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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Q & A (The Q Part)

My good friend/platonic lifemate/assistant Eric and I were talking the other day. He's obsessed with Rosie O'Donnell, and she has a feature on her blog called "Ask Ro." Ever since I've had a blog, Eric has been suggesting that I have an "Ask Mandy" feature. (That last part makes more sense when you know that he and Barry Manilow call me "Mandy.")

Anyway, I have new book coming out next week. (A fun fairytale called Virtue. For more info on it, click: here.) So I thought now would be a good time to try out the "Ask Amanda" thing. Or "Ask Mandy," if you prefer. I've never much cared what people call me. I'm not like Bradley Cooper and insist you call me "Bradley" even though I'm an adult male.

Here's how the "Ask Amanda" thing will work:

In the comments section of this very blog, you write a question. If it's profane or illegible, I won't answer it. If it asks for a spoiler (i.e. how will the last My Blood Approves book end?), then I won't answer it. Otherwise pretty much everything is fair game.

You have until Thursday, May 26th at midnight (central time) to ask a question. Then on Friday, Eric and I will go through the questions and pick some to answer. We'll just pick them based on whatever strikes our fancy. (Note: Eric's fancy will probably have a larger pull than my fancy, since he's very excited about this).

Then sometime either on Friday or Saturday, Eric and I will make a video blog (a vlog, if you will) with the answers to the questions. Why a video? I don't know. It's something that Rosie used to do, and apparently, it's important to the whole "Ask Ro" theme.

I'm not sure how many questions we'll answer (and Eric will be helping answer, so feel free to direct questions to him). I guess it depends on how many questions you ask and how long it takes me to answer. We'll probably spend about 5 or 10 minutes answering them, because any longer than that feels like something I would fast forward through.

So there you have it. Ask away!

141 comments:

  1. Any marketing tips for a first time Indie author?

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  2. Have you ever truly been in love?

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  3. Now that you've become so successful, will you continue to self-publish other works that your agent or publisher don't find desirable?

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  4. Which of your books do you most enjoy reading?

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  5. If you could date any book character, your own or someone else's, who would it be?

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  6. Of everything that you've ever written, what has been your favorite?

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  7. Have you gained or lost any friends from this experience? What's being famous like, anyway? I expect it normalizes after a while and just becomes a part of life, but maybe not.

    I'm curious because you seem to have a close dialogue with your fans and your fame happened so suddenly.

    Thanks!

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  8. How many other projects are you planning on working on??? Will you write something on angels or immortals?????

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  9. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?

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  10. If you could have three wishes, what would they be?

    (And you can't wish for more wishes, and they have to be for your personal benefit, so you can't wish for anything altruistic like world peace.)

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  11. If you could have one magic power, what would it be?

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  12. You should rename it "Q & Amanda"

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  13. You are very successful writer now. Do you have any regrets?

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  14. I loved your Zombies Pretty cool. How many more Zombie books do you think you going to write?

    I personally think you should write 10 maybe 20 thousand lol no sorry I am a zombie freak!! I would write my own but then i would know whats going to happen. oh yeah!! I love how you through a rock star in there its great way to keep the old world with the new ZOMBIE world.

    Your loving Fan,

    Zombie Freak!!!

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  15. Dear Mandy, now that you've been traditionally published AND self-published, what are your top 3 pros and cons about each? :-)

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  16. agirlmakesgravesMay 25, 2011 at 4:29 AM

    What do you think makes a good heroine/hero, can beta character types be succesful heroes in your opinion?

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  17. How did you discover and then convince all the review bloggers to read and talk about your books to spread the word about them?

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  18. Before you were published what was your schedule like? Like how did you manage to write so much and work at the same time?

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  19. What's your favorite Disney cartoon?

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  20. How do you keep coming up with so many amazing ideas? Do you do a lot of research or do they come naturally?

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  21. If you could have any car, what car would you own?

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  22. Is there anyway to get your "signed" version of the Trylly Trilogy again? I tried buying a few times and once I went to purchase, it said "sold out". I loved the series and would love to give to my young daughter as a cool gift in a few years and thought that would make it more special. Thanks!!

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  23. What genre of music can you not stand at all?

