When I started to write what would eventually become Flowers and Ash, I had the vague and underdeveloped idea of writing a fairy tale for adults in the form of a short story. I’ve always loved fairy tales and still do. But as time went on, I realized my vision for Flowers and Ash would never fit into a short story. And as the story continued to grow, I also realized it didn’t fit the definition of a fairy tale either. Although it does contain elements of fairy tales, complete with a king, queen, princess, monsters, villains, heroes, fairies, and magic. There’s even a forest that our heroes travel through.
Some of my favourite books are novellas, so I kept writing with the hope of publishing a novella. Makes sense, right? That hope came and went, and I set my aspirations on a novel of no more than 80,000 words. When I finally finished writing and editing Flowers and Ash, it came in at about 116,000 words. Although far from my original goal, I like to think it kept me on track throughout the writing process and prevented me from adding any unnecessary padding to the story. It’s what I tell myself anyways.
In a nutshell, Flowers and Ash tells the story of a young woman who embarks on a quest with her friends to uncover the truth behind the vanishings occurring across their land. At its core, Flowers and Ash is a story about love, loyalty, and courage.
Throughout, you’ll meet fantastical creatures based on Greek mythology and follow Lisette as she overcomes her fears while learning the truth about her land and herself. And of course, what’s a fantasy story without the magic? Keeping readers in mind as always, I did my best to explain how the magic works. Hopefully, I succeeded without beating readers over the head with too many explanations or explanations that are only clear to me, the writer.
I’ve always loved The Three Musketeers as well, so you’ll discover that Lisette and her loyal friends are all adept with a sword, meaning you’ll come across a few sword duels as you read. I, on the other hand, never wielded a sword until Flowers and Ash. I ended up researching as much information as possible and watching instructional videos. I practiced in my living room with a sword that belongs to my daughter (shown below) but remains in my living room. Like all research, it was a time-consuming process. It was also a lot of fun. I’m a firm believer that writing should always be enjoyable and challenging, forcing me outside my comfort zone.
When I finished writing Flowers and Ash, I knew the story would need extensive editing. What story doesn’t? I drooled over The Chicago Manual of Style and added it to my wishlist on Amazon. Knowing just how badly I wanted the book, my supportive husband gifted me a copy. It remains a gift that keeps on giving. My copy is now bookmarked and highlighted throughout as I learned how to edit my story. There was no way I was going to publish a book that hadn’t been properly edited. Readers deserve the best from writers, and I have a soft spot for grammar. While editing, I developed a fixation on detail, but the final book is one that I can at least be proud of. I also hope it’s a story worth reading and a book worth owning.
I’ve included the preview available from Amazon at the bottom of this page. I’m not fond of how it looks in the free preview option, but you can check out the writing style and see if it works for you. As readers, we all have different tastes, genres and style preferences. In reference to the formatting, I can assure you that based on my own Kindle copy, the actual ebook doesn’t have the awful formatting issues present in the preview.
Now that Flowers and Ash is published, I’m left with my least favourite part of the process: marketing. Reviews are vital to indie authors. So if you do decide to take a chance on Flowers and Ash, please don’t hesitate to rate it and, if possible, write a quick review. But first and foremost, I simply hope you enjoy reading about Lisette and her friends as they travel throughout Wrunwicks in search of answers. If you do or did enjoy the story, it really is all that truly matters. And I’m honoured. Writing will always be my labour of love and a journey filled with surprises around every turn.