Monday, December 12, 2011

Interview with Amanda Bonilla and Giveaway - December 12, 2011

Please welcome Amanda Bonilla to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. Amanda's debt, Shaedes of Gray, was published on December 6, 2011 by Signet Eclipse.

Amanda:  Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be a guest on The Qwillery today!

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Amanda:  This is going to be disappointing, because I don’t really have any writing quirks. I’m a little boring. I prefer quiet, and no distractions. I’ve been known to keep a Coke Zero close by and sometimes I like to sprawl out on my couch when I write. That’s about as quirky as I get. ;)

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Amanda:  I could probably generate a mile-long list of my favorite writers. I’d say my most favorite authors are Bernard Cornwell, Anne Rice, and J.R. Ward just to name a few. Honestly, I think I’d have to say that Bernard Cornwell has influenced my writing the most which is strange since he writes historical fiction. He writes the most wonderful protagonists, multi-dimensional and honorable. Men who do what has to be done, no matter what. He has a way of weaving ancient religion into his stories that gives them a mystical quality. And his battle scenes are epic.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Amanda:  I’m a little of both. I used to be a strict pantser. But now that I have outlines that need to be turned in before I write the book, I’ve become more of a plotter. I don’t do much in the plotting department. I usually use a few words to describe each chapter on a sticky note and put it up on my wall. That way I still have room to write from the hip.

TQ:  Describe Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin 1) in 140 characters or less.

Amanda:  Okay, this is hard! My short game isn’t great. I think I went over by a few characters. Here goes: Darian, Shaede & assassin must face the ghosts of her past & reality of her future while navigating a supernatural world she never knew existed.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Shaedes of Gray?

Amanda:  I was sort of thinking about guilt, actually. The decisions people make to protect the people they love and the consequences of those actions. Sometimes you make a bad choice for the right reason and it becomes a muddled gray area between right and wrong. When Darian first popped into my head, she was standing on the roof of a building in the middle of the night, considering the moral gray area that she’d slipped into.

TQ:   What sort of research did you do for Shaedes of Gray?

Amanda:  Most of my research involved the supernatural. I couldn’t find a specific legend or story that meshed with my vision of my characters and so I decided to start from scratch and create my own mythos while still keeping with some of the legends and traditional characters out there. My Shaedes and Lyhtans are my own creation. And I didn’t like any of the Jinn mythology either, so I wrote my own. But I also have Oracles, Fae, Sylphs, and other creatures that are pretty standard. Aside from my creatures, I did a lot of research on swords, daggers, guns, weaponry and combat. You know, the fun stuff.

TQ:  Why did you set the series in Seattle?

Amanda:  Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I wanted to keep with locations that I was familiar with. I’ve visited Seattle and the city has a certain energy that struck a chord with me. It’s big enough for a supernatural creature to hide out undetected. It’s a beautiful city with plenty of hustle and bustle. Seattle has a rich history. I’ve spent hours looking at old pictures of the city, reading articles. It’s fascinating.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Amanda:  Darian was by far the easiest character for me to write. She’s got this jaded outlook and sarcastic attitude that comes out in me more often than I’d like to admit. She’s also very introverted, like me, and doesn’t particularly like to share her feelings. I think the hardest character for me to write is Tyler. That man is a mystery to me. More times than not I have to have a “talk” with him and ask, Okay, buddy. What do you WANT? He’s open about how he feels, he’s protective to the nth degree, and he’s so damn patient! He drives me crazy.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Shaedes of Gray?

Amanda:  I think my favorite scene in the book is the first time Darian ever sees a Lyhtan. And I owe that to my agent, Natanya Wheeler. When we were working on revisions she asked me, “What does a Lyhtan eat?” And when Darian stumbles upon the Lyhtan…let’s just say he’s enjoying his meal.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Shaede Assassin series?

Amanda:  So far, I’m contracted for three books and a novella that is a prequel to SHAEDES OF GRAY. But I have ideas for at least three more books in the Shaede Assassin Series, and a couple of spin-offs as well. Hopefully, I’ll get to put those ideas to paper soon!

TQ:   What's next?

Amanda:  Next up is the novella that I mentioned above. It will be available for download in June and I’m really in love with the story. Readers will get to see how Darian’s journey began and you’ll get a lot of Azriel, a character who will always be in Darian’s thoughts. The novella will also have a preview for book 2, BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE, which releases July 3rd, 2012.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Amanda:  Thanks again for having me!

About Shaedes of Gray

Shaedes of Gray
Shaede Assassin 1
Signet Eclipse (December 6, 2011)
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages

You can read my 5 Qwill review here.

In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she's taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished...

About Amanda

Amanda Bonilla lives in rural Idaho with her husband and two kids. She’s a part-time pet wrangler, a full-time sun worshipper, and only goes out into the cold when coerced. When she’s not writing she’s either reading or talking about her favorite books.

Amanda's Links


The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a copy of Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin 1) from Amanda. US/Canada Mailing Addresses Only.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What creature or being is your ideal paranormal best friend?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a USA or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Monday, December 19, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. I already have the book but I just want to recommend this book to everyone. The only bad part is that I read the book way too fast!

    Although Tyler never disaapointed me..I still have a soft spot for the King :)


  2. deanna - We have to wait until June for the novella and July for the next book! :( I like Xander also.

  3. It may sound odd, but I would like to have a ghost/spirit as a friend. They can go places I can't and can let me know what's going on. They doen't require "things" either.

    lvs2dv (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. Thanks again to the Qwillery for hosting me today! I have a soft spot for Xander too. He's just too cocky not to love him a little.

