Q&A with Fairy Bad Day author Amanda Ashby

Where did the title Fairy Bad Day come from?
I had been playing around with a werewolf book called Bad Hair Day and then when I decided that I didn’t like werewolves (too bitey) I moved onto fairies and so I just sort of stole the title. I then wrote a couple of chapters and sent them to my agent. She agreed that the title was cool but didn’t like the chapters so we brainstormed and came up with a better story!!!!

Do you believe in Fairies?
Actually I do, but not the kind of fairies that I wrote about! The ones in Fairy Bad Day are ridiculous and crazy and if they really existed then we would be in very big trouble! But I do think that there are elemental entities out there that we can’t necessarily see or understand.

Being a paranormal humour writer you must be a fan of the genre, which paranormal humour authors/books would you recommend to fellow fans?
I love paranormal humour and even though the trend right now is for darker books, I still try and read as many lighter books as I can! My favourite YA authors in this genre are Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall) and Kierstin White (Paranormalcy). I’m also a big fan of Michelle Rowen’s Sarah Dearly books about a girl who goes on a blind date and gets turned into a vampire and for straight, non-paranormal humour I must mention my all time favourite book, Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome. I’ve read it numerous times but I’m now listening to the audio version, which is read by the divine Hugh Laurie, and it is still the funniest book ever written.

Skittles (of the sweet variety) play an important role in Fairy Bad Day – are they your favourite lolly or is there another reason that you chose to use them (without giving the plot away of course!)?
I wouldn’t say that Skittles were my favourite lolly, though I am very fond of them and numerous packets were consumed in the making of this book. However, the sole reason that I used them was because Emma, my heroine, was so furious about being a fairy slayer that I felt obliged to make it as humiliating as possible just to see how she handled it (not that well, if I’m honest!!!). So the Skittles just kind of appeared as a way of embarrassing her in front of Curtis! Though in a cute coincidence I discovered quite recently that they are one of my agent’s favorite snack foods, which is pretty cool.

You mention star signs of the characters in your novel – do you read your own horoscopes and do you believe in them?
Yes, I adore star signs and in real life I’m very annoying because I will always say things like ‘it’s okay, I’m allowed to push in to the queue because I’m an impatient Aries’, or ‘my son is merely having a tantrum because he’s a Scorpio child and therefore it’s beyond my control!’ One of my favourite books is Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, which is very wise (and a great character resource for any budding writers). Though weirdly enough I don’t read my horoscopes very often (because being an Aries I have no interest in details!!)

Did you do much research into the folklore of dragons such as the ‘iigaanual’ dragon and the other elemental creatures in the book or did they mainly come from your imagination?
I didn’t do much specific research apart from deciding what my elemental creatures were. However over the years I’ve read loads of non fiction mythology books and an equal number of fantasy books, which probably helped (not to mention that dragon obsessed daughter of mine). Though, I do have a confession to make about some of the names in the book. Every time my husband and I watch a movie with a quest in, we always joke about the name of the item, which is normally something like the Crown of Festeron or the Ring of Teryllias. So all the names in Fairy Bad Day are based on that premise (hence the Gate of Linaria!).

We’d love to know what happens next for Emma and Curtis… will we see a follow-up novel to Fairy Bad Day?
There are no plans right now for another Fairy book, but it’s definitely something I would be interested in doing if there was a demand for it (especially since I had a lot of plans for Loni and Tyler that I’m dying to write about!!!)

The little fairies Trevor, Rupert and Gilbert with their Napoleon complexes and hipster clothes were really funny – where did the idea for their characters come from?
I’m so pleased you liked Trevor, Rupert and Gilbert. Like with the Skittles, they came about purely as a way to humiliate and torment my poor heroine, but the moment they were out on the page, they took on a life of their own. I still laugh when they mooned Curtis!

Are you working on another novel at the moment?
I’ve just finished a new YA novel called Demonosity, which is about a girl who has to choose between two tortured demon knights. I actually sold it on proposal and I knew it was going to be a lot darker than anything else I’d ever written, but I was happy to see that I still managed to get a few lighter moments in there (and so many beautiful guys that my husband was starting to get concerned!!!). So now I’m in that strange place between books when I play around with ideas until one of them demands to be written. However, since I’m also moving from New Zealand back to Australia at the end of the month, I’ve also got a fair amount of packing to do as well!

Thanks Amanda and good luck with the move!

Visit Amanda’s website here.

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