Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you all are having a great week. Today we have an interview with Amanda Carlson, urban fantasy author of Blooded: A Jessica McClain novella, about her debut novel, Full Blooded, book one of the Jessica McClain series releasing September 11th. If you haven’t read the prequel novella, Blooded, you can find a link to order it here: Blooded on Amazon. It’s a great read for only .99 cents! To read the back-cover blurb for more information on both Blooded and Full Blooded, click the titles. Enjoy the interview!
Welcome to Nocturnal Readings, Amanda! Let's go ahead and get started.
Full Blooded is your first published novel, how did it feel to find out it would be published?
It was truly amazing to get “the call” from my agent. It came in the middle of the afternoon and took me totally by surprise. I had no idea. For the first part of the phone call, I was in a haze, but by the end there was a lot of squeeing involved! Hubby brought home flowers and chocolates and my parents brought by dinner. It was a wonderful, magical day.
Did you write the prequel novella, Blooded, before or after you wrote Full Blooded? Which sold first?
I sold the series first. It was actually my agent, Nicole Resciniti’s, idea to showcase my voice and give the readers a chance to meet the characters before the novel was released. Thus the novella was born. It made sense to pick a pinnacle point in Jessica’s life, and there was nothing bigger in her life than her fight to get off Compound. It became a great prequel to the series. It’s not necessary to read beforehand, but it gives a greater insight to my heroine.
What was your inspiration and how long did it take you to write Full Blooded?
A few years ago I picked up an urban fantasy novel and fell in love. After finishing quite a few novels, I decided I wanted to jump in and write a heroine I wanted to read. It took me two years to write FULL BLOODED, but that was mostly due to letting it sit for almost a year because I was doubtful about my skills. This is so common with new writers. We get scared or think the story is not in us, but I’m here to tell you it is and you just need to keep going! Honestly, this could be you someday.
Tell us a little about your main characters. Who did you create first?
I created Jessica, my heroine first. The opening scene came to me like a video playing out in my mind, which is how most things start for me. Once I sat down to write it all came flowing out. I knew she had a strong family unit, I knew she was the only one of her kind and I knew she was special. Giving her a positive family unit was so important to me, and really is the glue to the entire series. This isn’t a dark, angsty urban fantasy. This is a fun, snarky, action-packed adventure.
Which characters were the hardest/easiest to write and why?
Honestly, they are all easy and hard at the same time. Each character has a distinct voice that’s fully formed in my head and ready to go. But once I get the rough draft on paper, the editing is what makes them all come alive. The editing can be long and difficult, but I enjoy the process. Some voices are a little harder to round out, but for the most part they are equal and fun for me.
What was the biggest challenge for you in writing Full Blooded?
Finishing. Believing I could actually write a novel that someone would want to read.
If you could tell us one fun fact about any of your characters, who and what would it be?
Danny has a birthmark on his butt shaped like a heart. Will I ever get to write that in a novel? I have no idea!
I’m in the middle of COLD BLOODED, which is the third book in the series, due out Oct. 2013. My copyedits for HOT BLOODED just came, so that will jump ahead of the line when I get back from the Authors After Dark conference in August. HOT BLOODED is releasing April 3rd, 2013! I’m so excited for this series to get rolling.
Without giving too much away, what’s your favorite scene in Full Blooded? How did you feel when you completed that scene?
I love to write action, sex and humor—but the humorous scenes always have my heart. If I can’t stop smiling, that means I had a great day of writing.
Would you mind sharing a short snippet from that scene as a teaser?
“A what?” Tyler and I both balked.
“A bloody weasel shifter the size of a large dog.” Danny spread his hands to indicate a hefty size. “Then he jumped on my back like a possessed little fuck and went after my flesh like a piranha.”
What’s your favorite line from the story?
“This is your brilliant plan?” I stood knee high in the middle of a swift current, my lovely pantsuit swirling around my legs.
If you could go back to when you were first writing this novel, what advice would you give yourself?
Don’t worry so much. The story is in there. You will finish.
Of all time? That’s a tough one. My son is the king of asking, “What’s your favorite…fill in the blank?” and I always tell him it depends on my mood. Do I want comedy, drama, humor or horror? There are very few books I will reread—I’m a “don’t look back” kind of girl, but one that stays with me is INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE by Anne Rice. It was ground breaking for me.
What are you currently reading?
SHAEDES OF GRAY by Amanda Bonilla, and in the queue is BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE also by Amanda Bonilla, HELL ON WHEELS by Julie Ann Walker & RED by Kate SeRine. With all my deadlines, I haven’t finished reading a book in over a year. It’s so sad, but every time I take down time for myself I feel guilty. When my third book is completed and turned in, I hope to get back on a normal reading schedule.
Favorite Full Blooded character and why?
Jessica is my favorite. She IS the series for me. She’s so kickass, snarky and fun to write.
And just for fun: Full Blooded is the first in the Jessica McClain series, can you give us a small teaser for book two, Hot Blooded?
“You’re coming back,” she said, finally tilting her head up to meet my gaze. Her eyes were clear, but I could sense her emotion.
“How can you be so sure? You have no idea what’s in store for me. Selene could rip my skin to shreds with her sadistic whip, or she could shred my heart with her metal Wolverine claws.” Sounded like something the sadistic bitch would have. “There are a million ways she could kill me, and you know it…”
Thanks again, Amanda, for stopping by! We're glad to have you any time!
Thanks for having me, Kaitlyn! You were the perfect hostess. It was so fun to stop by and chat with you. We’ll have to do it again with HOT BLOODED.
Amanda Carlson is a Minnesota girl, born and bred. She started writing stories about teenage girls and their social missteps when she was in high school. She still has the handwritten spiral notebooks to prove it. Her love of reading urban fantasy started with Anne Rice many years ago. The world Rice created was the most tantalizing thing Amanda had ever read or imagined. Her love of the genre has been secured by the fantastic authors who write in it today. She can't imagine writing anything else. When you're creating the story, it can contain almost any elements you can dream up. Creatively, for Amanda, there's nothing better. Amanda is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, with a BA in both Speech and Hearing Science & Child Development. She went on to get an A.A.S in Sign Language Interpreting and worked as an interpreter until her first child was born. She enjoys playing Scrabble to an unhealthy degree, shopping trips to Ikea and has a great weakness for tropical beaches. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three kids. FULL BLOODED, the first novel in her acclaimed Jessica McClain series launches simultaneously in the US and UK in the Fall of 2012.
For more information on Amanda and her work, or where you can purchase a copy of her novella, Blooded, or the first novel of the Jessica McClain series, Full Blooded, you can find her at the following places:
Twitter: @amandaccarlson (don’t forget the extra “c” in the middle!)
Amazon for Blooded: http://www.amazon.com/Blooded-Jessica-McClain-Novella-ebook/dp/B0078XGUZQ/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1
Amazon for Full Blooded: http://www.amazon.com/Blooded-Jessica-McClain-Amanda-Carlson/dp/0316205206/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
Barnes and Noble for Blooded: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blooded-amanda-carlson/1110504805?ean=9780316225090
Barnes and Noble for Full Blooded: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/full-blooded-amanda-carlson/1103870209?ean=9780316205207
Publisher Website: www.orbitbooks.net