Posts Tagged ‘contest

26
Feb
10

Guest Post and Contest: The Evolution of a Character by Elisa Lorello

Today, we are happy to welcome guest author Elisa Lorello on the last stop on her whirlwind blog tour. She is going to talk a little about the evolution of one of the characters from her books Faking It and Ordinary World. And, Elisa will be giving away a PDF copy of each book to one lucky reader. Check back after Elisa’s post for the entry rules.

From Devin to David: The Evolution of a Character

The idea for my novel Faking It was conceived back in 1999.

I had discovered this new television sensation called Sex and the City and didn’t know what to make of it. It was actor Chris Noth who had brought me there—I had become a fan of his when he starred as Detective Mike Logan on the original Law & Order—but the sexual boldness of these characters both intrigued and intimidated me. I had grown up in an environment where sex wasn’t discussed in private, much less in a public restaurant at lunchtime.

A what-if suddenly appeared: What if a woman never learned what she was supposed to learn about sex and dating? What if she met someone who would teach her what she needed to know? What if he was a male escort? The very last what-if was further inspired by my favorite movie, When Harry Met Sally: And what if they became friends?

Thus, my original vision of Devin the Escort was a slightly younger Mr. Big. Charismatic, well-groomed, affluent, and very, very charming. Ok, downright gorgeous. In 2000, I saw Chris Noth perform in a Broadway play called “The Best Man”, and after the show, I met him in the lobby.

“You were wonderful,” I said, gushing. “Excellent performance.” He turned to me, made eye contact, and smiled.
That smile.

His smile was electric. Mesmerizing. For a split second, I was the only woman in that theater lobby. The only woman he saw. The only woman he wanted to see.

I then knew that Devin’s power would be in his smile. His smile and his eyes.

It took another four years before I finally wrote the first draft, and another four years after that before I published Faking It, but by the time I did Devin was more than a handsome schmoozer. He was a man who had a tumultuous relationship with his father. He was an art enthusiast who never realized his dream. As intimate as he was with his clients, there was one thing he never gave away: his heart. And for all Devin has to teach Andi, He also realized that he has a lot to learn.

So how did Devin become David? And does he end up with Andi?

Well, I don’t want to tell. Read Faking It first. Then read Ordinary World to find out.

What I will say is that I love the depth and complexity of the characters in Ordinary World. They have shed their skins, re-invented themselves. They are even more vulnerable, more fragile, more loving. They have grown by leaps and bounds. Despite the fact that Andi is the narrator of both books, I think in some ways Devin is the real star. I remember reading an excerpt from an early draft to my college writing class, and one of the female students blurted out as soon as I’d finished reading, “Oh yeah. I’m in love with him.”

“Me too,” I said. Still am.

Faking It and Ordinary World are available in print and e-book at Lulu.com and in e-book at Amazon Kindle Store.

Elisa Lorello was born and raised on Long Island, New York. In 1995, she moved to southeastern Massachusetts, where she attended University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth for both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Her career in rhetoric and composition studies began in 2000, and since then she has been teaching first-year writing at the university level. Currently, Elisa lives and teaches in North Carolina and is co-writing her third novel. She is happily single.

To learn more about Elisa and her other writing projects, please visit her blog “I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Official Blog of Elisa Lorello at www.elisalorello.blogspot.com, or her official webpage at www.elisalorello.com.

Here is how you can enter to win a PDF of both books:

  • Commenting on this post.
  • Tweeting a link to this post in Twitter. You’ll need to comment letting us know that you tweeted. Include your Twitter username for verification.
  • Posting a link on Facebook. Again, comment letting us know that you posted the link.
  • Following The Romantic Journey in the Facebook Networked Blogs application.
  • Adding The Romantic Journey to your blogroll. Comment that you did that and include a link for verification.
  • Posting something about The Romantic Journey on your blog. Comment that you did it and include a link for verification.
  • Subscribing to the RSS feed or email feed. Comment that you did it to be entered.
  • Following The Romantic Journey on Twitter. Again, comment with your Twitter username for verification.

You receive one entry for each action, so you can potentially receive eight entries.

The winner will be announced 12 March. Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. UTC on 11 March, 2010.

