Monday, September 9, 2013

2013 Debut Authors Bash: Amanda Sun Author of Ink from Harlequin Teen

Debut Authors Bash at

Welcome to the 2013 Debut Authors Bash hosted by YA Reads.  You can see the full schedule below.  My stop today features an interview with Amanda Sun, author of Ink (Paper Gods #1) from Harlequin Teen.  

Ink (Paper Gods #1)
by Amanda Sun
Published:  June 25, 2013
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

I’m a YA author and proud Nerdfighter. I was born in Deep River, Canada, a very small town without traffic lights or buses, and where stranger safety is comprised of what to do if you see a bear—or skunk. I started reading fantasy novels at 4 and writing as soon as I could hold a pencil. Hopefully my work’s improved since then.

​In university I took English, Linguistics, and Asian History, before settling into Archaeology, because I loved learning about the cultures and stories of ancient people. Of course, I didn’t actually become an archaeologist—I have an intense fear of spiders. I prefer unearthing fascinating stories in the safety of my living room.

​The Paper Gods is inspired by my time living in Osaka and travelling throughout Japan. That and watching far too many J-Dramas. I currently live in Toronto with my husband and daughter. When I’m not writing, I’m devouring YA books, knitting nerdy things like Companion Cubes and Triforce mitts, and making elaborate cosplays for anime cons.

Website |  Blog  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter  |  Facebook   Tumblr

Hi Amanda.  Thanks so much for being here today.
Hi! Thanks so much for having me on the blog :D

Where did you get your idea for the Paper Gods series and how many books are planned in the series? 
There were a couple major inspirations for the Paper Gods series. I lived on exchange in Japan when I was in high school, and it changed everything for me. Writing INK allowed me to make those experiences accessible to readers through the protag Katie. They could really feel first-hand what it’s like to live in Japan and attend high school there.

My other inspiration was Egyptian hieroglyphs, oddly enough—I majored in Archaeology in school. I learned that scribes in ancient Egypt often chiseled lines through snake glyphs to prevent them from coming alive and slithering off the walls. I loved the idea of ink coming to life in a sinister way, and combined that with my interest in Japanese mythology.

How did you come up with the title for Ink?
The original title for the book was Ink Wash, and it’s taken from the style of art Tomohiro employs—ink wash painting, or sumi-e. During production of the book, the title was shortened to Ink, which looks really gorgeous in all its drippy inky glory on the cover. ^_^

Can you tell us a little bit about Katie and Tomo?
Katie is in a difficult place in the prequel SHADOW and at the beginning of INK. Her mother has just passed away, and her entire world has shifted by her move to Japan to live with an aunt she barely knows. At the same time, she’s determined to make it through. She doesn’t give up easily, although she searches often for reassurance. She’s optimistic and like her journalist mom, she wants all the answers and is willing to go the extra mile to get them.

Tomo is someone who’s trapped by fate. He wants to be an artist, but the ink permeating his life is too dangerous for him to pursue a normal life. He continues to fight against his mythological lineage for what’s important to him. He won’t accept his fate, and wants to protect those he cares about. No matter the circumstances, he pushes himself to persevere.

Both Katie and Tomo are headstrong and competitive, so they’re often trying to one-up each other. But they’ve both had tragedies in their lives that connect them on a deeper level.

What is your favorite scene or quote from Ink that you can share with us?
I love all the scenes where the drawings come to life, because I never know what the ink will do next. It’s exciting and terrifying sometimes, even for me! *laugh*

One of the scenes I love in INK is the furin (Japanese wind chime) scene. Tomo draws dozens of wind chimes which all sounds together in the trees like a ghostly chorus. Of course, the drawings twist to something darker, and so many of the chimes are off-key or mournful.

I love the sound of the furin in the summertime, and the sound of fifty or sixty chiming at the same time is a haunting experience.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Haha, kissing scenes! I kid you not, I have to look away while I type them. And I blush while I write them too. I know. I’m so weird.

What are your three greatest strengths?
 I think loyalty, kindness, and memory. I’m very introverted and shy, but friendships are so important to me. I will stand by my friends when they need someone. I also feel really passionately about going out of our way as humans to be kind to one another. I think it’s so important to make our lives count by helping others. And I love to quietly observe life, memorizing all kinds of details, conversations, and languages. That comes in very handy when writing. :)

What are your three greatest weaknesses?
I’m really, really shy. I have trouble talking on the phone, even to relatives or friends. I get socially anxious in a lot of situations, mainly because of bullying from my school days. I’m also a perfectionist, which makes writing difficult, because I’m really hard on myself. My inner editor makes me ugly cry and nothing I write ever feels good enough. But at the same time, that really pushes me to keep improving and trying new approaches to writing.

My other weakness is procrastination. I’m really good at it. I hope it’s a habit I can break someday. I guess not today. See how good I am?

Is there anything in Ink you hope readers take away after reading, or something you want to point out you don’t want readers to miss?

I really want INK to be an opportunity to introduce Japanese culture and storytelling to readers that may not have otherwise had the chance. Some readers are letting me know that INK inspired them to start learning Japanese or go back to reading manga, and I love to hear that. I want people to get passionate about Japan, or about going on exchange and seeing life from a different point of view. I want people to know that although we come from different cultures, we have more in common that unites us.

I often refer to the line from INK that says “Such terrifying beauty.” (p. 153 in the paperback) To me, this sums up what INK is about. Life is terrifying and beautiful, and yet we must move forward and choose how to live our lives. We must reach for what’s important to us, and not let the bad things in life prevent us from reaching our purpose.

