Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Guest Post - Amanda Ashby! Plus Another Giveaway!

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!!

UPDATE!

Amanda Ashby's contest is now CLOSED! Congratulations to Raven, the winner!

24 comments:

Lesha said...

Thanks for another rockin' contest! :)

Lis said...

LOL over the gods poker game! Too funny :) And I remember that Steve Martin movie. Learn something new about agents every day!

Book Chic said...

Amanda- I love your guest blog posts! They're all absolutely amazing and so so so funny!! :)

Also, they're a great distraction from the MOUNDS of homework I need to be doing.

Blah.

Laters!

Book Chic

Sara Hantz said...

Soooo funny! Love the heavenly poker game. And love that your book was there at the right time and place!!

Amanda Ashby said...

Thanks for dropping by Lesha

Lis, I hadn't even heard of the movie until Jenny told me about it, and I'm plessed she did because it was hilarious!

BC, boo on the homework but glad I gave you a distraction!!!!

Sara, I heard the Gods were just about to start up a game of Twister so goodness knows what will happen next!!

blackroze37 said...

there is a old song, its me again margret by ray stevens, lol thats how ive started feeling

its me again amanda

but what am i going to do now? you quit guesting,lol

Tia said...

Amanda, I was wondering if you were influenced by that movie, but I guess not! I kept expecting an awkward shower or bathroom scene, but you sort of glossed over those, thank goodness! I'll never forget the look on Lily Tomlin's face during the bathroom scene.

Oops, I can't resist popping in on comments on my own blog. Please disqualify me from your contest!

Robert said...

Great post Tia! I've actually been wanting to read this book ;) I've also always wanted to have authors guest on my website as well, not so much posting, but writing reviews of books, but I haven't had any luck with that. Most everyone has their own blog nowadays...why would they want to write on mine!

Christina Phillips said...

Too funny about the gods gambling, Amanda!!

And Tia, I always cry at the stepmother scene too **happy sigh**

Raven said...

Wow, you lucked out with Jenny! Or maybe it really was due to the gambling gods...

Amanda Ashby said...

Blackroze37 - phew. I'm so pleased you came by. I really appreciate the support!!!!

Tia - I have no idea how I'd missed the movie first time around, but it was great seeing how they managed all the sharing stuff!!!

Robert - that's actually a great idea getting authors to do reviews on other books. I reckon you should go for it!!

Thanks for swinging by, Christina!

Raven, Jenny is such an amazing agent that she probably had an invite to the poker game!!!!

TJBrown said...

You want nice? What if I don't do nice?
Teri

Anita said...

If your agent came up with the title "You Had Me At Halo", well, I love her tooooooooo!!!!!

;-)
Anita

Amanda Ashby said...

Hahaha - Teri, I know there is 'nice' lurking down there somewhere!!!!

Anita - yeah, she's pretty fabulous!!!

Mirella Castellano said...

Hi Amanda,
A fantastic post - what an inspiration. Cheers! I really enjoy reading all your blogs, you are definitely quirky and lots of fun! They always bring a smile to my face.
Cheers
Hugs
Mirella

Anonymous said...

Patwitch here:
Great post as usual, Amanda!

As for the poker game... well, Jenny obviously won it and you and Holly were the prize.

Eva said...

Love the image of the gods drunk on ambrosia, Amanda!

Leslee said...

I love fiesty and quirky. And All of Me is an old fav. It's going on my list. :)!

Sierra Donovan said...

Amanda, so glad you found the right agent at the right time, who in turn found the right publisher for your book. I love this kind of light paranormal -- especially refreshing right now, because the dark ones are so dominant.

Congratulations once again!

Sierra

Tia said...

Oh, I so agree with you, Sierra!

Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings said...

That sounds like a great book! I'd love to win a copy!

I blogged your giveaway in my Wednesday Edition of Contests Galore

Amanda Ashby said...

Hey Mirella, thanks for popping over - you're such a star!!

Pat and Eva - so nice to see you here!

Leslee - thanks for your kind comments!

Sierra and Tia - I agree as well. I love light-hearted stuff but it always seems to be a hard sell.

Laura - thanks for your support!

Amanda Ashby said...

Thanks to everyone who entered the comp. Unfortunately I only have one copy to give away and thanks to the trusty random.org selector, the winner is:

Raven

Raven, if you could send me your postal details to amanda@amandaashby.com I'll get a signed copy in the post for you!!!!

Raven said...

Woohoo! Details coming right over! :)