Amanda Ashley – Interview & Giveaway
Sidhe Vicious welcomes Paranormal Romance author Amanda Ashley! We’re looking forward to getting to know you and all about your latest novel Everlasting Kiss. I personally am really excited because I consider you to be one of the true pioneers of the Paranormal Romance genre! 🙂
Sidhe – Your Paranormal Romance novel, Everlasting Kiss will be released on January 26th, 2010 by Kensington. Can you tell us about it and a bit about the main characters Daisy & Eric?
Amanda – Well, Erik is a 325 year old vampire. Daisy is just your average young woman who belongs to a family of vampire hunters and blood thieves. Vampire blood is quite the rage among humans these days and that’s how Daisy makes her living, stealing blood from vampires while they’re at rest. Of course, it’s inevitable that Daisy and Erik meet, neither knowing what the other is or does.
Sidhe – What about vampires inspired you to write about them?
Amanda – They’re just such fascinating creatures. I mean, except for the blood part, who wouldn’t want to be a vampire? They never get sick, they’re really strong, and they never grow older. Sounds good to me!
Sidhe – Me too! Will we be seeing more vampires in your books in the future? Are you working on anything new?
Amanda – Oh, yes! I’m just winding up my current work-in-progress. And the sequel to Everlasting Kiss, Everlasting Desire, will be out in October. I loved the bad boy, Rhys, in Everlasting Kiss so much; I decided he needed a story of his own.
Sidhe – I agree! Rhys definitely deserves his own book. How did you get your start in writing? What, if anything, lit the “spark” to get you started and keep you motivated?
Amanda – I started writing because I was bored. My husband worked nights and after my kids went to bed, there was nothing to do but watch TV. I’d been reading a lot of historical romances at the time and one night I sat down and started writing Comanche Flame. I’ve been writing ever since.
Sidhe – What was the path to publication on your first PR novel like? Highlights? Pitfalls?
Amanda – It was a much smoother path than the historical one. It took me six years and 31 rejections to find a publisher for my first historical. The opportunity to write my first PR was offered to me by my agent, who asked if I’d be interested in writing a paranormal short story for Topaz. I wrote about a vampire, of course, and liked it so much, I’ve been writing them ever since.
Sidhe – Who or what was your inspiration for the characters of Daisy & Eric, if any?
Amanda – Hmmm. None that I can think of. The idea just came to me. Most of my books begin with a single line that comes to me out of nowhere. I follow the line and hope it turns into a book. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.
Sidhe – Do you find it harder or easier to write PR novels now that the genre has exploded, than it was to write them back in the beginning?
Amanda – For me, it hasn’t changed. Of course, there’s a lot more competition now. It seems everyone is writing about the Undead!
Sidhe – For which I am eternally grateful, though my pocketbook isn’t. Do you have any funny writing quirks or habits that you do when you’re in the “zone” writing?
Amanda – LOL. None that I can think of. I usually have my TV on. Not sure why, except I like noise in the background for some reason. When I’m in the “zone” I can write anywhere. Years ago, I bowled on a league with my best friend. If I was struck with inspiration, I wrote between frames.
Sidhe – Have you ever met a vampire, werewolf, demon, fae?
Amanda – Well, when writing, I am all of the above. Sometimes I think my husband is a demon, but I think most women feel that way from time to time <G>
Sidhe – What supernatural power or creature would you most like to have or be?
Amanda – I’d love to have a fairy godmother who would make me young and thin and make chocolate good for me!
Sidhe – Me too! There is NOTHING that chocolate doesn’t make better. Who is your favourite paranormal or urban fantasy fictional character and why? (Not counting your own of courseJ)
Amanda – Harry Dresden (The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher). Harry is a fascinating character with a wry sense of humour and his world is filled with all kinds of paranormal creatures and monsters as well as angels.
Sidhe – Who’s your favourite author? TV show? Movie?
Amanda – Gosh, it’s hard to pick one author. Kay Hooper is right up there at the top.
TV show? That’s easy. The Vampire Diaries. I love Damon! Movie? Right now, it’s New Moon.
Sidhe – If you could choose one fictional character to bring into real life, who would you choose?
