A Writer in the Spotlight – Amanda Foody

A Writer In The Spotlight Logo

Hello gentle reader,

In 2014, I interviewed Amanda Foody about her successful query. Three years later and her debut DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY is about to come out. I thought it was time to have another chat with her – this time about her writing process and her upcoming books. I hope you’ll enjoy this interview!

A Writer in the Spotlight – 38

My interview (10th July 2017)

amanda_foody_author_photo_2016Credit to Steph Faucher Photography

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? When/How did you decide to be a writer?

I wanted to be a writer since I started reading. My earliest stories are from when I was five years old, and I have so many memories of spending hours alone as a child, typing away on my parents’ old box computers in the “computer room,” starting book after book (but rarely finishing them). Even though I often had other aspirations, usually in the business or STEM fields, I always wanted to write as well. In high school, I decided to stop waiting to “be a grown-up” and to start pursuing it professionally then. I learned a lot very quickly, and I regret nothing!

Are you a full-time writer? When and where do you write?

I am not. I am a tax accountant by day, living a double life between the two sides of my brain. I typically write in the evening when I get home from work, or on the weekends. I do a lot of writing in bed.

What do you say to writers who want to be traditionally published one day?

Read as much as you can about the craft of writing! Craft books were my greatest teachers, and I still refer back to them whenever I can. They are truly invaluable, and often overlooked.

DaughterOfTheBurningCity
To write DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY, where did you get your inspiration from?

In the midst of drafting it, I read THE NIGHT CIRCUS for the first time and loved what Erin Morganstern did with her world-building and tone. I also read a lot of Agatha Christie as a kid, so I reflected a lot on classic mystery plots and how I could convert that to a fully fantastical story.

The story takes place in a travelling circus. What kind of research did you do for it?

Not too much, really. I definitely had to do some thinking on the mechanics of the city and how it moves and feeds itself and functions, but I tend to shy away from research and draw a lot from my own imagination, particular for this book. Most of my research was for extraneous things, like on bugs for Sorina’s bug collection, or poisons for Luca’s poison collection (My characters have some weird interests).

Your cover is gorgeous, did your publishers ask for your input while designing it?

Thank you! They asked what sort of cover I had in mind, and then when in a totally different direction. I love the final product, though. It’s very eye-catching and unique. They did a great job unifying the title, cover, and tagline into a single aesthetic.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on my second book, ACE OF SHADES. DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY is a stand-alone, and ACE is the first in a YA fantasy series. I’m currently deep into the editorial work, somewhere between intensive revisions and line edits, and I’m uber excited for how the story is turning out. I started this project when I was seventeen, and I honestly feel that this book taught me how to write. I’m so proud of how far it’s come.

A little about the project: it releases on April 24, 2018. We call it SIX OF CROWS meets SPIRITED AWAY. It takes place in the City of Sin, known for its reckless gambling culture, scandalous cabarets, and extensive criminal underworld. Enne Salta comes from a world of etiquette, pirouettes, and doilies–exactly the opposite of the City of Sin–but she journeys there anyway in order to find her mother, who’s gone missing there…and could potentially be dead. She teams up with Levi Glaisyer, a famous card dealer and con man, who’s gotten himself into some hot water for running an illegal investment scam. The two uncover some sinister secrets about Enne’s mother and must face a number of terrible enemies in the city, who thrust them into a perilous game for their lives. It’s got all my favorite things: ruthless villains, an endearing yet cutthroat group cast, and sexy thrills! 😉

What are your favourite books this year? 

So many! Just to list: STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor; WARCROSS by Marie Lu; MASK OF SHADOWS by Linsey Miller; and UPROOTED by Naomi Novik.

Thanks for this interview, Amanda!

You can add Amanda’s books on Goodreads here.

Check out Amanda’s beautiful website here to find out more about her and her books.

 

 

Looking forward to 2017: Anticipated YA Books

Hello gentle reader,

On this blog I’ve already mentioned five YA releases I’m looking forward to reading in 2017: CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber, THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE by Mackenzi Lee, TRAITOR TO THE THRONE by Alwyn Hamilton, SHIMMER AND BURN by Mary Taranta and GILDED CAGE by Vic James.

Today I’m adding seven books to this list, in no particular order:

acol

A CONJURING OF LIGHT by V.E. Schwab (SHADES OF MAGIC #3)

Release date: 21st February 2017 by Tor Books

Blurb: London’s fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike.

Why it’s on my TBR list: I loved the first two books in this Fantasy trilogy and I can’t wait for the final instalment!

strangethedreamer

STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor (STRANGE THE DREAMER #1)

Release date: 28th March 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Blurb:

Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men

a mysterious city stripped of its name

a mythic hero with blood on his hands

a young librarian with a singular dream

a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled

alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

Why it’s on my TBR list: I enjoyed Laini Taylor’s first trilogy and I loved her short story THE GIRL WHO WOKE THE DREAMER. I’m curious to read this new series.

bloodroserebellion

BLOOD ROSE REBELLION by Rosalyn Eves (BLOOD ROSE REBELLION #1)

Release date: 28th March 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Blurb: The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Why it’s on my TBR list: I’m always on the lookout for YA Fantasy debuts and this one sounds intriguing.

york

YORK or THE SHADOW CIPHER by Laura Ruby (YORK #1)

Release date: 16th May 2017 by Walden Pond Press

Blurb: New York, a puzzle (laid into the city) that’s never been solved, three teens determined to solve it, and at the end of it – a treasure beyond all imagining.

Why it’s on my TBR list: It’s about a treasure hunt in New York and it’s written by Laura Ruby. That’s enough for me.

thevaliant

THE VALIANT by Lesley Livingston

Release date: 14th February 2017 by HarperCollins Canada

Blurb: In Ancient Rome, the youngest daughter of a proud Celtic king is captured and sold to a training school for female gladiators—and its most influential patron is none other than Julius Caesar himself.

