Fun Facts with Ashley Townsend

Fact 1: I’m actually pretty uninteresting, so this might be a difficult list.

Fact 2: I have a fear of clowns, but I considered going to clown college as a kid.

Fact 3: I enjoy doing some things the old-fashioned way because I have an intense fascination with history and the past—take my series, for example—and have a growing collection of records. Music is an event to be enjoyed! Much like cookies.

Fact 4: One day you WILL find me writing in my little cottage in Ireland with my dog, Shadow, and my cat, Sir Arthur Doyle.

Fact 5: I’m also bad at math, which is why there are only four items on this list. . . . Though I guess this makes it five, so yay!

 

Meet the Author

Ashley TownsendAshley Townsend, author of Chasing Shadows, is a young twenty-something who has been spinning tales since she discovered that her wild imagination and love of storytelling could make a career. Reading and writing are her way of experiencing grand adventures from home, and she hopes that others will join in her fantastical escapades! She is a native to bookstores, coffee shops, the kitchen, and Southern California. She also has an unexplainable aversion to clowns and describes outlines as a “proverbial noose.” The final book in the Rising Shadows trilogyDefying Shadows, will release in spring of 2016. Make sure to connect with Ashley at www.ashley-townsend.com!

You can also find Ashley on other social media platforms:
Goodreads: Ashley Townsend
Twitter: @TownsendTales
Facebook: Ashley Townsend Author
Pinterest: TownsendTales

Author Interview with Ashley Townsend

Ink Smith: Where do you do most of your writing? What is your process like?

Ashley: I typically write in my room, surrounded by fluffy pillows and the sound of my writing playlist. But I’m trying not to be such a hermit when I’m in the zone, and so I’ve branched out to coffee shops, Barnes and Noble, and the outdoors to get some fresh air while I create. And what do these places have in common? Coffee goes great with them! I’m good to go as long as I have my music, notes, and coffee—or the “life blood” of champions, as I call it. ^_~

 

Ink Smith: How did you come up with the idea of Chasing Shadows? How long did it take you to write?

Ashley: This has been about a ten-year process that started back in middle school, and Sarah’s story has evolved dramatically since then. It was just a little 8-page creative project I cooked up, and then I added to it over the years as new influences took over and fresh story ideas interested me; I wanted to challenge myself and play around with the gang in Serimone—see how hard I could push them if certain obstacles got in their way—and I am so pleased with the place they took their stories to!

 

Ink Smith: Who are your favorite authors/books? Why?

Ashley: The saddest question any bibliophile must answer, especially since I can’t list my own books or characters, even though I love them so much. *sighs dramatically* Okay, here goes nothing:

Anything that Ally Carter touches, and I mean anything, especially her Heist Society trilogy and The Gallagher Girls. This lady has an incredible knack for writing the most hilarious and creative tales imaginable, and I always look forward to her new releases. Follow her on Twitter; she’s a riot!

A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes. The author is a good friend of mine (and the best dancer I know!), and her Out of Time series is so packed full of emotion, depth, and understanding of the human condition that it is difficult to put down.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. One word: Arin *sighs*

The Wrath and the Dawn by Rene Ahdieh. I fell in love with this Arabian Nights retelling instantly and then had the pleasure of meeting the author at Comic-Con last year. She is not only incredibly intelligent, but also hilarious and sweet.

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd. This book, and the entire trilogy, is just—wow. A dark gothic and emotional retelling of several of my favorite classic tales (like Frankenstein), and she has such a knack for drawing you into Juliet’s story and the world she created. This series is a must if you enjoy any gothic literature.

 

Meet the Author

Ashley TownsendAshley Townsend, author of Chasing Shadows, is a young twenty-something who has been spinning tales since she discovered that her wild imagination and love of storytelling could make a career. Reading and writing are her way of experiencing grand adventures from home, and she hopes that others will join in her fantastical escapades! She is a native to bookstores, coffee shops, the kitchen, and Southern California. She also has an unexplainable aversion to clowns and describes outlines as a “proverbial noose.” The final book in the Rising Shadows trilogyDefying Shadows, will release in spring of 2016. Make sure to connect with Ashley at www.ashley-townsend.com!

You can also find Ashley on other social media platforms:
Goodreads: Ashley Townsend
Twitter: @TownsendTales
Facebook: Ashley Townsend Author
Pinterest: TownsendTales

Meet Ashley Townsend

Ashley TownsendAshley Townsend, author of Chasing Shadows, is a young twenty-something who has been spinning tales since she discovered that her wild imagination and love of storytelling could make a career. Reading and writing are her way of experiencing grand adventures from home, and she hopes that others will join in her fantastical escapades! She is a native to bookstores, coffee shops, the kitchen, and Southern California. She also has an unexplainable aversion to clowns and describes outlines as a “proverbial noose.” The final book in the Rising Shadows trilogy, Defying Shadows, will release in spring of 2016.

Make sure to connect with Ashley at www.ashley-townsend.com!

