Monday, May 23, 2011

Amanda Brice

ABOUT AMANDA

Amanda Brice lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband and toddler daughter. An intellectual property attorney for a large federal government agency, she combines her love of writing with her legal career by speaking on basic copyright and trademark law on the writers’ conference circuit. A two-time Golden Heart finalist, Amanda’s debut novel, CODENAME: DANCER, was released in April. You can learn more about Amanda and her books at http://www.amandabrice.net/



ABOUT CODENAME: DANCER


Aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak is thrilled when hit TV show Teen Celebrity Dance Off comes to the campus of her performing arts boarding school. She trades the barre for the ballroom and gets set to cha-cha-cha to stardom with Hollywood wonderboy Nick Galliano.

At first their partnership is awkward, because Dani is in awe of her longtime teen idol crush. But soon their chemistry is heating up the dance floor and the attraction moves into real life.

Her excitement is short-lived, because someone wants her off the show. Bombs, poisoning, arson… Will Dani’s 15 minutes of fame be over before she reaches age 15? Dani and her friends are suddenly at the center of some serious sabotage. And if she doesn’t find out who is behind it, her next pirouette could be her last.

It’s like Nancy Drew in toe shoes in this light-hearted tween mystery, a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® Award for Best Young Adult Romance.

What they're saying:

“Fans of Pretty Little Liars and Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls will love Codename: Dancer. Sparks fly, tutus twirl, and a clever mystery unravels in what is sure to become a favorite among teens and tweens everywhere. Amanda Brice’s debut is a must read for every girl who ever danced – or ever wanted to!”
~ Gemma Halliday, National Readers Choice award-winning author of SPYING IN HIGH HEELS and the upcoming DEADLY COOL

"Amanda Brice's debut novel has something that will appeal to everyone, especially ballet enthusiasts, mystery lovers and fans of reality TV competitions. Even if you don't know a thing about dance, you'll be easily drawn into this quick-paced story with authentic characters and big stakes. I adored Dani and found myself rooting for this spunky heroine. Can't wait for the sequel!"
~ Rhonda Stapleton, author of the STUPID CUPID trilogy



GET TO KNOW AMANDA


MAUREEN: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

AMANDA: Nobody puts Baby in the corner. Definitely Dirty Dancing! I still get chills when they do the lift in the final scene and then all the pros and guests join them on the dance floor.

The movie came out when I was in 5th grade, so of course nobody’s mom would let them watch it. But then at Becca’s birthday sleepover party later that year, her mom rented it and said we could only see it if our parents said it was okay. Needless to say, we all lied. And watched it six times that night.

MAUREEN: What’s your favorite fairy tale?

AMANDA: It’s a cliché, but definitely Cinderella. I’m a sucker for that rags-to-riches storyline.

MAUREEN: Hiking boots or high heels?

AMANDA: High heels, although I do enjoy hiking. (I went to law school in Arizona, so we used to take advantage the wonderful winter weather and go up to Sedona or the Grand Canyon.) But as for heels, I actually started dancing in high heel tap shoes at age 9. Over time, it’s actually become more comfy for me to wear heels than flats. Weird, huh?

MAUREEN: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?

AMANDA: I prefer to write to classical music, or other instrumental music. Lyrics pull me out of the zone and I start concentrating on what the performer is singing instead of what I’m writing. I’ve even started subconsciously typing lyrics directly into my work that way. Hello, massive copyright infringement! Not good. So I stick to instrumental now. But fortunately most coffee houses play the instrumental stuff anyway, so it works for me. Right now I’m sitting in my kitchen listening to my daughter’s Baby Einstein CD over the baby monitor. So classical it is tonight!

MAUREEN: What’s your favorite kind of cheese?

AMANDA: Mmm…cheese. Okay, this is going to sound really weird, but one of my favorite late night snacks is to shake some shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack onto a plate, stick it in the microwave, and then eat it with a fork. If it’s melted and gooey, I’ll eat it!

