Tuesday, August 20, 2013

GCC Presents: Amanda Ashby!

I know it has been forever since I've had an author interview, but I've got a great one for you today. Amanda Ashby has a new book out called DEMONOSITY and she's here to tell us all about it!


The Black Rose–a powerful ancient force–has been let loose and has taken up residence in Celeste Gibson, popular girl at Cassidy Carter-Lewis’ high school. Thomas Delacroix is the spirit of a fourteenth-century knight who is devoted to protecting the Black Rose, but he needs a contemporary living being to take on the challenge. That’s where Cassidy comes in.

She’s a quirky high school junior who just wants to dress in her vintage clothes, hang out with her best friend, and take care of her father, who is recovering from surgery. She’s the last person who would ever volunteer for such a task, but no one actually asked her.  Now, like it or not, she finds herself training before dawn and battling demons at parties, the mall, and even at school. But hey, no one ever said high school was going to be easy.

About the author:

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia and after spending the last sixteen years dividing her time between England and New Zealand, she’s finally returned home for some sunshine. When she’s not moving country, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to eat chocolate, watch television and sit around doing not much, but let’s just keep that amongst ourselves, shall we?)

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book, You Had Me at Halo was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award. Zombie Queen of Newbury High was listed by the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age 2010. Fairy Bad Day was selected by Voya as one of their Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers 2012 and was a SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist for the Australia/NZ region.

The Interview:

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

AMANDA: I think I’m a 12 year old boy at heart so I knew I wanted to do something that had a lot of action and sword fighting in. Then when I started reading about secret societies and the Templar Knights, the story started to take shape.

Q: The main character of my first book, I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE, is the kind of girl I wanted to be (a rock star!), the MC of my second book has a lot more in common with teenage me. Is your main character someone you wish you could be, someone a lot like you, or your total opposite? How so?

AMANDA: Unfortunately my character is a lot like me. She’s hopeless at making decisions, which is a problem I suffer from. In fact, if you ask me what my favorite chocolate bar is, the answer will change depending on what day it is. She also wears a lot of vintage clothing and doesn’t quite fit into the mainstream—though she’s not smart enough to be a geek—which pretty much sums me up!

Q: If there was a soundtrack for your book what are five songs that would be on it and how do they relate the story?

AMANDA:1) Douce Dame Jolie written by Guillaume de Mauchet. Because part of the story is about medieval demon knights I asked my music buff husband to help with the playlist and this is the first song he gave me. It is so gorgeous and it really helped set the scene for me!
2) Brother by Smashproof featuring Gin Wigmore. This is a book about two brothers who both feel like the other one has deserted them. This song perfectly sums that up, plus Smashproof and Gin Wigmore are Kiwis!
3) Ant Music by Adam Ant. Cassidy’s best friend Nash, is a gorgeous gothic who is based on all the new romantic guys I grew up with in the eighties!
4) Paris is Burning by Ladyhawke. Another great Kiwi artist! I actually have a reoccurring scene in the book about a fire in Paris that killed hundreds of innocent people so this song was kind of essential!
5) Modern Love by David Bowie. Just because I always have a David Bowie on every playlist!

Q: In addition to writing books, I also write for a website for teens called Rookie, which has a regular feature called "Literally The Best Thing Ever," wherein we write about a thing that we think is super mega awesome (even if it is the type of thing that others might call a guilty pleasure, we believe there is nothing guilty about pleasure!) and explain why we think it is literally the best thing ever. It's generally a kind of unexpected thing, for example I wrote one about the soap opera, One Life To Live. I don't expect you to write a whole essay obviously, but can you briefly tell us what either you or your character (or both!) would say is "Literally The Best Thing Ever" and why?

AMANDA: My current best thing ever is The Gilmore Girls. I’ve dipped in and out of before but I’ve never seen the whole series. Anyway, I’m now totally obsessed with it and keep annoying my kids by having excessively long, random conversations with them—usually when they’re in the middle of playing Minecraft. I just can’t explain how happy I feel when I watch that show and I’m forever going onto IMBD just to see what all the actors are doing now!

Q: What are you working on for us next?

AMANDA: I’ve been working on a few different projects and will hopefully be sending them to my agent very soon.

1 comment:

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Great interview! And Cassidy sounds like someone I would have wanted to be friends with in high school, though I never wore vintage clothes (I would've liked to have worn them, though). Somehow I thought flannel shirts and overalls were stylish (hey, it was the Midwest and it was the 90s).