Friday, December 28, 2012

Thank you! ARC Giveaway

We hit 1,000 Twitter followers last week, and over 2,000 people on Goodreads! You guys are the best!

I want to thank you all of you for the love and support you've shown for The Paper Gods, INK, and me. :) It means so much to get the chance to know you, talk books with you, and to share the world of the Paper Gods with you.

If you missed the Sekrit Reveal, here's the news: INK has an ebook novella prequel, coming June 1, 2013! It's called SHADOW, and will be in both Katie and Tomo's POVs.

Add SHADOW to your Goodreads here:
Shadow (The Paper Gods, #0.5)

So! Let's have an ARC Giveaway to show my appreciation and thanks!

And now, the fabulous prizes:


- two bags of Tomohiro's favorite tea, Genmai-cha (Brown Rice Tea) from Shizuoka, where INK takes place
- one package of Pocky
- one package of Pretz, one of Katie's favorite snacks
- one roll of soda-flavored Puccho candy

Food plays a big role in INK, so I hope you will enjoy these snacks as you read. ^_^

This giveaway is international, and open until January 18, 2013.

While you don't have to be a blogger to enter, I would so appreciate if you consider this a review copy--I'd love to know what you think of INK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! がんばってください♥ 

Monday, November 12, 2012

ARCs, WFC 2012, and Tomo-pony

Lots of updates to tell you guys about!

First of all, Tomo-pony arrived!


For those of you wondering who Tomo-pony is, he is a custom My Little Pony based on Tomohiro from INK. He won Pony Fest 2011 on Rebecca Enzor's blog, and was made by the talented Kalavista. She also sent the Princess Celestia notepad, which is awesome because I haven't seen them for sale in Canada. :)

Look at that kanji cutie mark! It's like a teaser for INK! XD

News #2!! I went to World Fantasy Con last weekend, and took these lovely bookmarks with me:

WFC2012 was awesome and fantastic and I met amazing people like Charles de Lint, Holly Black, Hiromi Goto, Leah Peterson, Jess Corra, and a ton more lovely people.

I'm on the left. Based on my weird face, I'm clearly saying something important and vowel-y.

I could go on and on about how awesome WFC was...

Like this awesome picture where TONS of AUTHORS are SIGNING BOOKS in ONE ROOM!!

...but I will save it for another day, because I have one more exciting piece of news!

...wait for it...

ARCs have arrived!!!

If you follow my Twitter, you saw the unboxing and my crazy ARC hair.

But this doesn't really do you much good, because the ARCs are not in your house, but in fact, my house.

SO! There will be a giveaway coming up. I can't say when but... >_> <_< ...sources say soon.

Also, if you're a blogger: *waves* Hi! ARCs of INK are limited, but if you're still interesting in getting in touch about ARCs or e-galleys, please email me at AmandaSunBooks AT Gmail DOT com. I'd love to hear from you!

That's all for now! I'm working on a super sekrit project, which I'll be letting you all know about soon. Hope you look forward to it ^_^


Friday, October 5, 2012

INK Cover Reveal!

So if any of you saw the Harlequin TEEN Facebook page yesterday, you would have seen the lovely front cover of INK! If you've seen it before, then, um..well, it's lovely so let's have a second look! (did I mention I'm biased?)

Now here's my author's cut on the cover reveal for Book 1 of The Paper Gods, INK! :D


I absolutely love this cover. I think it gets prettier every time I look at it. It's almost moving, and...eep!

Which is the perfect feeling to have about this cover, because sketches do come to life in INK. And they have their own darker motive.

I LOVE how the team at Harlequin TEEN have captured the two feelings of INK--pretty, but dark and dangerous around the edges. You have the lovely cherry blossoms, and then the dark ink, and it's all dripping and turning dark and dun dun dun.

Seriously, though, it captures the tone of the book perfectly. The beauty and the danger of the paranormal forces in Japan, the dark and light at play in the story, and a hint of the Japanese calligraphy and setting that are so important for INK. It really is the perfect cover for this book, and I'm so thrilled that this is end result!

And at the risk of being a little mean, I can't WAIT until you guys see the whole cover. Seriously!!

So, ta da! The lovely cover reveal. Thanks for letting me share it with you, and let me know what you think! ^_^

(psst--Flap copy on Goodreads!

Friday, September 28, 2012

PonyFest 2012 - Ishikawa

It's that time of year again--PonyFest 2012 is in full swing! Last year, Tomo-pony, the MLP version of Tomohiro from INK, won thanks to your votes.

Tomo-pony looks pretty innocent, but what's really lurking inside? Dun dun dun.

Although I'm not eligible to win this year, I thought I would take the opportunity to ponify another of INK's characters so you can get to know him.

So here he is--Ishikawa!

I dub him...Ishi-pony.

Ishikawa is Tomo's best friend, and has been since elementary school. They're in the kendo club together, and because of Ishikawa's bleached hair they're easy to spot walking through Sunpu Park after practice. But Ishikawa has his own share of secrets, and his world is starting to spiral out of control...

