Friday, September 4, 2015

Guest Post: Supernatural Sandwich by AshleyRose Sullivan

Hello Everyone, 

Let's please welcome AshleyRose Sullivan to the blog today talking about her new release Silver Tongue with Seventh Star Press

In the last ten years or so YA fiction has seen a lot of supernatural elements. Some people might say too much. The thing is, when I was a teenager, I really couldn’t get enough of this stuff. Tough chicks with superpowers, a dangerous, magical world, bad guys with worse agendas—I loved these elements when I was in high school and I still love them today. But, between that time and this, I read a lot. And that stuff seriously affected my interests and influenced what I wanted to write about. So Silver Tongue is sort like I put some of my favorite stuff in a blender. Or, maybe more accurately, I made a sandwich.

The Bread:
Silver Tongue’s story couldn’t exist without a setting in which to take place. The foundation of the novel is the crazy alternate history version of the American Colonies where Claire and her friends live. In this timeline, George Washington drowned in the Delaware instead of crossing it and now, fifty years later, Claire and her friends are still dealing with the repercussions. They live in New France and, in the course of their dangerous journey, have to cross the Mississippi into New Britannia.

The Condiments:         
Silver Tongue is flavored with elements of Gothic literature. Actually—you can still see the influence of classic gothic lit running through a lot of YA. Dark mysteries. Eerie lands. Secret histories. Men who turn into monsters. Monsters who turn into men. Unconventional young women. Brooding Byronic hero types.  The list goes on. It’s just a little more overt in Silver Tongue. Claire actually meets William Frankenstein.

The Meat:
I love the common themes in YA lit. I’ve never grown out of them and, in writing Silver Tongue, I was determined to stick to the themes that always spoke to me. Friendship, self-discovery, sexuality, racial identity, and, of course, love. The Post-Revolutionary War Colonies aren’t really ready for Claire and her friends and they struggle to make their way in this strange, dangerous world.

The Extras:
I have a lot of weird interests and those things always seem to work their way into my books. I love to eat so Claire loves to eat and dreaming up French Indian or American English menus was a blast. And, petticoats! Oh man, I love researching period fashion. Of course, with Silver Tongue taking place in The Colonies, fashion wouldn’t move west as fast. So, Claire is a little behind the times—as she finds out when she leaves her small town.
And medicine/science/technology! I love thinking about how tech might have evolved differently if history had taken a slightly altered course. How did history influence tech? How did tech influence history? Silver Tongue sees the very beginnings of a steam punk-like era and Claire’s mother is a healer with both western and traditional medicinal techniques at her disposal. It’s this kind of stuff that I think really adds flavor to the overall narrative and helps to make it special.

So anyway, I went about making this sandwich—mostly for my teenage self—and I ended up with something unique. I think it’s pretty tasty. I hope you do too! 

About the Author: Born and raised in Appalachia, AshleyRose Sullivan now lives, writes, and paints in Los Angeles. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University and her first novel, Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale is available from Seventh Star Press. She can be found at her website or her blog, My Year Of Star Trek.

Book Synopsis for Silver Tongue: The Colonies lost the Revolutionary War. Now it's 1839 and the North American continent is divided into three territories: New Britannia, Nueva Espana, and Nouvelle France where seventeen-year-old Claire Poissant lives. Claire has a magical way with words-literally. But a mystical power of persuasion isn't the only thing that makes her different. Half-French and half-Indian, Claire doesn't feel at home in either world. Maybe that's why she's bonded so tightly with her fellow outcasts and best friends: Phileas, a young man whose towering intellect and sexuality have always made him the target of bullies, and Sam, a descendant of George Washington who shares the disgraced general's terrible, secret curse. But when Sam's family is murdered, these bonds are tested and Claire's special ability is strained to its limits as the three hunt the men responsible into dangerous lands. Along the way they cross paths with P.T. Barnum, William Frankenstein and other characters from both history and fantasy as they learn the hard way that man is often the most horrific monster and that growing up sometimes means learning to let go of the things you hold most dear.

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