Monday, June 13, 2011

Spotted: Amalie Howard + 5 Readers will win Bloodspell!

Hi everyone! Today, I have a treat for vampire-witch readers and for ebook readers out there! This post (especially the treat after the interview) is for you!

I have spotted Amalie Howard, the author of the amazing debut, Bloodspell. She’s a very interesting person with a colorful array of experiences. Today, I’ll be asking her a few questions that came to my mind after finishing one of my favorite novels for 2011 – her debut.

How did you choose the words for the spells (incantations) in Latin?

I really loved how the spells in Harry Potter were variations of Latin as mine were, but my inspiration for my spells, funnily enough, came from an unhealthy addiction playing Super Nintendo and Final Fantasy pretty much all through high school. My love for all things magic didn't stop at books and movies, I was entranced at being able to play a role-playing video game where I could command white and black magic! It was so cool! I would actually hide from my mother to play that game … it was my one guilty pleasure, especially when I should have been studying! Inspiration aside, in some cases for my spells, I used variations of Latin or French, but for the most part, they were all loosely translated from English into Latin. "Transeo" for example, which is the teleportation spell in the novel, came from the Latin translation of "to go across or to traverse." Once I had an idea of what the translation of the spell would be, I played around with the sound of the words, sometimes changing letters to make the spell sound more mysterious or more ominous. By the end, I started keeping a log of all the spells, even the ones I didn’t use, just because I didn't want to confuse or misspell any of them in future books! 

What kind of research did you do for Tori's ancestry? Who inspired the character of Brigid (if any?)

Although I did a ton of research in terms of actual factual data for Bloodspell (for example, there actually was an attempted assassination attempt against King Louis-Philippe in the summer of 1835 in France which I talk about when Christian and Lucian were turned), most of Tori’s ancestry is fabricated entirely out of my head. I made up the journals because I really liked the diary element incorporating some historical fiction, and I liked the thought of Tori having some kind of guide, especially one that would show her what could happen if she gave in to the blood. I can’t say that any particular person inspired Brigid, but I really enjoyed writing her character because she was so dark. I mean, I liked writing about Tori triumphing over the blood, but being able to explore the darker, more malevolent side of it was a little intoxicating in itself. But that’s just me. When everyone else wanted to be Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo or Princess Leah, I was the kid who wanted to be Darth Vader. I don’t consider myself to be a villain, but I do appreciate both sides of the battle, and the lure of the dark side. Someone once asked me who my favorite hero was, and my answer was the Phoenix. I have no doubt she’s had some influence on the development of both Brigid and Tori. I love that she embodies life and passion, and as a character, she fascinates me because she is so consumed by her own state of being, which is really neither good nor bad. In some ways, she embodies both Brigid and Tori … who are the two opposing sides of the same coin, but in the end, her indifference combined with an innate selfishness can only consume and destroy her (as it did Brigid).
You grew up in a small Caribbean island! Can you tell us if there was witch/magic-related folklore there? Did this in any way inspire you to write Bloodspell?

The Caribbean is an area of the world rich in occult folklore and mysticism, which undoubtedly shaped my interest in dark fantasy. Growing up, we had our share of spooky or “jumbie” (monster) stories—word of mouth tales of voodoo or West Indian sorcery called Obeah, tales of the Soucouyant, a supernatural beast disguised as an old woman by day and a blood-sucking creature by night—those stories thrilled and terrified, and I always wanted more. Put it this way, I had more than enough inspiration to develop an early and ongoing obsession with all things fantasy, and Bloodspell was likely a natural culmination of that. Growing up in the Caribbean has also given me a great foundation for experiencing different cultures and understanding the true meaning of diversity, which I think gives my writing a unique edge and voice.

How did you prepare for the fight scenes? Did you watch any TV shows/movies, read books or something else?

From a personal perspective, when I’m reading a book, I like to get so drawn into the story that I completely lose myself, and I’m transported into the world within the book just by force of the author’s intense descriptions. I am an extraordinarily visual person, so I like vivid imagery in my books. In fantasy, I think everything has to be a little brighter and more effervescent, more punchy and fierce. You want to experience these worlds like the “paranorms” do … with every cell of your being. A local bookseller reviewed Bloodspell as being “cinematic” and I can only say that movies are unequivocally to blame. They are my Achilles heel, my kryptonite. I absolutely adore watching them, and I especially love book to film adaptations if only for the gratifying comparison of how I felt reading it in a novel versus watching it in a film. Like I said, I’m very visual so I have no doubt that that translates across into my action scenes and the flow of the story. I’m a total tidbit-hoarder, too, so if I see something I like, for example a spinning crouch kick move in a movie, I’ll file it away in my head for future use. When I’m writing out a scene, especially an action scene incorporating such a move, I envision how that kick and the fight sequence plays out in my head—almost like a movie reel—and that is what I hope to communicate to the reader, even though the medium is via text. My goal is to convey that same sense of vividness and fluidity that you would experience watching a movie.

*CLOSED* Giveaway: 5 ebooks of Bloodspell by Amalie Howard *CLOSED*

A big thank you to Marissa at JKS Communications for this awesome giveaway! I loved Bloodspell and it’s a joy to be able to share this gem with you guys.

The spell was simple...

Cruentus Protectum (Defend the Blood)

But what do you do if your blood is your enemy?

Victoria Warrick has always known she was different. An outcast at school, she is no stranger to adversity. But when she receives an old journal for her seventeenth birthday, nothing prepares her for the dark secrets it holds -- much less one that reveals she's a witch with unimaginable power.

What's more, when she meets the dazzling but enigmatic Christian Devereux, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Enemies will hunt her. Friends will turn on her. The terrible curse that makes her blood run black will stop at nothing to control her. And Christian has a sinister secret of his own...

Without knowing whom to trust, can Victoria survive her blood's deadly desires? Or will she lose everything, including herself?

Rules:

Be a follower.
Leave your email address so I can contact you if you win (or if you're not comfortable with that email it to me at precious_shusky@yahoo.com)
Open to everyone!
Ends June 30, 2011!

Extra entry (not required):
+2 Tweet this (leave direct link)



57 comments:

  1. Brigid? The irish version of my own name! Cool.

    danaan at gmx dot at

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, I wanna read this really, really bad.

    Survivorluvr33@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the giveaway! Great interview :o)

    Tweeted:https://twitter.com/#!/imabookshark/status/80294305763307521
    Email: imabookshark AT yahoo DOT com

    Thanks,
    Mickey @ imabookshark

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is such a great interview. I love the question about growing up on a small island and the "jumbie" stories. I also love Final Fantasy. Thanks for the great interview!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the giveaway! Sounds great!

    Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/scattered_laura/status/80294247147896834

    l-a-u-r-a@live.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would love to win one of these :D
    Love, Carina ~ carina-olsen@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awesome giveaway.

    Sorry if I posted a comment already...I tried to a few minutes ago, but my PC crashed.

    Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/scattered_laura/status/80294247147896834

    l-a-u-r-a@live.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm a big fan of witches and spells. So interesting to get so much background for the book. Please enter me to win:

    tmistein at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well, I've been anticipating this release for a while. It sound fabulous!
    follower

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for such an awesome giveaway! Can the ebook be read like a galley/PDF or only for people with Kindles and e-readers?

    the (dot) zealous (dot) reader (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for hosting - sounds like a great one. Please enter me, I am an old follower.
    bevsharp@desch.org

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am not sure if my comment got through- I got a service unavailable message - so I am trying again. If the first one went through, please disregard this one. Thanks.
    Sounds like a good read - please enter me - old follower. Thanks for hosting.
    bevsharp@desch.org

    ReplyDelete
  13. Bloodspell sounds like an amazing book, thanks for the chance to win an ebook of it! :D

    I'm a follower (.ambur.)

    Thanks again, and thanks for sharing this interview, it was very interesting :D
    Ambur
    ambiepie_6(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Count me in! Book sounds really interesting.

    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/Lilixtreme/status/80377683384606720

    chicareader(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. This book sounds so good! I love how Amalie was inspired by the Caribbean. :D

    GFC Follower
    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/un3xpectedfate/status/80377942877814784

    Jennie
    un3xpectedfate[at]hotmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sounds like an interesting book! I would love to read it!

    GFC follower: vickyvak

    vicky.vak8(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sounds interesting! I love books with spells in them! (Don't we all???)

    Thanks for the chance!

