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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Interview with Amanda Ashley

Please welcome guest blogger Amanda Ashley

1) What is your favorite part of the writing process, and why?

The actual writing, of course. It's so much fun to create a world of my own and people it with characters that I love to love, and love to hate. A world where I get to be the hero, the heroine, and the villain. And since I don't plot my books, everything I write is new and exciting, something I've never read before.

I'm fascinated by the whole writing process. It's just so amazing. Sometimes I start with nothing more than a single line that pops into my head. I follow that line and it becomes a sentence, and then a paragraph, and then a page, and if I'm lucky, it becomes a book.

I'm not always lucky. I must have 20 beginnings sitting on my computer. Some are only a few words long, others are a few pages, or maybe a few chapters. Every now and then, I look them over to see if they inspire my Muse. Usually they don't .

I also love doing research. I hate to travel, but I like going to new places via the web. This was especially true when I was writing historicals. Sometimes, the research into the Old West and Indian lore was so interesting, it was hard to go back to writing. The same is also true when researching vampires. There are so many different vampire myths and legends, you can spend hours reading them.

2) What is your least favorite part of the writing process, and why?

My least favorite part is when the book is finished and I've sent it in. I always feel kind of lost and let down, sort of like sending your kids off to school for the first time. You're used to having them home 24/7 and you love them, and then they're gone, and you feel sort of empty until a new kid comes along

3) On a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 = total pantser, and 10 = detail-oriented plotter), where do you fall, and what advice do you have for people who are a similar blend?

I guess I'm a 2. I don't plot my books when I start writing but I do write a few things down as I go along and ideas occur to me. Nothing detailed, just a few words. I can't imagine plotting every chapter - although when I get stuck in the middle - and I always do - I think it's probably a good idea. Still, it doesn't seem like it would be much fun to write the book if I already knew what was going to happen in every chapter.

As for advice, my only advice is to write whatever way works for you!

4) What is your writing schedule like?

I don't really have a "schedule". I write in spurts, an hour here, an hour there, throughout the day, but do most of my writing at night while my husband is watching, basketball, baseball, football, golf, or movies older than I am. I don't like to write in total silence, so I usually have the tv on in my office, usually turned to old reruns of Cheers and Frasier.

That said, I can pretty much write anywhere, any time. When I bowled on a league years ago, I used to write between frames when I got an idea, because if you don't write it down as soon as it occurs to you, it's gone. That's especially true for ideas that come to you just as you're falling asleep. I used to think I'd remember them in the morning, but I quickly learned that didn't work, so I try to keep a pencil and paper by the bed, and if that's not handy, then I drag myself out of bed and write it down.

5) From an author's perspective, what do you find the most challenging part of the publishing process, and how do you deal with it?

Hmmmm. It used to be negotiating contracts until I got an agent.

The most challenging part now doesn’t really have anything to do with publishing, exactly, it’s trying not to be discouraged by the negative, nasty reviews that are occasionally posted on Amazon. For a while there, I was tempted to stop writing because those poison pen letters were making me so depressed. And then someone reminded me that I receive far more positive emails than nasty reviews on Amazon. It also helps to remind myself that I'm doing what I love and that it's still just as satisfying and just as much fun as it was when I first started writing over 20 years ago, and that when all is said and done, there's nothing I'd rather do.

Amanda Ashley is one of those rare birds  -  a California native.  She’s lived in Southern California her whole life and loves it (except for the earthquakes). She and her husband share a home with  a fluffy Pomeranian named Lady,  a tortoise named Buddy, and a wild sparrow named Tweety.

Amanda and her alter ego, Madeline Baker, have written over 50 books,, many of which have appeared on various bestseller lists, including the New York Times List, the Waldenbooks Bestseller list, and the USA Today list. Not bad for someone who started writing just for the fun of it.

You can visit Amanda’s website at

Everlasting Kiss


Daisy O’Donnell doesn’t get the attraction some women feel for
vampires. She likes her men with a pulse. And she’s just met one who’s
full of life: Erik Delacourt, the unreasonably sexy man she keeps
meeting at a popular L.A. nightclub called the Crypt. She barely knows
him, but there’s no resisting the connection she feels…

There’s one important detail Erik hasn’t gotten around to telling her
yet. He’s a powerful vampire out to hunt the Blood Thief who is
draining young vampires all over the city—and who has just raised the
stakes by destroying one of Erik’s friends. To Erik, Daisy is a bright
spot of innocence in a world of darkness and menace. He’ll do
anything—even lie to her—to keep her safe and pure.

If only he knew that Daisy has something of her own to hide…


Anonymous said...

Great interview. Your book sounds really good, too.


Karin Shah said...

I've already got your latest sitting on my shelf waiting for when I get a moment! Can't wait to find out the heroine's reaction to finding out he's a vampire*G*.

I've loved pretty much all your books, but my favorite is your futuristic THE CAPTIVE. I re-read it all the time. I'm glad you haven't let the nasty people stop you from writing! :-)

Mandy said...

Hi Lynn ~ Thanks.

Mandy said...

Hi Karin ~ I hope you enjoy Everlasting Kiss. As for The Captive, wow, that's an old one.
LOL re the "nasty people".