A Little About
The Sunset Lands Beyond Trilogy
Author's Rating: PG-13
Ten Things You Should Know
About Sarah Ashwood
One of the first things I remember writing was my own retelling of the book Ivanhoe. I loved the story, but I didn’t care for how some of the characters were treated. I remember starting to write my own ending. There was even “artwork” to accompany it. Fortunately, I surrendered that project pretty quickly.
2. Have you ever named a character in honor of someone you know?
I have. Hannah, the main character in my Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy, is named after my youngest sister. I have another manuscript, at present unpublished, where the female main character is named Mercy, after my middle sister.
3. At what moment did you feel like you could say, “NOW, I'm an author?
Funny, sometimes I’m still uneasy thinking that. I wonder what it takes to feel like you’ve arrived as an author. Financial success? Simply having written a book? Having a book published? Getting good reviews? I often feel like I’m an imposter in the world of writers, despite having written 7 novels (although only 3 are currently published), and having had numerous poems, short stories, and non-fiction articles published in a variety of venues. I keep hoping someday I will have that author epiphany.
4. What project are you working on now
Right now I am in the process of pitching a young adult fantasy novel to agents, with little luck so far. I recently completed the rough draft of a historical fiction novel set in ancient Rome, and need to tackle polishing it. I’m also toying with the idea of writing a follow up series to my Aerisia trilogy. I am drowning in projects and to-do lists!
5. What fictional character would you like to have as a best friend (could be your own)
If I could pick any fictional character as a best friend, it would probably by the main character from my Aerisia trilogy, Hannah. Her quick temper, sense of humor, clumsiness—all of those are very much me in book form, so I think we’d get along great. In the beginning of the series, she probably cries more than I do. I’m not much of a crier. As the series progresses, she definitely becomes braver than I am. You wouldn’t catch me engaging in sword fights or facing the Dark One on a battlefield!
6. What book are you currently reading
I am always reading more than one book. Currently, I’m reading Pax Romana by Adrian Goldsworthy, Betrayer of Blood by C. Greenwood, Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss, Qoheleth by Paul Cwalina, and Torrents by Meaghan Rauscher. Perhaps I’d get more reading done if I’d actually stick to one book at a time, but I have reading ADHD, as I describe it, so I’m always going through multiple books.
7. What is one of your favorite beverages/snacks while writing?
Coffee. Strong, black coffee.
8. Do you have any furry writing buddies? (Or scaled or feathered?
Eh, I always say I have young children. I don’t need pets. My writing buddies are three boys, ages 5, 3, and 1.
9. Do you have any other creative outlets besides writing?
Do running and fitness count? Those are my other daily outlets besides writing. I occasionally tackle a Pinterest project, but my efforts almost always wind up looking like the quintessential “Pinterest fails.”
10. Who are your 3 favorite characters in your book(s)?
My three favorite characters are Ilgard, Hannah, and Norband, probably in that order. Sometimes Hannah gets on my nerves, but I feel like your main character has to have some character flaws and personality issues to make them real. I love my Simathe warriors, however. All of them. They’re still probably my favorite characters I’ve ever created.