This week I'm so happy to introduce to you Amanda Ashby and her middle-grade series, SOPHIE'S MIXED-UP MAGIC. Books one and two of the series are both out this week, and you'll definitely want to check them out!
After eleven year old Sophie accidentally gets herself turned into a djinn, she starts to think that it might not be so bad after all. (Of course, that’s after she gets the whole orange skin problem sorted out.) Who wouldn’t enjoy having the power to grant wishes! But when Sophie develops RWD (Random Wish Disorder) and can’t STOP granting wishes, things get more than a little mixed-up!
As Sophie gets used to her magic, her relationship with the adorable Jonathan Tait is blossoming. There’s only one problem: Jonathan’s twin sister, Melissa. She’s a total mean girl who seems intent on making Sophie’s life miserable. On top of that, Melissa somehow seems to sense that Sophie has powers–and manages to bind Sophie to her in a totally self-serving way. Can Sophie figure out a way out of this–without ruining her chances with Jonathan?
Amanda Ashby was born in Australia and after spending the last sixteen years dividing her time between England and New Zealand, she’s finally moved back and now lives on the Sunshine Coast. When she’s not moving country, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to eat chocolate, watch television and sit around doing not much, but let’s just keep that amongst ourselves, shall we?)
She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book, You Had Me at Halo was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award, and her first young adult book Zombie Queen of Newbury High was listed by the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age 2010. Her latest release, Fairy Bad Day, has been selected by Voya as one of their Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers 2012 and is a SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist for the Australia/NZ region. To find out more, please go to www.amandaashby.com
And now, for a peek into her writing world...
Do you have a pre-game writing warm-up? Something you do before you write to help get you in the right frame of mind?
I used to play solitaire on the computer before I started writing but that was a bit disastrous and could go on for ages so I had to stop it. These days I just need some Diet Coke and my playlist!
Is there a time of day you like to write best?
During the day, though my first few books were written at night after my kids had gone to bed, but now that they are in school I can finally work when the sun is out!
Where do you write most often?
I tend to pick up my laptop and follow the sun around the house. I do have a study desk but it tends to be covered in bills and junk so I don’t tend to use it very often!
What things do you always have on hand when writing? Special pens, notepads, snacks…
Diet Coke, snacks and often a pad full of scribbled down ideas that I’ve made the previous night (and which I can never read because my writing is so messy!)
How do you stay focused when writing?
I don’t! In fact most of the time I have no idea how I ever manage to finish a book since I’m pretty erratic. My only saving grace is that when the story is flowing I can write a lot in a short period of time (followed by long periods of laziness!!)
What is your worst writing distraction/procrastination tool?
The Internet, definitely!
Describe your perfect writing day:
Getting 3-4k written while the kids are at school as well as squeezing in a walk!
Amanda, thank you so much for stopping by! I will definitely be ordering the Sophie series for my middle school library.
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