Cat Johnson Braves Doll Lil’s Word Association Challenge!

Guests »

Cat Johnson Braves Doll Lil’s Word Association Challenge!

August 7, 2013 – 12:48 am | One Comment

I’m back from vacation and ready to get down and dirty finding new free and amazingly bargained books for you! But first this week I have something special. I convinced super hot and crazy talented …

Read the full story »
Home » Amanda Carlson, Authors, Guests, Interviews, Novella

Blog Tour Interview: Jessica McClain: Blooded: A Jessica McClain Novella by Amanda Carlson

Submitted by on May 4, 2012 – 4:00 am9 Comments

Kitt: Hi Amanda, we’d like to welcome you to Paperback Dolls! We’re so happy to have you here.

Amanda: I’m so glad I could be here! Looking forward to chatting.

Kitt: Since this is your first time at Paperback Dolls, can you tell our readers a little about yourself?

Amanda: I write urban fantasy. I live in Minneapolis and have three kids, one husband and a bunny. The bunny was a “cave” pet after 15 years of saying no to pets. But we love her! Can’t be an author without a wacky pet, right? Ironically I live in MN, but dislike winter. My kids are all in to winter sports, so that makes it a little more fun. My favorite thing to do is travel. I love experiences.

Kitt: When did you first start writing? What made you decide – ‘ok, this is it, I’m writing a book’?

Amanda: When I started this novel, I’d been at the writing gig a long time. I had a non-fiction project of humorous parenting essays I shopped in 2007. I wrote a restaurant/movie review in a local publication for a while, and had a contemporary romance (mostly written) when they lovingly still referred to them as “Chick Lits.” LOL. But, I’d fallen in total love with the urban fantasy genre in 2008. My kids started bringing home brilliant YA and I was hooked. I sat down at my computer in the spring of ’09 and decided if I was going to continue to do this “writing thing” I may as well create something I loved. I wrote for two months, about 200 pages, and then stopped. I lost my confidence. I doubted that the story was any good and feared no one would like it. I let it sit idle for 8 months in typical writer-doubt fashion. Then, by chance, I linked up with fans of the genre online. They offered to read it—and the rest is history! I finished it in October 2010, after sending them weekly chapters. Signed with an agent in Jan. 2011 and sold in June 2011. FULL BLOODED, a labor of love, will release in Sept. 2012! To anyone out there—writing is long and grueling, editing even harder—but if you love it STAY with it. Your hard work will pay off and that story is in you somewhere!

Kitt: Do you have any authors that you took inspiration from or influenced you the most?

Amanda: I am all about voice. There are a lot of authors out there I love, and I’ve read all the big names in the genre, but what I remember most when I’m done reading and the book is put away is voice. That’s always the biggest inspiration. When characters jump off the page and you know who’s talking, without a tag, it’s so much fun. Humor in writing is huge for me too. My goal is to bring a distinct “voice” to my characters, make them into people you’d want to hang out and have a drink with. If I did it correctly, by the end, you love each of them for different reasons. That’s the dream.

Kitt: When you want to get away from your own books and take a break, what do you read?

Amanda: Lately I haven’t had time to read much of anything. On my bedside is Amanda Bonilla’s SHAEDES OF GRAY, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. Every spare moment is usually spent writing or editing, but when I do read for a REAL break, I go off genre. Last year I read Diablo Cody’s memoir “Candy Girl” and it was delightful. She’s hilarious, and lived in MN during that time, so it was fun to read about her experiences. I also love going to movies. That clears my head and when I’m not actually in the house—it’s easier to relax.

Kitt: Can you tell us a little bit about your new novella, Blooded?

Amanda: The novella starts out seven years before the novel. Jessica has been born in to a race of males wolves—and she doesn’t belong. They have feared her since birth, but once she reaches eighteen, they become aggressive. Jessica is forced to take a stand and she does so in a big way. She defies her father, but is willing to risk it all in an effort to make a life of her own off Compound. The novella centers around that pivotal moment. Once she puts her life on the line, does it pay off? You’ll have to stay tuned! The novella became a great prologue for the novel—giving a clear glimpse of who Jessica is and what struggles she will face in the future. (BTW, the novella includes the first full chapter of FULL BLOODED, so you’ll get the first glimpse!)

Kitt: Of all your characters in the Jessica McClain series, which one is your favorite?

Amanda: Jessica has to be my favorite. She started it all for me from that very first scene. She was special—one-of-a-kind from the first page. I absolutely love writing her and I hope everyone else loves her too.

Kitt: Are any of your characters, such as your heroine Jessica, based on other people? Do you have mental images for your characters?

Amanda: No, all my characters are an amalgamation of many different personalities. I actually don’t have a clear picture in my head of any of them, kind of like describing the guy who popped up in your dream. It’s their personalities that come to life for me. I talk about this in the back of the book, but instead of infusing “me” into my characters, it’s more like I’m writing about people I’d like to hang out and have a drink with.

Kitt: Was there a particular scene or part of the book that was more challenging to write, if so, can you explain?