No transfers or substitutions.

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14
Jan
10

Stephanie Draven Contest Winner

Congratulations to Leia Rice, who said this in response to Stephanie Draven’s interview:

Great interview!

I also included a link on both my blog and my facebook! Thank you for sharing!

Leia, check your email for your prize, a $10 Amazon gift card.

01
Jan
10

Start the New Year with an Interview and Contest with Stephanie Draven

We’re starting the year off right with another guest interview and contest. Romance and speculative fiction writer Stephanie Draven is our interviewee. She’s giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader.

Romantic Journey: Stephanie, thanks for stopping by. Let’s dig right into the questions. How did you first get published?

Stephanie Draven: My first professional sale was a little short story I sold to Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. It was called “Limbo,” and it was a zany tale about a young woman looking for love in spite of the meddling of her dead ancestors. It’s a story I wrote on a dare, and it differs completely in tenor and tone from the dark paranormal romance I now write for Silhouette Nocturne.

However, my first Nocturne Bite, Midnight Medusa, was also written with a challenge in mind. I wanted to write a story that was socially aware, had emotional resonance, and pulled in elements of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. I think I must thrive on proving that I can do stuff other people think can’t (or shouldn’t) be done!

RJ: Do you have another job? If so, what is it?

SD: Right now, I’m a full time writer, but I used to be a lawyer. I think it was penance I had to serve for sins committed in another life.

RJ: How does a typical work day unfold? Do you clean first or write first? How do you let your family know when you are in serious writing mode?

SD: I have a few different modes. I try to draft everything quickly, which usually means writing at least 2k a day for 30-45 days.  On those days, I wake up as early as 5am and I don’t leave the computer until I have my word count completed. On those days, if my family gets food on the table, they’re lucky, and I only clean once a week. (On Mondays, I run around the house with a timer, doing all my housework in increments of ten minutes.) [RJ: Must be another Flylady devotee. :)]

When I’m in editing mode though, I allow myself more flexibility and work more of a 9-5 kind of job, although frequently I work late into the night, and it’s sometimes hard to get my husband to understand that I’m still working!

RJ: What are you working on now? Anything coming out soon?

SD: I’m currently putting the finishing touches on a modern day re-adaptation of the Minotaur story. It’s the last book in my Greek myth inspired paranormal romances. (So far, for Nocturne, I’ve written about gorgons, dryads, chimeras, hydras, and nymphs of the underworld.)

In the coming year, my first full-length Nocturne will be on the bookshelves and I’m ridiculously stoked to see it. The story is about a modern-day nymph of the underworld who sets out to seduce and kill a notorious arms dealer by taking on the appearance of the woman he once loved. There are some parts of it that made me cry to write, but it has a happy ending!

RJ: What are your five favorite books? What lessons have you applied from them to your own writing?

SD: Oh gosh, there is no way I could pick only five favorite books. I have so many! But I can tell you what I hope to learn from what I’ve been reading lately.

I’m reading How not to Make a Wish by Mindy Klasky–which is a lighthearted magical tale. Mindy has a great sense of humor, but more importantly, she has a sense of grounding detail in everything she writes, and I need to learn to do that. Mindy’s details are so rich that she’s even put out the cookie recipes of one of her characters, and let me tell you, I’ve had those almond lust cookies, and if I weren’t already married…

I also recently read Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran, which I fell in love with. I’ve long been fascinated by Selene (and have a book of my own coming out about her in January 2011, written under a different pen name), but I particularly enjoyed this novel because it effortlessly wove the protagonist through her times. I started out in fantasy and speculative fiction, so the way I approached Selene’s story was with a great deal of magic realism. I think I learned from Cleopatra’s Daughter, though, that sometimes the history is enough.

Not long ago, I read Megan Hart’s Dirty–which made me sob.  Repeatedly. It taught me that contrary to expectations, erotica can be much more than sexy. It can also be moving, meaningful, and socially aware. I learned from it that books can still shake me and that true art can be found in any genre.

Another favorite is Philippa Gregory’s Wideacre, which is a book I’ll never get out of my head. I guess I learned from that book that it really is possible to write an absolutely captivating anti-heroine, and I think my own heroine’s have been more edgy because of it.