MAUREEN: What was the first story you remember writing?

AMANDA: I remember carrying around a tiny little note pad and a purple pen all summer when I was about 7 or 8 years old, and constantly working on a story. I was determined to write a book. I think I managed about 10 pages before I gave up. I don’t really remember what it was about. Runaway orphans on the prairie in the 1800s or some other such nonsense. My first story I actually remember the plot was “Nancy Flew and the Mystery of the Lady Ghost.” I was 9 at the time. It was a brilliant piece of literature. At least I thought so.

MAUREEN: What was your first boyfriend’s name? Would you want to meet him again?

AMANDA: Matt, and we “dated” in 7th grade (if you can really call it that). He moved away during the summer between 7th and 8th, and I never saw him again until we were 30. I was riding the Metro here in DC and saw a guy wearing a fire department windbreaker with Matt’s last name stitched on. (He has a very unusual last name.) I thought to myself, “Could it be? Naaah…” But then I heard, “Amanda?” I have no idea how he recognized me 18 years later, but he did. Small world!

MAUREEN: Now that's an amazing story. What a coincidence. But on to more probing topics... Is Elvis really dead?

AMANDA: Well, according to a manuscript my friend is working on, he’s actually a vampire now. So it’s anybody’s guess, really.

MAUREEN: Oh, that's priceless! What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?

AMANDA: As soon as I type THE END, I jump up and down and run around the house, taking a victory lap. Then we go out to dinner that night.

MAUREEN: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and why?

AMANDA: My 2008 Golden Heart manuscript (Party Like It’s 1899) is a time travel. My hero and heroine stumble upon an old Jules Verne book in a used bookstore in Paris, during a French class Spring Break trip. Turns out the book is enchanted, and it sends them back in time to 1899, during the Belle Epoque, at the height of popularity of the Moulin Rouge and Impressionism. I had a blast researching it, so I think it would be super fun to travel to that era. I’ve been fascinated with that time period ever since I got assigned as an understudy at age 13 in Gaite Parisienne, a fabulous can-can-inspired ballet.

MAUREEN: That time period would be cool, and I always loved the title of that manuscript. I hope we'll see it in print some day soon. :) Did you belong to a clique in high school? Which one of the standard high school stereotypes did you best fit in to?

AMANDA: I guess I was sort of the Girl Next Door. I had friends in many cliques, but didn’t really belong to any one clique. Lots of friends, but no true BFF. In a way, it was kind of nice, because I was able to straddle a lot of boundaries. I was on Student Council and in all the honors classes, but I was also a cheerleader. I was the girl everyone liked, but not “Popular,” if that makes any sense.


GOTTA ASK, GOTTA ANSWER

MAUREEN: Your book features a teen ballerina. Do you have experience as a dancer?

AMANDA: I started dance class at age 3, when my mom noticed that I would jump around
and spin in a circle whenever the Coke commercial came on. (Crazy as it sounds, the 30th anniversary of my very first dance recital is just a few weeks away!) From that point on, it was pretty much a constant in my life all the way through college until I started law school. I danced in a local pre-professional company as a teen, and then was a member of my college ballroom dance team. I’ve done ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, lyrical, modern, contemporary, flamenco, all forms of ballroom, African, hip hop, clogging, Irish step dancing, and 18th century English country dancing. Pretty much everything except belly dancing, but I’m sure I’ll rectify that at some point!



AMANDA ASKS:

What’s your favorite dance movie?



BOOK GIVEAWAY!



Amanda is giving away an e-book version of CODENAME: DANCER. The contest is open worldwide!



KEEP IN TOUCH WITH AMANDA:









17 comments:

  1. Hey Amanda! Wow, there's so much I didn't know about you and now I have ammo ... I mean ... now we can giggle about stuff. I think this is the first time I've heard you were wearing high heels at nine. I would have chucked them across the room and run away from home if my mom even suggested it. Now I love wearing them. Dancing in them though. Not so sure.

