Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 5 - Amanda Ashby

So is everyone enjoying the party? Plenty of you are visiting to judge by the leaps in both the visitor counter and the numbers of comments posted- and you're all very very welcome!

I think my favorite place name so far for a new visitor has to be Wack Wack in the Phillipines! Hello to the Phillipines - and don't forget that if you enter any or all of my contests - on My Tote Bag or from my Newsletter list - I promise to send the prize anywhere in the world.

Anywhere - even Wack Wack - specially to Wack Wack! I get to send something to Wagga Wagga today, so why not Wack Wack!
Anyway, in keeping with the international theme - today's author is another from 'downunder' - but this time from New Zealand. Regular blog readers will remember that a couple of months ago I went to a party given by fabulous Susan Stephens to say goodbye (sniff!) to a lovely friend and writer who had been living in the UK for some years but who now was heading back to her native New Zealand.
That friend was Amanda Ashby who now, sadly, lives on the far side of the world - miss you, Amanda! But she has come back through cyber space to join in the party. Amanda's very first novel - You Had Me at Halo will be published in August so she doesn;t have copies available yet for her giveaway buut I've made her promise me a copy or two for the Tote Bag Full of Books Contest which will be coming up later once the Blog Party is finished. And she's offering a lovely prize instead.
So here's Amanda with another of those posts that make me blush. And wish she was here so that I could hug her.


Obviously one doesn't want to be tongue tied in frontof Kate Walker but when I was asked to join in thecelebration of her fiftieth book, using this as atheme, I was a bit overwhelmed. I mean fifty is a bignumber and I'm a lazy girl.
So, being one of Kate's conference newbies way back when, I had considered talking about 'Kate Walker'sFifty Top Tips for Virgins'. But, well, I ran out of ideas at number eight.
Ditto with 'Fifty Ways to TryAnd Be As Great As Kate Walker' (though, obviouslywriting great books, wearing great shoes, great clothes and great jewellery all hit the list).
Anyway, in the end I figured I'm just not cleverenough to weave fifty points into a blog post. Butwhat I would like to highlight is that no one can sell fifty books by accident.
Perhaps you can sell one,maybe even a few, but if the editors are still buyingyour books at the fifty mark, it pretty much meansyou're doing something right. More importantly, if the readers are still buying your books at fifty mark,then you're definitely doing something right.
So here's to Kate: an amazing writer and an even moreamazing mentor, friend and all around great person(oh, and as mentioned before, she really does have thebest shoes, clothes and jewellery ever!!).
Bio: Amanda Ashby was born in Australia and studiedEnglish and Journalism at Queensland University. Sincegraduation she has divided her time between Englandand New Zealand and when she's not moving country shelikes to write book (okay, she also likes to watch television, eat chocolate and sit around doing not much, but let's just keep that between ourselves,shall we?).
Amanda says:
I've just moved to New Zealand, which istruly the most beautiful country in the world, andbecause I'm a sharing sort of girl, I'd like to send someone a small slice of kiwiana.
As to what this is...well, you're just going to have to enter thecompetition to find out...
Question: If you could visit anywhere in the world,where would it be? Post an answer in the comments and you're in with a chance to win!


juliemt said...

I'd love to visit Yorkshire or Bath. I love Austen and the Brontes and have always wanted to visit the places which inspired them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda, lovely post, so sorry we never got to meet! If there was one place I could go to it would be either Penang or Langkawi Island in Malaysia. I backpacked there a few times as well as worked there and love it so much. So yes...a tropical getaway would be nice!
x Abby Green

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, Amanda - and is kiwiana as nice as Toffypops? (Will always remember my first RNA conf because of you!)

I'd love to visit Norway - to see the Northern lights. (I'd also like to visit Iceland, the Antarctic, Patagonia and Lapland, and travel on the trans-Siberian railway. Though not everywhere I want to see is zero degrees or less - I'd also love to visit Pompeii.)

Sue A. said...

I've been asked this before and my reply was Australia. I want to go to the opposite end of the earth where everything is topsy turvy, where it's summer when it's winter here, where there are animals I've never seen or even imagined and that place for me would be Australia.

Unknown said...

Your house, Amanda.

Because I happen to know that the cupboards are stuffed with chocolate and the fridge is full of beer.

(Yes, OK... and apparently it's also in a very pretty part of the world as well, blah blah blah...)

Trish Morey said...

"Butwhat I would like to highlight is that no one can sell fifty books by accident.
Perhaps you can sell one,maybe even a few, but if the editors are still buyingyour books at the fifty mark, it pretty much meansyou're doing something right."

Ain't that the truth! Our Kate is a real stayer and a real star.

Hi Amanda and congrats on your book! I'm looking forward to seeing you at the conference this year in August. I just love NZ and a bit of Kiwiana. In fact, my eldest has this little stamp on the back of her neck, "Made in New Zealand" (and doesn't she just hate it when I tell people that:-))

Places I'd love to visit? Ooh, Back to Crete and more time to explore all the Greek Islands, and yes,like Kate, Pompeii not to mention all the fabulous ruins in Turkey and Mexico. And that's just for starters... So many places, so many other demands. Drat.

Amanda Ashby said...

Oooh, there is something in me that goes all gooey when we start talking travel and it makes me want to pack my bags and head off to the airport immediately.

Jullemt - Yorkshire and Bath both rock and I'll never forget the first time I saw the roman baths - I truly felt like I was in a Georgette Heyer novel!!!

Abby, I've never been to Malyasia but I loved Thailand and definitely want to go back!

Kate H, can I please hop in your suitcase when you go on holiday because I think we must share the same travel gene!!!!

Sue A, seriously the animals in Australia are like nothing you've ever seen before and when you get there you must go to Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo because it's amazing!

India, I seriously think you've got the wrong impression about me - my life isn't just all about chocolate and beer. I have a lot of other interests and as soon as I remember what they are, I'll get back to you!!!

Trish, I'm sooo hanging out for conference - it's going to be brilliant! And yes, I'd do the Greek Islands again - though sadly I can't remember what any of the hot alpha guys looked like because I was too busy eating all the wonderful food (India, stop sniggering immediately)

Anonymous said...

Great post, Amanda!
This is a lovely way to celebrate Kate's 50th; huge congratulations, Mother Hen.

Now, Malcolm Sugar doesn't like travelling.
However, a place-name mentioned by one of the witches caught my interest:
Anyone ever been there?

Cheryl said...

I've always wanted to visit Scotland. I have always been intrigued with castles and the romance and mystery surrounding them.
Congratulations on your first book and I look forward to it.


Christina Phillips said...

A few years ago we moved to Australia from the UK, and seriously it's a gorgeous place to live - so, with that in mind, a place I would *really* like to *visit* is a massive four poster bed. OMG. I think I'm bit obsessed by that fantasy but I can't help it. I wouldn't even care what country I was in, although I wouldn't say no if said bed happened to be located in a castle! (so long as it possessed central heating!)

And Kate, may I just add my own huge congratulations to you on your fiftieth book!

ChristyJan said...

Hi Amanda,

What a fun post ~ and congrats on your first book ~ I look forward to reading it.

I'd love to visit Sweden. My Great-Grandfather immigrated to the US from Sweden when he was a teenager. Later the rest of his family joined him. He lived right across the road from me when I was growing up and it was always so much fun to visit his house and listen to him speak. He lived to be 100, so he talked alot about his homeland.

My paternal Grandfather was enthralled with New Zealand. He visited there several times. (Never with my Grandmother though). He had lots of souveniers and pictures/photos of Māori women. I would like to retrace his footsteps also.

My husband and I will be celebrating our 30th anniversary next year, so we are trying to decide were we would like to go for a trip. He is more interested in Ireland or Scotland (so he can golf - no so much see to the sights) lol

Anonymous said...

Lovely post--it's wonderful to 'meet' all these authors in cyberspace. There are so many places I'd like to go, but right now I'd love to go to Provence as my current WIP is set there and it would be a rather nice way to refresh my memory! Where I wouldn't like to go is the doctor's, which is where I'm headed, alas.

Donna Alward said...

OMG, LMAO at India's comment.

I haven't had much chance to travel, so there are TONS of places I'd like to go. But you know, if I could spend a few months wandering through girls and I watch "Travels in Europe with Rick Steeves" all the time and dream, dream, dream.

So you can probably understand how VERY excited I am about heading to London in Sept!

And Amanda you still have one of the BEST titles EVER.

CrystalGB said...

My dream is to someday visit Australia. I would love to see the Sydney Opera House, go to view the beautiful wild life and visit one of the lovely beaches.

anne said...

My ultimate destination would be Italy. I would love to have a month to travel throughout that charming, beautiful and romantic country.

ellie said...

I would love to travel to Southern France and Spain, Barcelona and The Greek Isles. This would be a dream come true for me since I have rarely traveled and I am enthralled with that lovely locale.

sharon said...

Visiting Tuscany,Italy and the imcomparable beauty of Northern Italy, Lake Como is something that I pine for. Perhaps in the fall if we are fortunate.

pearl said...

Many special places in Europe that appeal to me, especially Prague, Cornwall, and the most compelling and a must is Italy. I have read so much about this marvellous country and want to spend time exploring and learning about it.

Marcy said...

If I could visit anywhere in the world, it would have to be Australia. So many books in the Romance line are set there, and they make it sound so gorgeous that I'd love to see it for myself. Although the airplane ride from Canada doesn't sound nearly as appealing ;)


Anonymous said...

As an army brat I have visited many places in the world but still haven't made it to as many I wanted to. However being a bit of an archeology fan I have always wanted to visit Egypt and its pyramids etc. I never will though as my health will no longer allow so i will continue to travel the world via my TV and Computer :D

Anonymous said...

I'd love to visit the Seychelles. It looks like just the place for a romantic relaxing getaway.


Cherie J said...

Hubby and I have a list of places that we wish to visit when are two little ones are much older. (We have a 7 month old baby girl and a 3 1/2 year old boy.) Our top 3 are Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. Hubby hates to fly though so the last two will be tough since we live in the USA.

Sara Hantz said...

Like Christina we moved from UK and now live in NZ. This is the place I want to be the country is so beautiful, especially Havelock North where we live.

Great post Amanda. I echo everything you've said about Kate.

Amanda Ashby said...

Wow - I'm seriously impressed at how badly the travel bug has bitten everyone and I'm sure that in part it's thanks to all the great writers who make foreign shores come alive for us in their books!!!!!

Malcom, I've never heard of Inaloo but of course I must know go and immediately google it (and perhaps try and randomly put it into a conversation since it sounds fabulous!!!)

Cheryl - oooh, I want to visit Scotland as well. Everytime we tried we got as far as the English border and then turned back because of the weather (note to self - only try to go to Scotland in summer!)

Christina - now why am I not suprised at your answer???

Wow - christyjan, your great grandfather and your paternal grandfather both sound amazing, oh and tell your husband that NZ seriously has a ridiculous number of golf courses. I live in a town that has a population of 3000 people and there are three courses and a driving range just to give you an idea!!!

Katehewitt - booo about the doctor, but please take me with you to Provence!

Donna - thanks so much for loving my title and please ignore everything India says because she just adores to lower the tone whenever possible - hehehe! Wow and I know you're going to have a fanastic time in London (and Richmond!!!!!)

Crystalg - hope you get to Aussie very soon and don't forget they have great chocolates and candy as well!!!!

Anne - Italy sounds gorgeous and is definitely on my list as well!My brother is going there for work in November and I'm wildly jealous!!!

Ellie - you've just described my dream trip!!!

Sharon - all fingers and toes crossed that you get to Northern Italy in the Fall.

Pearl - It appears you're not alone about visiting Italy - the lure must surely be the great ice creams and nothing to do with the hot Alpha guys that our amazing Presents writers like to tease us with!!!!

Marcy - I've got to tell you that the plane ride is a bit of a beast but so worth it (btw, I loved Canada when I visited - reminded me of Australia - just a bit colder!!!)

ilona - eeek - sorry your health won't allow you to travel - but I guess the power of tv/internet and books still lets you travel in your mind!!

Chris - I like the way you think!!

Sara - I know where you're coming from - it's so great to live exactly where you want to live.

And now before this ridiculously long comment gets any longer, I'd better go and do some writing!!

Unknown said...

I would love to visit Irland. I think it would be beautiful place to visit. I also have a lot of irish in me.

robynl said...

My dream would be to visit Switzerland and see the Swiss Alps where the story of Heidi took place. I also hear there is chocolate in Switzerland(Swiss chocolate).

Mia King said...

Hmmm ... I would have to say New Zealand - I have to say I have such nice memories there, and it's been ages. I've done a lot of Europe and Asia, and now with two kids I don't feel like trekking or doing anything too exotic anymore. It's gotta be easy, kid friendly, adult friendly. Great post, A!

Amanda Ashby said...

Virgina - I fancy Ireland as well and am annoyed I never got there, despite living just across the water in Liverpool for five years.

Robynl - I always try to plan my trips around chocolate!!!!

Mia - oh, you are so right about travelling with kids - all I can say is thank goodness for Kris TV to keep them entertained while in the air!!!

Anne McAllister said...

Right now I'd like to be in Lincoln to celebrate Kate's 50th with her and so many others this Saturday. Sadly, not going to make it. I'll be car tripping to Birmingham Alabama!

But besides Lincoln, I'd like to go to South Africa. Every picture I see of Johannesburg and Cape Town and the countryside look amazing. That's on my short list.

And I'd like to get back to NZ and Oz. Toooo much to see, too little time!

Congrats on your upcoming book, Amanda. And I'm glad to know there's a house in NZ with chocolate and a fridge full of beer. (Thanks, India!)


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