Amanda’s a fellow member of RWNZ so I always planned to read her debut book. Then I heard the title and I knew I had to read the book as soon as it came out – that is one of the most romantic lines in any movie ever (“You had me at hello” is from Jerry Maguire, for those of you who haven’t seen the movie. Go rent it! It’s romantic in the best way.)
The book revolves around Holly Evans. Not only is she dead, but everyone thinks she committed suicide, which she so did NOT do. And now, she’s been kicked out of heaven. She’s got two days to sort her out her issues or face the consequences. Trouble is, she’s got to do the sorting while in the body of a guy. He’s supposed to have vacated the premises, except that Vince didn’t get the memo and he’s still inside the body, too.
Fun premise, no? It’s a fun book, too, and more than that, it’s got a charm that I dare you to resist. I admit, at the beginning, Holly sometimes made me crazy but this book wouldn’t have worked if she was perfect to start out with. The cool thing about Halo, was seeing Holly develop. By the end, I was thinking that she’d be a funny, sweet friend to have.
As for Vince – he goes into the hot hero category. I fell in love with him just as Holly did. Seriously, he’s a keeper and the book is a wonderful debut.
And now, onto the really tough interview questions! (Amanda's giving away a copy of Halo, so just leave a comment to be in to win. Winner announced tomorrow).
1. Who is Amanda Ashby? Tell us all your deep, dark secrets.
Hmmmm, well obviously I can't tell you about the spying stuff because otherwise I'd have to kill you and ditto with the superpowers thing, so I guess that just leaves my unhealthy addiction to chocolate and David Boreanaz - oh, and I bet you get loads of blog hits because I've mentioned them both in the same sentence!
Actually, the truth is that I'm pretty regular. Two kids, one husband and an overactive imagination.
2. Your first book just came out - how's that feel?
It rocks!!!! Seriously though, it does feel a bit weird - like it's happening to someone else - but so far I've been loving every minute of this otherperson's journey!!!
3. The subject matter of your book is just a wee bit quirky - what made you decide to write about the whole life after death thing?
I wrote this book just after my dad died and while the original idea came from an imaginary conversation I had with him at the funeral (hey, I'm a writer - I already know I'm crazy!), the rest of the book came about because I just kept thinking how annoying it must be to die with loose ends (or without knowing the end of the Harry Potter books). As for the body sharing, well that was purely because as soon as I realized my heroine needed to get back to earth, the whole metaphysical thing hit me and I knew that she would have to hijack someone else's body.
4. What's been the most fun part of the publishing journey for you?
Everytime I get an email from my agent or my editors I just feel like the luckiest girl alive!!!!
5. What's next for Amanda Ashby?
Zombies. I've just sold a young adult book about a girl who accidentally turns her entire school into zombies (seriously, it could've happened to anyone) and now she has to find a cure before she ends up being first course on the zombie menu. Apart from that I'm working on another young adult book and another women's fiction novel as well.
Here's Amandas Website: http://www.amandaashby.com - go forth and read an excerpt. Also, don't forget to leave a comment and enter to win a copy of Halo from Amanda.