My special guest today is my fabulous CP and fellow Witch, Amanda Ashby, who's celebrating the release of her debut Young Adult novel, Zombie Queen of Newbury High.
Okay Amanda, it's over to you!
Amanda Ashby was born in Australia and has spent the last ten years dividing her time between England and New Zealand. When she’s not moving countries, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to watch television, eat chocolate and sit around doing not much, but let's just keep that between ourselves, shall we?). She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two young children. Her debut adult book You Had Me at Halo has been nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award. This is her first book for young adults. Visit her on the web
Can you tell us a little about your book?
ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH is the story of what happens when a teenage girl tries to do a love spell to stop her prom date from dumping her but instead she accidentally turns the entire senior year into flesh-eating zombies (seriously, it could've happened to anyone). Then she is forced to work with a do-it-by-the-book zombie hunter hottie to try and find a cure before she ends up being first course in an all-you-can-eat-buffet.
We're dying to know, how did the idea for the plot come about?
Well, Christina, like you I am a very deep thinker, so obviously the idea didn't come about because I thought the word 'zombie' was funny. Nor did it come about because I use to jokingly threaten my cps that if all else failed I could always write a book called, 'I Was a Killer Zombie Bride' because either of those reasons would make me come across as silly and a perhaps a little bit shallow. Er, so how about we move onto the next question?
(C) Um yeah, deep thinker... that's me...
I love sale stories (ok I am just nosy!!) so can you tell us about your road to publication - and your call story?
You say road, I say long and winding stone track that was filled with potholes and large immovable objects in the way!!!! Basically I had been writing for about six years (okay, so longer than that but the other manuscripts were so bad that I really can't count them!). Anyway, I knew I was getting closer, but I still couldn't break through.
Then in 2005 my father died. I was living in England at the time and I had to fly back to Australia for the funeral (had I mentioned that I'd just returned from my final visit to see him a week earlier?). Anyway, the day of his funeral was surreal. Not only was I jet-lagged and in shock, but I somehow ended up having an imaginary conversation with my dad (that's right, the dead one). A couple weeks later I suddenly got an idea about another dead person who was watching their funeral and from there the story poured out of me. I finished it three weeks later, signed with an agent not long after and she sold the book two weeks after she submitted it. Sometimes it still doesn't feel real but there is no doubt in my mind that my dad managed to pull a few strings from up above!
We are all about the love here, so please share your fave books, movies, TV shows or current fantasy squeeze (it's all in the line of research!)
It is no secret that I'm a MASSIVE Buffy/Angel/Firefly fan (and if you didn't know that, you would probably guess once you read ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH since in a wild coincidence, so is my heroine, Mia. Go figure!). My other all time favorite television show that I can watch over and over again is Friends. It's just so funny and it never ceases to make me laugh - I'm all for the laughing!
I can't quite believe Amanda didn't mention her not-so secret-beloved, so because I am a very kind, sensitive CP I've posted up a naked photo here of David Boreanaz for her to drool over.
And of course Christina is almost beside herself with excitement now that I've finally seen the light and started watching Battlestar Galactica. What can I say about that show apart from the fact it's awesomely amazing (okay, I could actually say a lot more but then that would just set Christina off and in turn the world would see us for the couple of pathetic fangirls that we are!!!!! So don't worry, Christina - your secret is safe with me...)
Thanks, Amanda. That's a relief...
Can you tell us what you're working on now?
I recently finished another young adult book about a girl who can see invisible killer fairies (and we're not talking Tinkerbell with a bad attitude) and now I'm working on a mid grade book which is lots of fun and I've only rewritten about one hundred times!!!
How can readers keep up with your writing and books?
This will take you to my website, which will take you to my blog, which will take you to my twitter account, which will...well, you get the picture!!!