Jon’s Author Diary – August 25, 2023 #amwriting

Join the author’s adventure in sunny Morecambe as he embarks on a new space opera project, enjoys thrilling reads, and supports a noble cause.

Hello from sunny Morecambe!

Last week, I found myself overwhelmed by too many open projects, a struggle I shared with you all.

But then, as if by some cosmic joke, inspiration struck and I started a new project—a space opera with fantasy elements, set in the far future of my existing universe.

I outlined a trilogy and even wrote the first draft of a novella.

The words flowed and new worlds unfolded in my mind, sparking an excitement I couldn’t resist.

I continued reading the Horus Heresy series, immersing myself in “Mark of Calth” and “Vulkan Lives.”

Then a new thriller, “Fearless” by M. W. Craven, caught my eye and added a different flavour to my literary journey.

Outside the world of words, I’m excited about something very special happening on Saturday.

I’ll be taking part in the Cross-Bay Walk to raise money for Galloway’s Society for the Blind.

It’s a walk over Morecambe Bay when the tide is out, and it promises to be an incredible experience.

I invite you to support this noble cause on my Facebook page @joncronshawauthor.

And lastly, if you’re curious about my works, you can get early access to future stories on my Substack @joncronshawauthor. I hope to see you there, joining me in this ever-unfolding adventure.

Jon’s Author Diary – August 18, 2023

Join Jon Cronshaw as he revisits the inspirational streets of Ravenglass and shares exciting updates on the ‘Dawn of Assassins’ series, plus insights on his reading journey.

Hello from cloudy Morecambe!

This week was truly special for me. Finally visiting Ravenglass—where I derived the name of my main series from—was a moving experience.

 Walking through the very streets that inspired so much of my writing and exploring the beauty of the surrounding area felt surreal and invigorating.

If you haven’t been there, I recommend it—the place truly resonates with creativity.

Writing update:

In writing news, there’s a fresh treat for you on my Substack—a brand new short story which serves as a prequel to the Dawn of Assassins series.

It’s my little way of saying thank you for the continued support.

I’m eager to hear what you think of it.

Visit: to find out more.

I also continued work on the fourth installment in the series.

I’ve been redrafting scenes I dictated earlier in the year and hope to carry on with the full first draft in the not-too-distant-future.

Oh, and another chapter for the Guild of Assassins novel is complete!

Reading update:

I’m still on the Horus Heresy journey. After wrapping up Angel Exterminatus, I’ve moved on to Betrayer—the plot twists and turns never cease to amaze me.

A little confession:

I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the number of projects I’ve taken on.

But paradoxically, while juggling all these tasks might seem slower, it’s making me more productive.

The key, I’ve realized, is to follow where my energy leads.

Yet, there’s a nagging reminder in the back of my mind to wrap up Guild of Assassins—especially with The Fall of Wolfsbane soon returning from the editor.

If you enjoy these updates, don’t forget to follow my journey on my YouTube channel and the ‘Jon Cronshaw’s Author Diary’ podcast.

Do me a favour? Hit that thumbs up, subscribe, and let’s chat in the comments.

Your thoughts, as always, are my inspiration.

So, until next time, cheerio.


Exploring the Enchanted Worlds of A. L. Lorensen’s Writing

Discover the imaginative world of A. L. Lorensen, a talented fantasy author, as we delve into her writing journey, inspiration, and creative process. Explore the magic of storytelling and get inspired by her captivating works.

Welcome to our latest blog interview, where we get to know some of the most talented and creative writers in the fantasy genre.

Today, we have the pleasure of talking to A. L. Lorensen, a fantasy author with a lifetime passion for writing and the art of storytelling.

Get ready to be transported to the magical worlds of A. L. Lorensen’s imagination, and learn more about the author behind For Evergreens and Aspen Trees.

What inspired you to start writing in the fantasy genre?

I have always loved fantasy. Growing up, I was one of those weird kids that only played imagination games where I ran around my neighborhood pretending to be an empress of some far off land or a powerful sorceress, or what have you.

When I started actually writing when I was about seven or eight, those games were the inspiration I drew from, and then they developed into what I write today.

How do you approach world-building in your stories?

I ask myself a lot of “why” questions while I write. Why do these characters have to get from Point A to Point B? Why does the super-cool-sword look the way it does? Why is my bad guy the bad guy?

With the main world I am writing, it grew up with me, so as I was learning to write, I was also learning more about how to craft stories and worlds, so those “why” questions saved me.

Can you walk us through your writing process?

Absolutely! When I first started writing, I flew by the seat of my pants. If something sounded exciting, I put it in.

Some people thrive off this type of writing, but as I got older I realized that it stressed me out more than anything. The story and the world felt overwhelmingly broad when I had no plans in place for it, and I had no idea when it would or should end and how to get there and what I needed to focus on. It gave me writing paralysis.

So, I discovered a new method from Joe Nassise, and it has saved my writing career. These are now the steps I follow when I write:

1. Get a bunch of blank index cards and write every scene I can think of on them. Doesn’t matter which order or how many or how “stupid” I’ll think they are later. I just write them all down.

2. I organize the index cards into chronological order and see which ones I don’t need, and if there’s any I need to add.

