Tag Archives: novel

News: Submissions Closing & Minutes Before Sunset Info

17 Mar

As a reminder, today is the last day to send book covers and/or book trailers for Minutes Before Sunset to ashleeironwood.com. Remember: “AuthorBlog” must be the title of the email, or you’ll be sent to the spam folder. If you want any information, you can always check out Writing Tips: Involving Your Readers for the original post. At midnight on March 18th, submissions will be closed.

I’ve already received a couple, and I’m really excited where this novel is headed.

I really enjoyed this one, but it was too Nicholas Sparks for a paranormal romance. A good friend of mine made it from a photo I took in Puerto Rico, but they don't have a website. The winner will be in the publication!

I really enjoyed this one, but it was too Nicholas Sparks for a paranormal romance. A good friend of mine made it from a photo I took in Puerto Rico, but they don’t have a website. The winner will be in the publication!

In terms of updates, Minutes Before Sunset is past half of the final revision work, and formatting is almost complete.  However, I’m hoping to release it in May, and so far my schedule is working. (Muh-ha-ha-ha.)

I’m really excited to be sharing a modern work with you all, considering November Snow will be six years old this August. (Six?! Can you believe that? I feel like a mother sending her child off to class to make friends. So I want to introduce this paranormal romance more and more over the next couple of days.)

I’m planning many posts: the front cover, the back cover, the sneak peak, the first chapter, the etc. etc. etc. If you have any ideas and/or questions, let me know, but I’m going to answer the most common questions I’ve already received first:

1. What kind of paranormal is your paranormal romance? What makes it unique from other paranormal romances? Is it young-adult? 

Minutes Before Sunset is a young-adult urban fantasy, falling under the paranormal romance umbrella. It takes place in Hayworth, a small Midwestern town with an unexpected nightlife. Shades and lights (my paranormal creatures, if you will) are fated to rage in war, and my protagonist is forced to lead it. I think one of the most unique aspects, however, is one of the main concepts: Archetypes are flipped. Lights are evil; darks are good. Winter is life; spring is death. The reasoning for this is explained, but it’s a surprise.

2. Is it told from two perspectives like November Snow?

Yes! The novel is told from Jessica Taylor, a new girl to town with roots from her adoption, and Eric Welborn. If you’d like to think of dual perspectives, Eric also struggles with his dual identity (every light and shade has a separate name when they transform) and his name is Shoman.

3. When did you write it? What inspired you? 

I originally wrote this book when I was fifteen, but it’s only recently that I’ve gone back to revise and work with it in order to ready it for publication. I was inspired by many things–mainly the fact that I love winter and nighttime, and archetypes really bothered me throughout school. I wanted to address that, but I also wanted to create a world that tore the two sides–Light and Dark–apart in a way that the line blurred. But that’s for another time to explain.

I hope you enjoy the additional information!

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There’s always more information. Click here :]

~SAT

From now on I’m going to try to put my next post topic here:

March 19th: Relax & Read: How to Write a Sentence by Stanley Fisher

Writing Tips: Involve Your Readers

2 Mar

I really believe in authors connecting with their readers, because readers allow writers to follow their dreams.

And that’s what I’m doing today:

Instead of waiting for my next paperback while it goes through publication processes, I’m releasing an e-book in-between, and I want all of YOU to be a part of it, so I’m taking my own advise from my post Writing Tips: Join Contests, and I’m flipping it around to CREATE a contest for you all to enter. Not only will be credited, but you don’t have to win in order to do so.

So what’s this contest about?

I previously had this novel posted on Wattpad.com, and this was my cover.

I previously had this novel posted on Wattpad.com, and this was my cover.

I’m looking for a book cover and/or a book trailer. All submissions can be sent to ashleeironwood@aol.com, but the subject of the e-mail MUST be “AuthorBlog” or you’ll end up in the spam folder. If you have any further questions, you’re welcome to e-mail me as well, but interpretation is up to you.

All submissions need to involve my new young-adult novel: Minutes Before Sunset is a paranormal romance darkened by a hidden war between shades and lights. Told from two perspectives, one boy will discover the key to his kind’s survival, even if it means sacrificing the one he loves.

Submissions due before March 18th.

Based on submissions, I will either hold a voting contest or release the winning photos. All winners will receive credit, and finalists will get honorable mentions. Website/Blog links will be provided. Once the book cover is announced, you will also be given the chance to design a cover photo for my Facebook Author page. (If you join my Facebook page, you’ll get updates sooner: this contest was announced February 28 for instance.)

This is how I tempt you with latest updates.

This is how I tempt you with latest updates.

As a writer, this is my way of furthering our connection. I want you to be involved, and I want all of us to journey together in success. By giving you all credit, I am working at deepening authors’ capabilities of satisfying the reader, writer, and dreamer, but I really hope others will be inspired to do the same.

Supporting the dream is my ultimate goal, and I plan on continuing to do this throughout my publishing life.

