shadow trilogy

All posts tagged shadow trilogy

“Chasing Shadows” Has A Cousin!

Published August 27, 2014 by Ashley Townsend
Or maybe it’s sister/brother (I haven’t decided a gender for Book III yet).

Brace youselves

After having the Shadow Trilogy rattling around in my brain for nearly a decade, I set out this past weekend to tie up loose ends. That’s right, guys: Book III is officially underway! Most of you know how I like to make a big deal out of everything and turn it into a memorable event, so I just sat there for a full five minutes, watching that little line blink on and off on the clean slate that was the brand new Word doc. And I just let it sink in that the next word I wrote would be the last first word I would ever write in this series.

The beginning of the end.

Okay, okay, it sounds super dramatic that way, but it’s the truth. While I have a caravan full of other stories plotted out and half-written, and also random ideas that I want to bring to life, it’s still hard to accept that after this series, I’ll never really get to hang out with these characters again.

Start writing

For an author, starting the final installment in a trilogy is like having your kid graduate from high school—they haven’t gone off to college yet, but it’s only a matter of time—or setting your feet on the moon for the first time. OR like tasting your one and only first bite of Talenti ice cream. You’ll never be able to go back and experience the tantalizing flavors of Mediterranean Mint, Sea Salt Caramel, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, or Cappuccino (trust me, you’re missing out). Unless, of course, I’m successful in creating a time machine and can travel back simply for the purpose of eating and experiencing history. You’re welcome for that. 😉

So going back to what I was actually talking about before (writing, remember?). It’s either extremely exciting or totally terrifying to begin a new story, but for me it’s always a little bit of both. I’m not sure if it’s fear that I won’t be able to do the story justice, but all I know is that it feels a little like going on a first date, or so I’ve heard (all the single ladies, woot-woot!): Is the opener/introduction good enough to keep them interested? Haha. I know, I’m full of weird analogies today, but they’re all totally appropriate.

I did it anyway, though. I typed those first two lines, and then another four . . . then a page, and by the time I was done—and only because I had to go to work and get real pants on—I had the entire prologue finished, another scene typed up, and several chapters plotted out. EEE! I can’t tell you how good it felt to once again have new ideas pouring from my fingertips, my mind working faster than they could type. I don’t think I’ve ever had totally new and unexpected ideas and scenes come to me so quickly. In that hour before work, I explained Cadius’ motives for—well, I guess you’ll find that out in “Chasing Shadows” ;-P—why Ridlan, the surrounding province, will play such a significant part in the series, how time travel is really going to mess things up, why the professor was betrayed, and also how Karen’s parents were murdered. It was like an onslaught of awesome!

Soon, I’ll be releasing quotes/excerpts from “Chasing Shadows,” doing a final, final cover reveal once it’s sized, and also releasing the official map of Serimone, thanks to the amazing Roan Carter, who illustrated the cover. But you guys are just as important to the success of this series as my writing is, even more so because you guys help to get the word out about “Chasing Shadows.” I have some signing events, activities, meet and greets, and the like over the next few months, and I would love for you all to help spread the word when I post event info. You can Tweet, Pin, like/share on Facebook, follow, become a fan on Goodreads via the link on the sidebar, blog, or use word of mouth to share anything pertaining to the series. Or if you have any creative ideas for promotions that I can add to my bag of tricks, let me know!

I have a few ideas for a title that I have up my sleeve, but I can’t reveal them quite yet. If you’re interested in contributing your input, though, please send me an email with possible titles (containing the word “Shadows”) for the final installment in the Shadow Trilogy. And I’m still accepting review and interview submissions. If you want to host me on your blog and review “Chasing Shadows,” or if you’re an author who would like for me to interview them, let me know at

Aaaaaand it’s Off!

Published July 29, 2014 by Ashley Townsend
anna excited

If you watch Anna’s lips carefully, I believe she’s actually saying, “Here’s my book!” No, seriously. 😉

“Chasing Shadows” is officially being shipped off to the presses as we speak!!!! I tied up the final revisions, literally five minutes before I ran off to work, so I didn’t have any time to process that it was done, finished, finito, fin, finale, 完成了. It was only after I got back from the office hours later that it hit me: I’m done with “Chasing Shadows.” I mean, yeah, I’ll keep a copy of the paperback in every room of the house for easy-access reading (obviously!), and I’ll be working on a bunch of promotions for the Shadow trilogy for a long time. But it took several hours for it to set in that, in a way, I’m past this installment and moving on. Now most of you know that I’m incredibly sentimental and like to make a big deal about/commemorate every event or milestone, so it was a lot to take in when I realized that I never again have to pull a 3 a.m.-writing palooza (which is actually very fun, with the right snacks), pour over and revise some of my favorite chapters, and I’ll never get to write the introduction for a few of the most impacting characters in the series. Don’t get me wrong; I am DYING to get cracking at Book III and can’t wait to hear all of your reactions to “Chasing Shadows,” but it has definitely been a roller coaster ride.

