I’m excited to welcome Sarah Ashwood to Magic Writer! She’s here to tell us all about her new release, Aerisian Refrain.
Following the prophesied Artan’s victory over the Dark Powers, the land of Aerisia is finally at rest, until ancient beings, long imprisoned, begin to stir…
Eight years after Annie Richards’ stellar voice and musical talents skyrocketed her from rural Oklahoma to international fame, haunting visions have begun threatening her sanity. While she’s returning to her childhood home to convalesce, creatures straight from her nightmares bring down her plane. Annie wakens in a parallel world, Aerisia. Here, she discovers her musical gifts translate into magical powers—the legacy of a banished race who have been invading her dreams.
Mistrusted by Aerisia’s most powerful factions because of her heritage, Annie finds allies are hard to come by. Supporting her are one Simathe warrior, Cole, who refuses to label her as evil, and one woman willing to stand against anything and anyone to help a friend: the Artan herself. Seizing control of her destiny will mean defying both her ancestors and the Aerisian leaders. Mastering her magic may mean making the greatest sacrifice of all…or risk becoming the reason Aerisia itself is torn apart.
Interview with Sarah Ashwood
Elise: Welcome to Magic Writer! Readers may be familiar with your first Aerisia series. How does this new series relate to it?
Sarah: Great question! This new series could be considered a follow up series to my first trilogy, the Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy, as the first book, Aerisian Refrain, takes place just a few years after the close of those books. It also contains many of the same characters. In fact, Beyond the Sunset Lands will be a four book series where each male MC is a side character from the original trilogy. The two series are very much connected, but (there is a but) I tried to write Aerisian Refrain in such a way and with enough information that Beyond the Sunset Lands can serve as a standalone series. So far, beta readers who haven’t read the first trilogy have had no trouble following along, so hopefully I’ve been successful.
Elise: And what’s the inspiration behind Aerisian Refrain?
Sarah: A few things. I enjoyed the male MC, Cole, so much in the first Aerisia trilogy that I wanted to tell his story. Also, in this new series, I wanted to take a closer look at some of Aerisia’s unique races and their worlds. Aerisian Refrain delves heavily into the world of Aerisia’s fairies, their mysteries, and their magic. Lastly, I wanted to explore a connection between music and magic, so I wove all of these elements into this book.
Elise: It’s always great fun to explore a world further! What was the hardest part about writing it?
Sarah: Truthfully? Having my oldest in first grade and my middle child in Pre-K and choosing to homeschool both of them. Trying to find enough hours of the day to write, homeschool my kids, keep up with the house and my toddler, get in a daily workout, and all the other things stay-at-home parents have to do was not easy!
Elise: No, that sounds like you had your work cut out! How long have you been writing? What’s your next writing project?
Sarah: I’ve been writing for 15 years now. I actually wrote the rough draft of my first Aerisia trilogy when I was 18 years old. It’s been through many, many revisions since then, but the original storyline has stayed the same and continues to inspire more books.
My next project will be a fun Young Adult Fantasy/Fairytale called Knight’s Rebirth, coming in time for Christmas 2018! It’s the story of a famous knight, Sir Buckhunter Dornley, who is content to live alone until he meets the charming and outrageous Princess Mercy. When he discovers Mercy lives under a deadly curse, how far will he go to break it? ,
Elise: That sounds like it will be a fun read–I like fairytales. When you’re not writing, how else do you enjoy spending your time?
Sarah: My favorite hobby, besides writing, is fitness. I mainly workout at home because of the kids, but Beachbody on Demand and a huge library of fitness DVDs allow me to do basically any kind of workout in my own house. Kickboxing is my favorite. I am also a runner, and that is something I like to do outside the house whenever possible, as opposed to using the treadmill. Besides those, I enjoy a little hand quilting, playing the piano, baking, and, of course, reading.
Elise: Final question: if you could meet one author, alive or dead, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Sarah: Oh, Shakespeare, for sure. I would ask him how he felt about having such a profound affect on the English language! If you ever look into how many words and phrases we say every day that stem from him and his writing, it’s truly astounding. I can only dream of having a legacy like that.
Elise: Great choice! Thanks for stopping by.
Don’t believe all the hype. Sarah Ashwood isn’t really a gladiator, a Highlander, a fencer, a skilled horsewoman, an archer, a magic wielder, or a martial arts expert. That’s only in her mind. In real life, she’s a genuine Okie from Muskogee who grew up in the wooded hills outside the oldest town in Oklahoma and holds a B.A. in English from American Military University. She now lives (mostly) quietly at home with her husband and three sons, where she tries to sneak in a daily run or workout to save her sanity and keep her mind fresh for her next story.