Random Chitchats

Girlfriend Cyber Circuit: Amanda Ashby

Hey, guess what? I’m now a part of the Girlfriend Cyber Circuit, a group of thirty-some gal authors of both adult and young adult fiction. (How cool, I have lots of new girlfriends!)

My first GCC post is an interview with Amanda Ashby, the author of YOU HAD ME AT HALO, which is the story of a dead girl who gets kicked out of heaven and forced to sort out her earthly issues. Problem is that not only does she get sent back in a guy’s body; it seems that the guy is still in there…


Publisher’s Weekly described it as THE LOVELY BONES meets BRIDGET JONES, and I’m so in love with the title! Once my summer craziness is over, I’ll have new questions for the girlfriends, but until then, welcome, Amanda ! Grab some coffee, get comfy in the beautician’s chair, and let’s get down to the gossip.

When’s the last time you’ve treated yourself to a manicure?
Er, I think I’m going to take the fifth on that.

What’s the most regrettable hairstyle you’ve ever had? Any mullets? Rat tails?
I’ve had them all!!! Plain mullets, permed mullets, short fuzz, long fuzz…okay, I think I’d better stop before it gets down right embarrassing!!

What hair styling product can you not live without?
My anti-frizz gel

Ever had a major hair or salon disaster?
Pretty much every trip is a disaster. I have thick frizzy hair which can go curly – so I always warn people of this and it never stops them from cutting my hair as if it’s long straight and slinky.

What beauty product can you not live without?
I’m 39 so I’m a big fan of spending lots of money on eye cream to stop my wrinkles!!

How long have you been with your current stylist and what are your appointment conversations like?
We’ve just moved country and the first hair cut I had was going okay until the stylist decided it was okay to start slagging off loads and loads of people in a really inappropriate manner. It wasn’t good so now I need to find yet another stylist.

What kind of hairstyle did you have in high school?
Actually, by high school I had grown out of my ABBA hair, past the Farah flick and onto the good old bob.

Hypothetical Questions of the Week:

HQ #1: For one day, time travel is a reality and you have the opportunity to visit any famous deceased author you want. Who do you pick?
Georgette Heyer

HQ #2: If you could hit the rewind button, which book published by another author do you wish you could have written? Which movie screenplay?
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer is pretty perfect and as for more movies it would be a toss between Firefly or Shaun of the Dead

HQ #3: You magically find a $100.00 bill in your box of cereal. In what frivolous way would you spend it?
I’m heading straight for The Beauty Shop since part one has made me realize just how in need I am of an overhaul!!!

HQ #4: TV execs are offering you a spot on a new reality show for writers. Do you say yes? If so, how would you be portrayed? (i.e. the boss, whiner, bore, paranoid-wreck, etc.?)
I say no, no, no, no. I’m a big fan of reality tv and I’ve seen quite enough of it to know that I would come out looking like a crazy paranoid woman with bad hair!!

HQ #5: You’re a big-time celebrity who just had a baby. If you were competing for the most bizarre celebrity baby name, what would it be?
Hehe – I was having a laugh with my husband the other day about how David Bowie and Marc Bolan apparently had a competition to both give their kids matching names – Zowie Bowie and Rolan Bolan so, since I’m a massive Bowie fan I’m going to have to say: Smashby Ashby (at least I’ll be rich enough to cover the therapy bills)

HQ #6: Paparazzi are stalking you, looking for shots of odd things authors do while writing. What do they catch you doing, hmm?
Chewing my drinking straws. It’s a stupid habit and I really must stop it some day soon.

HQ #7: You’ve been locked in a bank vault with that guy from The Twilight Zone, so you finally have time to read! What’s the first book you crack open? (And don’t worry—no one stepped on your glasses.)
I just bought Michelle Rowen’s Fanged and Fabulous so a bank vault would be quite handy.

HQ #8: If I asked the members of your critique group who you’re most like when critiquing manuscripts, would they choose Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul or Simon Cowell?
I’m definitely Simon – though I have much better fashion sense, my teeth aren’t quite as white and I have an Australian accent.

HQ #9: iTunes has invited you to submit a Celebrity Playlist of all your favorite songs. What tunes would make your top five?
Hmmm, this changes on a daily basis so here are my fav songs for today!!
I want you to want me – Cheap Trick
Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
Two out of Three ain’t Bad – Meatloaf
You Win Again – The Bee Gees
The Ghost in You – Psychedelic Furs

HQ #10: If you followed the career path you chose for yourself in high school, what would you be doing for a living now?
I guess I’d be a journalist since that’s what I studied at University, however it didn’t take very long to realize that me and the truth were never going to get along – it’s much more fun just making stuff up!!!

The Lightening Round—no more than two words per answer!

Do you . . .
Outline or wing it?
Talk about works-in-progress, or keep your trap shut? Trap shut
Sell by proposal or completed draft? Completed draft
Love to edit or cringe at the thought? Love it
Prefer writing a new book or marketing the old? both
Write better at home or in a coffee shop? home
Read your released book or no thanks, I’ve read it enough? Flick through

And finally, what’s your favorite . . .
Time to write?
Movie? Princess Bride
Book? Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula Le Guin
Author? Georgette Heyer
Song? I want you to want me
Pair of shoes? Pink converse
Guiltiest pleasure? Watching Buffy and Angel repeats
Line from a movie? ‘You had me at hello’ (well, I had to say that, didn’t I?!!!)

Thanks so much, Amanda! Kiss little Smashby Ashby for me and go treat yourself to a manicure for YOU HAD ME AT HALO

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