I’m looking forward to all of your submissions! News updates can be found on the Minutes Before Sunset page either by clicking here or going under my Novels tab. 

~SAT

Writing Tips: Titling Your Novel

18 Feb

I’m so glad you all enjoyed my Events page. I’m really excited to show my timeline with you (and, to be honest, digging through my portfolio was such an encouraging adventure! I hope you are inspired to do the same. It’s a confidence booster. I hadn’t realized how much media I’d done until I spread the articles across my desk. Plus, I’d love to see what all you have done and are up to!)

Through you all, I received a few emails regarding one line in particular: December 4, 2006—Finished writing November Snow (originally titled It’s Only a Matter of Time.)

Many of you were interested in why the title changed, how it changed, or what the title reflects, and I think this is a great aspect to consider when studying your own piece of work. 

Originally, of course, my novel was titled It’s Only a Matter of Time. The reasoning for this is a funny thing: it’s the last line, and I didn’t have a title for it while I wrote it. I’m a strict believer in not deciding (for sure) on your title until the entire piece is written. I think it’s smart to have an idea, but, many times, a book changes as you write it. You may write an entire manuscript and realize your characters aren’t who you thought they would be. Maybe you have symbols you never even considered. Maybe your setting changed. Your ending may even change. Either way, writing is a journey and it changes, even if you have a plan. Think of writing like life: You may have a plan, but things happen, and your path changes.

This is what I had to consider when I realized my novel was being published. 

I knew It’s Only a Matter of Time wasn’t appropriate. It didn’t describe the tale, it didn’t relate to my characters, it didn’t describe the setting, and it didn’t summarize my overall message. So I set out to discover what DID describe all of these things.

As many of you know, November Snow ONLY takes place in November. It’s told from two perspectives, and it’s in a made-up land, Vendona, in 2089. November 2089 is ridiculous, and Vendona’s November is confusing, because the reader won’t even know what Vendona is until they pick up the book. I couldn’t use Serena’s November, because it ignores Daniel, and the same aspect happens when I looked at Daniel’s November. Plus, the novel isn’t centered around their lives, but how their lives are effected. So what about November’s Election? Doesn’t work. In my case, I’m American, and our elections are in November; readers would assume it’s a fictional tale about our government systems, and that wasn’t my audience.

So I looked at my symbols. I have plenty–but, ultimately, snow is the most powerful image. Snow hasn’t fallen in Vendona in twelve years, and the snowfall landed on a very detrimental date in the tale. However, during this particular November, the weather is cooling again, and the ostracized “bad-blooded” children realize it may fall again–and there may be another vital moment.

I don’t want to spoil my novel, so I won’t say what happens, but snow does fall again.

Through this, I realized the falling of snow, not only effects my characters, but ultimately symbolizes the effect on my reader.

November Snow was born.

I describe my process in the hopes that you all, whether you’ve already written a novel or not, can decide on the most effective and honest title for your piece. After all, you wouldn’t want to publish it and later regret what the title said. Think of it as poetry: a poem’s title is vital to understanding the symbolic meaning of the delicate words on the page. Without it, the descriptions may seem obscure or confusing. The poem, essentially, may not make sense at all.

Titles ARE important–and the right one is vital. Choose carefully and use your heart to do so. 

~SAT

Because I like sharing little bits of my life with you all: This is a picture of my older brother with his cat, Bella, and my cat, Bogart. Who knew we were so related?

Because I like sharing little bits of my life with you all: This is a picture of my older brother with his cat, Bella, and my cat, Bogart. Who knew we were so related?

 

 

Relax & Read: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

30 Sep

Sunday is the perfect day to spend all afternoon in bed, curled up with that novel you’ve been meaning to read. And if you don’t already have one (or a billion!) on your reading list, I’m here to help!

I first read Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, in 2005 when I picked it up to flip through and saw all the markings, colors, photos, and overall unique format. At first, I actually thought someone had taken a red pen to someone’s novel in the middle of the store, but then I realized it was printed that way, and I was immediately entranced.

Tragically losing his father in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Oskar—a curious nine-year-old genius—finds a key, and travels all over New York City trying to find where it might belong.

The tale is touching, mournful, and challenging (one of the most challenging for me was when Foer contrasts 9/11 with Hiroshima and Nagasaki), yet the novel’s innocence remains within Oskar’s reality.

I would definitely recommend it, but it’s not intended for the soft-hearted. In fact, I would recommend the movie adaption as well—but even I have to admit I sobbed throughout the entire film. (I was so emotionally attached to Oskar already, and seeing his tale unfold on the big screen touched me deeply). This book, to this day, is the only novel to ever make me cry—really—and every time I read certain parts, I get shivers all over. If you want a novel that will truly take your emotions on an adventure with a nine-year-old as your guide, then pick this one up. (Click here to read more!)

But I’m leaving you (because I’m going to go read now!) with one of my favorite quotes from this novel:

“Literature was the only religion her father practiced, when a book fell on the floor he kissed it, when he was done with a book he tried to give it away to someone who would love it.”

~SAT

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