What’s next for you writing wise that you can share with us?
Well, next up is RAIN, the sequel to INK. I’m working on edits now! It’ll be available March 25, 2014, so I hope you look forward to it! ^_^

I’d also like to squeeze in a shameless plug that INK has a free ebook prequel novella called SHADOW, which is available now from a variety of e-tailers and also on Wattpad.

If you had to sum up Ink in a tweet, what would it say?
Kendo, cherry blossoms, food, Yakuza, drawings that come to life, and hot Asian boys! INK is cheaper than airfare to Japan. :D

This or That:
E-books or print copies?
Definitely print copies. I love the feel and smell of a real book.

Facebook or Twitter?

Talk or Text?

Thanks so much for stopping by today Amanda.  It was great talking with you. 

Thank you so much for having me! Hope you enjoy SHADOW and INK!

Shadow (Paper Gods 0.5)
by Amanda Sun
Published:  June 1, 2013
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen

Meet two teens whose worlds are about to change forever in this paranormal Young Adult novella, a prequel to Ink by debut author Amanda Sun…

Katie Greene’s worst nightmare comes true when her mother dies, and she’s devastated to learn that she will have to leave the only home she’s ever known. Desperate to find where she belongs, she must decide if she has what it takes to start a new life across the ocean. 

For Yuu Tomohiro, every day is a nightmare. He struggles to control his strange ability, and keeps everyone at a distance so they won’t get hurt—even his girlfriend, Myu. At night, a shadow haunts his dreams, and a mysterious woman torments him with omens of death and destruction. But these haunting premonitions are only the beginning…

Tour Schedule:

September 1st
YaReads - Geoffrey Girard
Swoony Boys Podcast - Jane Nickerson
Kristi's Book Readery - Page Morgan
September 2nd
Book Bandit - Laura Lam
The Word Mineur - Mindee Arnett
My Friends Are Fiction - Samantha Shannon
September 3rd
Nose Graze - Jessica Verdi
Between Printed Pages - L. M. Augustine
You've Been Blogged! - Jody Casella
September 4th
Skye's Scribblings - Kasie West
Lose Time Reading - Emily Murdoch
The Eater of Books - Kelsey Sutton
September 5th
Book. Blog. Bake - Lauren Miller
Bookend 2 Bookend - Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Musings of a Blogder - Heather Reid
September 6th
Magical Manuscripts - Shaunta Grimes
The Reading Vixens - Sarah Ashley Jones
September 7th
Books for Birds - April Genevieve Tucholke
Book Blather - Romily Bernard
September 8th
Inspiring Insomnia - Stephanie Kuehn
September 9th
Kissed by Ink - Ellen Oh
Sleeps on Tables - J.R. Johansson
Always YA at Heart - Amanda Sun
September 10th
Lisa Loves Lit - A.G. Howard
whYAnot Reviews - Liz Fichera
Samantha Clark - Claire M. Caterer
September 11th
Rampant Readers - Leah Miller
Emily's Crammed Bookshelf - T. Michael Martin
September 12th
The Uninterrupted Reader - Cat Winters
The Book Beacon - Christina Mercer
September 13th
Read & Reviewed - Lindsay Ribar
Paranormal Book Club - Kit Grindstaff
September 14th
Books as You Know it - Mary Gray
Paranormal Reads - Elsie Chapman
Bibliophilia, Please - Helen Douglas
September 15th
The Book Cellar - Erin Bowman
Fantasy Book Addict - Miriam Forster
September 16th
Pond Across the Pond - Laurie Crompton
YaReads - Debra Driza
September 17th
Teen Librarian Toolbox - Mindy McGinnis
Le'Book Squirrel - Kimberly Ann Miller
Finding Bliss in Books - Lydia Kang
September 18th
Rachel Reads - Errica Lorraine Scheidt
Kentucky Geek Girl - Holly Smale
September 19th
Turning Pages - Amy Butler Greenfield
September 20th
Synchronized Reading - J.L Spelbring
Reading is My Treasure - Kristin Halbrook
A&C Book Junkies - Carey Corp
September 21st
Playing Jokers - Lenore Appelhans
Lizzie's Dark Fiction - Elizabeth May
September 22nd
Sandwich Making Book Bitches - Anne Applegate
Little Bookwork Reviews - Jennifer Iacopelli
September 23rd
Moosubi Reviews - Megan Shepherd
Little Miss Trainwreck - Julianna Scott
September 24th
Fictionators - Emma Trevayne
September 25th
Breath of Books - Steven dos Santos
Jennzah - Chelsea Pitcher
September 26th
Nightly Reading - Liz Coley
Pandora's Books - Kelly A. Barson
September 27th
Forever 17 Books - Amie Kaufman
My Bookopolis - Jamie Blair
September 28th
Nick's Book Blog - Jennifer McGowan
Curling Up with a Good Book - Leila Howland
September 29th
Ex Libris - Mindy Raf
September 30th
YaReads - J.J. Howard
Fiction Freak - Kate Karyus Quinn


  1. A wonderful interview! I have read Ink but still need to grab a copy of Shadows & looking forward to reading rain.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  2. These books have gorgeous covers!!
    I always love hearing about where authors got their inspiration from so I loved this interview!

    1. They really are pretty covers. Her interview answers were really interesting

  3. Great interview! I'm excited to read this debut.

    Thanks for hosting [=

  4. Lovely interview. I look forward to reading Shadows

  5. Great interview, I really enjoyed Ink, but haven't read Shadows yet (I do own it though).


Thanks for your comments. I love hearing from you!

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