Saturday, September 3, 2011

Blogoversary Author Interview & Giveaway: Amanda Downum

Hi Everyone,
Today we have a great author as part of the Blogoversary event, who helped me start a new love with the fantasy genre and introduce me to a whole new side of Necromancy.

Please Welcome AMANDA DOWNUM to Blood Rose Books Today!

What is it about the Fantasy genre that appealed to you as a writer?
My mother read me a lot of fantasy when I was a kid--Tolkien, Lewis, Le Guin, L'engle. After that, there was pretty much no chance I would write anything else. 

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Mimetic fiction would be very difficult for me. I'm just not wired for it.

Do you a specific routine to get into writing mode or does it just come naturally to you?
My routine is to sit down with my laptop and wait until the Internet starts to bore me. Then I have no choice but to write. 

Your world building is fantastic within The Drowning City, it was very descriptive and appeared to pull elements from all over the world and history, did your travel help you create this world?
Certain memories and images I have of Micronesia were helpful when I was describing Symir, definitely. Travel tends to influence a lot of my writing, though it seems to come out more strongly in my short stories than the novels so far. 

Your descriptions of not only the world but what the environment of what was happening to and around the main characters involved all five senses, do you think this stems from your poetry background or somewhere else?
I don't have any background in poetry to speak of, besides obsessively rereading The Waste Land. Mostly I think that sensory descriptions are a great way to ground readers in a setting. I usually find fiction that doesn't use them flat and less engaging. 

Did you use any historical references when developing the revolutionary, assassin, spy and political aspects within the series?
Not any specific historical references, but I spent a lot of time reading Wikipedia. I also watched a lot of spy movies and read thrillers. 

What of Necromancy appealed to you that you wanted to have your books and main character based around it?
I first encountered the word necromancer in The Hobbit when I was a kid, and I've been intrigued ever since. I was also tired of necromancy being the default
Evil Magic in fantasy novels--it has such useful applications, especially in forensics. 

In the Drowning City, Isyllt is the main character; however, you have several chapters from the point of view of Xinai, why did you choose to change the point of view away from the main character?
I find a lot of single-POV books claustrophobic, and I don't think I could do a novel justice with only one POV character. There were plot points and insights and emotional resonance that Zhirin and Xinai could provide that Isyllt never could by herself. They were the ones deeply invested in what was happening; Isyllt was only doing a job. 

Are you able to share any information on upcoming works or events?
The third book, Kingdoms of Dust, will be out in March of 2012. It picks up shortly after The Bone Palace, but brings back several characters from The Drowning City. My next project will be something different, but I don't know what yet. 

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new book or an old favorite)?
I tore through A Dance With Dragons thanks to a plane trip. Now I'm back to reading a dozen books at once, which means it takes months to finish any of them. 

If you would like to find out more about Amanda's books you can check out my review of The Drowning City. Also you can visit her website Still So Strange. Amanda has also very Kindly donated 5 paperback copies of her debut novel The Drowning City as a giveaway so please see the rules below about how to enter. I would also like to thank Amanda once again for taking the time to participate in my Blogoversary.

1.  Please leave a comment and/or question as well as a way to contact you (you do not need to be a follower to participate, but it is always nice for you to join)
2. For an extra entry(+1) Post about my Blogoversay with it's Button on your website (please leave a link)
3. This Giveaway is Open Internationally
4. The Giveaway ENDS on October 7, 2011
5. The winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hrs to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen
6. The books have been provided by Publisher


  1. Sounds interesting. Count me in!

    -Britt T.

  2. I've never read any fantasy about necromancy before... I'd love to give it a try :-)

    sarahmay227 AT gmail DOT com

  3. Hi--old follower here! I would love to get a chance to read this series. It seems quite unique! I like the idea that you put a different spin on necromancy than what I encounter in various gaming situations. Count me in! Rae, Best O' Books Reviews

  4. Hi, J-9!!

    I'm an old follower! Thanks for participating in my own one-year blogoversary, and for posting my giveaway button on your blog!! I sure hope you win a copy of "Die For Me" -- I have just finished reading this book, and my review will soon be up. The book is AWESOME!!

    CONGRATS to you on your blogoversary!!! I'm entering this giveaway!!! You can contact me at

    Here's the blog post, along with the button in my sidebar:

  5. Thanks for the giveaway! These seem like interesting books to read. :)


  6. I would love to win a copy of Amanda's debut novel. I can be contacted at me_hubbardee(-at-) yahoo(dot)co(dot uk

  7. Hello! New follower!
    Amanda's books are pretty awesome. I've read them both and now am waiting for Kingdoms of Dust :D

  8. Hello, I would love a chance to read this series, it looks awesome.


  9. Thanks for a great giveaway, I'd love to read this :) I'm your newest follower!

    kate1485 at

  10. Sounds great! I would love to be entered. :)

  11. the covers of the books are really beautiful.
    they make me want to read them - a lot.

  12. I'm new to necromancy. Educate me.

    GFC: Mary Preston


  13. Count me in!! These books look and sound amazing:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

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