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 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!