Guest Blogger: Author Amanda Ashby and Book Give-Away!

A few months ago, Debutante Mia and the other Debs were kind enough to invite me along to talk about how it felt to have my debut book, You Had Me at Halo (NAL), about to hit the shelves. Anyway, they’ve been nice enough to ask me back so that I can give an update on what the last two months have been like.

Well, that’s easy. In fact I can sum up the last two months in one little word. Genius.

About two days after my book hit the shelves I got my first reader email. From a complete stranger. Even better, they said that they really loved it. Wow. Especially since before You Had Me at Halo was released, I’d spent a lot of time honing my mind control techniques to encourage people to buy it, I just hadn’t given much thought to what they might do with it next, so the idea that someone might read and enjoy it was a completely lovely surprise.

Apart from hearing from readers, the two other highlights so far have been the fabulous Publisher’s Weekly review I got where they said ‘It’s The Lovely Bones meets Bridget Jones in this fluffy take on what happens after death.’ I know – that’s the sort of thing a girl could dine out on for the rest of her life!!! Also, thanks to being part of a blog touring group called Girlfriend’s Cyber Circuit, I ended up getting a shout out in the New York Times, which was beyond exciting.

Promotion wise, the thing that worked best for me (apart obviously from the extensive subliminal mind control techniques I mentioned earlier) was doing blog tours. I probably did about thirty all together and they were incredibly diverse; with me talking about everything from about how Georgette Heyer affected my writing (a lot) through to having to write song lyrics to promote my book.

The main downside to the whole thing is that I’ve completely lost the ability to focus on anything that isn’t my book. And I mean anything. In the last two months my family have suffered through numerous burnt dinners, my critique partners have hardly seen me and my work in progress is completely covered in cobwebs. This is a slight problem since I actually want to make a career from this writing business, but I’m hoping that things will settle down soon. As for what’s up next. I have a young adult book coming out and I’m still waiting to hear back on my next women’s fiction project about a stressed out bride’s adventures when she discovers that the world is due to be destroyed four days before her wedding. Oh, and there might possibly be some superheroes involved as well…

So, to celebrate the fact that I’ve survived the first two months of being a published author, I’d like to give away a copy of You Had Me at Halo to someone. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post and you’ll go into the draw. Good luck!

25 Replies to “Guest Blogger: Author Amanda Ashby and Book Give-Away!”

  1. Waving hi to Amanda clear across the Pacific! Thanks for coming over to the Ball today, and so excited to hear things have been going swimmingly with your release–it was awfully fun to read you in the Times as well–what a great shout-out that was!
    Love the bride story–sounds hilarious! Can’t wait to buy it so hoping your publisher picks it up…

  2. Hi Amanda! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and congrats on the success of the book. It’s really great to hear from someone who is just a few months ahead of us (the debs) in the publishing process.

    And I’m with Eileen, how about some clues on the mind control thing?!

  3. I can vouch for everything Amanda said about her lack of focus. Luckily, she now lives about 20 mins away from me, so on behalf of the other members of our critique group I visit her on a regular basis with whip in hand!!!! Funny, that she hasn’t invited me over for a meal though.

    Btw…. we’ve also enjoyed the last two months celebrating with Amanda. It’s been an amazing experience.

  4. Jenny – the NYT was so cool. And not only did they mention my book title but also spelt my name right!!!!!

    Joanne – thanks so much for the kind comments

    Eileen and Danielle I learnt of all my mind control techniques from my 5 year old son and I just translated ‘you will give me some candy’ into ‘you will buy my book. You know you want to.’

    Sara – somehow I think the fact we now live close by is only going to make our focus worse not better!!!

    Tami – you definitely get extra points for stalking!!!!

  5. Hey Amanda!

    Yes, I am following you to all your guest blog entries, mainly because you keep giving away a copy of your book but also because they’re so much fun to read!!

    I am totally looking forward to your YA book, and am glad to hear that Halo is getting some great press and feedback!!

  6. Yes, that feedback is so very addictive… that was what kept me writing when I first started, was the feedback from the site where I posted my first few short stories. Some of the people leaving feedback later became friends. Some I never heard from again. But all of them bear a share of the credit (blame?) for the fact that I continue to write.

    And it is really sad how much I agree with this…
    “and my work in progress is completely covered in cobwebs.”

    Way too much of it…

  7. OK, I’m feeling lucky, like I might win a book!!!

    I’d also like to know what your YA is about!?!?!?!

    Congrats on being in that first-love-induced authordom book stage! I wanna be there!!!!!!!!!!!

    Stephiechick aka Manic Mommy aka Stephanie Elliot

  8. Wow, thanks so much for all the kind comments. It’s so much fun reading them!!

    Book Chic – as ever, you rock!!!!

    Will – as soon as I invent some cobweb dissolving spray I’ll send some your way!!!!

    Manic Mom, you have hit the nail on the head because there is nothing so exciting (and nerve racking) as that first book – and I’m sure your time will be coming real soon. My ya book is about a girl who accidently turns her entire school into zombies and then has to find a cure before she turns into the main course – I had so much fun writing it that I’m currently working on a sequel!!!

    Lis, thanks for the kind comments and yes, it was lots of fun to write about a stressed out bride because she had NO sense of perspective on anything that wasn’t white or covered in tulle!

    Reel Librarian, thank you so much for ordering my book. I’m such a huge fan of libraries so it’s completely cool that my book is getting into a few of them!!!!

  9. Heather, Lisa, Jess, Gail and Sarah, thank you all SO much for the comments. I really appreciate them!

    As always, I’ve had such a blast getting to hang out with the Debs again -they sure are a clever, witty and stylish bunch!!! Anyway, I’ve just done a random draw (from my new best friend, which is the perfect thing for a non-decision maker such as myself) and the winner is comment number 3, Joanne.

  10. Please Can I Win…. I love reading Chick Lit…. or any fiction, mystery is my second favorite; never compete with Chick Lit. Would love to have 1 of your books, always eager to find a new author.

  11. cool Amanda–did you let Joanne Levy know?
    She’s on the chick lit loop and also Backspace–if you need her email address let me know!
    thanks again for coming by!

  12. Hi Amanda,

    Big congratulations on having a successful book! 🙂

    A stressed bride, will likely to have the most fun? I bet she does in your lovely book! So, you had me writing to let you know how excited I am for you and your other upcoming projects too.

    All the best, and keep us fans posted on your story writing!


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