 

You can also find Ashley on other social media platforms:
Goodreads: Ashley Townsend
Twitter: @TownsendTales
Facebook: Ashley Townsend Author
Pinterest: TownsendTales

What You Know vs. Branching Out

When I was first starting out as a writer, people constantly told me to “write what you know.” That makes a lot of sense. Writing what you know gives your story a solid basis in reality, accurate reality.

What do I mean by accurate reality? You can create any reality you want as a writer. A world where dogs live on the moon, where people are born with hands as their ears–any world you want. But it has to make sense, it has to be believable. Connection to the reader matters.

One of the reasons people love books, is the idea that it represents someone or something they can connect with in addition to reading for enjoyment. Even though your manuscript falls into the fiction category, it doesn’t mean the entire book is made up. Relationships, people, emotions: they are based in reality.

I came across this conundrum during a class in my master’s program at Lindenwood University. We read the book, Rose Metal Press Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers and Writers in the field. It talked about truths and making sure that when you are writing about certain types of people that you get them accurate. (A great source for writers – in addition to the Writing Flash Non-Fiction edition as well!)

If you aren’t someone who is intimate with the particular group of people you are writing about, than you need to be careful about writing about them. You don’t want to misrepresent their culture just because you felt like writing about them one morning. This goes for any group or culture–misrepresentation does two things: offends the group you are misrepresenting and provides inaccurate information to people who are not familiar with said group/culture.

The basis of belief for Quakers, is that God exists in every person, and therefore should be treated in accordance with that belief. LGBTQ have their own slang, different parts of the U.S. have different accents, it is impolite in some countries to wear your shoes into the house–these facts may seem inconsequential to someone who is on the outside of these groups, but is essential in the representation of the culture.

So, if you are looking to write about the Aboriginals – do your research, make sure you understand their way of life. If you can, submerge yourself in the culture, talk to some of the people. Experience is the strongest learning tool.

Make sure you understand them and their way of life before you write. In essence,  the notion of “write what you know” is 100 percent accurate. You may want to write something new, but make sure you do the research and write the truth!

Happy writing, and happier researching!

 

Connect with me @AndersonCorinne on Twitter!

Corinne is an editor at Ink Smith Publishing, with an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve. She is currently pursuing her MPS in Publishing at George Washington University, editing for Ink Smith Publishing, and hoping that her blog posts here will help writers improve and publish their work.

New Submission Guidelines Posted!

Submissions are always a difficult part of publishing. Recently, Native Ink Press, publisher of non-fiction and children’s books, updated their submission guidelines. These guidelines are designed to provide the publisher with a little bit extra about authors and to differentiate the process between children’s books and non-fiction submissions.

To review the submission guidelines for Native Ink Press, visit www.nativeinkpress.com/submissions.

 

If you are interested in fiction submissions, visit Ink Smith Publishing!

When You Submit: Follow the Guidelines

Whether you are submitting a poem to a literary magazine, a memoir to an independent publisher or a fantasy manuscript to one of the big five – you MUST make sure you follow all of the submission requirements. This also includes submitting your piece during the time the company is accepting submissions. Some companies, Ink Smith Publishing included, occasionally close submissions for a certain time frame each year to catch up on reading through submissions. Others, like our sister company, Native Ink Press, have rolling submissions, meaning they accept submissions year round.

But remember: Follow the guidelines.

As we sift through the submissions we receive the first thing we note is who followed directions. We do this for multiple reasons; the most obvious is: did this author take the time to read, research and decide upon our publishing company? Not following the submission guidelines, which are normally pretty simple, and for the most part universal amongst publishing companies, is indicative that the author may be either blindly submitting to every available publishing company, or that they do not pay attention to details. Two things that suggest the author is less serious about their handwork than they should be.

The second reason, is because we want to know how an author responds to direction. Each author/publisher/editor relationship is different. You will see authors working with different editors on different kinds of books, different publishers on different genres, etc. When in the editing process, editors will provide feedback, critiques and suggestions on things that may work better for the piece in question. The purpose of the editing process is to make a great idea even better – a project that both the editor and the author are invested in. Without an author who is receptive to change, suggestions and edits, that task is not one that will be possible to complete, at least not easily!

Finally, there are a lot of submissions. There are a lot of authors with great books, and a limited amount of books we can publish per year. If it comes down to two books, one where the author followed the directions perfectly and one who did not; the decision is easy.

Keep in mind, Ink Smith Publishing discards any submissions that do not follow the guidelines – no matter how good the book is, and no matter who the author is. We firmly believe that an author who is serious about their book, about their careers, and about publishing with us specifically – will make sure to follow the guidelines. If you are interested in submitting to Ink Smith Publishing, or Native Ink Press, please make sure to do the following:
1. Review the kind of content we publish
2. Make sure your content fits in
3. Make sure submissions are OPEN
4. Review and follow the guidelines
5. Give us your best!

For more information about Ink Smith Publishing and our submission guidelines visit www.ink-smith.com/submissions. You can also visit www.nativeinkpress.com  to learn more about Native Ink Press’ submission guidelines.