Amanda: The in between “filler” scenes are the most stressful to me. Once I’m in a scene, I’m lost and having fun, but once I need to get the characters from point A to point B, and point B happens the next day—those are the hardest. How do I fill that time and make it interesting? That’s the big question. Sometimes your heroine has to eat, sometimes she has to sleep or do your basic everyday things, but I try to keep those scenes down to an absolute minimum, but they still exist. You can’t have her fighting every second of the day. Though, sometimes that would be nice…

Kitt: If there is a lesson that each of your main characters need to learn what would it be?

Amanda: Jessica is learning to accept her lot in life pretty quickly, but there are a lot of bumps and tumbles along the way. What’s happening to her is unprecedented, so the learning curve is steep. All of my main characters are intense in their need to protect and love, so I think those moments where we see them relaxing or laughing, that’s where we see the most growth.

Kitt: What can we expect next from your Jessica McClain series?

Amanda: The novel, FULL BLOODED, debuts in September, followed closely by HOT BLOODED in March, and COLD BLOODED in August. It was a decision by the publisher to make sure fans didn’t have to wait too long in between. It’s been a busy schedule, but one I’ve been so happy to commit to!

Kitt: Do you have Jessica McClain series all pre-plotted and planned out? How many books you’ll need for the story arc to come completion?

Amanda: No, nothing is pre-plotted! I’m a pantser—meaning I fly by the seat of my pants. I know the rough arc of each of the books I’ve sold (and a few more), but nothing more than how it should end. I love the suspense of it all. When new characters pop up or the story turns—that’s the very best part of doing this job. My feeling is there will be at least six for Jessica alone and maybe, hopefully, some others where some of your favorite characters get their voice. I’m not quite sure how the series will totally unfold, but I’m super excited to find out.

Kitt: So, what’s next on your “to-do” list? We know you are busy promoting your new book, but are there any new works in progress we can be anticipating? Or are there any other genres that you’d like to explore?

Amanda: Right now I’m writing COLD BLOODED, the third in the series, and it’s been great to jump back in after four months of editing the three previous books. But I do have two other series in motion! Trying to fit all the writing time into one day is difficult, but squeezing another series in would be a dream. As of right now, everything I’m writing is still urban fantasy. Hard to go wrong in a genre you love. But neither of the other “sekrit” projects are about werewolves. They are all new.

Kitt: We want to thank you so much for taking the time to visit us and answer our questions! We are super thrilled to have you on Paperback Dolls. Best of Luck to you!

Amanda: Thank you so much for having me! I look forward to returning when the novel comes out. If I hit my mark and you feel like buying my character a beer, let me know! I’d love to hear from you.

Amanda Carlson is the author of the upcoming Jessica McClain series. The first book, Full Blooded, will be released by Hachette Book Group, ORBIT US & UK SEPT 2012. She’s been writing for over ten years. Full Blooded is her first novel. She lives in Minneapolis, with her husband and three kids.

Find Amanda: Website | | |

Jessica McClain was born the only female in an all male race. The only problem is-she’s no wolf. Called a curse, a witch and the Daughter of Evil by the superstitious wolves, Jessica decides to fight for her freedom, at age nineteen, the only way she can-in the ring.

When she’s brutally attacked right after her fight, is it enough to finally earn her freedom off Compound, or will she be forced to endure the hatred even longer . . .

Purchase: | Barnes&Noble
Read Kitt’s Review

Paperback Dolls is made up of women from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds, different tastes and beliefs that were brought together through a love of reading. We like to think of ourselves as a cyber version of "The View" that focuses on books, authors, and reading. We are proof positive that one common love can unite the most opposite of people and form lasting friendships that introduce other ways of life and perspectives to each other.
Paperback Dolls
View all posts by Paperback Dolls
s website


  • Mona Leigh says:

    This sounds awesome, and your writing experience sounds a lot like mine….except I’m still working on actually finishing my first full novel. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of both books.

    Good luck with the series!

    Reply to this comment »
    • Thanks, Mona! I hope you enjoy them. The novella BLOODED is actually out now, available in digital format. The first book in the series releases in Sept.

      Keep at it! You’ll get there. It’s amazing to finish your first book & so gratifying!


      Reply to this comment »
  • says:

    Thanks for the interview, I really enjoyed reading it. And I would like to read your books, as it does sound very interesting.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Connor dolls | Planetreflex says:

    [...] Paperback Dolls » Blog Tour Interview: Jessica McClain: Blooded: A … [...]

    Reply to this comment »
  • erinf1 says:

    Thanks for the fun interview! I download Blooded based on all the great reviews it was getting and I was blown away! I’ve already preordered Full Blooded and I can’t wait to get :)

    Reply to this comment »
    • Thanks, Erin!! I saw you starred it on goodreads and I can’t thank you enough. For a brand new author, getting those stars and the reviews is the only reason people know about me. Thanks for spreading the word :) Hope you enjoy FULL BLOODED just as much!

      Reply to this comment »
  • [...] an excerpt from her latest novel, Captivated.Author Appearances:Amanda Carlson, author of Blooded – Paperback DollsAnya Bast, author of Embrace of the Damned – Lauren Dane’s blogCharlaine Harris, author [...]

    Reply to this comment »