books, ness talks about life, ness writes about writing

Ashley Townsend and the Author No-No #1

Today I have the pleasure of having author Ashley Townsend pop over for a visit. Grab a cup of your chosen beverage – be it tea, coffee or something nice and cool – and settle down to a chat with Ashley, who is the author of Rising Shadows, and its sequel, Chasing Shadows.

Quickly! Tell me wha13695981t genre you prefer to write in – or do you dabble in multiple genres?

            I really have a heart for YA, because I love reading well-designed and -plotted books that feel relatable, and I really enjoy connecting with younger readers through my own writing as I (try to) provide that same engaging and emotional rollercoaster that I myself am drawn to. Also, I really love writing fantasy, because the world is your oyster, and reality has no limitations on what you can create.

 Do you have a scheduled time to write?

            I try to do a little writing every day, which is the best advice I can give to budding writers. Whether it turns into a full-blown chapter or two, a couple of pages, or just some plot ideas scribbled on note cards, I try to make time every day to write. Just being in the habit of writing and pushing through scenes has been a wonderful tool and has helped me in situations where writer’s block might try to hinder my progress.

Of all of the characters you have written, which is your favorite and can you give me three key words to describe them?

            😦 Why must you make me choose?! I honestly adore all of my characters, and22545313 everyone knows I am in love with Will Taylor *swoons* and adore Sarah’s relatability and kind heart. But if I had to choose, I’d have to say that the character I always look forward to writing about is Damien Lisandro. He was supposed to have a brief appearance in “Chasing Shadows,” and then I made an oopsie and fell in love with my own character. Author No-No #1. The best way to describe Damien is broken, gentle, and lost. He is like this sad little puppy that I just want to adopt and make him feel better.

 Do you find listening to music helps you write, and if so, what sort?

            I have tons of playlists for different moods in a story. I love anything soft for more of the romantic interlude scenes, and then when I write instances where there is hand-to-hand combat or arrows flying or swordplay, then I really enjoying listening to trailer music or soundtrack scores. I love music, but I get too distracted by the lyrics if I’m in the middle of a scene that requires intense concentration.

 All right, I’ve just given you an airplane ticket, where would you go?

            Neverland because my next series is a take on “Pirates of the Caribbean” meets Neverland. But I suppose if fairytale lands are out of the question (humph), then I would have to visit Ireland. It has been a goal of mine for years to live in a cottage in Ireland and just write for the remainder of my days beside bubbling brooks and great rolling hills. So dreamy! (and those accents!)

 Pen upon paper or fingers tapping away at keyboard?

            My mind is usually moving too fast for me to use paper, and then I just get frustrated because it takes too long. Ah, the impatience of youth! I typically prefer to use my laptop because it’s faster, but I always have paper on-hand in case inspiration strikes.

 A new piece of technology has been invented. It is a Writer’s Aid and can eliminate the trickiest of areas. Where would you use it in your writing process?

            Ugh. Editing. I adore the creative process and everything about it, but having to meticulously comb over my manuscript to see what I did wrong is painful. I’d much rather be writing my next series than catching grammar errors!

Ashley TownsendThank you, Ashley, for stopping by and all the very best for your future endeavors. I’m off to hunt down someone to invent a Writer’s Aid for the both of us … : )

Ashley 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 beach, and San Diego, CA. She also has an unexplainable aversion to clowns and describes outlines as a “proverbial noose.” You can find her at: her Website, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon

books, ness talks about life, ness writes about writing

A Chat with C.B. Cook

Grab the beverage of your choice and settle down for a visit with C.B. Cook, debut author of Paralyzed Dreams, in which I cross-examine her on her favourite authors and on the always Very Important question of: tea or coffee?

This question will never not be important.

Are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer, or do you prefer to plan everything out?
I’m kind of both, actually. I have to have an outline of some sort, but I have trouble writing if it gets too detailed. I like to know where I’m going, but be able to dive in and just play around with the story as I go.
Tea or coffee?
Neither, really. But I’d have to say I think coffee would be better, as long as there’s lots of cream or sugar in it.
Do you have any favourite authors, if so – who?
The only question harder than this is the favorite book question. 😉 C.S. Lewis is definitely one of my favorites, along with H.G. Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. My favorite modern authors include Ashlee Willis, Lisa Bergren, Melanie Dickerson, Marissa Meyer… the list goes on and on. 😉 You’re on there, too!
Aw, thank you! Now, what is your favourite genre to write in?
That’s a hard one, for me, at least. I’ve written in fantasy, contemporary, and a little science fiction. Contemporary is a lot of fun, but I’d definitely say fantasy is my favorite. But I really want to write a mystery, too.
Cats or dogs?
Dogs, definitely. We have a super adorable crazy dog, and I wouldn’t give her up for anything. 😀
Tell me a little bit about your brand-new book:
I wrote this book for my mom for Christmas a few years ago. I honestly don’t know how I came up with the idea, other than just trying to torture my characters. *sigh* But it’s a story about a volleyball player, Pam, who gets in a car accident. Her entire life has centered around playing volleyball, so when she finds out that she’s paralyzed, she gets angry at everyone… including God. Her whole life seems ruined, and her dreams are now paralyzed, just like she is.
Thank you very much for stopping by, and all the very best : )

C.B. Cook is a teen author with many short stories under her belt, and now a published novella, Paralyzed Dreams. She has been blogging for over a year and is working on writing a middle grade fantasy series. When she’s not balancing homework or writing, she can often be found messing around in Photoshop or talking to her dog. You can visit her at