Amanda: Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be a guest on The Qwillery today!
TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Amanda: This is going to be disappointing, because I don’t really have any writing quirks. I’m a little boring. I prefer quiet, and no distractions. I’ve been known to keep a Coke Zero close by and sometimes I like to sprawl out on my couch when I write. That’s about as quirky as I get. ;)
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
Amanda: I could probably generate a mile-long list of my favorite writers. I’d say my most favorite authors are Bernard Cornwell, Anne Rice, and J.R. Ward just to name a few. Honestly, I think I’d have to say that Bernard Cornwell has influenced my writing the most which is strange since he writes historical fiction. He writes the most wonderful protagonists, multi-dimensional and honorable. Men who do what has to be done, no matter what. He has a way of weaving ancient religion into his stories that gives them a mystical quality. And his battle scenes are epic.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Amanda: I’m a little of both. I used to be a strict pantser. But now that I have outlines that need to be turned in before I write the book, I’ve become more of a plotter. I don’t do much in the plotting department. I usually use a few words to describe each chapter on a sticky note and put it up on my wall. That way I still have room to write from the hip.
TQ: Describe Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin 1) in 140 characters or less.
Amanda: Okay, this is hard! My short game isn’t great. I think I went over by a few characters. Here goes: Darian, Shaede & assassin must face the ghosts of her past & reality of her future while navigating a supernatural world she never knew existed.
TQ: What inspired you to write Shaedes of Gray?
Amanda: I was sort of thinking about guilt, actually. The decisions people make to protect the people they love and the consequences of those actions. Sometimes you make a bad choice for the right reason and it becomes a muddled gray area between right and wrong. When Darian first popped into my head, she was standing on the roof of a building in the middle of the night, considering the moral gray area that she’d slipped into.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Shaedes of Gray?
Amanda: Most of my research involved the supernatural. I couldn’t find a specific legend or story that meshed with my vision of my characters and so I decided to start from scratch and create my own mythos while still keeping with some of the legends and traditional characters out there. My Shaedes and Lyhtans are my own creation. And I didn’t like any of the Jinn mythology either, so I wrote my own. But I also have Oracles, Fae, Sylphs, and other creatures that are pretty standard. Aside from my creatures, I did a lot of research on swords, daggers, guns, weaponry and combat. You know, the fun stuff.
TQ: Why did you set the series in Seattle?
Amanda: Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I wanted to keep with locations that I was familiar with. I’ve visited Seattle and the city has a certain energy that struck a chord with me. It’s big enough for a supernatural creature to hide out undetected. It’s a beautiful city with plenty of hustle and bustle. Seattle has a rich history. I’ve spent hours looking at old pictures of the city, reading articles. It’s fascinating.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?
Amanda: Darian was by far the easiest character for me to write. She’s got this jaded outlook and sarcastic attitude that comes out in me more often than I’d like to admit. She’s also very introverted, like me, and doesn’t particularly like to share her feelings. I think the hardest character for me to write is Tyler. That man is a mystery to me. More times than not I have to have a “talk” with him and ask, Okay, buddy. What do you WANT? He’s open about how he feels, he’s protective to the nth degree, and he’s so damn patient! He drives me crazy.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Shaedes of Gray?
Amanda: I think my favorite scene in the book is the first time Darian ever sees a Lyhtan. And I owe that to my agent, Natanya Wheeler. When we were working on revisions she asked me, “What does a Lyhtan eat?” And when Darian stumbles upon the Lyhtan…let’s just say he’s enjoying his meal.
TQ: How many books are planned for the Shaede Assassin series?
Amanda: So far, I’m contracted for three books and a novella that is a prequel to SHAEDES OF GRAY. But I have ideas for at least three more books in the Shaede Assassin Series, and a couple of spin-offs as well. Hopefully, I’ll get to put those ideas to paper soon!
TQ: What's next?
Amanda: Next up is the novella that I mentioned above. It will be available for download in June and I’m really in love with the story. Readers will get to see how Darian’s journey began and you’ll get a lot of Azriel, a character who will always be in Darian’s thoughts. The novella will also have a preview for book 2, BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE, which releases July 3rd, 2012.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Amanda: Thanks again for having me!
About Shaedes of Gray
Shaedes of GrayShaede Assassin 1
Signet Eclipse (December 6, 2011)
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
You can read my 5 Qwill review here.
In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.
When Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she's taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished...
What: One commenter will win a copy of Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin 1) from Amanda. US/Canada Mailing Addresses Only.
How: Leave a comment answering the following question:
What creature or being is your ideal paranormal best friend?
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Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a USA or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Monday, December 19, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*