I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Thursday, June 30, 2011

GUEST AUTHOR: Amanda Ashby

A change of pace for this interview - time to ask some new questions for a different slant from those in my hot seat.

My guest author today hates bananas, loves Joss Whedon (don’t we all?!?!), collects old handbags, makes the best coconut, cream cheese and cherry muffins, is a football nut (soccer, not rugby, league, Aussie Rules or gridiron) and believes David Boreanaz is a God.

Now for the more official version of her bio…

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia, has spent eight years in England and currently lives in New Zealand. When she's not moving country, she also likes to write books (okay, she also likes to eat chocolate, watch television and sit around doing not much, but let's just keep that amongst ourselves, shall we?).

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children.

As well as writing, she works part-time at the children/teen desk of her local library, which basically means that someone pays her to talk about books.

Her debut book, YOU HAD ME AT HALO was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her current book ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH was listed by the New York Public Library's Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 as well as being nominated for the YALSA popular paperback 2011.

Amanda, welcome back to my blog! It’s great to see you again. She visited back in January this year, if anyone wants to go back and read that interview.

Let's get the low down on her latest release.

Title – FAIRY BAD DAY (out July 9th in the USA, and July 27th in Aust/NZ).

Setting – YA contemporary/paranormal.

Hero – Curtis Green.

Heroine – Emma Jones.

Scene you would never cut - The library scene when Emma and Curtis both have their chins on the desk while they are talking to each other.

Something your hero or heroine would never do or say - Emma would never say ‘eek, I’ve broken a nail’ and Curtis would never say ‘I hate you.’

What's one quirky thing about your hero/heroine?
Emma is pretty serious so I would say that her quirkiest feature is her self-delusions!! As for Curtis, right now his quirkiest thing is his adorable half smile and the fact that he’s got a broken leg and has to get around on crutches!

What do you think the readers will like about this book?
It’s nice and light and won’t make their head hurt. Plus the cover is really very adorable!

Book blurb –
While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot.
Then she sees a giant killer fairy - and it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help.
Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it's going to be a fairy bad day? 

What's next for you?
I’ve got a Mid Grade trilogy that should start coming out next year as well as another YA novel that is scheduled for late 2012 or early 2013, plus I’m really excited about the projects that I’m working on now so watch this space!

Favorite movie of all time – Toss up between Star Wars and Clueless (which again explains a lot about me as a writer!)

Favorite fairytale - Anything by Hans Christian Anderson.

Favorite story to disappear into - I’m a big Raymond E Feist fan and every year I look forward to a new book so that I can disappear back to Midkemia (and Kelewan since I’m just about to re-read Daughter of the Empire!).

Favorite TV program - So many that I couldn’t possibly pick one! I’m a massive fan of Buffy/Angel/Firefly as well as Deadwood, Skins and Friends.

First book you remember reading - When I was ten I remember reading Trixie Belden and THE HOBBIT in close succession (which is sort of a weird mix, but explains a lot about me as a writer!!!!).

Dog or cat person (or other) - Equal opportunity! Cats are so smart but dogs are so cute!

Author (living or dead) you'd most like to meet - Georgette Heyer or Jane Austen. Or both!

A romantic retreat for you would be... Sand. Water. Wine and a distinct lack of children (my own I mean, because while I love them dearly, it’s nice to have a break sometimes!!!).

What do you do to unwind or relax?
I try and walk for an hour everyday and it’s the perfect way to right the world and listen to music all while getting rid of the sneaky Twix bar that I no doubt ate for breakfast!

What era would you like to time travel and visit? And why?
Regency England, which is of course ridiculous because I’m sure it doesn’t look like a Pride and Prejudice set, but I’m stubborn so I really want to see for myself what it was like!

What does love mean to you?
Love to me is actions not words. It’s easy to say lots of fancy things but I prefer to see those words put into something physical and concrete – both in real life and in books/movies.

Amanda, thanks for being such a sport and answering all my questions. Here's to a FAIRY BAD DAY flying off the bookshelves (groan, yeah - OK, so that wasn't the best pun invented)!

Good news is Amanda has one copy of FAIRY BAD DAY to give away (open internationally) - woohoo!

**Keeping in with the theme of FAIRY BAD DAY, share with us your favorite paranormal creature - nice or nasty - and why you like it.**

All answers put in by Wednesday, 6th July 2011 (noon Aussie time) will go into the draw. Just in time for FBD's release on the 9th (USA only - for Aussie/NZ'ers we have to wait until the 27th July).

