January 23, 2019

Meditations on The Shadows of Dark Root

I may have gotten a bit metaphysical during the creation of The Shadows of Dark Root. I always knew I wanted Maggie and her companions to journey to the Netherworld, only I wasn't sure exactly how that journey would go. I suppose I saw more camping in my head (ha-ha). What I did know was that it had to be Maggie's journey, the climax to not only the storyline but to Maggie's personal growth as well. I knew she couldn't argue her way through things or throw temper tantrums or start fires (although that all did come in handy). But she needed to learn to use her magick in new ways. She needed to come into her full power and strength in this book, and what better way than a journey to hell and back?

Astute readers will notice the chapter headings on this book are not song titles, as has been the tradition. Because this was a different kind of book than the others, set in a different world, I wanted the titles to reflect that. So I chose to use the Major Arcana from the Tarot in order, to mark Maggie's journey from Fool to The World. That doesn't mean Maggie knows everything after, only that one journey has ended and another began.

One thing that caught me by surprise when writing The Shadows of Dark Root was how in love I fell with the Goddesses I was writing. Its so much fun to take their personalities, and make them your own. I especially enjoyed writing Lilith! She oozed sex appeal, playfulness, and an almost childlike innocence. But she is not a woman you want to cross! And I haven't ruled out her making a future appearance in Dark Root. Another character I had loads of fun with was Hecate. I did a lot of studying on her, and found multiple myths and points of view and I fused what I could and created a fun version, I think, both wise and mischievous. These ladies sure gave Armand a run for his money!

This book was so different from the others I knew that I was taking a risk in presenting it. And I know there are readers out there who wished I had stayed in the town of Dark Root. But there is no growth without new challenges, and I took on this quest not only for Maggie but for myself. I had never written high fantasy before, but I have enjoyed it and I love nothing more than reading and studying myth and the occult and ancient religions so it came out much more naturally than I anticipated. Maggie and her companions forged ahead, and came out purified on the other side.

As for the Michael incident, I'm sorry. I know. The emails I get usually say something like "I hated Michael in the beginning but then I started to like him and then you did that!!!"

Trust me, it was hard for me too! I loved Michael as much as I initially hated him. But I had always intended for him to be saved, not by God, as he initially thought, but by his own deeds. The fact that some of you cared that much for this person at the end of this series makes me excited as a writer. And for those of you who still didn't like him, I know its good riddance, haha.

I'll be posting more on my thoughts on some of the books I wrote. I intend to post more on The Shadows of Dark Root as well, as there was a lot of brainpower than went into this, and even more intuition and strange synchronicities.

Happy reading everyone!
April Aasheim

January 16, 2019

New Year - New Blog (Kind Of)

My last post was almost three years ago. I've been writing so much fiction I've kind of neglected my blog, but I'm ready to jump back in.

I'll start with a quick update: I have completed the entire Daughters of Dark Root series last year, and I admit, I'm in love. The series isn't perfect. There are things I would change. But it is good. Really good. Like 'How did I write something this good, good?" I know not everyone will agree. We all have our own tastes and preferences, but I love it. I'm very proud of it. These books took a big chunk of my life and soul and I'm so happy to have produced something so lovely that I can send out into the world.

I decided to end the series at five books. When you read book 5 you'll see it was a natural ending. Maggie's story isn't quite done, however, and her family has yet to tell their tales. So, I began the spin-off series:  The Children of Dark Root. Its four years after the last book, and the next generation of witchy kids has arrived. Maggie may have her hands full! It's a good thing she's a master of magick, now! The first book came out in October and I'm working on Book 2 now! (You can read sample at link above).

Anyway, I'll try really hard to keep this blog updated with life scenarios for those who are curious, and writing updates. I'll probably not post as many short stories now, as you can see I'm in full steam writing novels, but I'll share snippets of my current stories.

Cheers to 2019!
Buy Book One HERE

May 10, 2016

Off to StokerCon!

This weekend I'm going to StokerCon in Las Vegas. This is put on by the Horror Writers Association. To say I'm excited doesnt really cut it. I'm drooling.

