Author Of The Week: Chat with Amanda Foody (Ace Of Shades), Plus Giveaway!! ~ (US Only)
Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Amanda Foody, YABC's Author of the Week!!
Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After a double life as an accountant preparing taxes for multinational corporations, she now spends her free time brewing and fermenting foods much more easily obtained at her local grocery store. She lives in Boston, MA with a hoard of books guarded by the most vicious of feline companions, Jelly Bean.
Her books include The Shadow Game series and more. Her middle grade debut, Wilderlore: The Accidental Apprentice, hits shelves March 30, 2021, and her next YA project, All of Us Villains, co-authored with Christine Lynn Herman, releases in September 2021.
Meet Ace Of Shades!
Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.
Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.
Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn't have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne's offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.
Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi's enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…
And she’ll need to play.
What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
The Shadow Game series was initially inspired by a desire to play with the idea of magic. Even though magic is inherently defined by the unexpected or unexplained, as lovers of the fantasy genre, we actually have a lot of preconceived notions about what magic looks like, and I wanted to subvert those expectations by making magic something different. In the world of this trilogy, magic is money, and that initial idea served as my launching point to designing an entire city based upon greed.
Who is your favorite character in the book?
I don't have a favorite character. Not in Queen of Volts, which is the third and final book of the trilogy, or in any books I've written. I love all of my characters for different reasons. However, one thing I loved writing about Queen of Volts was delving into the minds of three new narrating characters: Lola Sanguick, Harvey Gabbiano, and Sophia Torren. Harvey, in particular, was very meaningful to write. Being close with some of the core antagonists of the series, he offered a really interesting perspective on the trilogy's past events--how the story looks different from the shadows beyond Enne and Levi's spotlight.
Which came first, the title or the novel?
For Queen of Volts, the title. My editor actually suggested it to me during one of our very first phone conversations in 2016, which was many years before Queen of Volts was written--or even thought out. It was a stroke of luck that the title we'd happened upon so early ended up suiting the novel.
Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
I've learned that there never comes a point where you truly feel like you know what you're doing. I believe that, with each passing year, I have consistently grown in my craft, but I've never felt like I've figured it out or that I've "made it." And the more authors I talk to, the more I realize that confidence isn't feeling above your creative flaws or weaknesses. It's continuing to move forward in spite of them.
What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I'm really fond of the color scheme. The combination of black and purple feels dark and evocative, while the silver and gold add a touch of glamour. I think it totally suits the story.
What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2020-2021?
I'm highly anticipating the release of Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald, which releases on 10/13/20--so only in a few weeks. I was lucky enough to read an early copy, and I still think about it constantly months after finishing its last page. It's one of the most gripping, most fast-paced, and most hysterical YA fantasy books I've read in a long time. For readers who enjoyed the LGBTQ+ cast of The Shadow Game series, this book has to be on your TBR.
What was your favorite book in 2020?
I devoured A Song of Wraiths and Ruin shortly after it released. Both of its narrating characters are a breath of fresh air. Karina, the female lead, is flawed in a way that makes her instantly real and likable. You would do anything to see her succeed. And Malik is endearing and sensitive in a way that I would love to see more from male leads in YA fantasy, who can often be thrust into the role of love interest without the space to be flawed or vulnerable in their own right. If you haven't jumped on this one yet, I highly recommend it.
What’s up next for you?
I'm publishing two books in 2021. My first, Wilderlore, is my middle grade debut, and it releases on March 30, 2021. I describe it as Pokemon meets Eragon, but with that quirky middle grade voice and heart. My second book, All of Us Villains, releases that September, and it was co-written with my best friend, Christine Lynn Herman. It's a trope-bending magical Hunger Games, with more on-the-page queer characters.
Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Lola did. Because Lola featured as a prominent character in both the previous books of the series, I thought I knew her before I started writing her POV. I wasn't expecting her anger. She was so bruised and raw in a way that took me by surprise. I love writing angry girls, but anger is an emotion that often stems from a lot of hurt, and it's an emotion that can set someone on a dark path. But even though navigating Lola's emotions and backstory was initially challenging, it ultimately became a part of the story that I'm very proud of.
Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Within the book industry, a cause that I feel deserves everyone's attention is how POC storytellers and publishing professionals are still underrepresented in our community. One organization that I believe is really championing this issue is Melanin In YA (@Melanin_YA). This website is dedicated to acknowledging and supporting Black creators and professionals within the YA sphere, and though it's still quite new, its organizer, Melody Simpson, is already receiving a lot of recognition for the good she's doing. Everyone tapped into kidlit publishing should be following this account.
Ace Of Shades
By: Amanda Foody
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: April 10th, 2018
Five winners will receive a SIGNED copy of Ace Of Shades (Amanda Foody) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
The cover says it all: You can play the game but the cards will eventually come crashing down! This story promises much intrigue and drama.