Guest Star: Amanda Ashby!

My Guest Star author this week is Amanda Ashby, author of the brand new novel, Fairy Bad Day

I ordered my copy last week and let me say, it looks fantastic! I can’t wait to start reading!


It’s going to be a fairy bad day…

First, my rightful designation of dragon slayer is STOLEN right out from under me by Curtis Green. Sure, he’s really cute, but that doesn’t give him an excuse.

On top of that, I am assigned to slay fairies. I know what you’re thinking—how hard could it be, right? Wrong! These menacing beasts with their tiny hipster clothes and mocking sarcasm love taunting me. And they won’t STOP!

But the thing that tops my list of stuff to ruin my day? That would be the GIANT KILLER FAIRY that I have to hunt down and slay because I am the only one who can see it. There is someone who can help me. Unfortunately…it’s Curtis.

“Teens with a taste for the paranormal school story and a tolerance for raucous humor will be involved with and amused by this romantic fantasy. The exciting plot, humor throughout—often provided by the little fairies—and relatively innocent romance between characters will grab readers and keep them involved. ” Kirkus Reviews

“In a fun mashup of the modern and the magical, Ashby (Zombie Queen of Newbury High) creates nicely developed characters and supports them with strong plotting and zippy writing. Laced with humor, danger, and romance, this book will have readers smiling all the way to the last page.” Publisher’s Weekly

And here’s an awesome interview with Amanda!

What fictional character would you like to have coffee with?

Bartimaeus from Jonathan Stroud’s amazing series or Stephanie Plum from Janet Evanovich. Or both. In fact I think they’d have a lot in common since they both accidently get into lots of trouble despite having the best of intentions and while I’m not sure that Bartimaeus has blown up as many cars as Stephanie has, he’s sure pissed off his fair share of Kings, which has to count for something!

As writers, we all love to procrastinate. What’s your favorite procrastination activity?

Twittering with Jessica Brody about our shared love of English nineties pop music and chocolate bars. I also tend to check pinkisthenewblog a zillion times a day for my latest celebrity gossip (for research purposes obviously!)

Who’s your favorite character in the book and why? Who was the most fun to write?

I really loved writing Emma, my main character. She’s quite bolshy (and I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that some people might find her annoying) but I just really felt she was justified in acting the way she did. Plus, she was pretty tough, which made her fun to write because she got to play with swords and kill things!!!!!

Which came first, the title or the novel?

Title!!!!! I actually started writing a werewolf book called Bad Hair Day and then I decided to change it to a fairy book and steal the title! Unfortunately my agent didn’t like the first chapter I sent her but she adored the title so we brainstormed the book and she actually came up with the idea of a fairy slayer who was the laughing stock of her entire academy. And then, because I always have FAR too many ideas, I suddenly remembered that I’d plotted yet another fairy book and so I sort of lifted the world building from that and plotted the new idea (and then spent six torturous months trying to make it behave itself!!!!!)

What’s your strangest writing quirk or habit? Something that would make all of us go, “huh?”

It might not make you go “huh” but it will make you go “ewh” because it’s disgusting, but I’m totally addicted to chewing drinking straws (after first using them to drink my Diet Coke of course). It really is a disgusting habit and my family hates it, but I just can’t seem to stop doing it. And besides, if I did try and stop doing it then I would only go and search out all the Easter chocolates that my kids have been saving and apparently that is frowned upon, so really I’m doing everyone a favor! And btw, I actually think that Stephen King once wrote about a writer who chewed straws so that made me feel a little less freakish!!!!

Be honest, how many drafts did you have to write for this book? Any horrific scenes that were cut from the original that you want to share?

There were so many rewrites of this book that I’ve actually lost count. I did a load for myself then about two for my agent and then about three for my editor and while the basic premise stayed the same, there were a lot of changes. In fact by the end of it I was starting to feel more like a patchwork quilt maker than a writer. There were no horrific scenes that I lost but I did have to cut a lot of my wildly hilarious one-liners (I’m assuming it was because my editor didn’t think that they were quite as wildly hilarious as I did). Oh, and I’ve actually remembered that I did have to cut the love interest between two of my secondary characters Loni and Tyler, which was a bit sad (fortunately, they still hook up in my head so shhhhh, don’t tell my editor!!!!!!)

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m in the middle of writing new stuff and also doing revisions on my MG series that is coming out next year called Sophie’s Mixed-Up Magic. It is so much fun and I basically gave an eleven year old magical powers and then made sure that she made as many mistakes as she possibly could. There is also a djinn ghost who looks like Zac Efron and a shark-obsessed six year old sister.

About the Author
Amanda Ashby was born in Australia, and has spent the last fifteen years dividing her time between England and New Zealand before finally deciding that to move home. When she’s not moving country, she 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 first young adult book Zombie Queen of Newbury High was listed by the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age 2010.

Click here to order FAIRY BAD DAY now!

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