    I wish you all the best on Codename: Dancer!

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  2. Hey Shea!

    My mom certainly wasn't the one who suggested the high heels at 9. However, it was a requirement for the particular tap class I was in (I was dancing above my "age level"...the other girls in the class were 12 or 13) so I didn't really have a choice.

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  3. Great interview, ladies! I wish I could have taken dance, but there were too many of us. Thank heaven our school had a band and choral programs. I can't imagine life without music, and I love to dance. No lessons, no formal instruction of any kind, but if the music can take me, I can move to it. I adore ballroom dancing, but it's not in the cards.

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  4. Amanda:

    What a fun interview! Congratulations on the release of CODENAME: DANCER - I've got a copy on my Kindle and it's my reward when I meet my deadline. :-)

    And my favorite dance movie is easy....DIRTY DANCING!!!

    Addison

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  5. Hi Amanda! Welcome to GLIAS :) Love the title and premise of your story...like Nancy Drew in Toeshoes...adorable!

    Loved Dirty Dancing, but I'd have to pick something with Gene Kelley or Fred Astaire...hmmm. Singing in the Rain and Top Hat, maybe?

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  6. Welcome to GLIAS, Amands.

    Looks like another book for my granddaughter. It sounds really interesting: Nancy Drew in ballet slippers. Awesome!!

    My favorite dance movie is SHALL WE DANCE. Mainly because of the self-discovery that happens in the movie. But I'm a sucker for them all. Love a good musical and dance routines. Favorite routine is absolutely hands down the barn raising in SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS.

    ~~Angi

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  7. Hi Amanda,
    Excellent premise. Oh yeah, loved Dirty Dancing! I'm with you on the music sans words, it pulls me out of my story as well. And, the gooey cheese sounds yummy. :) Take care and I wish you every success!

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  8. Amanda, I so love that cover! And how funny about your purple pen and writing that summer all summer. Sounds very dramatic. I wrote one at that age about a town suffering from a drought. They were going to have to evacuate, until at the very last moment when they were all packed and in their covered wagons, the rain came ;)

    Storytelling is born, do you agree?

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  9. Hi Amanda,

    Congrats on Codename: Dancer!

    Not sure I have a favorite dance movie, but I do have a few favorite dance scenes: The waltz in Beauty and the Beast. And any tangos Johnny Depp might be involved in: Don Juan DeMarco, The Tourist, Rango....

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  10. I wore out our beta player watching Dirty Dancing. But it wasn't until about a decade later that I realized there was S-E-X in it or what "knocked-up" meant. LOL.

    Great interview, Amanda!

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  11. Ladies -great interview
    Dance movies: White Nights, Step Up, Footloose, Tap, anything with Fred and Ginger. I love the you tube vids when they match up their routines with new music. The mission impossible one it crazy. Those two were born to dance with each other.

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  12. LOL, Vivi, the whole abortion subplot was WAY over my head at age 10, that's for sure.

    Great movies, everyone.

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  13. My favorite dance movie is An American In Paris. *sigh* I even have my own copy!!

    Congrats on the book - sounds great!

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  14. Amanda! Thanks again for visiting today. Sorry I was AWOL. It's a vacation day here in Canada and I totally spaced.

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  15. My fav dance movie is White Nights. I could watch the scene with Baryshnikov dancing to that Russian folk singer over and over and over. Not to mention a few of the duets with Gregory Hines.

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  16. Hi, Amanda and Maureen!

    Amanda, I loved Codename: Dancer! Congrats on its release. My favourite dance movie is, of course, Dirty Dancing. You'll be so pleased to know Strictly Ballroom is about to be adapted into a theatre production--I wish you could come to Sydney for the debut. You'd love it!

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  17. Hi Amanda,

    My favorite dance movie is White Knights. You book sounds great and my 12 year old daughter is starting to read young adult books.

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