Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Answering Your Questions

This Week's Newsletter

This week's newsletter contains the following features:
(Feel free to skip ahead to what you want to read)

What's new with Ashleigh?

This past weekend, I participated in an event on one of my writing servers where members asked questions about my (no so much anymore) recent release. I have decided to share those answers with you over the next few weeks. Since this book is suitable for both middle grade and young adults, I am answering the same questions in both newsletters. If you have already read this interview, feel free to skip down to your YA freebies and deals.

Arctic Druid
What has been the hardest thing about writing this draft for you?
Where were your greatest struggles, and how did you overcome them?

Fantasy is a new genre for me, so that was really hard. But beyond that, I had a few other challenges.

Unlike my other stories, I started this with an outline. It wasn’t very detailed, but I had an idea of what I wanted to happen and when. I wanted each chapter to end in a cliffhanger, something that would have the readers wanting to read just "one more chapter". While I didn't necessarily stick to my chapter divisions, I was proud to at least get all the key story beats in. But that does't mean I didn’t have problems.

The first was the darkness. When I wrote my outline, I knew that something bad would happen that would set everything in motion. I literally wrote “the bad thing happens”. When I got to that point in my draft, I was like, uh, now what? I kept playing with the idea of a plague but I had done something similar in some other work and wanted something with a more fantasy feel. So I somehow came up with the darkness.

Then I had to figure out what caused it. That, of course, was a future me problem. Until the chapter where Eamon learns what caused the darkness and how to stop it. This related to my second hard part: my magic system.

That was another future me problem. Somewhere during the early chapters, I got the idea that everyone has magic to some degree, but there are some who can work it stronger. It wasn’t until I was trying to explain the darkness that I really developed my magic system and identified what made Eamon different from everyone else.

I still remember the day I figured it all out. (I was drafting while sitting at the Y, which is where I am right now!) I remember being so ecstatic that I had solved that problem.

Do you have a question you would like me to answer?
Reply to this email and I will answer it in a future email.

Hartfield Chronicles

Hartford Chronicles

Hartfield Chronicles follows the lives of Melinda, Pat, and their friends as they navigate their way through boarding school life.

Each episode features two stories, one from Melinda's point of view and one from Pat's, along with an excerpt from Melinda's writing journal.

New episodes are published every Wednesday.

Free Books

Cave Of Time

Cave Of Time
A short fantasy adventure

A plague has swept through the village of Dasen, taking all the magic from the place and the druids. Master Rody longs for the day that it returns. Back when conversing with nature is normal and casting spells is natural to them.

The desire grows urgent as deadly forces arise from years of captivity. Years of magical absence has left the village defenseless. But just when everything seems bleak, an ordinary boy rises up to the challenge. Will he be able to prove himself among his cruel peers? Will he even reach the Cave of Time before it’s too late?

Would you like some free books in exchange for an honest review?

Fantasy Reviews Wanted - Ends 2/03 - YA, YA Scifi/Fantasy Reviews - Ends 3/02 - YA,

Want more free books? Check out these giveaways!

Fantastic Free Fantasy - January - Ends 2/01 - YA, Magical Beginnings - Ends 2/26 - MG,YA,
New Year New Reads - Ends 1/31 - MG,YA,Romance,Mystery, Midwinter All-Fantasy Subgenre Mega Giveaway - Ends 2/14 - YA,
Pledge This Sword - Ends 2/15 - MG,YA, Sweet Romance Giveaway - January - Ends 1/31 - YA,Romance,

Do you have Kindle Unlimited? These books are free for you!

Fill Your Kindle with Fantasy - Ends 2/01 - YA, KU Kickstart - Ends 1/31 - MG,YA,Romance,Mystery,
Start the new year with some magic - Ends 2/01 - YA,Romance,

Other Books on Sale

A Forgotten Past

A Forgotten Past
The Sapeiro Chronicles Book 1

In the land of Sapeiro, everyone has a touch of magic.

Lily lives a quiet life with her adoptive parents in the small village of Basolt. But everything changes when she discovers she has a power that hasn’t been seen in centuries. Suddenly, her very identity comes under scrutiny. Problem is, she has no memory of her life before Basolt. As Lily desperately tries to uncover her forgotten past, she suddenly finds herself at the center of a power struggle she never knew existed.

But forgetting your past doesn’t mean you can’t choose your future.
And Lily will need to decide if her secrets are worth dying for.

You may also be interested in these books

A New Year in Fantasy - Ends 2/01 - YA, Fantastic Fantasy Megasale - January - Ends 2/01 - YA,
Fantasy  & Paranormal Reads - January - Ends 1/31 - YA, Fantasy Tales from Other Worlds - Ends 2/01 - YA,
Here's to Strong Women - Ends 1/31 - YA,Romance,Mystery, New Year, New Mystery Novels - Ends 1/31 - YA,Mystery,
New Year's Fantasy Madness Sale - Ends 2/01 - YA, Of Legends and Lore - Ends 1/31 - MG,YA,
Reading in January - Ends 1/31 - YA, Spells, Swords & Secrecy - Ends 3/02 - YA,Mystery,
Start the New Year with a Bang! - Ends 2/01 - YA,Romance,Mystery,

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Adjusting to a New Life A New Home Innocent Bystander Camp Piquaqua Elephant on My Chest Becoming Birgit

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