Amanda – Jacob Black! Be still my heart, that boy is gorgeous.
Sidhe – Tell me about it! I should probably be in jail for some of the thoughts that have crossed my mind while looking at that young man, lol. But I’m still team Edward. How have the books you’ve read influenced the books you write?
Amanda – I think Interview With a Vampire probably influenced me the most. I wasn’t writing Vampires when I read it, but I loved Lestat. He was so at home in his own skin.
Sidhe – What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever gotten inspiration from?
Amanda – Hmm, I can’t think of anything strange, but it was my oldest son who prompted me to write my first time travel book.
Sidhe – What do you do when you’re having writer’s block to “shake” it off?
Amanda – I go to the movies or shopping or take a walk. If my Muse takes a hike, there’s no point in sitting in front of the computer waiting for her to come back. Better to take a break and go have some fun.
Sidhe – What can a new reader expect from your books?
Amanda – Hopefully a good story with interesting characters that will leave them wanting more.
Sidhe – You seem to prefer writing about Vampires, (Whom we all love *G*). Do you do a lot of research or do you prefer to take what you already know and use your imagination for the rest?
Amanda – Both. I have a lot of books about vampires in my personal library and, of course, there are tons of vamp sites on the Web.
Sidhe – Are any of your characters particularly fun or easy for you to write? Any that are more difficult?
Amanda – I loved writing about Rhys in Everlasting Desire. He’s one of my favourite characters. Writing about Ronan in Dead Sexy was fun, because he was a romance writer and some of things that happened to him, happened to me.
At the moment, I’m having trouble deciding how to knock off the bad buy in my work-in-progress. I know what I want to do. I just can’t figure out how to get there. It’s very frustrating.
Sidhe – Do you have any tips for aspiring speculative fiction writers?
Amanda – Just to write what they love to read and not to be discouraged by rejection. Remember, when an editor rejects your work, it’s just one person’s opinion, so don’t give up. Enter contests. It’s a good way to get feedback on your work.
Sidhe – Is there anything else you’d like to share with us at Sidhe Vicious Reviews and with your readers?
Amanda – I’d like to thank all those who take the time to write and tell me how much they enjoy my books. Most of the reviews I get on Amazon are negative. Some are downright nasty, so much so that for a while there, I thought I’d just stop writing, so positive email is very rewarding.
And thank you, Sidhe, for your wonderful reviews and for having me here.
Sidhe Vicious Reviews would like to thank you for taking the time to come by and give us this great inside look into your world and your writing! It’s been a true pleasure. 🙂 And might I add that I, for one, am truly grateful that you didn’t give up on the writing! I love that there are so many different authors and styles of writing or it would get old quick.
Amanda Ashley is graciously offering up a signed copy of Everlasting Kiss OR one of Amanda’s backlist of previously published books to one randomly picked commenter. Giveaway is open to those in the USA & Canada.
What type of vampire is your favourite? Do you like them rash, wild and dangerous like Lestat? Quiet, tortured and contemplative like Louis? Sparkly, gorgeous and fangless like Edward? Or exciting, sinfully sexy and unpredictable like Eric Northman? What is it about vampires that revs your motor? 😀
Amanda may also be popping by for the next day or two to reply to comments, so if you have any burning questions for her, feel free to ask away.
For one entry: Please leave a comment with the answer to the question. (+1 entry)
For extra entries:
– Subscribe to my blog, Sidhe Vicious Reviews, through the links at the top right hand side of the blog, and let me know in your comment. Be sure you verify your subscription through the email you’ll receive or it won’t count. (+1 entry)
– If you’re already subscribed, you’ll receive an extra entry, but be sure to let me know in the comments. (+2 entries)
– Post a link to this contest on your Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, GoodReads, LibraryThing, or on your blog and send me the link either in the comments or by email and you’ll get an extra entry for each place you add a link to. (+? entries, insert however many links you’ve done)
Contest is open to USA & Canada only and will run through January 31st until 11:59pm. The winners will be posted here on Feb 1st. Please leave your email addy in your comment for me to contact you if you’ve won. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 7 days, a new winner will be drawn from the eligible comments. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator. Good Luck everyone! 🙂