Sunday, June 19, 2011

This week's chats, and Girlfriends Cyber Circuit presents Amanda Ashby!

Hey, it's almost summertime! Which means it's time for me to estivate (hibernation for summer--look it up, I swear I didn't invent it) and dive into revisions for Shine.

But first I have two chats coming up this week at Eve's Fan Garden. Monday night at 8:30pm eastern time, the topic will be Fun in Writing, and the topic Wednesday night (also at 8:30pm) will be Romance in YA. Should be lots of fun!

But enough summer talk. For today's Girlfriends Cyber Circuit guest, it's almost winter. One of my favorite Twitter buds, Amanda Ashby, has a new book out: Fairy Bad Day! How much do you love that cover?

About the Book

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.

The Peoples are loving Fairy Bad Day:

"Laced with humor, danger, and romance, this book will have readers smiling all the way to the last page." -- Publishers Weekly

"If Buffy and Harry Potter got together and threw a magical slayer party, it would be the world Amanda Ashby created in Fairy Bad Day." -- Tera Lynn Childs, award-winning author of Oh. My. Gods. and Forgive My Fins.

Details on how awesome Amanda is (aka, her bio):

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.

Follow Amanda on Twitter--I do!

And now, my interview with the lovely Amanda herself:

Which moment(s) during the writing/rewriting/editing of this book made you tear your hair out?

All of it. Considering I write light-hearted books, this one was a lot of hard work. It was revised numerous times as my editor/agent and I tried to find the ‘real’ story. Even though it stayed the same in essence, it just seemed to take forever to get finished and by the time it was done my critique partners and I were heartily sick of it. Thankfully, it’s been fully edited for about eighteen months now and I have a very bad memory, which makes it possible to now look on it fondly without remembering the drama!!!!!

Which book/movie/TV show have you recently discovered that made you want to kick yourself for not reading/watching sooner?

My husband and I only started watching Deadwood last year, well after it had finished as a series and we were just staggered at how amazingly perfect it was. Especially if you’re writer—it’s like taking a master class in characterization and it just left us in total awe (though for awhile it was impossible to stop swearing Deadwood-style!!!). And even cooler is the fact that Trixie is going to be playing Katniss’s mom!!!!

If your house was on fire, what object (not including living creatures, human or non-human) would you grab on the way out?

Honestly, there isn’t anything special. It probably helps that we have moved country SO many times over the last fifteen years that we’ve become quite zen about owning things. I’m not saying that it stops us from owning things (with particular reference to retro handbags) but I don’t get attached to things the same that I probably did when I was younger.

Is there anything most people are able to do (such as drive a car, swim, ride a bike) that you can't?

Well, I can do all of the above things and nothing normal springs to mind that I can’t do, though there is one dumb thing that I absolutely cannot/willnot/don’ttrytomakeme and that’s clapping my hands in time to music. It literally makes my skin crawl, which my husband—who is the most amazing guitarist ever—finds totally weird since he thinks in music. In fact it literally took me about five years to figure out when to clap on the Friends song!

Is there anything YOU can do that most people can't?

No, I’m wildly untalented. Unless of course you count sitting and watching TV for hours on end, then in that case, I rule!!! In fact I always need to fan myself down when people try and tell me how boring they would find it if they just had to stay home all day. Because to me, having all day to read and all night to watch TV would be bliss!

Have you ever been starstruck when meeting another writer? If so, by who?

Well, I’m a HUGE Jonathan Stroud fan (and for anyone who hasn’t read his Bartameus, then you really, really must because he is amazing). Anyway, when he joined twitter I kept telling other people to follow him and for some reason he decided to send me a tweet to say thank you! I kid you not I literally ran around the house for ten minutes being very undignified!!!!! And the main lesson we can learn from this is that for one little tweet, I’m your friend for life!!!!

Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares?

I often dream that I steal the blankets off my husband, though apparently this is true so I guess it doesn’t count!!!!


Small technical note: I've been having trouble using Blogger lately with Firefox and had to switch to Internet Explorer to finish off last week's GCC post. So today I decided to start with IE, and had a million formatting problems. (I couldn't copy from Notepad and paste into IE--seriously?)

I switched to Google Chrome. Like a dream--a dream, I tell you! This could be the beginning of a beautiful blogger-browser relationship.

Congrats to Amanda on her new release, and good luck with her move to Australia! Happy winter!

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I've been dying to read this one. What's one more book for the TBR pile right?? But it looks like a quick, fun read.

Jeri - that's interesting what you said about Google Chrome, some people have problems with that & had to switch to Firefox. There really needs to be a one size fits all solution to all these formatting problems one day!

Posted by: Blogger Karen at 6/19/2011 5:10 PM

Interesting, Karen. I'm a longtime Firefox fan, but lately the memory leaks (where it steals RAM little by little and doesn't give it back even when you close the browser) are starting to really slow down my computer. And the Android version freezes my phone on an infuriatingly regular basis.

I'm this far *holds thumb and forefinger an inch apart* from making the permanent switch, if I can find some Chrome plug-ins similar to the ones I like in Firefox, like FlashBlocker and AdBlocker.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 6/19/2011 5:28 PM

Hey Jeri - thanks so much for touring me and Karen thanks for the lovely comment!

I switched from IE to Firefox after having numerous blogger problems (strangely enough, it was almost identical to what happened to you - my formatting was all out even when I put everything through notepad first) but my husband has been raving about Chrome for weeks now so perhaps I'll have to give it a go.

Posted by: Blogger Amanda Ashby at 6/19/2011 6:21 PM

Haha, looks like we're all thinking alike here. :-) Hope you had a great release week, Amanda!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 6/19/2011 6:56 PM

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