Friday, January 27, 2012

An Interview with Victoria Scott (author of Fire & Flood, Four Houses & More)

Recently I was lucky enough to interview the lovely, wonderful, talented, and funny Victoria Scott! First, here is a bit about her:


Victoria Scott is a YA writer with a deep love for dark and humorous books. Her work is represented by the fabulous Laurie McLean of Larsen-Pomada literary agency. She has a master’s degree in marketing, and is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas and Teen Shiver. Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband, Ryan. When not writing, she can be found scouting cotton candy and snuggling obese cats. To earn her undying affection, visit her website at: 

And now, for your pleasure, is the interview! I hope you enjoy it! :)

Amanda: When did you make the decision to take on writing a novel and why?
Victoria Scott: I thought about it for several years, but was afraid writing a book would kill my love of reading. Eventually, about two years ago, I decided to take the plunge. It’s been a wonderful experience and has only heightened my appreciation of reading.

Amanda: Do you think it could be advantageous for writers to tackle a short story, and if they’re pleased with it even look into options such as Barnes & Noble’s Pubit service?
Victoria Scott: Absolutely. I like the thought of giving readers a sampling of your work for cheap, or even for free. Plus it helps get feedback so you can incorporate that into your longer works. 

Amanda: What made you decide to write in the Young Adult genre?
Victoria Scott: Honestly, I just love reading YA. So I couldn’t imagine living/writing/working in any other genre.

Amanda: Do you listen to music while you write? Does each project have a different soundtrack?
Victoria Scott: Sometimes, but not as often as other writers I know. I generally only use music with problem scenes. For example, I used a Limp Bizkit song to write a fist fight scene. Bet many of you can figure out which song. ;)

Amanda: Marketing is a big part of this business that many aspiring authors don’t know a lot about. Any general advice? 
Victoria Scott: Be prepared to spend just as much time marketing as you do writing. Subscribe to marketing magazines or read online articles often. And remember, we’re not salespeople. It’s more about building a relationship with others in the hopes that one day they’ll buy your book without you asking. 

Amanda: In regards to Facebook and Goodreads, did you set up Author pages before or after you had an agent?
Victoria Scott: Definitely before. Agents want to know you “get” marketing before they sign you.

Okay, now that I asked the “Serious Questions” on to some “Fun Questions.” Here it goes:

Amanda: If you could listen to only one song forever, which song would you choose and why?
Victoria Scott: Probably 50 Cent’s In Da Club, because I like a little gangsta’ in my life: 

Amanda: If you could read only one book forever, which book would you choose? Why?
Victoria Scott: The first Harry Potter. It just has everything I want in a book. 

Amanda: If you could cast yourself as a character in any book which book would that be and why?
Victoria Scott: Oh, oh! I want to be Elena in The Vampire Diaries. Two boys fighting over me and long, swishy hair? Yes. I’ll take that, please.

Amanda: I know that you’re a big Harry Potter fan. So I was wondering, if you were an animagus what animal would you want to transform into? Why?
Victoria Scott: I would like to transform into a lion. Because who would mess with a lion? Exactly.

A BIG THANK YOU to Victoria Scott! This is a great interview! Informative and fun! 

And everyone, don't forget to visit Victoria Scott's website and to check out her short story Four Houses! The link can be found on her website and in my review of Four Houses on this blog! 

Thanks for reading this! :)  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

On Blogging, Classes, Writing and Being the Assistant Managing Editor of VOX

Hi everybody!

In this post I'm going to talk about blogging, classes, writing and being the Assistant Managing Editor of VOX. But not necessarily in that order. . .

Yesterday the Spring Semester started! I've been taking a class over the Winter Intersession that bleeds into the Spring Semester, so until the 31st I have five classes. My winter one is a Normative Ethics class. After that's over I'll have four classes. That's only because I have to take a science lab this semester. I chose Earth Science. Science is not really my thing, but it's part of the core curriculum. I find some of it interesting, I just can't do it - unless it's psychology. I'm excited to take an Adolescent Psychology class this semester! Especially since I write mainly in the YA genre. I would've taken the Young Adult Literature class too, but stupid science got in the way. grrr. I'll take it next Spring - well I better, I graduate next Spring, AAAA!!! Scary freakin' thought! The other two classes are Spanish. I do love Spanish, I'd just rather not take it in college since everything they're covering I learned in junior high lol. At least I'll probably get a good grade. Now, we finally come to the Literature class! The Native American Experience! I think this should be a great class. I've read some Sherman Alexie before and am excited to read more Native American authors.

