Monday, February 23, 2009

On The Outside: Amanda Ashby

Amanda Ashby is the author of two novels, YOU HAD ME AT HALO is a chick-lit novel that I enjoyed. (find my review here.) And her newest novel is in the YA genre and is called ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH, which sounds fantastic.


Okay, so it’s slightly embarrassing to talk about where my title came from because it’s pretty lame! I knew I wanted to write a young adult zombie book but I had no plot, no characters and most definitely no title, so I sat down with my husband one night (and he stayed – normally he hates brainstorming with me but the minute I mentioned zombies he was like putty in my hands!!).

Anyway we were trying to think of some sort of song or saying that had zombie in the title so that I could then shamelessly pillage it!!!! Unfortunately we weren’t getting very far and I was starting to think the zombie idea wasn’t such a good one after all, when suddenly the song ‘Witch Queen of New Orleans’ got stuck in my head and without even really thinking about it, I said ‘Zombie Queen of Newbury High’.

I immediately loved it but of course I still had no plot so then we just started to come out with all sorts of ways a person could become a zombie queen and in my second light bulb moment of the night I wrote down, ‘Mia Everett accidentally turned her entire senior year into zombies. Whoops.’ And from there the story just flowed!

As for the cover, my agent and editor had mentioned that even though the tone of the book was light, they wanted something that was a bit darker. I was in complete agreement with them but had no idea what it was going to look like. Then when my editor sent me an early look at it, I was so thrilled that I even wrote the dress into the story (Mia’s original prom dress was midnight blue). I love everything about the cover, from the B grade Zombie font on the sash through to the wilted corsage and the lace gloves (but then again I’m an eighties child so lace gloves are like second nature to me!!!!).

Anyway, thanks for inviting me along to talk about Zombie Queen of Newbury High – books are often so long in the making that it’s nice to take some time and think about what happened over two years ago!!!!!


Thanks Amanda!

If any author wants more details on how you can do an On The Outside post with me, please email me at with On The Outside in the subject line and I'll get to you immediately with the details!


  1. Me too! That dress is adorable! And I giggled because her husband melts at the mention of zombies!

    Great On the Outside! Hooray for book releases!

  2. great guest blog Amanda! I love the dress too, and I would totally wear it.

  3. I would definitely wear that dress. I love it. And it's cool that the title pretty much came first. That happens to me a lot of the time...and other times, i can't think of a good title to go with the story. Nice post!


  4. Loved this! I'm very excited to read Zombie Queen! :)

  5. I love this cover, it's so cute. :) And the book sounds great!

  6. Midnight blue to Black prom dress?
    That really is quite a jump!

    I love the cover! It really catches my eyes and actually makes me look!

  7. Great post and that is a fabulous dress.

  8. I love the cover and i love the dress too, so cute! I read You Had Me at Halo and i really liked it cant wait to read the zombie high book!


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