Tuesday, March 10, 2009

GCC Presents . . . Amanda Ashby!!!!

This week on the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit, I'm hosting The Awesome Amanda Ashby (yes, that is her full name!), and I couldn't be more excited!

I was lucky enough to meet Amanda last summer at the RWA conference in San Francisco, and let me tell you, she was everything I thought she would be and more!

Adorable? Check.
Funny? Totally.
Nice? You bet.
Pretty? Yep.
Oh, and did I mention her accent??  To die for!

And while at first I worried that this overabundance of gifts might cause a problem since we were both in love with the same man: David Boreanaz/Angel, luckily, after watching Buffy season 6, I immediately switched my allegiance to James Marsters/Spike, and all was well.

Anywho, the reason Amanda is here this week is because her YA debut, ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH was released March 9th, and she was kind enough (told you she was nice) to stop by and answer a few questions. 

But first, The Story:

What if a Love Spell Was More Than You Bargained For?

Love spells gone wrong, boyfriend-stealing cheerleaders, and Zombies who want to eat you for dinner. In ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH by Amanda Ashby, love has never tasted— or rather felt— so good. 

Tomorrow is prom, and all Mia wants to do is cast a love spell on her date Rob Ziggerman to keep him away from cheerleading goddess Samantha and save him all to herself. But somehow she ends up inflicting a zombie virus onto her whole class instead. At first Mia loves all the attention her classmates are giving her; treating her like a queen, compliments galore, and all the chocolate a girl could want. But then zombie hunter hottie Chase explains they are actually fattening her up. Why? Because in twenty-four hours, Mia will be the first course in their new diet. That’s what being the ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH means. She’s sure she and Chase can figure something out, especially when the alternative means that her classmates and teachers will be feasting on her bones. But in the meantime, she’s suggests that no one wear white to tomorrow night’s prom, because she has a feeling that things could get very messy.


"Zombie Queen of Newbury High is a delightfully fun, fresh, and funny read! Amanda Ashby creates a highly likeable heroine in Mia Everett, who, despite her best intentions, turns her classmates into zombies. And with prom quickly approaching, she must find a way to undo it before, well before she gets eaten! Never again will you look at prom, your classmates, or even zombies in quite the same way! ~Alyson Noel, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Evermore (Yep, it's all true!)

"Zombie Queen of Newbury High is a delicious treat! Who knew zombies could be both fun and funny? It's Zombilicious!" -- Michelle Rowen, author of Bitten & Smitten

"Zombie Queen of Newbury High is where popularity can turn you undead (with an unsettling appetite) and Prom will be a little dangerous this year. Amanda Ashby moves into the YA world with snapping prose and an entertaining high school mix of teen crushes, popularity drama, and a zombie squad. Zombies beware--you'll love to follow the twists and turns of this fresh and fun novel!" -- Kelly Parra, author of Invisible Touch

“Amanda Ashby's book, Zombie Queen of Newbury High, is filled with twists, turns and humor, sure to totally draw you in. I loved the fact that this read was more than your typical high school teen love story. If you're like me and can't get enough of books filled with mystery, suspense, with a dash of relatable relationship and friendship probs on the side, I def recommend picking up your own copy—you won't regret it!” -Jami Katz GirlsLife.com Book Club

“Amanda Ashby writes a very entertaining and quick read about a teenage protagonist who has to fix the catastrophic problem she created - or else she'll never be able to enjoy the ball with Prince Charming. Many readers will be able to relate to Mia and her quirky ways, and others will simply fall in love with her witty humor. And if that doesn't work, there are always hunks Rob and Chase. ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH deserves the five stars. This is a very original story that isn't too far-fetched that teenage readers can't relate at all - it's the perfect mix of reality and imagination.” 5 stars teensreadtoo

"...full of humor, romance and suspense, and her characters are well-developed and a joy to get to know. Five Stars." - Bitten By Books

"Feel-good, fun and utterly lovely - if you're a Buffy/Angel fan, or a zombie, or both, or neither, don't miss this one! Highly recommended." - Chicklish

The same 5 questions I always ask:

1.Every story has a backstory, what's the backstory for your book?