And I guess last, but not least, is First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner, from whom I’ve learned to really plan and outline my work.

RJ: Are you a chest or buns woman?

SD: Eek, are those my only choices? The first thing I tend to notice about a man is his eyes and his hands. But if I have to pick between chest and buns, I’m going to say chest because I’d rather he were walking towards me than walking away.

RJ: Who’s your fantasy man?

SD: I married him! No, seriously. I have the best husband ever. He loves me unconditionally, treats me like a princess, and has made my entire writing life possible. He’s smart and sexy and a much better person than I am. I’m always striving to be more like him. (I’m really in love, if you couldn’t tell.) But if he happened to come home one day looking a little bit more like Smallville’s Tom Wellling or Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles, I wouldn’t complain.

RJ: Very good taste. I’m a big Ackles fan myself, although some of the other ladies here are more into his co-star, Jared Padalecki. Anyway, What are your goals for 2010? Personal or professional are fine. Whatever is important to you today.

SD: Personally, I have a goal of teaching my cat Butterscotch a new trick. (He already sits up, shakes paws, and will give me a high-five. He also sometimes fetches. He thinks he’s a dog.)

Professionally, though, my whole next year is already mapped out writing my next book, and I couldn’t be happier. I think we’ve all been through some rough times lately, but I really believe that things are starting to look up!

RJ: Great outlook. I feel as if we’re on the brink of some positive times, too. Again, thank you for visiting with us today. And thanks for the generous contest item.

Readers, find out more about Stephanie on her website. And, here is how you can enter our contest for a $10 Amazon gift certificate courtesy of Stephanie Draven:

  • Commenting on this post.
  • Tweeting a link to this post in Twitter. You’ll need to comment letting us know that you tweeted. Include your Twitter username for verification.
  • Posting a link on Facebook. Again, comment letting us know that you posted the link.
  • Following The Romantic Journey in the Facebook Networked Blogs application.
  • Adding The Romantic Journey to your blogroll. Comment that you did that and include a link for verification.
  • Posting something about The Romantic Journey on your blog. Comment that you did it and include a link for verification.
  • Subscribing to the RSS feed or email feed. Comment that you did it to be entered.
  • Following The Romantic Journey on Twitter. Again, comment with your Twitter username for verification.

You receive one entry for each action, so you can potentially receive eight entries.

The winner will be announced 11 January. Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. UTC on 10 January, 2010.

No transfers or substitutions.

25
Dec
09

Our Christmas Gift to You: An Interview with Debbie Mumford and a Contest

We’ve got another contest for you this Christmas. Debbie Mumford stopped by to tell us a little about herself. And, she has agreed to give one lucky reader a copy of The Silver Casket.

Cat Logan, a young American with a recent degree in medieval literature, travels to Scotland to discover her roots. She finds more than she bargained for when a mysterious silver casket (rumored to hold the desiccated heart of a long dead Scottish laird) transports her back in time to the 1400s and the man whose heart she holds in her hands.

Romantic Journey: Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your holiday preparation to chat with us. How did you first get published?

Debbie Mumford: My first published piece was a children’s story in an ezine. I actually published several short stories in online venues before I found Freya’s Bower. Credit for that connection goes to Romance Divas! I joined RD, and a couple of weeks later saw an announcement of a new e-publisher that was asking for writing samples. I sent one in and was contacted in a matter of hours. Talk about thrilling!

Freya’s Bower asked me to write two related short stories to help them launch. After that, I submitted a novella, Sorcha’s Heart, and the rest is history.

RJ: Do you have another job? If so, what is it?

DM: Well, I did until the current recession hit *sigh* I’ve been a technical writer in the land use / land planning field.

RJ: How does a typical work day unfold? Do you clean first or write first? How do you let your family know when you are in serious writing mode?

DM: When I was employed, I got up at 5:30 a.m., wrote for an hour, and then prepared for my day at the office. Now my schedule is a bit more relaxed, but I’m still a morning writer. I prefer to get my pages done before I move on to other things.

RJ: What is the biggest blooper you’ve written?