Why it’s on my TBR list: I’m really not sure about the blurb but I can’t resist a story set in Ancient Rome.

thickasthieves

THICK AS THIEVES by Megan Whalen Turner (THE QUEEN’S THIEF #5)

Release date: 16th May 2017 by Greenwillow Books

Blurb: Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path. Set in the world of the Queen’s Thief, this epic adventure sees an ordinary hero take on an extraordinary mission.

Why it’s on my TBR list: BECAUSE THE QUEEN’S THIEF IS MY FAVOURITE SERIES OF ALL TIMES AND HERE IS A NEW INSTALMENT AT LAST. I can’t wait.

theendofoz

THE END OF OZ by Danielle Paige (DOROTHY MUST DIE #4)

Release date: 14th March 2017 by HarperCollins

Blurb: Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to save Kansas and make Oz a free land once more.

Why it’s on my TBR list: I enjoyed the first three books in the series and I’m curious to find out how it all ends.

What about you? Which books are you looking forward to reading in 2017? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Waiting On Wednesday – 91

Hello gentle reader,

Today I’m waiting on SHIMMER AND BURN by Mary Taranta (expected publication: 8th August 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books). It’s a YA Fantasy that has definitely me intrigued. And look at this gorgeous cover!

shimmer-and-burn

From Goodreads:

Faris grew up fighting to survive in the slums of Brindaigel while caring for her sister, Cadence. But when Cadence is caught trying to flee the kingdom and is sold into slavery, Faris reluctantly agrees to a lucrative scheme to buy her back, inadvertently binding herself to the power-hungry Princess Bryn, who wants to steal her father’s throne.

Now Faris must smuggle stolen magic into neighboring Avinea to incite its prince to alliance—magic that addicts in the war-torn country can sense in her blood and can steal with a touch. She and Bryn turn to a handsome traveling magician, North, who offers protection from Avinea’s many dangers, but he cannot save Faris from Bryn’s cruelty as she leverages Cadence’s freedom to force Faris to do anything—or kill anyone—she asks. Yet Faris is as fierce as Bryn, and even as she finds herself falling for North, she develops schemes of her own.

With the fate of kingdoms at stake, Faris, Bryn, and North maneuver through a dangerous game of magical and political machinations, where lives can be destroyed—or saved—with only a touch.

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by book blogger Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.

Have you heard about this book? Is it on your TBR list? What are you waiting on this week?

Waiting On Wednesday – 89

Hello gentle reader,

Today I’m waiting on a much anticipated sequel: TRAITOR TO THE THRONE by my friend Alwyn Hamilton (expected publication: 2nd February 2017 by Faber & Faber in the UK and 7th March 7th 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers in the US). It’s the second book in the REBEL OF THE SANDS trilogy and I can’t wait to find out what’s next for Amani! And look at those beautiful covers:

(UK cover on the left – US cover on the right)

From Goodreads:

Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al’Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.

When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan’s palace—she’s determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan’s secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she’s a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she’s been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In TRAITOR TO THE THRONE, the only certainty is that everything will change.

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by book blogger Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.

Have you read REBEL OF THE SANDS? Is TRAITOR TO THE THRONE on your TBR list?

What are you waiting on this week?

Waiting On Wednesday – 87

Hello gentle reader,

today I’m waiting on GILDED CAGE (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James (expected publication: 14th February 2017 by Del Rey Books). It’s a YA Fantasy set in an alternate modern-day England. I’ve wanted to read this book since the book deal was announced, and this is definitely one of my most anticipated 2017 releases…

Gilded Cage

From Goodreads:

For readers of Victoria Aveyard and Kiera Cass comes a darkly fantastical debut set in a modern England where magically gifted aristocrats rule and commoners are doomed to serve.

NOT ALL ARE FREE.
NOT ALL ARE EQUAL.
NOT ALL WILL BE SAVED.

Our world belongs to the Equals aristocrats with magical gifts and all commoners must serve them for ten years.
But behind the gates of England s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

“A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.”

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of their noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty but will her heart pay the price?

“A boy dreams of revolution.”

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

“And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.”

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate or destroy?

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by book blogger Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.

Have you heard about this book? Is it on your TBR list? What are you waiting on this week?

Waiting On Wednesday – 83

Hello gentle reader,

Today I’m waiting on CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber (expected publication: 10th January 2017 by Flatiron Books). It’s a YA Fantasy and I CANNOT WAIT for its release, mainly because: 1) the cover is gorgeous, 2) the premise sounds fantastic, 3) I read the first chapters and they’re amazing, 4) Stephanie, whom I met in L.A. last summer, is possibly the nicest person ever, and this is her debut. Is it January yet?

Caraval_final-cover-1

From Goodreads:

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by book blogger Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.

Have you heard about this book? Is it on your TBR list? What are you waiting on this week?

Waiting On Wednesday – 82

Hello gentle reader,

Happy New Year!

Today I’m waiting on HALF LOST (Half Bad #3) by Sally Green (expected publication: 29th March 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers). And by ‘waiting’ I mean DYING to read it. This is easily my Most Anticipated Book of 2016. It’ll be the final book in a truly fantastic YA Fantasy trilogy, which you should read if you haven’t already. I, for one, can’t wait to see how Nathan’s story ends!

Half Lost

 

From Goodreads (edited to avoid spoilers):

Nathan must travel to America (…) to turn the tide for the Alliance of Free Witches and end the bloody civil war between Black and White witches once and for all…

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by book blogger Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.

Have you heard about this book? Is it on your TBR list? What are you waiting on this week?