When I wrote my first book, it was just after my dad died and while the book itself was quite light hearted, there was a lot of stuff tied up in there and so I was quite relieved to write this one when I was a slightly better place. As for where it came from – I’ve been talking about this a lot lately but I swear it’s true! I used to joke to my cps and my blog readers that if ever I got stuck for a book idea I could always write something called I Was a Killer Zombie Bride (would you believe I checked my blog and the post is still there dated 3rth March 2006!). Anyway, I just found the whole idea of doing something with zombies so funny and of course I hadn’t heard of anyone else doing them at the time.

After I decided that it would be fun to do a zombie book, I brainstormed with my zombie-loving husband (who never normally shows any interest in plotting with me) and I sent the synopsis off to my agent. She emailed straight back to say that she loved the idea of a zombie book and so I started writing it and we sold it two weeks after she submitted it!

2.What's your work environment like? Any rituals, totems, or must haves?

I have two young children and it has sort of taught me to write any place anyhow, so really the only thing I need to have is my computer and Diet Coke – or if we’re at the park, I’ll often just take a notebook and write in longhand. I know that one day I’ll have the luxury of a real office and more time, but for now I just work around them.

3 If you could live inside any book-- which would it be?

Part of me wants to say Georgette Heyer’s regency novels because they were just so wonderful but I know the reality would be quite different. For a start there was apparently a LOT of sewerage still floating down the street back in the day. Bleurgh. Apart from that there is an English writer who I love called Jilly Cooper and in her books everyone is so glamorous and they’re always drinking bucket sized glasses of gin and tonic (which by the way is not a drink I like, but she makes it all sound so much fun!!) so I’d like to go and visit Jillyland for awhile!
(For the record, I read Jilly Cooper's book RIDERS and loved it! I'd like to go to Jillyland too!)

4. What book rocked your world growing up?

The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula LeGuin. It is still one of my favorite books ever.

5. If you could visit any time, place, or person- what, where, or who would it be?

David Boreanaz. Now!!! (I knew she'd say that!)

The Contest:

Amanda is running a competition at her blog and the prize is a cute zombie survival kit plus a copy of either Zombie Queen of Newbury High or her first book, You Had Me at Halo! To win, all you have to do is leave a comment on any (or all) of her GCC tour stops and then email her the link to go into the draw. Every time you comment you can re-enter! So don't miss out, head over to Amanda's website for further details by clicking HERE.

The fine print:

Zombie Queen of Newbury High
▪ Speak ▪ A Division of Penguin Young Readers Group ▪ On Sale March 2009▪
ISBN: 978-0-14-241256-5 ▪ Paperback Original ▪ Ages 12 up

Amanda's Story:

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia and has spent the last ten years dividing her time between England and New Zealand. When she’s not moving countries, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to watch television, eat chocolate and sit around doing not much, but let's just keep that between ourselves, shall we?). She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two young children. Her debut adult book You Had Me at Halo has been nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award. This is her first book for young adults. Visit her on the web at www.amandaashby.com.


Erika Powell said...

I knew she would say David Boreanaz too! and just my computer and and iced tea is all i need but I do wish it was warm to go to the park and write lognhand. blasted winter!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Amanda,

I'm glad to see you're still talking about our man David Boreanaz! ;)

Thanks for the interview.

Lucy said...

David Boreanaz in the interview: check! :)

Anonymous said...

lol I also knew David Boreanaz would show up...especially since he showed up in my emails with Amanda lol. And I'm not the one who mentioned him ;)

Diana Dang said...

Since I started Buffy around season 6 or 7, I became a Spike fan before Angel's! I still have to continue watching the series...

sweetmelissa818 said...

I've got two small kids too, and I agree it teaches you how to work with what you've got (time mostly)!

Amanda Ashby said...

Alyson thank you so much for touring me! And hehehe - it looks like I'm well and truly outed on my DB obsession!!!

donnas said...

Great interview. I havent heard of Jilly Cooper's books before, but now I am going to have to look them up.

And its really not a post unless David Boreanaz comes up at least once.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alyson & Amanda. I enjoyed reading the interview! It was great.

Susan Hatler said...

Sounds like a fun book! And good taste on David Boreanaz. I watched all of the Angel seasons after Buffy ended. :)

Unknown said...

love bones last night. david has something that, well he can just have a look and it better than most other actors words

Paradox said...

I feel ashamed... I've never read the Earthsea Trilogy. But I should!


Thao said...

I would love to see your real office one day Amanda : )