Be wary when you enter here. This is the realm of shadows, of dark and dangerous men (like Damon Salvatore) who haunt the night, dark eyes burning with need and desire. Men who will lure you into places you might be wiser not to go, men who can promise to love you forever…and make good on that promise.
So, my Muse finally returned sometime in October and I've been hard at work on a new book that I think is different from anything I've written. You can get a look at it by clicking In the Works.
I did finish my short story, Seize the Lightning, and it's doing really well, I'm happy to say.
For those of you looking for a print copy of Beneath a Midnight Moon, my Zebra editor tells me that it will be available sometime in the future, though she couldn't say when.
Hope all is well in your corner of the world.
IN STORES NOW
A vampire who was quite dandy
Just loved to snack on red candy
He was not very bold
And the truth be told
He was dreamed up by a writer
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
HOW I GOT BIT BY THE VAMPIRE BUG
This play has made such in impact on my life that I've mentioned it in several books. It is especially significant in my short stories, MASQUERADE, and THE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT. Thanks, Davis, for the inspiration.
Why are we so in love with vampires?
I think the answer is obvious! Think Damon and Stefan Salvatore from “The Vampires Diaries”. I am totally mesmerized by Damon, who has the most beautiful, expressive eyes. Then there’s the Cullen men from “Twilight”. Mick St. John from “Moonlight”. Angel from “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”. Nick Knight. Henry from “Blood Ties”, Antonio Bandaras from “Interview with a Vampire”. When he came onscreen, I remember thinking, “Now, that’s a vampire!” The list goes on and on.
They are all, in varying degrees, handsome, sexy, and enigmatic. And they are all looking for that one special woman to ease the loneliness in their lives and make them feel human again. Some are tortured by a horrible past. What woman can resist a man like that?
My love of vampires started with Frank Langella. I saw him in the movie, “Dracula” and I was hooked. Of course, I’d seen other vampires in other movies. I loved George Hamilton in “Love at First Bite”. And Angel in Buffy. But Frank was my idea of drop dead sexy. His sultry voice, those deep, dark, compelling eyes, the sensual way he moved….oh, my!
I had him in mind when I wrote my first vampire short story, “Masquerade”, and again when I wrote “Embrace the Night”. I must confess, I watched the love scene in “Dracula” several times while writing both stories. For a scene with no nudity and, as I recall, not much dialogue, it was smokin’ hot. I hear the play was even better than the movie.
Perhaps the most appealing, yet scary part of the vampire equation is the fact that they are very, very dangerous and could be hazardous to your health. Unless you’ve fallen for one of the Cullen vamps, in which case you’re probably safe, as long as you stay away from Jasper!
Then there’s the other aspect – if you want to spend more than one lifetime with that special vampire, he can easily arrange it.
I love writing about the Undead because I can pick and choose whatever myths and legends fit the story I want to tell. Some can be awake during the day, some can’t. Some can see their reflection in a mirror, some can’t. Some love what they are, some don’t. Some are born that way, some are made that way. The variety is endless.
I just hope the trend toward the paranormal continues for a long, long time, because I’m in love with my vampire heroes – all of them! I hope you are, too.
So You Want to Be a Writer....
Like many authors, I frequently get letters from readers who have the desire to write a book. They ask for tips and/or advice on getting started and how to find a publisher and/or an agent.
I’m a published author, yes, but I sold my first book over 20 years ago, and with all the changes that are occurring in publishing today, I'm afraid I'm not up-to-date on marketing a novel. One thing I do know is that there are no secret words, no magic hand shakes. Getting published takes talent, perseverance, and a little bit of luck.
First, talent. Some people believe this is something you are born with; some believe it can be taught. I believe it’s something you are born with, but that’s only my opinion.
Second, perseverance. It took me six years and 31 rejections before I found a publisher. If I had given up at 30, I would probably still be writing stories and hiding them under the bed. Never give up!
Luck is an elusive quality. Perhaps a better word would be timing. An editor might read your manuscript one day and hate it, but might have loved it the next day. You just never know. One thing you have to remember is that a rejection is just one person’s opinion. Get over it and move on.
You can find many books in the library about how to write a romance and get it published.
If you’re writing romance, check in your area for a chapter of Romance Writers of America.
Read Romantic Times Magazine. It will help you know what kinds of books are selling, and also has articles geared toward unpublished writers.
Attend writers conferences. Enter contests. Many are judged by editors. A friend of mine sold his first book that way. He entered a contest, an editor read his manuscript and bought the book. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens.
Join a critique group.
Of course, the most important thing you can do is FINISH THE BOOK. Continually rewriting the first three chapters won’t get you anywhere. Having someone else read your story is a good idea – preferably someone who is not a good friend and not related, someone who will give you an honest opinion.
Some publishers will only deal with agented authors; some agents won’t represent a writer until she’s sold a book.
I haven’t read a copy of Writer’s Market in years, but it used to have lots of valuable information, plus listings for publishers and agents.
When I started writing, I didn't have an agent, I didn't know any published authors. I bought a copy of Writers Market, found publishers who were publishing what I was writing, and starting sending out query letters. As I said above, it was talent, perseverance, and luck.
I hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you!
Dear Lord, yes it's me,
praying again from Tennessee;
My current readings have become a bore,
So to You I now implore;
I know You have a lot to do,
Normally I would not dare intrude;
But the request I make is awe inspired,
I want to read more of Mandy's Vampires.
Vampires, Origins of the Myth
Some of my favorite Paranormal books:
These Fallen Angels
The Vampire Viscount
The Sookie Stackhouse Books by Charlaine Harris
Tanya Huff's "Blood" series
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer
The Everworld series by K.A. Applegate
The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
The Paladin books by Alexis Morgan
The Wings of the Night series by Maggie Shayne
As some of you may know, the artist, Pino, is responsible for some of the beautiful artwork on my covers. I read this on a website and thought I'd share it, as it gives a glimpse into how he got started. He truly is a briliant and talented artist.
"Zebra Books Publishers commissioned Pino to paint his first book cover in February of 1980. This was to be the first of hundreds of covers created for both Zebra and Dell which would define Pino’s “romance period,” featuring beautiful women in flowing skirts and a then unknown Italian model named Fabio. Pino’s classically-based technique, richly warm colors and subtle, yet simple approach to his subjects became the hallmark of his craft, and made him the artist-indemand for Bantam, Simon & Schuster, Harlequin and Penguin USA in addition to Zebra and Dell. To date, he has illustrated more than 3,000 books, including many by Danielle Steele, Sylvie Summerfield, and Amanda Ashley.
From 1980 to 1993 he dedicated himself totally to cover art. Pino’s illustrations combined the elements of his European training and upbringing with a direct and powerful American interpretation that was new, fresh and exciting. Stylistically, he placed his subjects prominently in the foreground, celebrating the human body as he had been trained in the classical Italian genre. This style of illustration proved to be so successful that his work came to dominate and influence the entire romance market."
Some of my covers painted by Pino:
First Love, Wild Love (Original)
The Spirit Path
Beneath a Midnight Moon
The Angel and the Outlaw
Deeper Than the Night
A Darker Dream
Feather in the Wind
and my favorite
Embrace the Night (Original)
AMANDA'S VAMPIRE ROMANCES
THE CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT