Jun 13, 2012

Posted by in AAD2012, Interviews | 18 Comments

AAD Author Spotlight – Interview with Amanda Carlson plus giveaway

My twenty-fourth Authors After Dark Spotlight is Amanda Carlson. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with her yet.  If you are a UF fan, after September, you will be. 😉

Questions about AAD:
Have you attended Authors After Dark before or are you an AAD virgin like me? 

I’m a total virgin!! I feel so lucky that I’m able to attend as a new author. I have to give a shout-out to Stella for the wonderful opportunity. I’m debuting my novel FULL BLOODED (everyone is getting an ARC, yay!) so it’s going to be a big event for me. It’s only my 3rd time at a con ever. I’m trying not to get too nervous.

What are you most looking forward to at AAD2012?

Meeting everyone! I’ve made such great connections on this road so far and I can’t wait to put faces with all the lovely people who have supported me. The next thing I’m excited about is seeing my book in the hands of readers. Squee! And we can’t forget the food! I LOVE New Orleans and can’t wait for some good Cajun dishes. YUM!

Which author(s) attending AAD2012 are you most looking forward to meeting?

There are a whole slew of authors I’m excited to meet! I have a mad girl crush on Kristen Painter, but other than a very few authors, I haven’t had a chance to meet very many. I’m hoping to make a lot of connections and meet some fabulous authors.

Questions about your WRITING and READING HABITS:
What did you do when you found out you were being published for the first time?

Well, the first week I was in pure disbelief. We had a wonderful night celebrating the day I received the news. Hubby brought home flowers & gifts and my parents brought dinner, but after that I kept thinking someone was going to call me and tell me the deal was off: “Upon further inspection, your novel does not meet our standards.” LOL! But after it sunk in, it was incredible. A dream come true. Then it was tons and tons of work! I signed a contract to produce three books in one year. It’s been a race ever since, but a great race—an AMAZING race!

Of all of the books you’ve written, which is your favorite?

I think my first book, FULL BLOODED, will always have my heart. It launched my career. It introduced my characters to the world and it tested my commitment to writing. Finishing it was one of the hardest, and best, things I’ve ever done. Not the writing part, but the believing in myself part. I’m telling you, for all the aspiring authors out there—you can do it. You do have that story in you! You just have to find it and make a commitment to finish it. And when you do, this is what’s in store for you.

Have you ever written a scene that made you blush?

No blushing! I love writing smex as much as I love writing action. I have zero issues with it. Getting it perfect is so much fun. LOL, how many ways can I talk around the word “penis” is a personal challenge. There is not a ton of sex in my novel, but I do have one super hot scene and I wanted to make sure the readers got a big bang! Did I hit it?? You tell me. I loved every minute of writing it.

Who was your favorite hero or heroine to write?

I love Jessica. She has to be my favorite. I love her snark, her journey and her complexity. She’s the most challenging as well as the most natural to write. I also love to write Rourke, because he makes my toes curl. But the most *fun* voices to write are the sassy sidekick characters: Juanita, Marcy & Danny. I have a blast with their voice and I hope it comes across in the pages.

Who is your favorite hero or heroine to read?

I love books with very strong leads. If the book has a hero and a heroine, I want both to be independent, and eventually come together on the same level. That can be hard to find, which is why I wanted to write Jessica and Rourke as a team. Love angst won’t separate them, circumstance will. I think in UF, one of my favorite heroines has to be Jane Yellowrock. Faith Hunter has crafted a kickass lead and it’s a pure joy to read.

Have you ever been surprised by a reader’s reaction to a scene that you wrote – either good or bad? 

Early on I was surprised by everyone’s attachment to James! He’d only been on a few pages in the beginning, but my betas seemed to *get* him immediately and wanted more from him. It wasn’t a huge surprise, because I love him too, but I just hadn’t expected it to be so clear so soon. If I even thought of messing with him now there’d be beef, LOL!

Have you always been a reader or are you like me and got turned off by the mind-numbingly boring deep and multi-layered books you had to read in High School only to ‘find’ reading again as an adult?

I’ve always been a rabid reader. My nose was always stuck in a book growing up, much to the chagrin of family members during required family functions. There wasn’t much YA (if at all) in the early 80s. There was middle grade or adult. I made the transition from Judy Blume to Stephen King in the same year. I will never forget reading Cujo! It was a bit of a deviation from Ms. Blume, but eye-opening in a whole new way. I’m thankful my kids don’t have to make such big leaps and the YA out there is truly amazing. We are a huge reading family and always have tons of books going.

What book do you most remember having read in High School?

As I stated above, Stephen King was huge for me. I read a lot in high school, so it blurs together, but I remember Cujo and Night Shift—those short stories were brilliant and totally horrifying to read as a teen. But I loved every second of it. I’m trying to remember what other books were on my shelf but I’m coming up short, which is a tribute to King’s mastery.

Questions about YOU:
What is your favorite movie?

This is a hard one, but currently Zombieland

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?


Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Night owl

Tell us something people might be surprised to learn about you?

I went to high school with my husband, but didn’t meet him until 6 years after I graduated.

Question about your UPCOMING RELEASE(S):
Your shiny new Jessica McClain series is coming out in September and as an introduction, you wrote Blooded, a short story introducing everyone to the main characters and the premise for the series.  Why did you decide write a prequel?

My agent suggested I write a novella to introduce my voice (of which she is a big fan, LOL). The novella evolved organically after that. Since I hadn’t introduced my characters or world, I had to start at the beginning.  But which beginning? Being born or an event in her life or a pinnacle turning point? I picked the turning point. I felt it was a natural place to introduce my heroine without a heavy info dump, introduce key characters and make it as action packed as I could. Thus it became a great character building prequel to the series. It’s not necessary to read it before the novel for storyline, but it gives great character depth for Jessica.

Blooded has received some fantastic reviews so far and it’s caused quite the buzz for the first full length book in your series, Full Blooded.  In fact, all of this buzz has turned your book into one of the most anticipated UF releases by a debut author for 2012.  I’m sure the buzz is exciting but does it also make you more nervous?  I mean, now readers have higher expectations and they hope you can deliver…no pressure there!  

I’m only just hearing there’s buzz and it’s a terrific feeling. It’s been a long road to publication and to have people interested in reading my book is nothing short of amazing. But, I have to admit, I’m completely nervous! Most nights I wake up and pop the industrial bottle of Tums by my bedside. I’m most nervous about the reader’s reaction to the writing. I am my biggest critic, and even if fans don’t love every aspect of the plot, will they still enjoy the writing? Or think it’s well written? Creating something so personal and laying it out for the world to see is nothing short of terrifying.

Your series is primarily about werewolves.  You may have noticed that there are a few other series on shelves already about werewolves – one or two at least.  *g*  What did you do to your wolves to make sure they stood out amongst the others?  What makes your weres special or different?  

I tried to bring a unique spin on wolves (I am a hot-blooded fan) and I hope I succeeded. In my world females aren’t born and humans can’t be made into wolves, so when one shows up, it rocks the supernatural status quo. I wanted to craft a strong heroine, but one with a big supportive family unit. I started writing this book years ago when the…er…competition on the shelves wasn’t as great. So when it came time to sell, I was naturally nervous no one would pick it up. My agent assured me that what people really wanted was a great story. That was the bottom line. She held on to that and jumped in with both feet. She was right, and I have come to heartily agree with her. My favorite authors could write about anything: vamps, witches, demons, angels—and do—and if it’s well written and compelling, I read it and enjoy the hell out of it.

Jessica, the main heroine in your books, is the only female born into a werewolf pack…but she’s human!  You make it sound as though there are no other women on Pack grounds.  Is that true?  And if there are no other women, um…where do werewolf babies come from?  Does the Stork bring them?

I touch on wolf baby-making in the novel, LOL! Wolves breed with human women, but the DNA is only passed to males. Jessica is the only female and there are no other women on Pack grounds. That’s why her upbringing was so tumultuous. But, have no fear, there are other great women introduced in the novel—friends, neighbors and a few fun…archenemies!

Thank you so much Amanda for answering my questions today.  I am looking forward to meeting you in NOLA – almost as much as I am looking forward to reading Full Blooded  😉

Thank you so much for hosting me! I am super excited to meet you in NOLA. I hope you love the novel as much as you loved the novella.

Amanda is giving away a KINDLE copy of her prequel novella Blooded. Leave a comment below by Sunday June 17th 2012 11:59est and you’re entered! Giveaway open Canada / US. Good luck everyone and Thank You Amanda for offering such a great prize! (Honestly though, UF fans have to give this a try. Blooded is a great intro. You can read my mini-review on Goodreads.)

Here’s where you can find Amanda –

  1. Kathy Webb says:

    I am going to AAD and CAN NOT WAIT! Less than 60 days … wooo hooo!! I would love to win a kindle of copy of this novella.. Sounds like a cool world!!


    aka Kathy 🙂

  2. I’m not participating in the giveaway.
    I’m really looking forward to meet you in NOLA, I also looking forward to the food, even though Julie only wants to eat fried chicken… But what can we do. LOL
    James… OMG! James is dreamy and thank you for what you did for us in Full Blooded, as you know I looooooved it and can’t wait to read more about Jessica and of course Rourke.
    Great interview.

  3. I’ve heard such great things about this series! I can’t wait till the book comes out – thanks for the giveaway!

  4. rubyswan says:

    Hello ,
    ThanQ U 4 sharing with me an unknown author!

  5. Northwoman says:

    YOu always have a new author for me to want to read! And a great giveaway. Now just another one to put on my to-read list.

  6. I NEED this series, like last week lol!!! I need more good werewolves in my life right now!! 🙂 and thanks so much for the interview!! I can’t wait to see you in Nola!! I’m a local kid 🙂

  7. I’ve seen the buzz for the book and since I love all things shifter, I’ve got it on my wish list. I’d love to win a copy of the novella. Best wishes with the release.

  8. I’m not participating in the giveaway either cuz I already have, read and love Blooded! Can’t wait for the book… it’s already pre-ordered 😉

    Thanks for a fun interview! Congrats on the new releases and have fun at AAD!

  9. I enjoyed the interview. This sounds like a good series.

  10. Yazmin Rangel says:

    Great interview. Another author I have to look for and start reading. 🙂

  11. Thanks for the interview! This sounds great and I’ve added them to my reading list! I love were stories and seeing how authors put their spin on it!

  12. Thanks for all the wonderful comments!! It made my day reading them. I hope you all enjoy the series & I can’t wait to meet some of you in NOLA! I’m so looking forward to it.

    If you follow me on Twitter, I do Kindle giveaways there as well. In August, after NOLA, I will likely be giving a signed ARC of FULL BLOODED away! Check my facebook page or my website for that.


  13. This series looks amazing. Can’t wait for it.


  14. what an amazing interview! So nice to learn more. I confess I really like James as well, and it’s true I can’t wait to read more of him. But well read more of everyone lol. I’m so sad why can’t I go in NOLA? Why is it so far????

    (I’m not participating in the giveaway)

  15. Series sounds very interesting, adding it to my wish list!

  16. Sounds like a great series. Looking forward to it.

  17. I am so excited to AAD, it is the highlight of my summer.
    The series sounds great!!!
    Happy reading!

  18. Really looking forward to this series, I’ve heard nothing but awesome stuff about it.

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