 

 

Connect with me @AndersonCorinne on Twitter!

Corinne is an editor at Ink Smith Publishing, with an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve. She is currently pursuing her MPS in Publishing at George Washington University, editing for Ink Smith Publishing, and hoping that her blog posts here will help writers improve and publish their work.

Fun Facts with V.J.O. Gardner

5 Fun Facts About the Author:

Her Chinese horoscope sign is the Dragon.

She loves animals and can’t imagine living in a home without at least one cat.

She could read at a 12th grade level by the time she finished 5th grade.

She rides a motorcycle and drives a stick shift Jeep.

She knows how to use most power tools and helped build their shop.

 

Meet the Author

Vjo GardnerWriting under the pen name V.J.O. Gardner, Valerie is an award winning hybrid author of full length fractured fairy tale fantasy novels. She is a hybrid author.

Always fascinated by both medieval times and sci-fi she was an avid reader and enjoyed a wide variety of literature and authors. She began writing in the late 1980’s after graduating from Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, where she studied Fantasy Lit and Writing. Valerie is a member of the League of Utah Writers and the United Authors Association.

Valerie has been an invited panelist at Tree City Comic Con (Boise, ID.) and at Salt Lake Comic Con (Salt Lake City, UT.) She also has been a panelist at several writers conferences including LTUE (Provo, UT.)
You can visit her at http://www.vjogardner.com

Author Interview with V.J.O. Gardner

Ink Smith: Where do you do most of your writing? What is your process like?

V.J.O.: I started writing in notebooks before switching to a computer. If I’m not doing anything else I’m thinking about my current story. For the most part I let the characters drive the story.

Ink Smith: How did you come up with the idea of Dracona’s Rebirth? How long did it take you to write?Draconas-Rebirth-eCover-350x500

V.J.O.: It all began with a verse that popped into my head one day: In the silence there were voices. In the darkness there was light. In the stillness there was life. In the cold there was warmth. Yet he was lonely.

It took 10 years for me to complete it since I had a full time job and young children.

Ink Smith: Who are your favorite authors/book? Why?

V.J.O.: One of my favorite authors is Anne McCaffrey. I love how she created a world where people and dragons lived together. My memories of these books inspired me while writing ‘Dracona’s Rebirth’ and my other books.

 

Meet the Author

Vjo GardnerWriting under the pen name V.J.O. Gardner, Valerie is an award winning hybrid author of full length fractured fairy tale fantasy novels. She is a hybrid author.

Always fascinated by both medieval times and sci-fi she was an avid reader and enjoyed a wide variety of literature and authors. She began writing in the late 1980’s after graduating from Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, where she studied Fantasy Lit and Writing. Valerie is a member of the League of Utah Writers and the United Authors Association.

Valerie has been an invited panelist at Tree City Comic Con (Boise, ID.) and at Salt Lake Comic Con (Salt Lake City, UT.) She also has been a panelist at several writers conferences including LTUE (Provo, UT.)
You can visit her at http://www.vjogardner.com

Meet V.J.O Gardner

Vjo GardnerWriting under the pen name V.J.O. Gardner, Valerie is an award winning hybrid author of full length fractured fairy tale fantasy novels. She is a hybrid author.

Always fascinated by both medieval times and sci-fi she was an avid reader and enjoyed a wide variety of literature and authors. She began writing in the late 1980’s after graduating from Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, where she studied Fantasy Lit and Writing. Valerie is a member of the League of Utah Writers and the United Authors Association.

Valerie has been an invited panelist at Tree City Comic Con (Boise, ID.) and at Salt Lake Comic Con (Salt Lake City, UT.) She also has been a panelist at several writers conferences including LTUE (Provo, UT.)
You can visit her at http://www.vjogardner.com

*Make sure you wish V.J.O. Gardner a Happy Birthday on Twitter @VjoGardner this week, too! 

Fun Fact with Evelyn Allen Harper

Evelyn Allen Harper, shared with us a fun fact, one that is part of her inspiration behind her newest book’s title, Sweet Adeline.

She sang in a trio to work her way through Anderson College (now Anderson University). They bought them a car, made the itinerary, and then sent them out to represent the college over weekends. In the summer, they toured the country, arriving back in time to start the fall semester. The three of them still stay in touch, and spend time with each other even though they live in different states.

Evelyn continues to sing today, and one such singing group that she’s involved  in, you guessed it, Sweet Adeline!

Meet the Author

Online Image
Evelyn Allen Harper was born in Pennsylvania, the daughter of a coal miner. She earned her undergraduate degree from Anderson College, and later a master’s degree from Wayne State University. She taught school until the birth of her two children and after they were old enough for her to work outside the home, Evelyn sold residential real estate for the next fifteen years. Evelyn and her husband, Barry, retired to Traverse City, Michigan, and ten years into retirement, she started writing. Sweet Adeline is her 9th published book, and her third with Ink Smith Publishing. Her other two books, The Coat and The Collarare available for purchase on the Ink Smith website.