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Friday, March 13, 2009

GCC Interview: Amanada Ashby Is One Awesome “Zombie Queen”

Don’t look now, but I think zombies are about to invade the literary world. Forget vampires. Zombies are the new black. And amazing GCC author Amanda Ashby is making a zombie prom sound like a whole lot of fun—even if a few characters may get eaten in the process.

This is why I’m thrilled to showcase Amanda’s latest book ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH, which just debuted through Penguin Speak.

As always, here’s a little bit about her book to get you hooked:


Love spells gone wrong, boyfriend-stealing cheerleaders, and Zombies who want to eat you for dinner. In ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH by Amanda Ashby, love has never tasted—or rather felt—so good. Tomorrow is prom, and all Mia wants to do is cast a love spell on her date Rob Ziggerman to keep him away from cheerleading goddess Samantha and save him all to herself. But somehow she ends up inflicting a zombie virus onto her whole class instead. At first Mia loves all the attention her classmates are giving her; treating her like a queen, compliments galore, and all the chocolate a girl could want. But then zombie hunter hottie Chase explains they are actually fattening her up. Why? Because in twenty-four hours, Mia will be the first course in their new diet.

That’s what being the ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH means. She’s sure she and Chase can figure something out, especially when the alternative means that her classmates and teachers will be feasting on her bones. But in the meantime, she’s suggests that no one wear white to tomorrow night’s prom, because she has a feeling that things could get very messy.

Here’s what Amanda had to say:


Q: In AMOR AND SUMMER SECRETS, Mariana discovers a hidden family secret. Are you a good secret keeper?

Amanda: I’m the worst secret keeper in the whole entire world. Just ask my husband since I can’t even keep his birthday presents a secret. I don’t know why but I’ve always been a full-disclosure sort of person. It’s definitely not always a good thing!

Q: What is the favorite place you ever traveled to, and what was the coolest thing you saw/did there?

Amanda: I’m originally from Australia but lived in England for quite awhile before eventually moving to New Zealand. However, despite having been to a lot of places I’m not really much of a tourist – especially when it comes to places like art galleries, but when I was in Paris I loved the Louvre so much that I went there two days in a row and I still didn’t see everything. It truly was an amazing place.

Q: I often tell the story of how a psychic once predicted that I would go on to write children’s books. Have you ever visited a psychic?

Amanda: I’ve always been incredibly interested in psychics; however, before I sold a book I was always too scared to go to one in case they told me that I might never succeed in my dream (did I mention that I’m also a firm believer in denial??). However, despite never having gone to one I have read loads of books on how it all works and also how to increase your own psychic abilities (right now, I’m working on my mind control so that I can make people buy my book. I think I need to fine tune it a bit better though!).

LOL! I think all us authors could use that type of mind control.

Q: My character Mariana spends her summer in Puerto Rico connecting with her father’s heritage. Have you ever researched your family tree?

Amanda: My parents were both from New Zealand but moved to Australia before I was born, and even though they both loved Australia I never did. In fact, I hated it and couldn’t wait to leave. Then when I was in my mid-twenties I visited all my relatives in New Zealand. I immediately fell in love with the place and felt more at home than I’d ever done in Australia. It was a weird and unexplainable feeling. My husband and I lived in the south island for six years and even though the cold weather eventually drove us out, we have still ended up in another part of New Zealand, and I definitely feel like I’m a Kiwi not an Australian.

I would love to visit both Australia and New Zealand one day. Definitely on my ‘must see before I die’ list. Sounds like a great place to live!


Q: Where were you when you found out that your book was going to be published?

Amanda: I was living in England at the time and with the time difference between the UK and New York I think I got the news from my agent at about 10 at night. It was actually just an email and it was pretty matter of fact. She forwarded on the publisher’s offer to me, and I just stared at it blankly for a long time before the screaming kicked in. Then I rang my cps and there was some more screaming while my poor husband desperately tried to get a glass of champagne into my hands. It was definitely one of the most surreal moments of my life!

Thank you, Amanda! Now, everyone go out and buy books, lots and lots of books!

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