An interview on a Tuesday?
You bet, and I am thrilled to be interviewing this author too! I’ve gotten to know her through the wonderful groups of Fellowship of Fantasy and she is so kind, friends.
I’ve seen her books before, but she recently released a stunning cover that I couldn’t help but want to learn more about. (I totally apologize in advance if you want to as well, especially considering it’s only $0.99 right now. Hint hint, wink, wink. Hehe!)
Jumping right in, let me introduce you to the lovely Sarah Ashwood as we chat about parallel universes, male fairies, and magical talents!
About the Book
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.
– Hi Sarah! I am SO excited to be chatting with you today! For those who don’t know you, can you share three words to describe yourself?
Contrary (Not one of my better traits, sigh.)
– Oooo! You mention on your website that you are technically not “a gladiator, a Highlander, an expert fencer, a skilled horsewoman, an archer, a magic wielder, or a martial arts expert.” However, are you sure you aren’t really these in a parallel universe? You might even have a dragon there!
Ha, I’d like to think I’m all of those things in a parallel universe! Unfortunately, I have terrible eye-hand coordination, so I’m pretty sure gladiator, archer, and fencer are out. I have ridden western-style several times, and did fine at that. I love horseback riding. I’m no marital arts expert, but I love kickboxing. The closest to any of these would be I’m Scotch-Irish on my mom’s side, so maybe I could be a Highlander in another world or in another lifetime?
– That would be super awesome! Let me know if you find a way to get there. 😉 You also mention on your website that you try to sneak in a workout or run often. What are some of your favorite exercise routines?
I get bored easily with repeating the same workouts, so I like to switch it up. My favorite workouts are dance, kickboxing, and running. However, I have dozens of workout DVDs that cover just about every kind of fitness under the sun, as well as the Beachbody on Demand streaming app, so I can do nearly any kind of workout at home. This is key for me, because I’m a stay at home mom to three young kids and my husband works crazy hours. There really is no going to the gym for me, and if I get the chance to get out of the house for a workout I’m going to the park to run.
– That’s amazing, Sarah! I totally admire you. As someone who struggles with personal motivation to exercise, that is inspiring. I am super super excited for the release of Aerisian Refrain! The cover is STUNNING! Is this series related to your first series The Sunset Lands Beyond outside of being the same world? Will readers by chance see some old faces?
Great question! Although Aerisian Refrain can definitely be read as a standalone (I tried to incorporate enough details that readers new to my world wouldn’t be lost), it is still related to the first series and takes place a few years after the close of those events. If you’ve read the first series, you will recognize a whole host of characters. Aerisian Refrain is the first book of a four book series, and each male MC (and one female MC) in these novels is a side character from the original series. I liked them so much the first time around that I wanted to give them books of their own. More than that, each of the four novels in this series will explore one of Aerisia’s unique races and their cultures. Aerisian Refrain delves heavily into the world of Aerisia’s fairies.
– That is so cool you did that for readers of your first series! I know it’s one I’ve wanted to read for a while and it looks like I need to remedy that. Since you’ve shared the tagline on your Facebook page, I have been greatly intrigued about your latest release. Can you share a little bit of the inspiration for this story? For those who haven’t seen the tagline, check this out! “On Earth, Annie’s voice brought her fame and fortune. In Aerisia, her voice brings her magic, but the cost of that power might mean the destruction of Aerisia itself.”
Well, I wanted to explore a connection between music and magic, and how the two might be intertwined. Annie’s voice is the key to that connection…or is it?
The other inspiration behind the book was I’ve often wondered why, in popular fairy art, themes, and stories, male fairies are rarely seen. I know there are exceptions, but, in general, when you see fairies in art or think of fairies, you only think of female fairies. I wanted to know why. This book explores that mystery. How the question of vanishing male fairies, music and magic, and all else is intertwined…well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out. 😉
– Oooo! Now I’m wondering how you explored that because you bring up a great point about male fairies! I’ve heard on numerous occasions that most authors can’t choose a favorite character, BUT I wonder who you would want to hang out with for a day. Who’s the lucky character to hang out with you? What would you guys do?
Oh my goodness. I have so many favorite characters from this book, most of whom I loved in my original Sunset Lands Beyond series. Honestly, though? Ilgard, the Siamthe High-Chief, is one of my all-time favorite characters I’ve ever written. (The Simathe are a race of immortal warriors.) I would love to spend the day with him, but as for what we’d do, I’m really not sure. Simathe aren’t exactly big on partying and fun. They’re warriors and known for their stoicism. Maybe he’d allow me to visit his personal library, described in my first series, or invite me out to the training grounds at the Simathe stronghold to show me some fighting techniques. Hopefully he’d ignore my fangirling over him.
– Haha! That sounds like a blast (fangirling and all). Lastly, which of your talents or gifts is bringing or making magic in Aerisia?
That’s hard to say! The closest answer I can give you is one of the characters. In my Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy the MC is Hannah Winters, a young woman from Earth. She’s taken to Aerisia and told she’s the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, and is destined to become Aerisia’s Artan, or savior, in their fight against the Dark Powers. Hannah’s magic ultimately wins the day in that trilogy, and Hannah is a prominent character in Aerisian Refrain, as well. She befriends Annie, the MC in Aerisian Refrain early on, and plays a strong role in shaping events.
Hannah is, in many ways, me. She has my sense of humor, my boldness, even my quick temper. She’s a little more emotional than I am, maybe a little more resistant to change, but otherwise she is the closest I’ve ever come to putting myself into a book. So if I’m using my talents to bring or make magic in Aerisia, it would be via Hannah.
– I love that! Thanks so much for chatting with me, Sarah, and totally can’t wait to read your book!
About the Author
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.
Interested in winning an-ecopy of Sarah’s latest release? I’m currently giving away an e-copy in this Team Unicorn Giveaway on my Facebook page! Visit HERE to enter!