"I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared to meet me is another matter."
-Winston Churchill

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

GFP Tour Stop with Amanda Arista - Claws and Effect




Welcome to Immortality and Beyond.

May I offer you a beverage? A lascivious latte if you will.



Now that we're all settled into my lair, I'm de-bite-fully glad you stopped in.


BK:  Please tell us a little bit about your current release...
Claws and Effect picks up three months after the happenings of Diaries of an Urban Panther. After four assassination attempts, Violet is getting tired of everyone trying to make her something she’s not. The lieutenants of the Pride want her dead. Chaz wants a traditional girlfriend. A pack of lost mongrels want a leader. And a new panther comes prowling into town new to the shift needs a teacher. Matters are only complicated by her dreams of violent power and prophesy from her psychic connection to Spencer, her sire, still trapped in the Neveranth but getting stronger with each passing month. In true Violet fashion, there are ups but mostly downs with some heartfelt moments and humor.


BK:  What inspired this particular novel/book?
The original idea for the first book came from a simple question: what would you do if you were trapped in the back alley with a monster? Violet’s initial reaction was what I would have done: thrown my shoe and run like hell. I knew that Violet’s story wasn’t over after the first book. She’d come into her power, but she’d done some damage in the process, to herself, to the city, to her new boyfriend. Hence the second book, what happen in the aftermath of her triumph? Even after this book, I don’t think that all of Violet’s questions are answered, so yes, I can see even more Diaries in the future.


BK:  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I always wanted to be a writer, more Dean Koontz than Hemingway though. I never considered myself one until recently. Writing was something I did for myself. Outside of some stories for class work, my creative life was kept to the pages of many spiral bound notebooks under my bed. I enjoyed journalism all throughout school, but it had been harped on that I needed to find a “real job.” It wasn’t until I joined the SMU Creative Writing Program that I got the courage to not only show my work to someone else, but also call myself a writer. I came to appreciate that writing wasn’t what I did in the shadows, but who I was. That’s when I realized I was a writer.


BK:  How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?
I’ve always thought that Violet was different because she was a normal single girl,  a little out of shape, and addicted to coffee. And she talks like it. She wears her heart on her sleeve and you can hear that in her narration. There is a lot of first person paranormal out there, but with Violet it was more of a funny, “how’d I manage to get myself in this situation?” tone rather than a hard-boiled, “I’m the thing that goes bump in the night” tone. The initial attack and the subsequent ones never changed fundamentally who she was. She’s still Violet Jordan, just with two times of the month to worry about and a new set of skill to fight for her family.

BK:  What was the hardest thing about writing this story?
I’d finally given Violet the Happily-Ever-After that she deserved, and I knew I was going to have to take that away from her. The magic and the pack stuff is like breathing for me, so that’s not the hard part. I could through a million bad guys at her and not blink.  Undoing her happily-ever-after was hard for me.

BK:  What character was your favorite to write for in this story? Why?
I completely fell in love with Tucker Briggs. I’ve never written healing male before. He really becomes strong and I loved that development into what Violet needed, not a romantic interest but a brother. The Tucker Briggs that you see in the first few pages is not the Tucker Briggs at the end.

BK:  Which was your favorite scene to write?
The fight with the motorcycle gang of Warthogs was probably my favorite. Not only was it the first of the pack fighting together, it was the formation of her pack. It just hit all the right physical and emotional notes for me and I hope it reads that way.
                               
BK:  Now for a little fun, and into your everyday life, What is a day in your life like?
Coffee, Day Job, Coffee, Day Job, Puppy play time, hubby smooching time, something else sweet, and then I set down to write.
               
BK:  What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I bake. A lot. The people at the day job love it. I bake especially when I’ve got some sort of story block and I’m avoiding my characters at all costs.

BK:  What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
I’m adopted and normal. I still come across people who think that all adopted kids have attachment issues or are different from the rest of their family. I’m just like my Mom, down to the odd sense of humor.             

BK:  What do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?
I LOVE NEIL GAIMAN!! Dean Koontz was my first horror and my first sex scene. Jude Deveraux taught me how to create a good romance without creating a wimpy heroine (I hate wimpy heroines). Alice Hoffman taught me the craft of writing and how to summon an emotion in one beautiful sentence.

BK:  Please tell us one piece of advice you were given as an author that you carry with you when you write?
My Freshman English teacher, Mrs. Johnson: “Writing should be like a skirt, long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to keep it interesting.”

