Do you know Amanda Carlson and her fabulous Jessica McClain series? If this is not the case, you really need to give it a try, you won’t be disappointed. Blooded is the prequel to the series, and Full Blooded, the first novel in the series will be out on September 1st in the U.S. (click on the links to see our reviews). Both are interesting and after reading one, you can only ask for more! To help you learn more about Amanda Carlson and her books, we have her today on the blog for an interview. Thank you to the author for answering our questions.
Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
Sure! My name is Amanda Carlson, and as well as being an author, I’m a wife and mother of three. I live in Minneapolis, MN, where I was born and raised. My kids are 16, 14 & 12 so writing life is a bit easier now that they can take care of themselves.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always been a writer. In high school I used to get out my yearbook, full of pictures of my classmates, and pick out names and faces to be in my stories. Then, in 1998, when we got our first computer, I used to write short stories about my kids and send them to unsuspecting family members. Then I started taking classes and joining local writing groups. My writing evolved from there into what I’m doing now.
How many books do you intend to write for this series?
As many as they’ll let me! I’m hoping for at least six. (Maybe a few spin-offs?)
Was it difficult to write the first book? How long did it take?
I wrote FULL BLOODED on and off for two years. I didn’t feel it was good enough, so I left it alone for a long time. The next book, HOT BLOODED, took less time. About three months with lots of editing to get it right.
How did you come up with the idea of the novella?
After I sold the series, my agent and I thought it would be a good idea to showcase my voice, because I was a debut author. I chose a pinnacle moment in my heroine’s life, and it became the prequel to the story. It ended up a very action packed entry for Jessica and the series. I loved writing it!
How do you find your titles? Did you imagine them all when you started the series or do you brainstorm each time?
FULL BLOODED came to me right away, and once I settled on it, the rest came easy. HOT BLOODED and COLD BLOODED were natural choices. I was pleasantly surprised my editor chose to keep them. I think they fit the series nicely.
How did you end up writing Urban Fantasy books? Is there any other genre that appeal to you?
I started out writing romance first, many years ago, but never found my voice there. I got bored with the story, even though I love reading romance. It wasn’t until I jumped into UF world building that I got hooked into urban fantasy. It’s so much fun to write! I may branch out someday and do hot and steamy PNR. That would be fun too.
Does the inspiration for the characters come from people you know?
Nope. The characters are all unique in my mind. But I am pulling from the knowledge in my head, so it’s arguable I could be using inspiration unconsciously. But for me, they are all their own.
Is there a character more difficult than the others to write?
No. They all come into my head fully formed and ready to go. I love it! I particularly love changing up the voices as I write the story. It’s never boring.
Who is your favorite character in the series?
Jessica is my favorite, because she started it all. But Rourke is a close second.
Have you already other plans for future series? Or is it top secret?
I have two other series in the works! They are both secret at the moment. I have no idea when and if I will sell those, but I’m hoping to write many more books in the Jessica McClain series as well. I hope to have a long career writing in this genre. That would be a dream.
Can you tell us a little something about the first book? And the second one?
The first book is Jessica’s “coming out” party. We learn about her world and get to experience a lot of “firsts” with her. There’s a ton of action. The second book is exciting because she’s on a journey where she encounters lots of supernatural roadblocks. It’s non-stop action and adventure from start to finish!
Did you need to do a lot of researches for your books?
No, not really. Some of my characters have real names from mythology and history, like Selene the Lunar Goddess from Greek mythology and Eudoxia is the real name of Ivan the Terrible’s daughter. But for the most part the world building is my own.
My newest favorite author is Amanda Bonilla and her Shaede Assassin series! One of my favorite authors of all time is Georgette Heyer. Whenever I need a pick-me-up I grab one of hers out of my collection.
Where is your favorite place to write?
Most of the time I write in my office. It’s a sunroom attached to my bedroom, with lot of light and happiness. Occasionally I go to a coffee shop or on to my screen in back porch if the weather is nice.
Your books are going to be released in France, do you see yourself meeting your French fans one day?
YES! That would be a dream! If I sell well in France, it would likely be sooner than later, so spread the word. I’ve often dreamt about visiting Paris. It would be wonderful. I also can’t wait for you to read the French version and tell me how close it is to the English version.
Thank you so much for a hosting me today! I had a great time. I hope you enjoy the book. I can’t wait to stop by again and chat.
For more info you can check the author’s website: http://www.amandacarlson.com
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.