Probably my favorite part of college is working on the campus literary magazine VOX. VOX is latin for "voice". I've worked on the literary magazine since my freshmen year. I started as Editorial Assistant for Poetry, sophomore year I was Co-Poetry Editor and this year I'm Assistant Managing Editor. Classes and VOX take up the majority of my time. Combined probably about 85-90%. I do a lot of stuff for VOX. And since I've been Assistant Managing Editor I've gotten much more involved in the business, finance and event planning side. Crazy thing is, I LOVE it! I LOVE doing this stuff! It's a ton of work but it's all worth it. I also get 3 credits of tuition remission back the university for working on VOX so that helps. Though I would do it even if I wasn't getting paid for it. VOX is the best part of going to Pace for me. I discovered that working on the editorial board of a literary magazine is something I'd like to do in real life. In addition to being an author. Or until I write those NY Times Bestsellers lol. Elections for next year are in March. Keep your fingers crossed I get Managing Editor!! Besides graduating while keeping my GPA over 3.0, that is my biggest goal for college!

I have found out that I really love blogging! I hope to do it more in 2012 and on. Now that I'm back in school I'll have to figure out how to make it fit into my schedule. Yesterday was only the first day so it's not that bad yet. But the work is already stacking up, plus the work I do on VOX. But I'm hoping to blog at the very least twice a week. And to try to participate in the memes Teaser Tuesday, SWOON Thursday,  and In My Mailbox. Plus put up more book reviews and hopefully interviews! 

I also have to carve out time in my schedule for writing my novel My Heart is Yours. I have Parts 1 and 2 written, so only Part 3 to go before the first draft is done. Wish me luck! Then on to editing! Then after that, on to querying! Again, wish me luck! lol.
Thanks for reading this very long post. Or heck, even for skimming it and reading the parts that interested you. I appreciate it! 
Have a great day everyone!

<3 Amanda Leigh

Monday, January 16, 2012

Short Story Review: Unveiled by Trisha Wolfe

Title: Unveiled
Author: Trisha Wolfe
Release: eBook September 18, 2011

Amongst the wasteland lies the gleaming city of Karm. A Camelot-esque utopia built from the ashes of a dying world. 

Seventeen-year-old Fallon is no daughter of Karm. 

She's its assassin. 

Raised by a secret society of rebels, she's bent on bringing down the king's sham of an existence. But her first mark, one of the king's top knights of the Force, makes her question everything. Even her heart. 

Novelette (Short Story)

This story was simply enchanting. I haven't read much Dystopian but have been meaning to get more into the genre. This was such a unique take on Dystopian.  I love that even though it takes place in the future, the city of Karm is fashioned like King Arthur's court in Camelot. It adds an element of romance to the story. And of course, knights.

Such as Xander. The charming, intelligent, rather adorable, swoon-worthy knight Trisha Wolfe has created. At least I found myself swooning over him. Before Xander even spoke I think I had fallen for him. 

Fallon is also a wonderful character. She's strong, independent and can kick butt if she needs to, but she's also vulnerable. She finds herself faltering when trying to carry out her first assignment.

Xander has his vulnerabilities as well. And both Xander and Fallon are questioning the king's rule. 
What I like about these characters is that, like real people, they have their strengths and weaknesses. It makes it easier to be more empathetic toward them and makes them more relatable. Even in this distant world.

If the characters haven't convinced you and you're more about plot twists, there are several to look forward to in this story! What are they? I can't tell you! I wouldn't want to give it away! Just prepare to be shocked several times!

Trisha Wolfe combines a Dystopian world, plot twists, and strong characters perfectly to create a wonderfully entertaining, enchanting, moving read. Don't miss out! 5 Stars! 

Check out Trisha Wolfe's website:! 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Short Story Review: Four Houses by Victoria Scott

 Title: Four Houses
 Author: Victoria Scott
Release: eBook June 26, 2011

A young girl faced with four choices, must make a decision that will forever haunt her.

The door in front of me is the ugliest shade of plum I've ever seen. It's a prune Grandma would eat, a raisin on its last leg, a swollen bruise in the most inconvenient of places. 

The waiting is the worst part, wondering who will open the door. But this time the waiting is killing me, tearing me down piece by piece and devouring me with its insatiable jaws. 

I bite my lip and raise my hand to knock. 

I loved this story! Certainly one of the best I have read. I've read a few in my lifetime and it's hard to come across Young Adult Short Stories -unless I'm missing something and if I am please let me know. The writing in this story was poetic and lyrical yet still realistic. I could picture what was happening each step of the way. I'm legitimately getting chills up spine now just thinking about it. 
The way the story is formatted is also very unique. I will admit when I looked at the first page I was thrown off, but after reading it I have to say the format fits the story perfectly.
This story is about decisions. Decisions. . .a word often dreaded. Even the simplest ones can be so hard to make. When we have to make one that will affect us forever, it is even harder. The main character Victoria has created has to make arguably her biggest decision ever.
A wonderfully haunting beautiful story. Don't miss this one!  
Rating: 5 Stars!

Get Victoria Scott's Four Houses here:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy New Year!

I've been making resolutions ever since high school I think. Maybe a bit earlier than that. I didn't actually keep any of them until my 2011 resolutions. Because I made them more like specific goals. I did the same thing for this new year of 2012! 

So here they are, my New Year's Resolutions/Goals 2012:
1. Read 17 books in 2012.
2. Finish the first draft of my novel.
3. Edit my novel.
4. Send out queries to agents and publishers.
5. Set up an Etsy shop.
6. Practice yoga at least once a week.

For some reason, I think number 6: "Practice yoga at least once a week" will be the hardest to stick to. 

As for my blog, it's still fairly new and I'd like to make it better. I want to do more reviews, and I would love to start to receive books for review. I want to participate in more memes and would be absolutely ecstatic to do interviews with authors, writers, agents, editors, publishers and so on. 

The first review I desperately must do is of Four Houses by Tori Scott. I've been saying I would do a review for too long now. So my next post better be a review of Four Houses! 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Top 3 Book Boys of 2011

I did a blog post with my Top Books of 2011, now it is time for a list of my Top 3 Book Boys of 2011. It was hard to find pictures to do a couple of these guys justice. But I tried. One there were a ton of photos for (considering there is a TV Show based on the book series.) So now, without further adieu, my Top 3 Book Boys of 2011.

1. The Vampire Diaries' Damon Salvatore
I love Damon Salvatore. Simply, absolutely adore him. Always have since the first time I read about in the first Vampire Diaries book about two and a half years ago. I tend to go for the extremely complicated, complex characters. The ones with lots of issues. Damon certainly fits that description. But I will always love him.

2. Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy's Sam Roth
Sam Roth. Ah, I love Sam Roth. Those yellow eyes. He loves poetry, plays guitar, writes songs. My kind of guy.

3. Unveiled's Xander
Charming, intelligent, chivalrous knight. But doesn't blindly follow the king and questions society. Gotta love a guy like that.

These were my Top Book Boys. Hoping to read more about them and others in 2012. Who were your Top Book Boys?

My Top 7 Reads of 2011

Happy New Year! I'll start by saying I wish I had read more in 2011. (Besides the reading I did for classes. Which, being an English major, is quite a lot.) I read 15 books in 2011 - well, one was a play, one was a poetry collection and two were short stories. So I decided to compile a list of my Top 5.  However, it was extremely difficult to keep it down to 5 because the short stories I read were just so good. Everything on this list got my 5 star rating - one even got my 6 star rating. These are books I read in 2011, not all books that were published in 2011. Now, instead of My Top 5 Reads it is my Top 7 Reads and here it is for your pleasure.

1. The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight by L.J. Smith

I am a die-hard Vampire Diaries fan. I love this series, no matter what criticism the latest books may face. So it is safe to say The Vampire Diaries will always be on my list of Top Reads. What really keeps me coming back though, is the character of Damon Salvatore. Such a complex, complicated, intriguing character. I love him. This is the book that got my 6 star rating.

2. The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Shadow Souls by L.J. Smith

Just like I said above, I am a die-hard Vampire Diaries fan and I love Damon Salvatore. This one is of course on the list. Love it.

3. Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

I love this series, I think it is amazing. I love Grace and Sam. Even Isabelle and Cole. Isabelle and Cole are not always easy characters to love, but I do. Terrific, beautiful. I need to read Forever very soon. Even though I'll be devastated that the trilogy is over.

4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Wow. That is all I have to say. Wow. Whoa. Holy crap. Great great book. Quite a book. Real and powerful. Highly recommended.

5. I don't want to be crazy by Samantha Schutz

This is a memoir written in verse. It's about the author's struggle with anxiety disorder. This was a great read and is a great read whether or not you struggle with anxiety.

6. Four Houses by Tori Scott
A lot of people for some reason have an aversion to short stories; I have never been one of them. This, however, is one of the best short stories I have ever read. I'm not going to say a lot because it is easy to give too much away. (Plus, who knows, there may be a review of this coming soon. ;) I will say this: I LOVED it!

7. Unveiled by Trisha Wolfe 
Another example of short stories not being a "waste of time". Again, I won't say too much because I don't want to give too much away (and there may be a review for this coming up too! ;) Simply wonderful! I loved it! Can't wait for her novel Destiny's Fire to come out!

These were my favorites. Did you read any of these? Or are any going to be added to your list? What were your favorites of 2011?

<3 Amanda Leigh