And now for something entirely new -- a guest post!
I first encountered Amanda Ashby via Emily Gee's website, where she had some links to fellow authors. I was thrilled to see that one of them, Amanda, had a debut paranormal romance coming out that very week. Amanda and I have been emailing off and on ever since, starting when I tried to get a photo of her book for her at my local bookstore.
Since I started follwing her very active blog, I noticed that she had guest-blogged at several other sites. Therefore, I asked her to do a guest post. She graciously agreed and also offered to give away a copy of her book, YOU HAD ME AT HALO to Fantasy Debut Readers! Her instructions are at the end of the post.
And without any further ado, here she is -- Amanda Ashby!!!
When Tia invited me to do a guest blog on Fantasy Debut, I immediately said yes, because not only has she been so supportive of my book, YOU HAD ME AT HALO but she gave me a kick ass review as well, which pretty much puts her up the top of my list of favorite people!!!
Anyway, Tia was curious to know how I managed to sell such an unusual premise to a big publisher and honestly, I’m just as curious myself! In publishing, you often you hear the phrase ‘right time, right place, right book’ and I definitely think that I was no exception to this rule.
Though, saying that, even though I’d been writing for about six years, when I had the idea for YOU HAD ME AT HALO, I knew right away that it felt different.
Of course I didn’t know if it would sell or not, but it was the first book I’d written where the heroine’s goal was so consuming and powerful that it really did drive the book (it also drove me to distraction at times, but that’s another blog post). Anyway, I do think that having a well-motivated character helped, along with the fact that despite the paranormal/fantasy set-up, the emotions and conflicts were very earth-bound and regular.
Another big help was that I decided to query uber agent, Jenny Bent from Trident Media. Now at the time I had no idea of what Jenny did or didn’t like, so it really was good luck that my book covered quite a few of her favorite things. She loves feisty heroines. Tick. She loves quirky. Tick. She’s a big fan of high concept. Tick (once I figured out what high concept was of course). And it just so happens that her favorite movie is the Steve Martin body-sharing comedy called All of Me. I knew none of this until much further down the track.
Anyway, it didn’t take long for Jenny to get back to me with revisions and two weeks after she started submitting it to editors, we got an offer. Oh, and she is also the one who thought up my great title, so having an amazing agent who is enthusiastic about your writing is definitely a plus.
Of course, my personal favorite theory of how I managed to get a big publisher interested is that the Gods were a little bit bored on that particular day. Perhaps they were even having a friendly game of poker over a couple glasses of ambrosia, when one God bet another God that he could get that Amanda Ashby girl a book deal, and was then forced to do it or risk having to fork out big time to a half-drunk, gambling-addicted God!
But whatever the reason, I’m truly grateful that I got to see my book come out in print. Even more so because the idea came to me on the day of my dad’s funeral, so in a way it’s a tribute to him. Though what he thinks about being the inspiration for a stroppy 22 year old dead girl with issues is anyone’s guess!!
If you’d like to go into the draw to win a copy of YOU HAD ME AT HALO, all you need to do is leave a comment (nice ones get bonus points!)Thank you, Amanda!!
Amanda Ashby's contest is now CLOSED! Congratulations to Raven, the winner!