Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Writing Buddy Wednesday: Amanda Ashby

Today on Writing Buddy Wednesday, I have the wonderfully witty YA author, Darksider Amanda Ashby. I've known Amanda for a few years now via cyberland and have been lucky enough to meet at conferences a couple of times. I've read her YA books and have loved them. Totally fun reads.

Now let's have a chat with the talented, Amanda. 

In 2012, you had a busy year with your all the books of Sophie’s Mixed Up Magic series books being released. How did you cope with such a schedule? And can you tell us a bit about the books?

The Sophie’s Mixed-Up Magic series is about an eleven year old girl who (accidently) gets turned into a djinn the day before she’s due to start sixth grade. She then has to learn to use her new powers—including being turned orange—with the help of her dead djinn guide, Malik. Unfortunately, Malik tends to create more problems than he solves. The books were actually inspired by my love of old TV shows like Bewitched and The Ghost and Mrs Muir and they really were lots of fun to write!

Even though they were all released close together, I had about eighteen months to write and edit them so it really wasn’t that hectic. Actually, the best part of having them all out like that was that I got all the covers at the same time!

In August your next book, Demonosity, is scheduled for release. Tell us a little about this book and how it came about.

Demonosity is about Cassidy Carter-Lewis, a girl who unwittingly becomes a guardian for an ancient alchemist treasure called the Black Rose. She needs to protect it from a horde of demon knights who have travelled forward in time to find it. Unfortunately, the Black Rose has housed itself in the body of the most popular girl in school, which makes Cassidy’s job even harder. It’s a bit darker than my other books and definitely has a lot more sword fighting and cute guys in it so I’m excited to see if readers enjoy it!

The idea for the book has been with me for a long time when I read about the Rosicurianism and alchemy. There was so much cool stuff there but despite how many times I toyed with it, I could never come up with a plot to do it justice. Then my agent emailed me to ask me what happened to the outline I had promised her months earlier. It had been for another book idea that I’d since discarded so in a blind panic, I forced myself to get a plot for my alchemist book. I then spent the entire weekend writing a very long outline, which I sent to my agent. I thought she would read it and then say whether she thought the story had merit. But instead she sent it directly to my editor who bought the book (if only it always happened like that!) 

What is it about the YA/MG genre you enjoy and are attracted to?

Everything! And I meant that in a literal sense because the genre is so wide! There are romances, tragedies and action books all under the same umbrella and it means as a writer you don’t have any boundaries, which I love. The other reason I love YA and MG is because these are the books I read.

What or who inspired you to write?

Writing was such a gradual process for me that I really can’t trace what the inspiration was. But I do know that books have always been a huge part of my life. I’ve always been a reader and since I’ve never had any other career ambition I think it just gradually dawned on me that perhaps I should try and do something that I’m really passionate about. Plus, the idea of not having to leave the house and brush my hair is very appealing! 

What do you love about being a writer? 

See above! But seriously, the things I love best about being a writer is being surrounded by other writers and readers. Because books are so important to me I just really love talking about them – though not about my books since that is normally hideously embarrassing and makes me pull strange faces!

What are you working on now? And what’s in the near future for Amanda Ashby? 

I’m working on two new Middle Grade projects and a new Young Adult book as well. I’ve also been moving a bit away from paranormal and more into science fiction and fantasy, which has been both challenging and really satisfying all at the same time!

What would be your ultimate research trip? ;))

I’d love to spend a month in California and just hang out. Most of my books are set there so it would be fun to actually see what it looks like!!

Thanks, Amanda!

Other YA books include:


Check out book 1 of the Sophie's Mixed-Up Magic, Wishful Thinking

Be careful what you wish for…

After Sophie accidentally gets herself turned into a djinn, she starts to think that it might not be so bad after all. (Of course, that’s after she gets the whole orange skin problem sorted out.) Who wouldn’t enjoy having the power to grant wishes! But when Sophie develops RWD (Random Wish Disorder) and can’t STOP granting wishes, things get more than a little mixed-up!

Puffin June 14 2012
ISBN 978-0142412565

Book Depository

You can catch Amanda on her websiteblogTwitterGoodreads and Facebook.



Efthalia Pegios said...

Great post Amanda. I have to agree that brushing the hair thing is a dead winner for me too. :)

I love the covers on your books, they suite the titles so well. Demonosity looks like a whole lot of fun. I have to add it to my list of TBR.


Amanda Ashby said...

Efthalia - hair brushing is soooo over-rated!!!!

Helen - thank you so much for letting me hang out with you!

Kelly Ethan said...

oooo science fiction and fantasy. Sounds interesting. Care to hint?
Kelly Ethan

Eleni Konstantine said...

Amanda, it's a real pleasure having you on my blog. You know how much I love your books.

Oh dear, I look like Medusa if I don't brush my hair.

Thanks for popping in Effie and Kelly - and Kelly I'm really interested in the answer too :)

Amanda Ashby said...

Kelly - think Mulan meets Star Wars! It's not contracted yet so it might never see the light of day but I'm enjoying writing it, which always helps!

Helen - I look like an 80s heavy metal rock star when I don't brush my hair, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to stop it from happening!!!!!

Eleni Konstantine said...

Then embrace the metal rock chick style and rock on! :)

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