I decided that since those adorable minions are so darn expressive (and adorable), they’re probably the best tool for expressing my emotions over this final chapter of, well, the final chapter of “Chasing Shadows.”  

Oh, isn't that nice? I can move on to the final book...

Oh, isn’t that nice? I can move on to the final book…


... FINAL book? Wait, I'm done with this one? What just happened?!!!!!!! Where am I?!

… FINAL book? Wait, I’m done with this one? What just happened?!!!!!!! Where am I?!


Then began the emotional eating: an ice cream sandwich, kettle corn, chocolate chips, and a slice of salami, all after 10pm while watching Robin Hood. Yeah, I went there, and it was delicious.

Then began the emotional eating: an ice cream sandwich, kettle corn, chocolate chips, and a slice of salami, all after 10pm while watching Robin Hood with Katie. Yeah, I went there, and it was delicious.


And then after, you know, whatever stage this is.....

After, you know, whatever stage this is, it finally hit me:


OHMYSWEETGOODNESS!!! Chasing Shadows is coming out in SEPTEMBER!!! *insert a case of the giddy giggles*

OHMYSWEETGOODNESS!!! Chasing Shadows is coming out in SEPTEMBER!!! *insert a case of the giddy giggles*


Then I looked at the cover again and just went, "You're welcome, people with eyes everywhere."

Then I looked at the cover again and just went, “You’re welcome, people with eyes everywhere.”


Once I come into the Excited Fangirl Zone, I get everything-oriented-with-it swag.  I found a necklace online that is EXACTLY like the one that Will gives Sarah at the end of Rising Shadows. Gotta wear that for the fans!

Once I come into the Excited Fangirl Zone, I get everything-oriented-with-it swag. I found a necklace online that is EXACTLY like the one that Will gives Sarah at the end of Rising Shadows. Gotta wear that for the fans!


Lastly, there was acceptance. I love this series and the characters, and it has been such an incredible journey that I hate to leave it behind someday. But for two weeks, I will enjoy what free time I have, take a breath, and then pounce on Book III when I can stand the distance no longer. There are so many other stories I have in mind that I’m thrilled to dive into soon, so I know I can’t stay mentally hung-up on this series forever. . . Eh, who am I kidding? It will stay with me always. And there are a bunch  of writer’s conferences and signing events coming up that I plan to be a part of to keep it alive for all of us.

Will I see you there? I’ll be the smiling, blond-haired author with stars in her eyes and a tree pendant around her neck. 

a new day

The Pen is Mightier…

Published November 27, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

My sincerest apologies for being so neglectful, guys, but I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Anyway, I found this the other day and, recently inspired by the best fan letter of all time—thank you, Sarah B.!—I thought I might share it with you all. It’s a description of my target audience for “Rising Shadows” that I wrote up for my publisher at the very beginning of this whole process. Kind of curious to see how accurate this is for some of you. Oh! And since today’s update is Shadow-based, keep in mind that I love to hear from my fans. If you have ideas or hopes about where the series should go and what you expect from Book II, please shoot me an email at It’s been so fun to get your input on this next installment as I write, and also very helpful! And I finally added the link to my Pinterest boards on the left (under Blogroll and “Pinterest”), so you can keep up-to-date on what I’m doing though my Novel Inspiration board. I think you all will be very excited over where the Shadow Trilogy is going; I’ve never been this giddy and surprised in any of my previous writing, and I honestly cannot wait to reveal some of what I’m working on. But until then! Ta-da!

Target Audience:

My audience is centered on young men and women who read to escape and de-stress. Though they have adventurous spirits and dream of excitement, my readers have had very few opportunities for adventure and live vicariously through the stories they read. They love to sit in their favorite chair in a quiet corner with a book that is filled with humor, fantasy, adventure, and romance. To them, a book that flows nicely has to have multi-dimensional characters and a “creamy” mixture of detailed descriptions and dialogue; they can become detached from a story if there are unnecessary details or a lack of dialogue between characters. They are intelligent and read historical fiction because it can be both entertaining and educational. In order for them to fully lose themselves in a story, it has to be filled with strong but realistic characters who have the ability to overcome evil. My readers are fixers by nature and are drawn to wounded heroes and heroines with a darker side and a deep longing for the light. They love to see their favorite characters heal from past hurts and learn to love and trust again. These avid readers are attracted to relatable characters and constantly wonder how they would react in the same situation. Reading not only allows my audience to relax and escape, but it also helps them to sort out life’s problems; they feel hopeful when they see characters overcome obstacles that they themselves are facing. My readers know that I write to provide entertaining, quality adventure stories that kids would not be embarrassed or ashamed to share with their parents.

P.S. My sister, Katie, wrote an amazingly encouraging post that I thought you all should check out.



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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