Interview with Author Sarah Ashwood by Aoife Marie Sheridan




1.   How did you start your writing career?


I think my desire to write was born from my deep love of reading. I’ve been enamored with fairytales, stories of knights, pirates, swordsmen, ancient Rome, and Vikings, from the time I was a young child. By the time I was eighteen, I’d also discovered the fantasy genre. When I began writing, fantasy was the genre I naturally turned to, since I could combine all of my interests into one.


Readers of my Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy will probably find glimpses of nearly all of these elements in my books. They may also be surprised to learn that I actually wrote the original, very rough draft of this trilogy when I was eighteen years old! I even handwrote it all in notebooks. I filled eight entire notebooks. The trilogy has been overhauled many times since then, of course, but the original characters and storyline have remained the same.


2.      Tell us about a favorite character from your series.


Ilgard, the Simathe High-Chief. He was everything I wanted in a man when I was 18. (Teenagers, right?) Seriously, he was “my” first literary love interest, the first one I wrote, I mean, and I like to think he’s a rather unique fictional character. Out of all the male characters I’ve written since, I still have a major soft spot for him.


3.      Who is your favorite author?

Brian Ruckley, Sarah Ash, C. Greenwood, Linda Chaikin, Juliet Marillier, and Julie Kagawa are a few.


4.      When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?.


I write whenever my kids, ages 3 and 1, are asleep! This may be in the middle of the afternoon while they nap, or well into the wee hours of the morning after they've gone to bed. I try to write for at least a half-hour every day; more, if given the chance.


5.      What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

Probably that, no matter how many times I revise and edit, my work is still never good enough to me. I think I have it down, then I re-read it later and discover changes I'd like to make. I suppose I'm too much of a perfectionist.



6.      Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?.



Sometimes I do. I enjoy listening to Enya, Blackmore's Night, Celtic Woman, Disney songs, movie soundtracks, and anything that inspires me with a fantasy, adventure, or fairytale vibe.


7.      What books have most influenced your life?


As far as my writing is concerned, probably fairytales from all over the world. I read big, fat collections of them as a child, and they helped inspire a love for the magical that's never died. Secretly, I love Disney animated movies as much, if not more, than my kids do.


8.      What are you passionate about these days?


As a stay at home mom, a runner, and a writer, I’d have to say my family, running/fitness, and writing.


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