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  24. I'm sure this question may have already been asked... but I fast forwarded through the onslot of previous questions. What was the definitive moment in your life, that you knew this was the road you wanted to take? Did you totally bug out about the process, or were you more like, eh, whatever happens.. happens. There, I'm kinda up and down, I don't know if that was really the question I wanted to ask.. but I'm excited for this vlog too... so I've got some sort of stage fright. But, in case you don't like that one... which one---- The Dark Crystal, or The Labyrinth? I deal with this battle daily.

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  25. Will you ever consider writing something about Finn? Maybe a spinoff where he finds true love? I know you said no more Trylle it would just be nice to see him have a happy ending =) He is my favorite character ever!!

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  26. I love listening to the music you recommend and the playlist's for each book (especially My Blood Approves). How do you come across these artist and what is your absolute favorite or your go to artist on the tough days? I think your an amazing writer and I can't wait to read more of your books!! Thanks!

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  27. Are you and Eric really "just friends" I know its a personal question but you said ask anything!! =) You two have an amazing relationship & I'm assuming its more than friends, but you give us all hope there is a perfect "friend" for everyone ;)Even if it really is just a friend =) I wish I had someone in my life like that!

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  28. Aside from writing, what are some of your other passions? How do you spend your time when it's not reading a book.. or working on writing one?

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  29. How did you do it? What made, who you are today? Any regrets or do overs? I know technically it's more than one question, but it's really more of a combined question.

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  30. What was your final word count on the most productive single day you've ever had?

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  31. Is Virtue going to be a single book or is it going to be a series?

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  32. What's the average airspeed of an unladen swallow?

    Just kidding, I'd really like to know what kind of beer and hockey do you enjoy most?

    When I was still in the US, it was Avalanche and Avalanche, so I'm feeling nostalgic.

    Cheers from Down Under!

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  33. Everything in writing is an illustration of something else. What symbols do your characters stand for?

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  34. - What inspired you when writing the My Blood Approves series?
    - If you could only save one book in the world which one would it be?
    - Will you coninue self-publishing now that publishers finally (!!!) are interested in your works?
    - Which of your characters is your favourite one?
    - Does one (or more) characters share character traits with you?
    ...
    I couls go like this forever... but I guess I should stop ;)

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  35. What one thing do you wish you had known before self-publishing e-books?

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  36. Where did you learn the spell that you have cast on us all? We love you guys.

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  37. I love the character names in your books. Where do you come up with them?

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  38. How many books will there be in the Hollows series?

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  39. My question has a spoiler for the Trylle books.

    I felt very invested in Finn and wanted so badly for that relationship to happen. I was wondering what the thought process was in having Wendy end up with Lokey and if you had a hard time, in a sense, letting Finn go?
    Regardless of the little heartache I had, I love your books.

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  40. I loved Hallowland it was sooooo good. I was just wondering how many books will there be in the series?

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  41. 1)does it make you mad that now, after you tryed a hundered times to get traditionally publised, decided to do it on your on, and earned a huge fan base, traditional publishers are interested?

    2) also, which guy out of every book your written(and published) do you love the most?

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  42. How did you go about getting self published? What where the steps you took and the sites you used to get self published? Did you copywrite everything before publishing?

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  43. Will you post outtakes of your books? (like the original Switched beginning. hint, hint)

    And this is to Eric, What did you think when Amanda's books first started really selling after seeing her work so long and hard?

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  44. Your success story is incredible and inspiring. Do you ever wake up and think, "Is this really happening to me?" Or did you always sort of anticipate success?

    And: What is your favorite thing about the act of writing?

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  45. Amanda, how do you come up with ideas for all of your books and are there any authors that influenced you or you enjoy reading?

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  46. How did you continue to have faith in yourself as a writer and bravely self publish? How do make yourself write or keep from procrastinating?

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  47. You got me hooked on the sneak peak of Honalee, and now it has disappeared. I'm heartbroken. (its in pieces) - are you still going to publish it? Also, the cover is really cool. btw

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  48. You said you didn't pay for any marketing to promote your book. What kind of stuff did you do?

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  49. Hello Amanda, My question which I hope wasn't already is are any of your characters personalities based on people you know or yourself or are they a combination of people in your life? Also are the question only going to be answered in a video format or will there be written version of the answers as well?