DM: Oh! My first published novel, Second Sight, was a nightmare. I wrote it during NaNoWriMo one year, and almost gave up on it before it was in marketable condition. I have my Freya’s Bower editor to thank for its continued existence. If she hadn’t encouraged and poked and prodded, I’d’ve given up on the sucker.

RJ: And what line that you’ve written continues to amaze you?

DM: I love this one from near the end of a YA book my agent is currently shopping:

Being bodiless, I was beyond the rush of chemicals we understand as emotion, but I watched with sublime awe as the dragon who had taught me to accept myself transformed into the faery I would have loved.

RJ: What are your five favorite books? What lessons have you applied from them to your own writing?

DM: Oh, wow. You’re limiting me to five?

  1. Any of the Pern novels by Anne McCaffrey – I love dragons and Anne taught me that they could be intelligent, caring, and heroic. [RJ: Look for a photo of Debbie with Anny McCaffrey–also one of my formative writers–on her website.]
  2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – Tolkien taught me that faery stories aren’t just for children, that fantasy is ageless.
  3. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – Rowling taught me to accept the magic in my soul.
  4. White Lies by Linda Howard – one of her early romances that caught my heart and taught me to love the romance genre.
  5. Any of Nora Roberts’ fantasy trilogies – Nora has taught me many things, but I love how she manages to blend fantasy with romance in a contemporary setting. Amazing.

Yes, I know. I cheated. That’s a lot more than five books, but honestly! I was a reader long before I was a writer.

RJ: The Silver Casket includes time travel. What drew you to the concept of time travel? What inspired the love story?

DM: I love time travel stories. I think the first one I ever read was “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” by Mark Twain.

I love them when the heroine is taken back in time, as she is in The Silver Casket, and I love them when the hero comes forward in time, as in the movie Kate & Leopold. The imbalance in societal values and general knowledge of the world provides such wonderful intrinsic conflict. I’d always wanted to try my hand at one.

As to the love story, well…that one is pure wish fulfillment!

RJ: Christmas-themed romance stories—love them or leave them?

DM: Who doesn’t love a romance involving snow, and holiday lights, and warm, cozy nights curled in front of a crackling fire? I like romance at any time of the year!

RJ: If your ship were sinking and you could grab one thing on the way to the lifeboat, what would it be? Go on instinct here; don’t let common sense interfere with you as you grab your hairdryer or laptop instead of food to take to the desert island.

DM: My laptop, of course! Who cares that the battery will die in hours? I’m sure my own personal Robinson Crusoe will figure out a way to power it once we reach the desert island. I’m nothing if not optimistic!

RJ: Thanks again, Debbie. It was great findingout more about you and your work.

Okay, readers, now for the fun part. Here’s how to enter the random drawing for a copy of The Silver Casket:

  • Commenting on this post.
  • Tweeting a link to this post in Twitter. You’ll need to comment letting us know that you tweeted. Include your Twitter username for verification.
  • Posting a link on Facebook. Again, comment letting us know that you posted the link.
  • Following The Romantic Journey in the Facebook Networked Blogs application.
  • Adding The Romantic Journey to your blogroll. Comment that you did that and include a link for verification.
  • Posting something about The Romantic Journey on your blog. Comment that you did it and include a link for verification.
  • Subscribing to the RSS feed or email feed. Comment that you did it to be entered.
  • Following The Romantic Journey on Twitter. Again, comment with your Twitter username for verification.

You receive one entry for each action, so you can potentially receive eight entries.

The winner will be announced 2 January. Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. UTC on 1 January, 2010.

No transfers or substitutions.

18
Dec
09

Congratulations to the Winner of Insatiable by Roxanne Rhoads

Our friends at random.org selected Tracey D., who said

Thanks for the interview; it was great.

Tracey, Check your email for download instructions from Roxanne.

Everyone else, thanks for visiting and for entering the contest!

11
Dec
09

Interview and Giveaway with Erotica Writer Roxanne Rhoads

Today, we welcome erotic writer Roxanne Rhoads, who is supporting her new release Insatiable from Eternal Press.

