Interview (& Giveaway): Amanda Bonilla, author of Shaedes of Gray!

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.

Thanks again so much for having me as a guest today!!
Keep up with Amanda: Website | Twitter
Click here for all tour stops!
Read my review of Shaedes of Gray!

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.


  1. Awesome giveaway! I can’t wait to read this book!! 😀

  2. Kristin, thanks again so much for hosting me today!! 🙂

  3. I love reading urban fantasy and heard wonderful things on Shades of Gray. I have this on my wish list. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. This book is getting excellent reviews. I’ve been reading some UF lately and really enjoying it. Looking forward to this one.

  5. I’ve been waiting for this book to hit the shelves! Thanks for the giveaway chance!

  6. Great interview and the cover is wonderful can not wait to read it.


  7. Great interview and this book sounds awesome . can’t wait to read it vbarton24 at gmail dot com

  8. Thanks for the giveaway. I really like the cover.

    wingedpersephone at gmail dot com

  9. I LOVE the movie So I Married an Ax Murderer!! And I always tease my son about his big head by saying that same line in a Scottish accent and calling him Sputnik! LOL It’s good to meet someone else with my same warped sense of humor! Thanks for the very awesome interview and giveaway:)

  10. I love the cover art on this book and I’m looking forward to reading it…

  11. Congrats on the release of Shaedes of Gray! It sounds like a fantastic story and I’m really looking forward to reading it. I love the cover, you can’t go wrong with a red-headed warrior woman with a big sword.

  12. Chelsea Hornbacher

    Looking forward to reading…

  13. Thank you for the chance to win!

  14. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  15. Awesome interview! Can’t wait to read the book!

    sooz at boodlerbeads dot com

  16. Great interview! A few of Amanda’s literary influences are some of my favorite authors 🙂

    Looking forward to reading her book! It sounds great!

    Thanks so much for the giveaway 🙂


  17. latisha depoortere

    What a great interview been looking forward to this book!
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  18. Exciting that you are already working on book three! I read good things about Shaedes of Gray, makes me curious to check it out. Glad you found an outlet for your over active imagination!

  19. This book sounds awesome.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  20. What’s the colored pencils on your nightstand for? Thanks for the giveaway1
    delivery.RN at gmail dot com

  21. Looking forward to reading this. Thanks for the giveaway!


  22. would love to win this 😀
    awesome interview !
    hanks for the giveaway!

  23. It was great getting to know you, and now I can’t wait to read this story.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  24. Thank you for the giveaway! The cover of this book looks so amazing. I’m definately putting this on my to read list. I too like books with strong female leads and some of the authors mentioned by Amanda are also among my favorites.

  25. I like the sounds of this book. Sounds like something I would really enjoy. Thanks for the chance.

  26. Forgot my email.

    s_walters01 at yahoo dot com

  27. I’ve heard only great things about this book! Thanks so much for the giveaway.

    jendaleen at aol dot com

  28. Thanks so much for the giveaway! This is on my to-read list!


    thaliansmhc at yahoo dot com

  29. This books looks awesome! Great cover. Thanks for the giveaway!
    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

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