asleep at night. Generally, that’s my “quiet time” where I finish out a scene in my head that I was writing earlier and develop new characters and ideas. Sometimes I even just make up a simple scene and characters that I play with until I have something. I would probably fall asleep much faster if I just closed my eyes and shut off my thinking machine, but what fun is that? I’ve done this ever since I was little, and though it hasn’t necessarily mellowed out in the passing years, it has led to some pretty entertaining stories and amazing new discoveries.    

……. Okay, so maybe these really aren’t even issues, per say, and they may, actually, be good things because it means I’m excited about these current projects and working on new ones for you guys … Oh. Then does that mean there aren’t any problems with being an author? Oh, my! What a revelation! I take back what I said—I love my life. ^__^ AND I did want to give you just a little taste of what I’ve been working on and get your opinions on a little something I’m doing with the sequel to “Rising Shadows.” Please, please, please take the poll below and share it with your friends, regardless of whether or not they’ve actually read “Rising Shadows.” I am so curious to see what readers are looking for, and I will make sure to add this newest poll to the “Polls” page on the top left of my site. Feel free to take it as many time as you like and leave a comment!

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