I'm so pleased to have author Amanda Ashby with me here today on my blog. So without further adieu, here she is.......
For those of you who don’t know it, ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH is actually the second book that I’ve had published. My first one, YOU HAD ME AT HALO came out in 2007 and was the story about a dead girl who got kicked out of heaven and forced to sort out her earthly issues. Unfortunately, due to a small error, she ends up in a guy’s body - while the guy was still in it. Yeah, and you thought my zombie idea was crazy!
Anyway, today I thought it would be fun to talk about how different it’s been this time around compared to when Halo came out. Of course the major difference was that I wrote Halo just after my father died so there was a lot of crazy emotions all tied up in it, and when the book finally came out, it sort of reminded me of that time all over again. Not necessarily in a sad way, but all the same it was quite overwhelming.
With Zombie, thankfully no one had to die (though in one of the earlier versions things didn’t end up too well for the biology teacher. But then again if you teach biology I guess that’s just one of the hazards of the job!).
Another major difference between the two books was that I was completely paralysed with fear when Halo first came out. And I wish I was kidding or exaggerating about this but I’m afraid I’m not. You see I had been so determined to get a book published that I really hadn’t thought it through properly – in that if you have a book published, in general complete strangers will read the book. Which doesn’t sound so bad in theory but when you realize that they’re going to read your book with words that you’ve written, it gets a bit scarier. Anyway, these nerves really didn’t go away until my reviews came in (which were, on the whole, really quite lovely).
This time around the fear wasn’t there – okay, so it was a bit, but it was more manageable and by this time I had learnt enough to know that even if some people don’t like your book, there will be others that do. Oh and chocolate helps as well!! Anyway, by losing my fear of what other people would say, I’ve ended up having so much more fun this time around. Especially in deciding to hold a blog party to celebrate the release!
I never would’ve done that for Halo but I’m so happy I did it for Zombie because not only did I get to find out just how amazing my writing friends were in agreeing to come and play with me, but I also managed to make so many new friends and without them the experience just wouldn’t have been the same!! Of course if I’d known how annoying and bad mannered the zombies were going to be at my party I might’ve thought twice about inviting them, but apart from the fact they tried to eat everyone in sight, I guess it wasn’t too bad!
There have been other differences as well. I don’t check my Amazon ranking every two seconds anymore nor do I practice mind control techniques to try and get complete strangers to buy my book (only because the techniques didn’t work, but if you happen to know some good ones, then I would probably be up for giving it another go. Just saying). I’ve even managed to do a bit of normal writing as well, which is something that didn’t happen for months after my first book came out! All in all it’s been a lot more fun this time around. And who knows, for book three I might even manage to do a books signing or two? After all, stranger things have happened!