    Phanee
    funnywool[at]live[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've heard such great things about this one! Thanks for the giveaway!

    ftbotbblog@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great interview! It is great to see how an author's life influences his or her writing.

    I'm a follower! ^_^

    ~Shalena @ Writer Quirk
    writerquirk@live.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for the chance!

    GFC follower

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I follow. Fabulous giveaway thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I read your review and I´m so excited to win this book.
    http://twitter.com/#!/Adrianaec7/status/80550463220629505
    adriana.ec[AT]gmail[DOT]com
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    http://twitter.com/#!/kadburytweets/status/80561749530648576

    youngreadersathome(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  24. thanks for the giveaway!
    http://twitter.com/#!/michelledluvsu/status/81053415106555904
    i am a follower
    starlightgirl678 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  25. thanks for the giveaway
    Follow on GFC
    jenhedger at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'd love to win!!! And yes, I know that is obvious, haha.
    GFC: Alexandra Roxana Garcia
    E-mail: alexandra.roxana.garcia@gmail.com

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! Hugs,

    Alex

    ReplyDelete
  27. Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the giveaway!

    I'm a GFC follower :)

    stephbarkerdrew(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm in - sounds like an interesting book! :-)

    notanotherbookblog(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks! I would love to win this book.

    mendyha26@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Uhm... A witch book... This sounds interesting... XDDD

    Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/petit_sayumi/status/81172747635539968

    sweet.sayumi@yahoo.com.br

    ReplyDelete
  31. Interesting interview. I have no doubt that Amalie's relationship with the Caribbean has added some interesting colour to her writing. I hopped over here from another blog. Following now.
    jmwordsmith at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks for the chance to win :)

    http://twitter.com/#!/BookPforLife/status/81239599007006722

    Donna

    bookpassion11@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thank you for this giveaway!
    impy80(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Tweet'd: http://twitter.com/#!/ravishingreads/status/81248100097863680

    Miss Lauren
    misslaurenwilk(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks for the giveaway! I love the cover on this one!

    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/books_lover3/status/81249905254993920

    GFC: Alice D

    alice13188 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  36. What a wonderful interview and such a lovely giveaway!

    I am a follower.

    My email address is - Cary.C.Cummings@Gmail.com

    && I Tweeted about it: http://twitter.com/CaryCheyenneXO/status/81251137403101184

    ReplyDelete
  37. Sounds great!
    GFC: Jeanne
    Rathouska.jana@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for the chance, I cant wait to read this book.
    Tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/natcleary

    natcleary(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Sorry forgot to say I am a GFC follower @ nat cleary.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Ooh, this sounds like a really good book :D I would love to win it. <3
    Love, Carina ~ carina-olsen@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Awesome!!

    klearboredom@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. I'm very eager because of win it ♥ And thanks for the chance ! :)
    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/sooiluuli/status/81940567986147329

    lucia_mont96@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thank you for this giveaway!

    pisisbook[at]hotmail[dot]fr

    ReplyDelete
  44. Great giveaway, I'm in:)
    Misha
    misadevilgirl@seznam.cz

    ReplyDelete
  45. Please enter me in the giveaway :)

    baychriz at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I love magic :) It started witch Charmed and Harry Potter :) This is wonderful theme to write :)

    Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/StormyWhisper/status/82497424383426560
    Email: sima.burcikova@gmail.com

    Thank you for giveaway :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Sounds worth reading. I love his surname Devereux ;)

    rocmuller@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. Wow. Love it! Thanks for the giveaway!
    I'm your follower via GFC

    GFC Name: Karen Mae Bautista

    tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/itsmeKAHAREN/status/83171950893072385

    nerakzkiexcore at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  49. thanks for the giveaway
    GFC:Ioana Lacatusu
    ioana_raluk95 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  50. Ohh please pick me I reallyyy want to win

    ReplyDelete
  51. Ohh please pick me I reallyyy want to win!!

    gaby891@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. thank you for the giveaway and for making it international!!
    i am looking forward to reading this!!

    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  53. This book sounds great, thanks for the giveaway! I'd love to read this.

    demonsreadtoo(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thanks for the giveaway!

    pranali_nk04@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. Sounds really good. Thanks for sharing!

    Im a follower

    tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/DonnaS1/status/86271314503016448

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

    ReplyDelete