We got a chance to chat with Amanda recently. Here's what went down!
Thanks so much to UTC for having me back on the blog! I love talking books with you guys!
What was the inspiration for your series?
It’s funny, I don’t have a clear-cut inspiration. Darian literally just popped into my head. She was so defined as a character from her first words of narrative that Shaedes of Gray (book 1) really poured out of me. I thought about the stories that I loved with emotionally messed up heroes and I wanted to turn the tables and make my heroine the emotional wreck.
Djinns are not very common in the paranormal romance world. What made you choose that as a major character in your series?
When I got about five chapters into Shaedes of Gray, I realized that at his core, Tyler was a protector. And I thought it would be really cool to have this protector who was so dedicated to you that he’d grant your wishes. A lot of the djinn mythology portrayed them as mischievous demons. And evil, which didn’t mesh with my vision of genies. So, I picked through the myths and ended up writing my own mythology.
What authors would you say have influenced your writing?
There are so many! My very first paranormal read was Anne Rice’s THE WITCHING HOUR. I was instantly hooked on her vivid descriptions and tortured characters. I also have a deep undying love for Patricia Briggs. That woman can tell a story! I’ve seen clips of her talking at events about writing. She’s just really inspirational. I also love J.R. Ward and Kresley Cole. I’ve learned a lot about weaving continuing story lines from reading their books. The longevity of both of their series is really impressive!
BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE is your second book to be released. Now that you have a release under your belt, what thoughts are going through your head right now and do you feel less anxious now that the series has gained some loyal readers?
Actually, I do feel a little less anxious, which is a good thing! I’m such a people pleaser that I worried myself sick over Shaedes of Gray. Now, I feel like I know what to expect and I’m much more confident in myself as a writer. I can’t please all of the people all of the time and that’s okay. All I can do is write the best story I can write. I have to say, seeing the words “loyal readers” just put the biggest smile on my face!! The coolest thing about readers is that they have your back. You know how they do those trust exercises in high school where you fall backward and your team-mates catch you? That’s totally how I feel. I love readers!!
Darian is a strong-willed woman who does whatever she wishes. What was it about Darian that made you write a series from her POV?
Her voice was so strong in my head. It was like she said, “You’re writing me this way whether you like it or not.” She and I are nothing alike. Well, I think we’re both sort of dry humor-wise, but that’s about it. I kept thinking about how cool it would be to have this damaged heroine who was already close to scraping rock bottom. I wanted to take her even lower and then see what happened when she climbed her way to the top for the first time in her life. Honestly, she sort of scares me. LOL. Writing her is like therapy! I get to work on being a stronger person because of her.
There is an interesting character in Fallon in this book. Can you tell us your thoughts on this mysterious guy?
Fallon has been one of my favorite antagonists to write. I don’t really like to call him the villain or the bad guy because Fallon is more of a product of his environment and circumstances. He’s definitely done some very bad things, but his damage came from a very real, emotional place. I enjoy characters like that. I don’t want them to always act just for the sake of being evil. I want to know why they’re the way they are. What motivates them? What brought them to this? And Fallon is absolutely six eggs short of a dozen!
If Darian were in a cage match with another UF heroine, who would she like to be up against and who do you think would win?
I think Darian would like to go up against Xhex from J.R. Ward’s BDB series. They’re both emotionally detached badasses! Honestly, I’m not sure who would win. Darian can become incorporeal which is a definite plus, but since Xhex is part Sympath, she could really lay down the mental mojo and use Darian’s emotional history against her. I might have to call it a draw. ;)
If you could collaborate with another author (dead AND alive) who would you pick and why?
For an adult UF project, I’d probably pick Amanda Carlson. We have really similar writing styles and our brains seem to think in the same patterns. I bet we could get our characters into a lot of trouble! And don’t laugh, but, it would be totally cool to collaborate with William Shakespeare on a paranormal romance project! That dude would bring on the angst!
If you could go on a date with any hero, who would you pick and where would you go?
Oh that’s EASY, and for this question, I’m going to pretend that I’m single. LOL. My ultimate hero date would be with John Matthew from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I loooove him! And we’d go straight to my bedroom. Or my couch… or my shower… or… well, you get what I mean. ;)
Just letting you know, Francesca might have a problem with that since that's her boyfriend. LOL ;)
We always talk about our favorite authors and books. What is the latest book you've read that you would recommend?
I just finished Larissa Ione’s LETHAL RIDER. Her Lords of Deliverance Series is one of my all-time favs. The world-building is amazing, and she does such a great job writing the male POV. I love that her heroes are so dark. I like the angsty males!
As an author who is active in social media, how do you like it and where do you draw the line when giving information or commenting on strong opinions?
For the record, I’m a social media junkie! I love the interaction! But there can sometimes be a fine line between stating your opinion and coming across as a raging lunatic. For the most part, I try to avoid the drama llama. I did respond in a blog post once, to an article about the damaging effects of reading romance on women, however. I felt like I needed to respond to that one. Women should NEVER be ashamed of what they’re reading. Anyone who knows me would say that I’m pretty laid back. I try to avoid confrontation. I think if you put positive vibes out into the world, positive things will come back to you. I approach social media the same way. I’m there to form relationships with like-minded people. It’s not a numbers game to me. I really feel more at home talking with readers on Twitter and Facebook than I do with the people who live in my own town sometimes. I just love the reading/writing community! On the flip side, while I like to talk about everyday life, I want a little bit of anonymity too. For the most part, I try to be pretty quiet in regards to my kids. Some things just need to stay private, you know?
Thanks again for having me as a guest! You are an AWESOME group of ladies!
We love having you here, Amanda! Thanks for stopping by and chatting!
“She needed a bargaining chip and this was it. Raif’s daughter’s life for hers. And he knew damn good and well I was right. Just like he’d assured me the night I’d killed Azriel, this was far from over. His daughter was alive, I knew it. And I was going to find her.”
For months Darian and her Shaede guardian Raif have searched for the Oracle who attempted to overthrow the Shaede Nation—and kill Darian in the bargain. But now that they’ve finally found the half-crazed Oracle, for their efforts they are granted a possibility too painful for Raif to imagine, and too enticing for Darian to ignore.
Darian is determined to reunite Raif and the daughter he thought was dead, but her mission quickly proves dangerous when her lover Tyler is almost killed. And when a brooding and mysterious Fae warrior offers his guidance—at an extraordinary price—Darian finds herself willing to risk everything. As her single-minded hunt turns into an obsession, and she and Tyler grow further apart, Darian finds herself caught between the man she loves like a brother, and the man whose love she can’t live without…
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