Insatiable tells the story of Scarlett, a small town girl whose sexual appetites drive her to the big city where she will be more accepted. In her search for new sexual adventures, Scarlett finds Marcello, a man who could offer her more than just sexual pleasure.

And, Roxanne is giving away one copy to a lucky reader; contest details appear after the interview.

Romantic Journey: Thanks for joining us today, Roxanne. How did you first get published?

Roxanne Rhoads: My very first publication came before I even finished high school. Two poems I wrote were submitted to a local magazine by my writing teacher and they were published. Since then writing has been a part of my life.

My first professional erotica story was accepted by Playgirl Magazine and that gave me the courage and confidence to write in this genre. That was in 2005.

RJ: You mentioned that your first erotic story was published in Playgirl, which is now an online only publication that focuses mainly on pictorial spreads rather than editorial pieces. How have you handle the market shifts in erotic publishing? How do you find new markets?

RR: I just try to stay up to date with what magazines and sites close and which ones open. I am always on the look out for new markets, new publications to write for. I just go with the flow. If you can’t adapt you won’t make it.

RJ: Do you have another job? If so, what is it?

RR: Wife, mother, book keeper, house cleaner — all the jobs that come with being the woman and CEO of a household. Plus I own and operate a small family business, but everything is from home. Writing is the one business I focus most on these days.

RJ: How would a typical work day unfold? Do you clean first or write first? How do you let your family know when you are in serious writing mode?

RR: I get the older kids off for school, get the younger one fed and settled in then work for a bit, then shower, eat lunch, clean house, then go back to writing. That’s a basic day unless I have an appointment or something. I also usually go back to writing after dinner.

RJ: What are your five favorite books? What lessons have you applied from them to your own writing?

RR: I have way too many favorite books. Right now the whole Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost and the Southern Witch series by Kimberly Frost.

Jeaniene does fight scenes so well, and Cat is just so rough around the edges it is endearing and Bones…well I love Bones. I love the way those two characters interact.

In Kimberly Frost’s southern witch series, she injects so much Texas wit and charm along with humor that it is a very winning combo, completely magical. I wish I could make characters jump off the page like she can.

RJ: Are you a chest or buns woman?

RR: I’m actually an arms and abs woman. Though I love a nice set of buns on a guy, who doesn’t love a great butt?

RJ: Who’s your fantasy man?

RR: Tom Welling from Smallville. OMG. Tall, beautiful, dark hair, blue eyes…he’s so damn hawt.

RJ: Definitely a good choice! Now for the last question: If your ship were sinking and you could grab one thing on the way to the lifeboat, what would it be? Go on instinct here; don’t let common sense interfere with you as you grab your hairdryer or laptop instead of food to take to the desert island.

RR: My laptop and I’d pray for wifi. LOL.

RJ: Thanks, Roxanne. It was great getting to know about you and your work.

Readers, you can keep up with Roxanne’s new releases by following her on Twitter or checking her out on MySpace.

Okay, now for the details on our contest. Roxanne is giving away a PDF download of Insatiable to one lucky reader. Here’s how to enter the random drawing:

  • Commenting on this post.
  • Tweeting a link to this post in Twitter. You’ll need to comment letting us know that you tweeted. Include your Twitter username for verification.
  • Posting a link on Facebook. Again, comment letting us know that you posted the link.
  • Following The Romantic Journey in the Facebook Networked Blogs application.
  • Adding The Romantic Journey to your blogroll. Comment that you did that and include a link for verification.
  • Posting something about The Romantic Journey on your blog. Comment that you did it and include a link for verification.
  • Subscribing to the RSS feed or email feed. Comment that you did it to be entered.
  • Following The Romantic Journey on Twitter. Again, comment with your Twitter username for verification.

You receive one entry for each action, so you can potentially receive eight entries.

The winner will be announced 18 December. Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. UTC on 17 December, 2009.

No transfers or substitutions.

01
Dec
09

Interview and Contest with Young Adult Writer Amanda Ashby

Amanda AshbyToday, we welcome young adult and mid-grades writer Amanda Ashby. Amanda’s books You Had Me At Halo and Zombie Queen of Newbury High are available for purchase. Of course, if you stick around for the interview, you’ll find a chance to win a copy of Zombie Queen at the end.

