I am so thrilled to be apart of the blog tour for Amelia Unabridged! A book with magic edges, and a heart contained in a bookstore. Before reading it, I had heard so many great things about it, and well, it even exceed my expectations. It is so gorgeously written, and the epilogue made me sob. Just, such an amazing book and I’m so, so happy to scream about it more!
Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college. In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future. When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.
Whales play a special role for Amelia. Do they hold any special significance for you or were they something you discovered while writing Amelia’s story?
A little of both. Whales became a symbol of hope for me when I was fresh out of college and agonizing over my decision to go to grad school. I was torn, not least of all because I wanted to try my hand at pursuing the novel that would eventually become AMELIA UNABRIDGED.
I was watching an admittedly depressing documentary about the plights of captured whales—Blackfish—when suddenly, in the midst of all these sad anecdotes, there was a scene of whales swimming out in the open ocean set to this beautiful, swelling score. It occurred to me that no matter what was happening in my life, somewhere in the ocean these exact whales were swimming, blissfully unaware of my tough choices. It was comforting to me, and still is, to imagine in times of hardship the whales swimming, so I gave my “comfort animals” to Amelia.
AMELIA UNABRIDGED features a popular fantasy series! Do you ever see yourself expanding on that world in its own book? Or even writing something similar?
I absolutely hope to someday write a fantasy series. I had entirely too much fun creating the snippets of Orman you see in AMELIA UNABRIDGED and I’m fascinated with the different aspects of the writing craft that come to play in different genres. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the opportunity to write a book from the Orman Chronicles—I would love to!—but I definitely believe I’ll someday venture into the world of fantasy with my writing.
AMELIA UNABRIDGED features many fantastical elements that bring a special kind of color to the book. How did you decide where to put the touches of magic and where to leave the story firmly rooted in the real world?
For me, those bits of wonder are just as much part of my real world as anything else. I think that’s my favorite part of writing, getting the chance to expound on those pieces of magic that leak into our everyday realities. As for the decision on where to leave things rooted, I wish there was a glamorous answer, but it’s truly editing. Good critique partners, agents, and editors are invaluable, and mine are particularly good at telling me when to rein in the fantastical in favor of a more solid reality.
Ashley Schumacher is a young adult author represented by Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and a graduate of the University of North Texas with a degree in creative writing. She is also a firm believer that reading is the best education a writer can receive. Ashley is a lifelong supporter of libraries, independent bookstores, and the booksellers and librarians that bring stories to their perfect readers. She lives in a small town with her antisocial but lovable husband and more books than is strictly necessary. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her belting Disney or Broadway songs, protecting her snacks from her greedy golden retriever, hand embroidering, or playing Mario Kart. Amelia Unabridged is her first novel. She lives in Dallas, Texas.
Thank you so much again to WednesdayBooks for having me on the tour and to Ashely for answering my question! I absoluetly adored Amelia Unabridged, and it’s OUT NOW!!! I highly recommend checking it out!