Getting accepted into HWA was a true thrill last year. Now, I'll be talking to, and taking workshops from Jack Ketchum, R.L. Stine, Heather Graham, and more. There's even a paranormal investigative team that may help me figure out the ghost hunting gear I bought for my birthday.

I'm not sure what will happen or why I'm so excited though. But it does feel like a weekend I won't forget. Or maybe that's just Vegas.

March 13, 2016

I've just recently noticed that my dance fitness instructor looks a lot like I imagine Maggie Maddock. Shes tall and slim with wild auburn hair. She's a bit friendlier than Maggie and probably savier. She's also got sisters who she is very close to. She doesnt seem the type to believe in witchery, but you never know. I may have to do some more people watching for research.

March 8, 2016

The Married Diaries

Husband: What did you want to eat for dinner?
Me: I just spent 20 minutes telling you what I was making for dinner and what you could do to help.
Husband: You did? (scratches his head)
Me: Yes. You never listen to me.
Husband: That's not true. I picked up the baby oil and Fireball you sent me out for.
Me: (sighing). I sent you out for baby spinach and coconut water.
Husband: Ah, yeah, now I remember. But we can still put the oil and liquor to use, right?

March 7, 2016

Truth Over Fiction: 1

When I was 8 my whole family got into a car accident - except for me. I was spending the night at my cousin's house and I remember driving by the crushed white van with the light post slung across its midsection and laughing. "Look at that funny car," I told my aunt, not knowing my mom and siblings were involved.

My mom was thrown from the van and a light post landed on her leg. She was 7 months pregnant at the time and trapped. They were all rescued and sent to the hospital. My step dad and sisters were out in a couple of days but my mom stayed in nearly two weeks. Her leg was broken and they had to put a pin in. She'd also crushed her ribs and there were some organs they worried over. But the baby at least was safe.

I'd already become the 'responsible kid'. My older sister had moved out and I was next in line. During my moms hospital stay and after she came home, I learned to cook egg sandwiches, grilled cheese, canned soup, etc. I also learned to clean house, wash dishes, and do other household chairs as my mom wasn't able to stand and my stepfather was always working.

But the thing I remember most wadi  the shopping and the laundry.

My younger sister Niki and I were put in charge of both.

The shopping required us to get 50 dollars a week from my mom. My step father was a waiter at the time and the 50 bucks was tough to part with. Niki and I would take the money and then Las Vegas intersection to the grocery store. We had our list (which we helped write) and we picked out our food. We learned to comparison shop (50 dollars didn't get you much) and look for sales. We always ended in the cereal section where Niki and I would debate for many minutes on which one to get for the week. Sugar was important. Prizes, more so. Deciding who would get the prize would be determined later. We wheeled the full grocery cart back home and kept the cart there, because that next day we would fill it (with laundry) and used it again.

We didn't have laundry baskets in my house. My mother denoted an entire close to the care of dirty laundry. With five in the household (six after my brother was born) the clothes accumulated quickly and once or twice a month Niki and I would spend a Saturday morning sorting them out between colors and whites, bundle them up in garbage bags, and wheel them to the laundromat across that same busy intersection. We'd then spend the rest of our day tending laundry (buying soap, washing, drying, fighting others over machines, folding). Niki sang songs around the laundromat, twirling and dancing, while I usually sat there with a notebook in hand writing stories or doing homework, or sometimes reading.

When the ordeal was over we'd cart the entire thing back home to begin the cycle anew.

Sometimes our laundry closet pile grew half as tall as I was and required two carts. Once, it was so large, that I left a runaway note, then hid in the laundry for 4 hours while they looked for me.

I bring all this up because I'm in bed now, staring at the pile of dirty clothes next to me, nowhere near my hamper. I wonder how many quirks and neurosis I've carried over. I hate to do laundry, even though we have a great machine in our garage. And, unlike a lot of women I know, I hate to go grocery shopping, even though my husband helps and we have more than a 50 dollar budget that is not divided between 5 people.

Meditations on The Shadows of Dark Root

I may have gotten a bit metaphysical during the creation of The Shadows of Dark Root. I always knew I wanted Maggie and her companions to j...