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  50. How extensively do you outline a book?

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  51. I have known authors, such as Ray Bradbury, to base the structure of their books off of the narrative/plot frame of other books. Have you ever done this?

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  52. Have you and Eric ever encountered a blood-thirsty zombie while playing disc golf at Todd Park? I love that course, but will never go back there again after that dark day. Am I the only one? Oh, and do you like horses?

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  53. Amanda, I see you mention Rumplestiltskin various times. Do you have an affinity for it? Eric, how great is it to work side by side with such a imaginative person? I would be crazy intimidated! Loads of luck 2 you both. You have a true fan in me...Disregarding the fact that I am so much older..Not by much, but older...=). Annie

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  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  55. When writing a book, are you completely obsessed with the characters and plot when you aren't actually writing?

    Once finished with a book, is it difficult to move on to the next project?

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  56. You seem to spend a lot of time fleshing out your characters including their appearances. I've always been curious how you see each character in your own mind. If you could be the casting director for a movie version of the My Blood Approves series, who would the allstar cast include?

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  57. What actors you will like to see in the trilogy mvie? who will be Finn?

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  58. If your books are ever made into audiobooks (and I'm crossing my fingers that they will be) who would you choose to narrate them?

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  59. Are you freinds with any other famous writers?

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  60. Super fun idea, Mandy! Can't wait to "see" the answers!
    Jools Sinclair

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  61. Dear Mandy, if you could trade your success for one thing, what would it be?

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  62. Do you ever have moments when you think back on snarky rejections of the past and feel like success isn't the best revenge? If you could visit some karma on approp. people/ companies, what/ who would it be?

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  63. As a avid reader of yours, and aspriing writer myself, I often wonder how long you spend on the first page, and do you play to the rule that the first page has to capture the reader enticing them to read more?

    Take care,

    Mike
    Waconia, Mn

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  64. Do you still pinch yourself to believe that all of this is real? Do you feel validated as a writer that so many people have enjoyed your work?

    Is it true that you secretly adore Superman ;)

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  65. Hi Amanda and Eric. I was wondering how you go about finding editor. What do you look for in an editor? And what does an editor get paid? And - you know, I'd love to hear anything else you may have to say about editors.

    Hope you pick my super awesome question(s) to answer.

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  66. What was your job before becoming a full-time author?

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  67. Which authors do you enjoy reading the most?

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  68. I have a few questions for Eric, if it's alright? :)

    1. How is it, being Amanda's assistant?

    2. Do people ever recognize you as "Amanda's/Hocking's friend"?

    3. Why do you like Rosie O'Donnell so much?

    Should be fun, can't wait for vlog and hope Eric pops in to answer ;)

    YA: Cheat, Liar, Coward
    Adult: Shackled

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  69. I read recently that "writing isn't the hard part. It's sitting down to write, that's the hard part." Do you have to get yourself motivated to write? Do you ever make yourself sit down to write and face a blank page BEFORE you have an idea or plan?

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  70. As someone who is still trying to get an agent but rapidly becoming discouraged, I'm curious about how you dealt with rejection when you first started querying. It's heartbreaking and some days, I feel like all that negativity overwhelms me. At what point did you make the decision to self-publish and take matters into your own hands? What was the turning point?

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  71. Ur tyrlle trilogy is brill, only on torn, but cant put it down, u bring it alive, and suck me right into trylle world. just read that its been brought for possible movie, i did keep thinking how gd it would be as a film....ur v talented

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  72. How many licks does it actually take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop? All joking aside, how does writer's block usually phase out for you?

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  73. I wonder when your special edition trylle will be out. Is there a date? or did i already miss the event. I hope not :(

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  74. Was Remy from "Hollowland" inspired by anyone? I related to her strongly and hope that, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, I won't disappoint myself/hubby/family/friends by going against type and becoming a useless weakling. I would also like to recruit whoever she was based on for my merry band of survivors. Info on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! <3

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  75. What inspires you to start a book? Do you get ideas from your real life situations or do you make them up?

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  76. Are there any plans for you to do a national meet your readers tour??

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  77. Eric: I think it would be neat if you had a blog. I would be interested in what you have to say.

    Yes, I know that is not a question. Maybe it is an answer and you can reply in the form of a question. Or something.

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  78. I have the same question as another. At what point did you decide that Finn and Wendy would not be together?

    I loved them two together and was really sad when Wendy ended up with Loki...

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  79. I would also like to know if you have considered doing local book signings in the Twincities??

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  80. Just gonna throw this out there since you mentioned you felt like you might fast forward if you were watching your vlog. There is a site called Vyou many people use where you click on a question and see the video answer. If you are interested here is John Green's http://vyou.com/johngreen

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  81. Eric, did Scream 4 live up to your expectations? Scream has always been my favorite scary movie. Maybe it was watching Dewey and Gail knowing about the Arquette/Cox split that left me disenchanted but I didn't love it.

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  82. Amanda, I love your books! :-) You're such an amazing writer/ storyteller and a great inspiration to many writers. My question to you is: How many hours per day do you write? (Do you write everyday?)

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  83. Can you talk a little more about the making of your trailers? Do you do it yourself? Do you think they're important for a book these days?

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  84. Can you please write more than 5 books for the My Blood Approves series?

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  85. On the topic of feces, what is your standing of if you believe it is abiotic, never was living (think raw material), or biotic, is or was once living, (think fruits and veggies that have been picked)? Consider carefully and keep in mind, when you body processes corn it does not dissolve the shell,but absorbs the color, that is why you can see it in your waste. Provide an explanation why you think the feces is abiotic/biotic.

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  86. Time for an important question...

    What type of jelly do you put on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

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  87. Hi Amanda and Eric... I had so many quetions, but had to cut it down to just a couple.. :-)
    1. Are you planning to visit Australia any time soon? and if so would you think about running any workshops for budding writers to pick your mind ?
    2. When I write, I'm generally a little bit in love with my male lead or leads. Is this the case for you? and if so, which of the leads in My Blood Approves did you fall in love with first?

    Thanks for the Q and A session - great idea!

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  88. 1) How did you and Eric meet?
    2) How many stories do you have in the "trunk" that will never see the light of day?
    3) Do you think you can update your "epic tale of all that happened" (the one from last August) to explain all that's happened since then? I know it's a lot.
    4) How did you get spots in blogs and such to do your "virtual tours"?

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  89. Amanda,
    When you became self published did you go through the copyright thing? I have been told that all you have to do is the copyright symbol, and your name, is this true?

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  90. Question: You wrote in one of your "How I did it" posts that one of the most important things for a self-publishing author to do is 'research.' What exactly did you research that helped you sell books?

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  91. Well-known writers like King will read and sometimes endorse the books they like. Would you ever consider doing this?

    I have a vampire book with a unique twist. Vampires Rule is about a lost boy who wants to return home to his family and finish school. Then he gets the chance. He becomes mortal... too bad his enemies still have their powers.

    If you would like to hear more about it or read a sample chapter, you can find it here:
    http://kasi-kcblake.blogspot.com
    If not, that's okay. You probably don't even have time to read for fun anymore.

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  92. Hi Amanda, I would like to know more about your dream house. To clarify, what exactly made the home your dream home. When I read in your blog a ways back that you had found your "dream home" and purchased it I thought to myself...what are the dreams like in the mind of a woman like Amanda Hocking lol? I mean...they can't be similar to mine or maybe they are. Anyways...whatever details you have that spoke to those dreams that you have intrigue me :))

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  93. @Anonymous 11:39 PM - OK, I have to admit it: I laughed.

    My question is: Now that you have quite a visible presence online and offline, do you see yourself as/becoming a role model in any way for your readers? Is this something that authors who write YA should be concerned with/aspire to?

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  94. Dear Mandy,

    Can you pick questions that you haven't already answered somewhere else on your blog?

    PS. Just trying to save some time, guys. :-)

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  95. What authoring tools did you use for interior design and book cover generation?

    How much time and research did you put in before choosing to use create space when you decided to pub online?

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  96. Amanda, do you know how much input you will be allowed to have when the Trylle books are made into movies? or was that even in the "contract" for when you optioned the movie?
    I sincerely hope that you will be able to be actively involved in taking your books from print to the visual medium.

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  97. What made you decide to list My Blood Approves at $0.99 back when it was released?

    I understand the loss leader concept, but I've always wondered why you didn't start out at $2.99 and drop it once the second book was out.

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  98. What's the craziest thing you've done in the name of book research? The most interesting fact you uncovered?

    Ok - that was a two parter - but if you haven't done anything crazy - then the second question applies - unless of course, the crazy thing produced the interesting fact. :)

    This is a fun post - can't wait to see the questions answered.

    J.E. Taylor
    www.jetaylor75.com

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  99. i am such a big fan of yours, i wanna ask:
    Do you know how awesome you are?
    becasue you are soooooo AWESOME!
    - a big fan of yours

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  100. If you had to be one other person in the world, who would it be and why?

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  101. If you had to listen for the same song everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?

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  102. Have you or would you ever consider writing in another genre? If so, which genre do you think you'll tackle next?

    Valerie Maarten
    http://vmaarten.blogspot.com/

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  103. Self-Publish or Traditional, which do you prefer? Which would you recommend for a new aspiring author?

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  104. Also I would like to know about plot building. Do you just write, or do you outline a basic plot? Or if you have another method all together tells us about it.

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  105. How do you books translate into a Word Doc length-wise?

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  106. How would you handle somebody who threatens to steal your nonfiction book after you have hired him to edit it, and he refused to sign for the payment and now claims he has part of the copyright?

    Thanks

    (somebody told me you could give me a good advice :))

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  107. If you were to be stranded on an island and only three books could be available to you, what would you choose?

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  108. Would you be willing to do a short (20-25 min) interview on my hubby's blog talk radio show? No rush... next opening is in August. You can check our schedule at http://unbridlededitor.com/radio-interview-schedule to see what works best for you. He interviews authors about their writing process. :)

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  109. How do you feel about any comparisons that might arise about the similarities of My Blood Approves to the Twilight Series? We read the Twilight Series first and was recommended the Trylle trilogy because of it. As we read we noticed many similarities between the two... "screeching car to the rescue out of nowhere" Esme in Twilight to Ezra, etc. I'm sure they'd come up if it ever made into a movie...which would rock cause I'd love to see your version of Jack :P

    Also, since I loved the Trylle Trilogy, any news on that movie? I have a suggestion for Finn (though I'm a Loki fan myself) Michael Trucco!

    Keep up the good work, don't leave me hanging!

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  110. How did you and Eric meet? Also, what's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

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  111. Ok...I'm totally sneaking this in while at work so I have to make it fast before the evil IT dept. traces me...so hear goes:

    1) Why so long to publish SWEAR? Did you have a heard time wrapping up the series?
    2) Will you venture out of the YA Paranormal genre into more older storylines (either paranormal or not)?
    3) Did you ever consider adding vintage Alt songs to your music list..i.e. Peter Murphy would have been appropriate for almost every book the the My Blood Aproves Series....

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  112. How do you make your awesome book covers? :)

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  113. What do you read??

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  114. Hi! I absolutely fell in love with your My Blood Approves series! I was wondering if you could maybe tell us anything on the plot of Swear? I know that you haven't started writing it yet, but maybe you have an idea on how the plot is going to go? I love Peter and I am really hoping that in Swear, things become a little better for him somehow. Thank you if you answer! Love your stories! :)

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  115. I would also love to learn more about your writing process: Do you use outlines? How invested do you become in your character development before you begin, have you ever found pictures of random people online and think "Yes, that is how I picture this character..." and so forth.
    I just love your story telling abilities is all. Congrats on your success. (:

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  116. I needs me an Eric of me own. So, my question is can I borrow him? Hehe, just kidding...maybe :) You are, of course, an amazing and talented story teller. My question is do you think anyone can really be a writer if they put their mind to it or are you just born with it? No pressure, lol. Thank you for sharing your stories and congrats on all your achievements, I'm sure there are many more to come.

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  117. Thanks you!!!!!! I love your books(great and affordable)
    Also what made you think of adding zombie killing animals to you book??? (awesome idea)
    I love how you named her Ripley AWESOME!!


    P.S.whats your favorite animal?

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  118. I love this idea. Nice going Eric! You are going to love these questions, some span from writing ideas, to interviews, and someone even asked your opinion on poop!

    Anyway,

    My question is: Who is the famous and critically acclaimed Amanda Hockings role model and inspiration? (Other than Christian Bale)!

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  119. What kind of process do you use when you start on a new book? Do you outline and then start writing? How do you get ideas for your covers and do you do most of them yourself? I love your books and you are so awesome.

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  120. Do You Know When Theres Going To Be Auditions For Switched ? ? ?

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  121. Amanda What authoring tools if any do you use ?
    Do you use windows or mac ?
    You are a very interesting writer.
    It sounds like you and Eric have an amazing emotional connection, maybe better than some married people. You are both lucky to have each other. Keep up the great work. Do you believe in Angels ? I have some real life experiences that can only be explained by the existance of angels

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  122. How do you create your outlines and set them up?

    Thanks,

    Donnie Hoover

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  123. I'm intrigued by your early covers for your books--you know, the ones you (I think) created yourself for the MBA series,Switched, etc. Was that Photoshop or Illustrator or ??? (Like something less expensive and do-able?)They're simple yet perfect for your writing and stories, an the graphic composition, your name placement, all of it is terrific. Would love to create covers like that. Thanks, ~ deb

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  124. Hey Amanda,

    You often post video's and song list (which I love and get). You one time posted a top songs of all time List. I was wondering if you have a Top Five Books (or short stories/poems) List of All time?

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  125. Have you sat down yet with the St. Martins editors to talk revisions to the Trylle trilogy? What kind of editorial advice to spruce it up did they give?

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  126. Well .... Do yoy have any personal advice to the young authors everywhere? Anything you would like to share? If so please do respond. :)

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  127. Dear Mandy,
    How did you come up with all of ur storys? Were any dreams or just mythical characters u are interested? They are all great and Im curious how they came to life!

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  128. When you go to the mailbox today, what is the one thing you hope to find in there?

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  129. Okay I know I'm late, but I'm hoping someone else asked this. It's a difficult question of every genre, but what is your favorite book? And as a book lover, I know that is a ridiculously impossible question, SO:

    Can you name a book that stands out above the rest for whatever reason? Like: What book have you read that you have reacted the strongest to, good or bad? I'd love to hear from both you and Eric!

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  130. How did you design the covers for 'Switched', 'Torn' and 'Ascend' because I want to design my own covers to start with. I think those three covers are just right for the books, they are atmospheric.

    I wish you continued success.

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  131. what actors whould u like to see play in Trylle Trilogy? I hope it will become extrordinary and you very sucessful!

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  132. Sorry this one is late, I live in what is left of Joplin, MO and haven't had internet until now. So, my question is: What is your process for coming up with your ideas for plots in your novels and series?

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  133. When will Honalee be coming out? It's not in the 'Upcoming Projects' list and it's not in your list of published books. ={ I'm desperate to read it, have been since I saw the first description of it on here! Please, give me my fix!

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  134. Really great blog. My friends referred me your site. Looks like everyone knows about it. I'm going to read your other posts. Take care. Keep sharing.

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  135. Word count for your books:do you have a specific number you aim for - or do you just write until you feel the story is complete? x

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  136. What;s your plotting write, do you just dish things out like a severede artery and correct later or do you plan, plan, plan.

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  137. Do you have other interests besides writing, ie: singing, drawing, fishing, golf ball collecting, shoe lace tip coloring, computer smashing, iron/gold smithing, walking around like a troll and pretending to be tylle, obsessing over jim sturgess and being a prominent member of his fan club, saying May the fourth be with you every 5/4, making glass out of sand, stabbing paper when your angry, stabbing people when your angry?

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  138. is trylle trilogy movie currently being created? if so if it is a sucess! i hope so! would you make your other books movies. I love ur books some how i always like the opposite people your characters like. I LOVE PETER, FINNNNNNNNN, ripley, BLUEEEE, OMG they are awesome . I love ur characters so much . Praising the almighty Amanda! <(^ . ^)>

    - Keep up the hard work. it shown in your amazing books

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  139. I started reading your books with the Trylle series. I love them and have read everything that you have had a hand in writing. My question is...

    When will the next book in the zombie series be coming out. I am very intrested in what happens next with Remy.

    Keep writing!

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