Romantic Journey: Hi Amanda, thanks for taking the time to talk to Romantic Journey. My twelve-year-old daughter loved Zombie Queen Of Newbury High. Can you give a brief synopsis and tell us what inspired you to write it?

Amanda Ashby: Yay, I’m so pleased that your daughter loved Zombie Queen of Newbury High – that’s so cool!!!

Anyway, my book is about what happens when Mia Everett does a love spell in order to stop her prom date from dumping her. However, instead of doing a love spell, she unleashes a zombie virus on her entire senior year (teachers included). She then has to work with a by-the-book zombie hunter in order to find a cure before she ends up first course on everyone’s new flesh-only diet.

As for the idea, well I used to always threaten my critique partners that if they weren’t careful I would write a book called I WAS A KILLER ZOMBIE BRIDE and make them read it. Of course the more I said it, the funnier it became until I suddenly thought perhaps I should write a zombie book.

This was over two years ago when it was all about vampires so I really wasn’t sure if there would even be a market for it, however the minute I pitched it to my agent she was very keen and she managed to sell the book two weeks after she submitted it. Then, by the time it came out, zombies had become the new big thing so it was all a case of right place at the right time!!!!

RJ: Can you tell us the names of any other books you have published?

AA: My debut book was called You Had Me at Halo and was the story of a dead girl who got kicked out of heaven and forced to go back to earth and sort out her issues. Only hitch is that she has to do it in a guy’s body – while the guy is still in there (body stealing dead girls – ring any bells, Michelle??!!!!!)

RJ: How did you first get published?

AA: I tried to get published for many years and while I often got close, nothing quite seemed to work. Then in 2005, my dad died. I was living in England at the time and I flew back to Australia for the funeral. It was a pretty awful but throughout the day I kept imagining that he was doing a sort of commentary of the funeral, from up in heaven – and let’s just say he wasn’t best pleased with some of the details!

Anyway, three weeks after I got back to England I had an idea for a girl who was looking down on her own funeral. From that moment I was hooked and I wrote the book in about three weeks. Not long after that I signed with my fabulous agent, Jenny Bent in New York and she went and sold it to NAL who are part of Penguin in the US.

Zombie Queen of Newbury HighRJ: If you weren’t a writer what would be your ideal occupation?

AA: Honestly, I’ve never found a job that I love as much as writing so I’m going to just ignore this question since I don’t want to give the universe any nasty ideas!

RJ: Do you have another job? If so, what is it?

AA: I work every weekend at the Napier library at the children/teen desk, which is ideal for me. Firstly because it’s not full time so it gives me plenty of time to write during the week and be with my kids when they finish school etc, plus I get first dibs on all the new books that come through get to help kids choose some really great books to read!!!

RJ: What’s the worst/weirdest job you’ve ever had?

AA: I once had a part time job sitting in a room filled with cut up foam and we had to stuff it into these meter long brown faux leather tubes that were going to go on a giant echidna for part of a big procession. We did it for a week before the designer decided that the quills looked to limp and they would make them out of fiberglass instead!

RJ: How would a typical work day unfold?

AA: I check my emails while I’m eating breakfast and then I take the kids to school (notice I’m glossing over the dramas of getting the kids ready ‘to’ take them to school).

Then I go for a walk along the beach and back home to write. I do tend to muck around on the Internet too much as well but I try and give myself a word count so that by the time I go and collect the kids, I don’t feel like a complete slacker.

RJ: How do you let your family know when you are in serious writing mode?

AA: It’s a very subtle process that I’ve developed over the years and it normally involves shouting, swearing, burning their dinner and generally behaving like a demented person so that they then try and avoid me at all costs. It’s been surprisingly effective!!!!!

RJ: What is the biggest blooper you’ve ever written?

AA: I’m an impatient Aries with absolute no eye for detail At All so I have a huge number of bloopers to choose from, though my absolute favorite is from You Had Me at Halo when Holly, the heroine, passed Vince, the hero, a drink. Unfortunately, as my critique partner pointed out, since they were actually in the same body, all that happened was that the drink was passed from one hand to the other!!!!!

Thankfully that was caught before the book was sold, but it still makes me smile!!!!