    I think a ghost would make a pretty awesome companion. You'd never have to buy him lunch! ;)

  5. I would say a werewolf. I think they would be very protective. I would love to have a guy friend. They are very alpha, very protective, and very gorgeous.
    This is a new author and series for me. I love to read and always looking for new books and authors to check out. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.

  6. Hmmm... I like the idea of a ghost! I think I would go with a shifter as a paranormal bestie, though. I could really use a friend who's a lot stronger than me, as long as s/he doesn't shed too much! (I'm an indifferent housekeeper, lol.)

    +1 Comment
    +1 Follower
    +1 Tweeted (!/RebeLovesBooks/status/146255603608719361)

  7. oops forgot
    +1 comment
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  8. Loved the book. If you don't have it, GET IT!!

    GO RAIF!!!

  9. I'd love to have a werewolf friend.

    +1 comment
    +1 gfc follower

  10. A vampire is my paranormal best friend. We can relate to each other in some way and still be different.

    GFC: Na

  11. This book sounds fantastic and I would love to get my hands on it.

    +1 Comment
    +1 Follower


  12. oops...forgot to answer the question. Hmmm that is hard, I think that a skinwalker would be a really cool best friend. That way they could shift into any animal if you needed help with something.

    j-9-books (at) hotmail (dot) com

  13. I'd go with a spirit, they don't take up a lot of room and I wouldn't have to share my clothes. Yet they provide companionship.

    GFC Anne38

  14. I think I'd like a shapeshifting dragon as a paranormal friend. Protection and flying ability- cool!

    Amanda, this series looks great!

    +1 comment
    +1 email follower

    debbie at burdeen dot com

  15. I'd want a Were as my bestie!

    Jessica @ Taking It One Book


    +1 GFC
    +1 Comment

  16. I'd want a male Werewolf best friend (probably with benefits, 'cuz that's how I roll, lol - in my fantasies, anyway, haha!)
    I want this book BAD - it's on my TBR list!
    Thank you so much for participating and the giveaway op!

    +1 Comment
    +1 Follower
    +1 FB Share:

    Happy Holidays!
    Gena Robertson

  17. tweeted!/Icecream1891/status/146309970776948736
    GFC Krystal Larson
    edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom Thank you for the awesome chance to win-I would choose a mermaid.

  18. I'm going to be broad in my answer and say shape-shifter. He can shift into any animal that is needed at the time.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  19. Hi! Love the interview :)

    What creature or being is your ideal paranormal best friend?

    I think I would love to have a shape-shifter or werewolf paranormal best friend! Even if I might fall in love with him, because these shifters are so strong and super hot! Geee! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Follower: Proserpine!

    share on facebook:


  20. A witch!! That would be SO much fun!! Thanks for the giveaway:)

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower
    +1 Tweet:!/jwitt33/status/146338502945144832

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  21. Having just finished Kelly Gay's first three books. Hank Williams, her Siren seems pretty cool to hang with. Of course, with each new book I read, my choice of sidekick changes.
    + Follower
    linda at gordonvalley dot com

  22. I like shape shifters. I think it would be cool to hang out with them.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  23. I would say a Werewolf because I love alpha males very protective and loyal!
    This sounds like a great book would love to read it! Great giveaway thank you very much!
    +1 Comment
    +1 GFC follower-latishajean
    +1 Tweeted too!/latishajean/status/146358167104794624

  24. I would say a vampire. I love vampires. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  25. You guys are awesome! I think we can all agree that having a paranormal bestie would ROCK! :)

  26. OMG, I'd love any paranormal friend... but have to say my fav would be a dragon. I've dreamed of having a dragon friend ever since Peter, Paul & Mary sang about Puff. I've already got your book on my must-read list... it'd be fabulous to win it! Thanks for the giveaway!
    I'm a GFC Follower

  27. Definitely a shifter. It seems to be the most useful.
    +1 comment
    +1 GFC: Vivien

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  28. I would love to have a dragon as a friend! I am kind of obsessed with dragons. :) A shapeshifter would be awesome, too. Thank you for the giveaway!

    GFC - Lieder Madchen!/LiederMadchen/status/146406814613901312


  29. I think I'd lean towards someone like a witch or fae. Anything that would never be tempted to eat me.

    I'm a gfc follower.


  30. A gargoyle, I am thinking Galaith from the cartoon Gargoyles...perfect!
    Love the sound of your book, it is in my TBR list and I can't wait to get to it!

    GFC follower Lexi
    eyesofblueice (at) gmail (dot) com

  31. Loved the interview here. Shaedes of Gray sounds interesting. If I had to choose a best friend it would probably be a dragon. I mean, who wouldn't want a dragon on their side?

    On Twitter: @timlewis:!/QQwill/status/146215362353045504

  32. I would like a witch or warlock as my best friend, I think they could be a big help in a tight spot.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  33. I think I would want a fairy. They always seem to be a few steps ahead.
    +1 comment
    +1 follower- thegirlonfire27

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  34. I would choose a guy werewolf. I want a friend who is trustworthy and loyal. Thanks for the chance.

    I am a follower
    sariahwalters at gmail dot com

  35. Honestly, I just want my very own Jenks as a BFF. Pixies Rule! :)

    This book's been getting a lot of buzz... If my local bookstore has it in stock, it will be the one that helps me finish the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. (Cross your fingers for me!)

    +3: comment, follower, retweeter

  36. A shifter probably. Warm blooded, loyal and can protect if needed.

    -tweet -!/DonnaS1/status/148295737774571520
    -blog post -

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  37. A werewolf. because dogs mans best friend, right??
    +1 Comment
    +1 follower
    +1 FB mention:!/permalink.php?story_fbid=294294640615044&id=100003158242989