BK:  What is one piece of advice you can give to aspiring writers/authors?
If you write, you are a writer.

BK:  What are you currently working on?
Spoilers! There might be another Diaries in the works, ,but there were a few characters in Claws and Effect that demanded to have their own stores told, so I’m trying to get those out.

BK:  Where can readers connect with you?
I’m all over the place. Connect away!
Facebook: Amanda arista
Twitter: @pantherista

BIO:
Amanda was born in Illinois, raised in Corpus Christi, lives in Dallas but her heart lies in London. Good thing she loves to travel.
She has a husband who fights crime, one dog who thinks he’s a real boy, and another who might be a fruit bat in disguise.
She spends her weekends writing at coffee shops, practicing for the day that caffeine intake becomes an Olympic sport, and plotting character demises with fellow writers Wolvarez, Killer Cupcake and Keith (names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent).

Synopsis:
Claws and Effect picks up three months after the happenings of Diaries. After four assassination attempts, Violet is getting tired of everyone trying to make her something she’s not. The lieutenants of the Pride want her dead. Chaz wants a traditional girlfriend. A pack of lost mongrels want a leader. And a new panther comes prowling into town new to the shift needs a teacher. Matters are only complicated by her own dreams of violent power and prophesy, some coming from her psychic connection to Spencer still trapped in the Neveranth but getting stronger with each passing month. In true Violet fashion, there are ups but mostly downs with some heartfelt moments and humor.


Excerpt:
                I had already tossed his laundry into the washer and fixed him a grilled ham and cheese when he came down the stairs. We were at the point in a relationship that I could wash his clothes, but I couldn’t take them off. 
                “You’re the best,” he said as he flopped down at the kitchen table and ripped into grilled cheese.
                “Yeah. I hear that a lot.”
                “So did you meet with those comic guys today?”
                “Oh.” I slid onto the kitchen counter and watched as he avoided what had just happened like the plague. Chaz was good at that. I wondered if it was part of his superhero package: quick healing, überstrength, superspeed, and the ability to leap over problems in our relationship in a single bound.
                “Yeah, and then I got attacked by a wind elemental and saved by Tucker Briggs.”

Giveaway: Harper Collins will be giving away a $25 gift certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the Claws and Effect Virtual Blog Tour.

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with us today Amanda. I am looking forward to reading your book and wish you the best of success in the future.

You can follow Amanda's tour HERE.  


14 comments:

Nightly Cafe said...

Thank you so much for stopping in today Amanda. :) It was fun learning more about you.

BK

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting Amanda today!

Cathy M said...

Can I just say how much I love your humor, Amanda? Another great blog post, and that quote from your English teacher is just too perfect.


caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Catherine Lee said...

I agree...I love that quote from your English teacher. I think I'll have to steal that!

I, too, love Neil Gaiman. His writing is so evocative!

Wish we could share some baked goodies...

catherinelee100[at]gmail[.]com
@capefearlibn

Amanda Arista said...

Thanks guys. Mrs. Johnson was really the first person who told me that i was pretty good with this writing thing- I owe her a lot!
Maybe I'll open a coffee shop like the one in the book and everyone can get in on the baked goods. I'm particulalry good at cupcakes and cake bals right now- working on candies.
Keep posting! I'll keep checking in.

June M. said...

That advice from your English teacher is great! I have bot Diaries of an Urban Panther & Claws and Effect on my TBB list. They sound great. Thanks so much for the post. Let us know if you get that coffee shop opened.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Renald said...

The cover works with the title of the book.

Renald said...

The cover works with the title of the book.

jkrowyn said...

That sounds really good, I'm def going to be looking out for that one. Congrats!!

Artesia at comcast dot net

Chelsea B. said...

Hi, Amanda! Nice interview! And I enjoyed reading the excerpt!

justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

marybelle said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the interview & the excerpt thank you!!

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Karen H in NC said...

Yum...cake balls...love those things!

I've been in a film mood all day so my question today is if your book were to be made into a movie, who do you see playing the main characters?

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Amanda Arista said...

@karen H. Actually, I have cast my book already. I've got a site at Pinterest (if you're not addicted you will be). Jensen Ackles as Chaz and Currently Olivia Wilde is cast as Violet.

Krysykat said...

Great stop, I'm going to have to see about getting the first book so I can read it :)

Morganlafey86(at)aol(dot)com

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