We’re four days from the release of Viggo in Orlin!!! And you might just be able to order the paperback early…
Since we’re so close to the release of the next Ashton Legacies book, I figured it would be appropriate to talk a bit about the Ashton Family. You get to see more of them in Viggo’s story than Aderes. In fact, you meet enough of them that I included a simplified family tree in the front so it doesn’t get too confusing. One important note: if you feel overwhelmed by how many Ashtons there are, that’s okay. You’re meant to 😉 You don’t have to remember all the names and how they’re related each other…it’ll slowly become clear as I write more books. The New Mexico Ashtons are an enthusiastic and overwhelming bunch, and I have to keep a lot of notes to keep them all straight. One of my first projects when working out the details of Aderes in Karkhana was making a massive family tree that covered a good six feet of wall space.
If you want more information on the Ashton family than what you’ll find in the front of Viggo (such as marriages, birthdates, etc), I’ve put most of that information up on WorldAnvil! (Here’s the link) The profiles are a work in progress, but you can at least see how everybody is related to each other!
But moving beyond family trees, who is the Ashton Family?
I mentioned this around when I published Aderes, but the Ashton family began when I started to wonder what it would be like to have a story where the main character falls into another world…but they actually know what’s going on. So many stories I’ve read where the main character falls to another world revolve around the idea that they didn’t know other worlds existed before that moment, so they’re clueless and usually spend a few chapters in denial. I wanted to play with the possibilities that the person who falls through not only knows other worlds exist, they’ve been to them. Just not this one.
I could think of so many fun stories within this concept that I knew I wanted a massive, chaotic family of adventurers. And so the Ashton family was born! They’re a sprawling clan with big hearts, sharp wits, and far too much courage. And they have a LOT of stories for me to tell! I’m planning to make all of the Ashton Legacy books standalone stories, but because they all follow members of the same family there will be plenty of cameos and small threads joining them together. So far, the Ashton Legacies are also turning out to be more “cozy” than some of my other books. There are dangers and battles and high stakes, but there’s also a lot about family and just living.
One final aspect of the Ashton family that I wanted to talk about: their homestead! When I was developing the overarching details of this series, I decided that if I’m writing a fantasy series where Earth actually exists, I might as well slip in some familiar details. And so the Ashtons’ home is in my corner of New Mexico! The location I chose for their homestead is close enough to my own home that I’ve taken a lot of pictures as inspiration and to give you an idea of where Aderes and Viggo grew up when they weren’t galivanting through worlds like Tarth and Qilp. I’m uploading some below in case you want to see it! The area is near the Gila Cliff Dwellings, along the Gila River. It’s a far out of the way place (even further from an actual town than I am, which is saying something). Perfect for a sprawling homestead surrounded by gateways to foreign worlds! I took all these pictures with my phone, so…they’re not perfect. But hopefully they’ll offer a fun glimpse into the world of the Ashtons!