3. I handwrite my first draft. I’m allergic to writing chronologically, so I’ll just pick a scene from my index cards to write that day, and then mark it off when I’m done. It also satisfies my love of marking off to-do lists.

4. I type all my handwritten scenes/chapters and edit as I go.

5. When all the scenes are written and typed, I print them all and go through them with a red pen to mark anything I need to change/add.

6. I change/add the things I’ve marked.

7. I send that draft to my beta readers to look at.

8. I edit again based on beta reader feedback.

9. I do another read through, because I have crippling perfectionism syndrome and can’t just leave it alone.

10. I realize my eyes will bleed if I look at it anymore, and send it off for two rounds of professional edits.

11. I fix the things that need fixing from the professional edits.

12. Take a few weeks to binge Netflix on my couch and recover.

13. I publish the book.

Would you survive in your own fantasy world?

That would depend on if my characters knew who I was or not. If they knew me and knew what I had done, absolutely not.

If I was a lone, anonymous agent and able to do my own thing, though? Also no.

What themes do you explore in your work?

I explore the themes of identity and self, prejudices, corrupt leadership, and the power of love and hope, whether it be for good or evil.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to research for your stories?

Oh, golly. I did most of my research when I was much, much younger, so I don’t remember most of it. However, as I got older, I was more of a knowledge goblin—just kind of scavenging and hoarding tidbits that I found in random places.

One of my most recent finds was an assassin’s teapot that held both tea and poison in two separate compartments inside of it. There were airholes you could put your fingers over, which would affect which of the liquids came out, so you could pour yourself a perfectly fine cup of tea, and then poison your enemy all in one go.

That’s a thing you know now!

What do you hope readers take away from your stories?

I would hope that my readers finish my stories and believe that hope and beauty still exist in the world, that hardships can be overcome, and that pure love really and truly can change the world.

Would you rather have a pet dragon or a unicorn, why?

The horse-girl inside of me wants to say unicorn, but I have to say dragon, 100%. They are one of my absolute favorite fantasy creatures, and I want to bond with one and ride one and gleefully set fire to all my enemies (mostly spiders).

If you were stuck on a deserted island with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

If I had my choice, it would be Aspen Tanner, because she is unendingly resilient and competent, and will not rest until she has accomplished what she needs to do. She’ll also make sure to keep any nefarious critters at bay.

If it was based on who would actually end up on a deserted island with me, it would be Tristan, because he tends to get yanked around by the winds of fate more than anyone else.

What would you name your pet dragon?

Cinder is the only one my brain can think of currently. But I know I would be so much better at naming them when I met the dragon in person.

Where is the best place to start reading your work?

For Evergreens and Aspen Trees: The Songs of Loralan: Book 1

About the author:

A. L. Lorensen has had a lifetime passion for writing and the art of storytelling. She graduated fromUtah State University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work and maintained her writing on the side.A. L. mainly writes fantasy, but has dabbled in fiction, mystery, comedy, and anything else that may strike her fancy.

A. L. Lorensen currently resides in Logan, UT with her husband, their cat, Muse, and their many, many bookshelves. If you would like to keep in touch with A. L. Lorensen (and get a free short story), you can join her newsletter at

Find A. L. Lorensen online:





The book that made me want to write: Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice

Robin Hobb’s ‘Assassin’s Apprentice’ is the book that inspired me to write fiction. Explore the immersive world, compelling characters, and expertly crafted plot of this character-driven epic fantasy. Discover the influence of Hobb’s writing on the author’s own work.

As a fantasy reader, I’m always on the lookout for my next great adventure.

But Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice is the book that made me want to write fiction.

I’d worked as a professional writer throughout my twenties and early-thirties in both academia and journalism, and I knew I wanted to write a novel.

In 2013, I’d just turned thirty, I was a new dad, and I read Assassin’s Apprentice for the first time.

I fell in love with Fitz’s story from the very first page. He is a complex and relatable character who is easy to care about and I quickly found myself invested in his journey.

And of course, there is the Fool—the non-binary court jester, and mentor to Fitz who repels and intrigues those around him in equal measure. Over the nine-book series, we get to watch one of the best platonic love stories in fiction play out.

The writing is excellent. Hobb’s prose is evocative and poetic, making for a truly immersive reading experience. Her attention to detail, whether in describing the world or the characters, is remarkable and adds to the realism of the story.

The world-building in Assassin’s Apprentice is incredible. Hobb has created a rich and detailed world that is both believable and fantastical. The world of the Six Duchies is one that I found myself fully immersing in and exploring, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was right there alongside Fitz.

The book deals with the themes of identity, belonging, and the nature of power, the inevitable clash between duty and desire (which is something I find myself revisiting again and again in my own fiction). Hobb explores these themes with subtlty and nuance that makes the story feel grounded in reality.

The plot itself is expertly crafted, unfurling slowly, but in a way that never drags. It is full of twists and turns that keep readers guessing.

Assassin’s Apprentice and the rest of the Farseer series is essential reading for anyone who loves character-driven epic fantasy.

And I’m sure that if you have read my Ravenglass Chronicles series, you will see her influence on my writing.

To claim your FREE Ravenglass Universe starter library, click HERE.

%d bloggers like this: