Friday, August 24, 2012

Guest author Amanda Arista + giveaway!

Please welcome Amanda Arista! 

-How'd you get the idea for this book?

            A wise woman once said that your first novel is always a little bit autobiographical. Books are therapy and your demons will be confined to the page. What these wise women failed to mention is that every book you write is autobiographical, especially in Violet Jordan’s case.
            In the case of Diaries of an Urban Panther, Violet was unabashedly me in a slightly taller, slightly more stubborn, slightly more preternatural version. Diaries was born out of an intense need to see a normal chubby heroine in paranormal situation. I’d read every necromancer and vampire hunter out there and couldn’t see me on the page. Yes, they were strong and I like to think of myself as strong, but they kicked ass. I try not to make a habit of that. They have guns and cross bows and I have a Louisville slugger under my bed and I dog with bat-like ears.

            Violet has my love of coffee and turtles. She writes, I write. I love Dallas, she lives in Dallas. She has some self esteem issues, and I might as well. She loves comfy lounge pants and has fluffy curtains in her kitchen. I love comfy lounge pants and have annoyingly fluffy curtains in my kitchen.
            As the story developed, so did Violet. When she began asking why, I knew that she had out grown me. Why was she a writer? Why was she so reclusive? Why didn’t she have any family? Why Chaz? Her need to define who she truly was and why she had to go through these hardships built the novel, flushed it out into a story about an orphan looking for her true family and a quest to become the woman her mother knew she could be. Quite a stretch from the chubby writer in the alley
            As the writer, I knew that Violet’s trials weren’t over, so I turned inward to see what I would be scared of to see what I could throw at Violet. For the second book, Claws and Effect, my and Violet’s fear of the man she loved running played a major part in how she saw her relationships and made her doubt all the allies she’d made. And when you’re trying to protect the city from itself, allies become very important. Violet helped me explore that universal fear that all superhuman women of keeping what they fought hard to get in the first place.
            When Violet passed that trial with flying colors, I knew she still wasn’t done, because I wasn’t done. I wanted to know the future. What does Happily Ever After really look like? Could she have the fairy tale, even though there were real fairies involved? Would those long buried feelings of low self-esteem prevent her from getting her knight in shining armor? Nine Lives was my answer to that. Or should I say our answer to that.
             I have my own set of baggage and my own trials to face, though knowing Violet’s has helped me understand my world a little bit better, to figure out how I feel about certain things and pre-write witty comebacks. And even though I know that it was completely fictional, I really try not to make a habit of hanging out in dark alleyways just in case.

Along with a daily giveaway, enter to win a Diaries of an Urban Panther gift set at the conclusion of the Nine Lives blog tour, running August 20th to September 3rd. See my website for details.
Amanda Arista
Facebook: Amanda Arista Fan Page (one like equals one entry into the giveaway)
Twitter: @pantherista (a follow equals one entry into the giveaway) (comment on the tour info equals one entry as well). 

Please leave your comment along with an email to enter to win an ARC copy of Nine Lives of the Urban Panther.


  1. Thank you so much for the post!


  2. That was very insightful, Amanda, thank you. Even with super powers it isn't wise to hang out in dark alleyways - not really. : )


  3. Hello all. Thanks for stopping by! I'll be popping in all day to answer questions.

  4. OMG! I am totally fangirling here and if you knew me I get excited about books but this post is a whole new level. I think I have found a new friend. Thank you so much for sharing with us today and I really am looking forward to meeting Violet, she sounds like my kinda gal! If I am reading the post correctly there are three books in the series so far (will hop over to check hour more after I leave here LOL) do you have an idea if there will be more or how many stories Violet has to tell? :)

  5. Oh this series sounds good, I always wondered, how much of the characters are autobiograpical. thanks for a wonderful post.


  6. @Denize Z-- Violet is going to make some appearances in some anthologies next year, but I think i'll leave her to her 'peace' for now.

  7. I enjoyed the interview and I'm definitely going to be picking up Nine Lives of the Urban Panther.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  8. Nice inspiration for the book.


  9. Realy enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing with us .Have a fantastic weekend

  10. I enjoyed the post and the series sounds really good. I think panthers are my favorite cats just so you know. I really like the cover.

    pefrw at yahoo dot com

  11. Great post. Sounds really good. Looking forward to reading it.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  12. I like that this was a short series. Sometimes, it's really nice to know that the characters have gotten their HEA and are riding off into the sunset. Do you have idea on what you want to work on next.

  13. ooh.. panther? i rarely found this in a book. would love to read this

  14. I would love to read this book. Congratulations on it's release and the wonderful insight into both character and author with this post. :)
    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

  15. Thanks for a great post and congrats on the upcoming release! I've read such awesome things about your serie :)

  16. That was a great post. Congrats on the new release. I'm definitely gonna have to read this one.

  17. Love this and can´t wait for a chance to read for myself =)

    best wishes, Linda

  18. I really need to read this series, it sounds really good. I would think that many characters are at least partially autobiographical for the authors.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  19. Wow, this book sounds fantastic and I really love the cover! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  20. Having a great time following the tour .Congratulations on your book I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy it sounds amazing .Have a great week


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