I am super excited to have Amanda Ashby by the blog today for another Fantasy Five Friday!
Amanda Ashby is the author of Sophie’s Mixed Up Magic trilogy, Fairy Bad Day, You Had Me at Halo, and several other books. She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. You can find her on the web at her website, Twitter, blog.
Could you give us the one sentence pitch of your book?
Sophie gets turned into a djinn the day before she starts sixth grade and then has to get used to her new powers with the help of her crazy djinn guide, all while hiding it all from her mom.
Since you have a fantasy novel coming out, the next question I obviously have to ask is: If you were a fantastical creature, which would you be?
I think it would be pretty cool to be a dragon. They fly, they breathe fire and they like shiny treasures, which works for me!
Do you have a favorite fantasy read?
No – that question is too cruel!!!! I can’t possibly only chose one but I can narrow it down to about five fantasy books that have been a huge influence to me over the years!
The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula LeGuin. It is so powerful and one of my favorite quotes in the world comes from the beginning –
Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk’s flight
on the empty sky.
– From the Creation of Ea – Wizard of Earthsea Ursula LeGuin
Magician (and every single other book) by Raymond E Feist
All the Dragons of Pern books by Anne McCaffrey
Hawkmistress by Marion Zimmer Bradley (and all of her Darkover books)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (this is a new favorite but it is so fantastic that I can’t not include it)
Generally speaking, which comes first: the world, the characters, or the plot?
As a rule I get a plot idea first and then create the world and characters to fit it (and in the process normally decide that the plot idea is stupid and so it then promptly go and change it. Sometimes more than once!). For example in the Sophie books the core idea was that my heroine gets turned into a djinn the day before she starts sixth grade and then I had to work out all the details of who she was and why this would mess up her life!
They are always coming out with new editions of board games. If your book could be a special edition of any board game, which would you choose?
What a brilliant question (and for the record my kids do actually own Pokémon Special Edition Monopoly!!!!). Anyway, as a child my favorite board game was called Pay Day, which was set out like a calendar telling you what day your bills were due etc. I’ve got no idea why I liked it when as a rule me and finance do not get on, but I’m going to pick that. Oh, and since Sophie’s djinn guide Malik is addicted to snack food, all the money could be in the form of Cheetos and M&M’s!!!
Thanks so much for stopping by Amanda!
After 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!