I’m so excited to have Amanda Bonilla on the blog today as part of her tour for her brand new book, Shaedes of Gray! Amanda was kind enough to answer a few of my questions, and there’s also a copy of Shaedes of Gray up for grabs, so be sure to check out the giveaway details at the bottom of the post.
Please welcome Amanda to the blog!
Hi Kristin! Thanks so much for hosting me on my blog tour today which is also the official release day for SHAEDES OF GRAY! I’m so excited to be here!
Amanda, your brand new urban fantasy, Shaedes of Gray, is out today! Have you always wanted to be a writer? Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about 18. I’ve written on and off for years, but started writing with a goal of publication about three years ago. SHAEDES OF GRAY was the third book I’d even written. My first book crashed and burned in the query stage and the second book, which was a sequel, turned out to be more of a writing exercise. When I started writing SOG, Darian’s voice popped into my head loud and clear and I wrote the first draft in just under three months. I queried the novel for seven months and went through one major revision before I signed with my agent, Natanya Wheeler at the Nancy Yost Literary Agency, and then revised the novel twice more before putting it out on submission to editors.
What are some of your biggest literary influences?
There are so many! I love Anne Rice, and Bernard Cornwell. They write such dynamic protagonists. I’m in awe of J.R. Ward. She’s an amazing story-crafter. The way she interconnects plots and story-lines and weaves them through her books is so impressive. I’m also a huge fan of Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, and Darynda Jones. I love books with strong female leads.
What do you like best about writing urban fantasy?
One of my favorite aspects of urban fantasy is that everything doesn’t have to be tied up in a pretty bow. I love HEAs, but I really like to write happily for nows. The HEA doesn’t have to come right away in an urban fantasy. I love stories with a lot of action, and urban fantasy allows me to write intense fight scenes. Sword play and hand-to-hand are my favorites to write. I like to pretend that I’ve got mad skills, but really, I’m just good at visualizing. Most importantly, though, is the fantasy. I have a very over-active imagination and I finally get to put it to good use!
What’s your most unusual writing quirk?
I’m so boring! I don’t have any quirks. I work best in a quiet setting with no distractions. Sometimes when I’m writing, I get this crazy urge to snack, though. And I usually have a Coke Zero close by.
What’s on your nightstand right now?
Two bottles of lotion, sticky notes and colored pencils, the case for my glasses, a partial print out of a Shaedes manuscript, and Grave Dance by Kalayna Price.
What book do you wish you could read again for the first time?
THE WINTER KING by Bernard Cornwell. I was so blown away by that book. I actually own two copies: a reading copy and a shelf copy.
Have you ever “faked” reading a book? If so, which one?
In high school, I faked reading THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. My English teacher totally called me out on it. I did read it, eventually, and it’s one of my favorite plays.
It says in your bio that you love to sit by the lake in the summer and soak up the sun. How else do you like to spend your free time?
I’m a really laid-back person. In the winter, I’ll go skiing once or twice, and if the hubs is extra sweet, I’ll go out and keep him company while he ice fishes. I pretty much hate the cold, though, so I’m only good for a couple of hours. We have a huge garden and greenhouse, so in the spring and summer I’m working on that and we love to hike up in the woods behind our house. We pick mushrooms and berries depending on the season. But in the summer, I’m at the lake as much as I can manage. Our cabin doesn’t have phone or internet service and it’s the perfect place to relax and write.
What’s one of the most daring things you’ve ever done (that you’re willing to admit to?)
When I was younger, I used to go skinny dipping. My family’s cabin is pretty tucked away, and our neighbors aren’t around much. I love to swim.
Quick! Name something that makes you laugh out loud.
I absolutely love the “head” scene from So I Married an Ax Murderer. Just thinking about it makes me giggle. But you have to picture Mike Meyers speaking in a Scottish accent: “I’m not kidding, that boy’s head is like Sputnik; spherical but quite pointy at parts! Now that was offside, wasn’t it? He’ll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow.”
Is there any advice that you would give struggling writers?
Don’t give up; luck follows the persistent. You have to write and write and write some more. Read in your genre as much as you can. Keep querying agents, editors, whatever. Don’t be afraid to let your personality leak onto the pages, and remember that this is a business. No matter what stage you’re at, treat writing like a career.
Is there any other news of upcoming events or projects that you’d like to share with us?
A novella in the Shaede Assassin series, WHEN SHADOWS CALL, will be released in June as an e-book. It’s a prequel to SHAEDES OF GRAY and readers will get to see how Darian’s journey began. Book 2 in the Shaede Assassin series, BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE, will be released on July 3rd, and I’m currently working on Book 3 which is as of yet untitled.
1. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
2. You must leave a comment with your email address
3. Giveaway is for 1 copy of Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla to 1 winner
4. Giveaway is open to US addresses only
5. Please include a valid email address
6. You must enter before or on Tuesaday, Dec. 13th, 2011
7. I am not responsible for books lost or damaged in the mail. Please see my Giveaway Policy.
8. Giveaway book kindly provided by the author.