RJ: And what line that you’ve written continues to amaze you? This can be in a bad or good way – we really don’t mind.

AA: I’ve got a very bad habit of laughing at my own jokes so I’m constantly writing lines that I think are thigh-slapping hilarious and everyone else thinks are just ‘eh, okay’. Still, I suppose as long as I amuse myself, that’s all that matters.

One of my favorite lines from Zombie is when Candice and Samantha are on the verge of turning into zombies:

“Well, that’s not fair.” Samantha pouted. “First I can’t eat any more cobb salads and now I can’t eat Mia Everett?”

“Of course you can’t eat Mia Everett,” Candice retorted in a disgusted voice. “You don’t even like Mia. You tried to steal her prom date. Besides, I’m her best friend, so if anyone gets to eat her, it will be me.”

RJ: What are your five favorite books? What lessons have you applied from them to your own writing?

AA:

  • The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula Le Guin
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Arabella by Georgette Heyer
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Magician by Raymond E Feist

Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer have taught me to look for the humor in everyday situations and build it through characterization, while Ursula Le Guin, Suzanne Collins and Raymond E Feist are a constant reminder to me of how much I love fantasy and books that have complex world building (something that I’m very bad at unfortunately).

RJ: Can you give readers the links to any social networks you have?

AA: I tweet as @amandaashby. I talk books at goodreads.  I also spend time on Facebook – just visit my website to get the link.

RJ: Are you a chest or buns woman? Please give examples of an ideal chest or set of buns and marks out of ten.

AA: What? I have to choose? Because really I don’t think that’s fair!

Okay, if pushed I do like a nice chest! Some of the most drool-worthy ones I’ve seen in the movies/tv belong to:

  • my first true love, David Boreanaz who took his shirt off numerous times in Buffy and Angel – thank you Joss Whedon for your vision!
  • Ryan Reynolds in Blade 3 (seriously, my jaw fell open when he got his shirt off. Of course it helps that he’s so pretty to look at as well)
  • and absolutely no chest list would be complete without Gerard Butler in 300 – I mean seriously did you see that twenty-four pack? It was insane.

RJ: Who’s your fantasy man?

AA: David Boreanaz.

RJ: If your life were ever made into a movie, which actress would you like to play you? Why? To play your husband? Gross miscasting is acceptable.

AA: Well obviously my husband would be David Boreanaz and since I’m not exactly a sharer, there is no way I would cast anyone else to play me because that would just be crazy!!!!!!

RJ: If Zombie Queen of Newbury High were ever made into a movie who would you want to play Mia? And Chase?

AA: Chace Crawford from Gossip Girls is pretty cute – and no, my Chase isn’t named after him since I wrote the book long before I saw the show! As for Mia, it’s a toughie because the actresses I like are probably a bit too old to play her now so how about I just let some unknown girl get the role!

RJ: If your ship was sinking and you could grab one thing on the way to the lifeboat, what would it be? Go on instinct here; don’t let common sense interfere as you grab your hairdryer or laptop instead of food to take to the desert island.

AA: Books. I couldn’t survive without books to read

RJ: And last, spill the beans about what you’re writing at the moment and when it will be released.

AA: I’m working on book two in my new mid-grade series about an eleven year old who gets turned into a djinn (genie) the day before she starts sixth grade.

It’s lots of fun – well it’s fun for me, not so much fun for my poor heroine Sophie, who despite being a very positive person is struggling with getting her powers under control, none of which is helped by her ridiculously annoying ghostly djinn guide, who looks like Zac Efron’s older brother and has an unhealthy addiction to junk food and American Idol. The first book is out in Summer 2011.

I also have another young adult book called Fairy Bad Day, which will be out in Spring 2011.

RJ: Thanks, Amanda, that was great. I know my daughter will be keeping a close watch for when your next book hits the shelves.

 


Amanda is giving away a copy of Zombie Queen to one of our lucky readers. Enter the random drawing by:

 

  • Commenting on this post.
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You receive one entry for each action, so you can potentially receive eight entries.

The winner will be announced 8 December. Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. UTC on 7 December, 2009.

No transfers or substitutions.




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