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Sarah Ashwood Author Interview

Welcome to Ink & Magick. I'm your friendly neighborhood witch. What kind of spell can I get for you (or your character) today?

For me, a spell to make me less tired and to ease my back aches as I go into the third trimester of this pregnancy. For the main character in Aerisian Refrain, Annie, a spell to help her understand how she passed from Earth to the parallel world of Aerisia would be great—especially if it also helped her understand what her role is in this new world.

For your back aches, have you tried a warm compress or getting a massage? I'm afraid I do not have any expertise in this particular area. However, I offer your unborn child all the blessings in my power to give. Tell me more about Annie's problems in your #portalfantasy Aerisian Refrain (book 1 of the Beyond the Sunset Lands series.)

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 immortal warrior 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.

There seems to be a lot going on here. Tell us more about the world you created.

Aerisia is a very magical place that exists beyond Earth’s sunsets. While on Earth, most people don’t believe in magic anymore, in Aerisia magic pervades everything. There are many different supernatural creatures and races, including unicorns, dragons, fairies, immortal warriors, Moonkind (people of the moon), Dragonkind (folk who live/work with dragons), and giants…and that’s just to name a few!

Sounds quite rich! Which one of your characters surprised you?

In Aerisian Refrain, I think The Raven surprised me most with how insistent he was that his story be told. Initially, he wasn’t even a huge character. But as the story developed so did he. In some ways, he kind of took over the story, at least in a villainy sense.

Who is your favorite (or least favorite) character and why?

One of my favorite characters in Aerisia is Lord Norband, Chief Captain of the immortal Simathe. Why? Well…that’s difficult to answer. He’s very self-assured; honestly, he’s arrogant. He doesn’t think he ever can be wrong, which means he’s always sure he’s right. Guy’s got next to no humility or grace. BUT if he believes in a cause, or a person, he supports it 1000%. He has a strict sense of justice that sometimes borders on harsh, but there’s nothing evil about him, even if he can come across as cold and callous. Readers either love him or hate him. So far, he’s been a side character in all of my Aerisia books, but we’ll get a chance to see him fully develop as a person when he eventually gets his own book.

If you could time-travel, would you travel to the future or the past? Where would you like to go, and why would you choose that time period?

Easy—I’d visit ancient Rome! Since I was a child I’ve been fascinated with ancient Rome and the Roman Empire. How long it endured, how far spread it was, how so many of their buildings, roads, and architecture still exist, and how elements of the Roman Empire pervade so much of western culture and thought. One of my life dreams is to visit Rome itself someday.

There’s actually an obvious nod to my love for ancient Rome in my world of Aerisia with Aerisia’s main military force, the Ranetron.

It is a beautiful place in modern day as well. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Either buy a copy, or read it for free in Kindle Unlimited. Hopefully, enjoy it! Leave a review. Share the story with your friends. Word of mouth is, in my opinion, the best way to spread the love of a book. I’m far more likely to read a book if my friend recommends it to me than for any other reason.

What can we expect from you next?

Thank you for asking! Next, I’m leaving portal fantasy behind for a foray into the world of urban fantasy. Coming in 2020 is a four-book urban fantasy series set in modern-day Fort Worth, Texas called Stones of Fire. In this series, you’ll meet shapeshifters who shift into frightening and deadly creatures from folklore and legend across the world. They’re not your average shapeshifters. I hope you’ll keep an eye out for this series, starting with Book 1, Ashes on the Earth. It’s going to be lots of fun!

Sounds intriguing! I do hope you will come back and tell us about it when it comes out. Good luck in all your endeavors!

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.

You can connect with Sarah on her website, Bookbub, Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

You can get your copy of Aerisian Refrain from Amazon.

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    D. Lieber has a wanderlust that would make a butterfly envious. When she isn’t planning her next physical adventure, she’s recklessly jumping from one fictional world to another. Her love of reading led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.

    Beyond her skeptic and slightly pessimistic mind, Lieber wants to believe. She has been many places—from Canada to England, France to Italy, Germany to Russia—believing that a better world comes from putting a face on “other.” She is a romantic idealist at heart, always fighting to keep her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds.

    Lieber lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John) and cats (Yin and Nox).

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