I hope you will all enjoy this interview with Amanda. Get to know the author and her books a little but don't wait too long to try this series! It really is worth reading!
Keep reading to the end and enter the contest. You could win a copy of the first two books in the series!
Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your Graveyard Queen series?
Amanda - Thank you for having me! The Graveyard Queen series is about a cemetery restorer—Amelia Gray—who sees ghosts. Greedy, grasping, ravenous entities that prey on human emotions and devour their life force. In order to protect herself from the parasitic nature of the dead, Amelia has always held fast to her father rules. But a haunted police detective has entered her world and now everything is changing…including the rules that have always kept her safe.
Whew! That was a mouthful!
Amanda - It was something Marketing came up with to hopefully make a bigger impact. Back-to-back series have been pretty effective in the past.
Amber - In the second book, The Kingdom, Amelia finds out a lot about herself and her past. Was it your intention to give away all the mystery surrounding Amelia so early on in the series?
Amanda - Oh, trust me, I haven’t given away all the mystery surrounding Amelia. Not by a long shot! Papa is still keeping secrets and Amelia is in for some nasty surprises.
Amber - What can we expect from the third book, The Prophet? What ghosts will haunt Amelia this time and what trouble will she get mixed into?
Amanda – The Prophet reveals a little more of Devlin’s back story and touches on something in his past that will play a big role in Book 5. Also, Amelia is now realizing the truly dire consequences of breaking Papa’s rules. She’s starting to wonder about her role in the larger scheme of things and what her future will be now that she’s let the ghosts in.
Amber - Why the paranormal? and why mystery? Are they genres you like yourself or just ones you wanted to try?
Amanda - Mysteries are my first love and I’ve always been fascinated by the paranormal. Add a romantic element and it just seems a natural fit for my dark, atmospheric style.
Amanda – It takes a good five months for me. I get an idea, flesh out the premise and characters, come up with a tag line, and then write a synopsis. I work from a very detailed outline so that I don’t paint myself into any corners. I like to know where I’m going before I start, but that’s not to say there aren’t surprises along the way.
Amber - Will there be more books in the series? Will the Graveyard Queen be taking a break or is coming back to us soon?
Amanda - I just sold three more and am currently working on Book Four. It should be out next year and I’m super excited about where the series is going. As I said earlier, Amelia hasn’t yet discovered all of Papa’s secrets.
Amber - Have you ever seen a ghost yourself?
Amanda - No, but one of my best friends has told me some harrowing tales. One scene in The Kingdom was inspired by her real-life experience.
Amber - Are you working on any other projects you would like to tell us about?
Amanda - I just sold a young adult series that I’m over the moon about. The stories have been living in my head for a while. I can’t wait to share them!
Amber - If the series was going to be made into a TV series or Film, who would you like to see playing the main characters?
Amber - How do you pick the names for your characters? Do they have any special meanings?
Amanda – They sometimes have special meanings. For my main character in this series, I wanted something Southern and a little old-fashioned, and I’ve always loved the name Amelia. Her surname, Gray, is a nod to the gray of twilight when the ghosts come out. Sometimes I just like the way two names sound together, like John Devlin. That name is a little throwback as well. I thought it sounded like a character from an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
Amber - And how about the titles for your books? Do you always go with the first title or is it hard to come up with the right one?
Amanda - Actually, the original titles were The Graveyard Queen, The Graveyard Kingdom and The Graveyard Prophet. My publisher wanted the series to be called The Graveyard Queen, so we dropped graveyard from the other titles and named the first book The Restorer. Sometimes I get to keep the original title, but the publisher has the final say.
Amber - What kind of research have you done for your books? You obviously know a your way around graveyards and restoration.
Amanda - I started with the general topic of cemetery restoration, then narrowed it to South Carolina laws and customs. And, of course, lots of research on gravestone symbolism and cemetery history. The Internet makes research so easy these days. Anything you need to know—no matter how obscure—is literally at your fingertips.
Amber - Who has been your biggest inspiration in life?
Amanda – My husband is an artist and both my children are writers and filmmakers. They constantly inspire me with their creativity.
Amber - What are you listening and watching lately? Is there any music or other media that influences your writing?
Amber - Read anything good lately? What authors/series are your favourites?
Amanda - The first book of The Hunger Games blew me away. So good. I can’t wait for the movie. Winter’s Bone is another book that left me in awe.
Amber - What's your favorite paranormal movie of all time?
Amanda – Whoa, that’s a tough one. I absolutely adore The Gift, though it didn’t get much love at the box office or from critics. It’s a Southern paranormal mystery that inspired me to write in that genre. Also love The Devil’s Backbone, Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense, Pan’s Labyrinth.
Amber - If you could meet and talk to the ghost of anyone. Who would you like to meet and chat with?
Amanda – Yikes, I’m scared of ghosts! No communing with the dead for me!
Amber - Thank you for visiting Amberkatze's! I hope you will come by again sometime!
Amanda - Thank you for having me! Good questions!
The Graveyard Queen Series
#0.5 - The Abandoned
#1 - The Restorer
#2 - The Kingdom
#3 - The Prophet (releases this month!)
Amanda is giving away a copy of The Restorer and The Kingdom to one lucky winner! That means you get book one and two so you don't have to wait to read the second part ;)
How To Enter
If you could see and talk to ghosts, whose ghost would you like to chat with?
No Answer = No Entry
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The contest will stay open until 4pm on Sunday 22nd April (Central European Time) and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.