Amanda's other books:

You Had Me At Halo
Zombie Queen of Newberry High

Amanda's website has excerpts and more details about her books.


  1. The hobbit. Trixie Belden. Feist. Deadwood. Buffy... Wow, we share some fave influences! Great cover Amanda and great interview! Like the new style Kylie!
    As to fave paranormal creature? Gotta be the Fae to me. I'm talking the dark, dangerous, sexy ones (: Or even ones like Terry Pratchett's take.

  2. Ahh, Bec, you names quite a few great nice and nasties! LOL Trixie Belden? Hmm, I guess she did come up against some haunted places and strange phenomena.

    Thanks for liking the new interview style. Thought a change would be as good as a holiday! Speaking of which, I must dash! :-)

  3. Hi Amanda!! (and Kylie)

    I've already got a copy of "Fairy Bad Day"--so don't put me into a draw-- and I absolutely loved it. Seriously loved it. It was a "Fairy Fun Read" with a "Fairy Kick-Butt Heroine", a "Fairy Gorgeous Hero" and some "Fairy Hysterical Fairies".

    The paranormal creature I've wanted (read "been desperate to have") ever since I saw the movie "The Never Ending Story" is a Luck Dragon like Falkor. Oh, I *sooooooooo* want one of those. He's a major fantasy of mine--a huge flying, talking dog (more or less).
    Why? Ummmm. Because?


  4. I love the paranormal genre and often find they are darker read, but I don't mind at all. However, it's a pleasant and refreshing surprise to find a light-hearted story like Fairy Bad Day. My favorite paranormal creature, among many I would say Fairies. There is something mystical and magical about them. It's their nature, whether they are fairy godmothers, troublemakers they are quite amusing. I think it will be a treat to see how Emma deal with them.

  5. Ah Trixie. I remember her fondly (along with the Katy books). Amanda you have such good taste with all that Joss goodness (course I'm going to say this) & a watery hideaway sounds wonderful. I agree with you about love. Words can be too easy, but actions speak volumes.

    Oh and creature - mermaids. Of course. Always been fascinated by them, wanted to be able to become one. Would watch anything with underwater worlds (even the Man from Atlantis...). I now indulge in this by having my own underwater worlds in my head (though my mermaid is nothing like Hans Christian Anderson, though a cousin of hers is responsible for his story *lol*).

    Liking the colour makeover Kylie (but then I'm always a sucker for colour).

  6. ET for me! I remember grumbling about taking the kids to see the movie when it came out - only to find myself howling buckets because I so loved the cute quirky lonely little thing - and not wanting the story to be over!

    And fairies of course - though mine tend to be slightly less 'attitudinal' than Amanda's :-) Fair(y) enough???

  7. Does Spike count as a paranormal creature? He's a honey of a bad boy, that's for certain. I'm still hoping for a spin-off TV show for Captain Peroxide. :D

  8. Centaurs. I was always fascinated by the creature that was half-man, half horse as a child. Must admit, my burning question then (and now if I'm honest) is how do they go to the toilet? : ) Maybe I might move on to Fallen Angels instead - much sexier!

  9. If Spike counts - I'm in too. Just loved his naughtiness and the chemistry between him and Buffy!

  10. Trixie, Nancy Drew and The hardy boys were my steady diet in primary school.

    As for creature it has to be a werewolf. I just can't get enough of them. Weather it is from True Blood or Harry Potter.

  11. Great interview Kylie and great insights Amanda! Thankyou - it was a fun read. I'm really looking forward to 'Fairy Bad Day' - it's a fabulous title. I loved Zombie Queen so I know this one will be brilliant.

    As for me and paranormal creatures? Yeah well -I'm the total wimp when it comes to scaries. I was the kid behind the lounge when Dr Who was on teev. Still the one behind the lounge... Sigh. I admit there is a bad boy appeal about Fallen Angels though...

    Can't wait for FBD, Amanda - good luck and I hope it sells a sqillion.xx Kaz Delaney

  12. I've been tardy this week - on holiday and no internet access! Yikes! But lots of great paranormal creatures being listed here, folks! :-)

  13. Kylie - thanks for hosting me and thanks for all the great comments. Sorry I'm so late to swing by. Moving country has totally screwed up by Internet time (booooooo!)