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GCC Author Interview: Amanda Ashby

This week the Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit welcomes Amanda Ashby, author of the brand-new YA novel, Zombie Queen of Newbury High (Puffin). (Newbury High -- I love that pun!)

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.

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.

The interview:

Stacy: If you couldn't be a writer, what would your dream job be?

Amanda: I work part time at the children/teen desk at my local library and it’s just as much fun as I always imagined it would be. Actually, it’s better. I still can’t believe I get paid to talk books with people. Awesome!

Stacy: What's the most surprising thing to happen since publication of your book?

Amanda: Getting emails from Complete Strangers to say that they’ve read my book – it’s always a bonus if they’ve enjoyed it as well! But I was so intent on selling a book that I sort of forgot that other people besides my editor and agent might possibly read it (sometimes I’m a bit slow like that!!!)

Stacy: What are you working on now?
Amanda: I’ve just finished a young adult book about a girl who can see invisible fairies (invisible killer fairies) and now I’m working on a mid grade book which is lots of fun.

Stacy: Did you have a favorite teacher who encouraged your writing/reading habit?
Amanda: In third grade we had this really old teacher called Mrs. Scheinder and she got the whole class to make a story about an elf. I was pretty pissed off that the elf got named Spike (not after Buffy, which wasn’t around back then, but after Fonzie’s cousin in Happy Days. Am I dating myself here?). Anyway, I remember loving the whole process but absolutely hating the fact that not all my ideas go used!!!!

Stacy: What's your favorite kind of chocolate?

Amanda: All kinds!!!!! Me and chocolate go well together so I don’t like to discriminate.

Praise for Zombie Queen:

"Zombie Queen of Newbury High is a delightfully fun, fresh, and funny read! Amanda Ashby creates a highly likeable heroine in Mia Everett, who, despite her best intentions, turns her classmates into zombies. And with prom quickly approaching, she must find a way to undo it before, well before she gets eaten! Never again will you look at prom, your classmates, or even zombies in quite the same way! ~Alyson Noel, New York Times Bestselling author of Evermore

"Zombie Queen of Newbury High is a delicious treat! Who knew zombies could be both fun and funny? It's Zombilicious!" -- Michelle Rowen, author of Bitten & Smitten

"Zombie Queen of Newbury High is where popularity can turn you undead (with an unsettling appetite) and Prom will be a little dangerous this year.  Amanda Ashby moves into the YA world with snapping prose and an entertaining high school mix of teen crushes, popularity drama, and a zombie squad. Zombies beware--you'll love to follow the twists and turns of this fresh and fun novel!" -- Kelly Parra, author of Invisible Touch

“Amanda Ashby's book, Zombie Queen of Newbury High, is filled with twists, turns and humor, sure to totally draw you in. I loved the fact that this read was more than your typical high school teen love story. If you're like me and can't get enough of books filled with mystery, suspense, with a dash of relatable relationship and friendship probs on the side, I def recommend picking up your own copy—you won't regret it!” -Jami Katz GirlsLife.com Book Club

“Amanda Ashby writes a very entertaining and quick read about a teenage protagonist who has to fix the catastrophic problem she created - or else she'll never be able to enjoy the ball with Prince Charming. Many readers will be able to relate to Mia and her quirky ways, and others will simply fall in love with her witty humor. And if that doesn't work, there are always hunks Rob and Chase. ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH deserves the five stars. This is a very original story that isn't too far-fetched that teenage readers can't relate at all - it's the perfect mix of reality and imagination.” 5 stars teensreadtoo

"...full of humor, romance and suspense, and her characters are well-developed and a joy to get to know. Five Stars."
- Bitten By Books

"Feel-good, fun and utterly lovely - if you're a Buffy/Angel fan, or a zombie, or both, or neither, don't miss this one! Highly recommended."
- Chicklish

About Amanda:

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia and has spent the last ten years dividing her time between England and New Zealand. When she’s not moving countries, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to watch television, eat chocolate and sit around doing not much, but let's just keep that between ourselves, shall we?). She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two young children. Her debut adult book You Had Me at Halo has been nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award. This is her first book for young adults. Visit her on the web at www.amandaashby.com.


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Stacy DeKeyser ~~ Author of books for teens
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