Here's his pony code, if you want to create your own Ishi-pony with the Pony Creator: 2W2L114000F6F7CD2B2B2B00A01E04700JM183700400000000FFFFFEFF7FFF00107F3FCC004CB2

Now go and make your own pony! I can't win, but you can! The deadline is Sept. 30 and the details are on Rebecca Enzor's blog. There are fantastic prizes this year! And don't forget to follow PonyFest on Twitter with the hashtag #PonyFest12.

Monday, August 6, 2012

MSFV Success Story Blog Hop - Interview with Kristi Helvig!

Welcome to what will hopefully be the first of the Annual Authoress’ Success Story blog tours! Those of us who have owed our publishing successes, at least in part, to the Miss Snark’s First Victim contests and blog have decided to come together and help cross promote each other’s work.  Every day in the first two weeks of August, a different author will be posting an interview of one of our fellow Success Stories, so make sure to tune in to everyone’s blogs.


Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Kristi Helvig. Welcome, Kristi!

Hi Amanda, thanks so much for having me today. I’m so happy to be part of the MSFV Success Story group!

And we’re excited to learn more about you! Could you tell us a little about yourself first?

I’m a YA writer by night and Ph.D. clinical psychologist by day. My novels fall mainly in the sci-fi/fantasy realm, and include some speculative elements. I can be found musing about space monkeys on my blog at, and rambling about various other things on Twitter. I reside in sunny Colorado with my hubby, kids, and behaviorally-challenged dogs. When not writing or rescuing dogs, I’m usually watching Discovery channel documentaries and eating chocolate. 

Sounds awesome! I’ve noticed the space monkey theme on your blog. ^_^ So how did participating with MSFV blog get you where you are now?

When I entered the Miss Snark’s First Victim contest, I was mainly looking to get feedback. I had no idea I would end up with an offer of representation from the judging agent. I also had another agent contact me through MSFV after reading my entry, so basically, the contest gave me confidence that my writing didn’t totally suck. I ended up lucky enough to have a choice between agents, and love, love, love my agent Jessica.

Wow, that’s a great turnout for sure. Congrats! Could you tell us what you're working on right now? What's your current WIP and why are you excited about it?

My current novel, BURN OUT, is a YA sci-fi novel about the solar apocalypse and the last girl on Earth. I mentioned above that I’m a documentary geek, and I spent hours watching science documentaries and corresponding with astrophysicists. I had such a blast working on the book. My new one, which I promised to have to my agent very soon (if you’re reading this, Jessica, I swear I’m almost finished :) ) is set in an alternative world and involves ballerinas. That’s all I can share about it right now.

Oo, exciting! I LOVE the idea of a solar apocalypse YA novel. And who doesn’t love an alternative world involving ballerinas? Can’t wait to hear more about it when you can share! 

Ballerinas in another world? Need to read now! 
(photo by Melissa Dooley, used under Creative Commons License

On your blog, you have weekly query critiques. We'd love to know--what was your querying experience like? Any words of wisdom to impart on those querying?

I actually had a very positive querying experience. I learned quickly that I’m a decent query writer and got a ton of requests for my first book (the one before BURN OUT). The book itself needed some work, but I can’t wait to get back to it soon. I received a bunch of personalized feedback and “revise and resubmit” requests on that one, but felt strongly about moving on once I got the idea for BURN OUT.  

As far as advice for those querying, I’d say to do your research, take your time, and query in batches. I have numerous posts about query tips on my website, and I do the query critique giveaways as a way to give back to fellow writers. I also recently started offering query critique services, since some people wanted a critique ASAP without entering the contest (see my blog for details).

Sounds like a great opportunity! So now that we’ve talked queries, what is your writing process like? Are you a morning/evening writer? Do you need anything in particular to have a great writing session?

I really wish I had a set writing schedule, and one of my goals for this year is to have a better routine.  My youngest starts school next week, so it will be the first time I have daytime writing hours—woo hoo! I envy those that can get up at 4am before the sun rises, but I just end up asleep in my coffee. I’m definitely a night owl by nature and write a lot after the kids go to bed. My writing environment involves my laptop and couch, with a beagle crashed on either side of me. And did I mention chocolate?

You did, and I might need to get some in a minute. ^_^

Before you go, can you tell us something about yourself we'd be surprised to know?

I was a pre-school dropout. Seriously, I couldn’t stand pre-school and thought I could learn to eat paste just as well at home. My mom let me quit, and I hung out with her until Kindergarten. In the apple not falling far from the tree department, my youngest never wanted to go to pre-school and has been home with me for the past few years…until next week! Since I ended up getting my Ph.D., I’m not too worried about her becoming a chronic slacker. :)

Haha, nice to see the pre-school dropout tradition continuing. ^_^ Here’s the final Bonus Question: What are you reading right now? Which authors inspire you?

Right now, I’m reading Hold Me, Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride—I love when main characters have some snark. I also love anything by Libba Bray, Gayle Forman, and Amy Reed. 

As far as YA books that blew me away, Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief is one of my fave all-time books, as is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Great choices! Thanks so much for stopping by today, Kristi. It’s been great to get to know you better!


To celebrate this leg of the blog hop, Kristi is giving away a FIRST CHAPTER CRITIQUE to one lucky winner!

To enter, fill out the options you'd like in the Rafflecopter below. More entries mean more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tomorrow’s stop on the blog hop will be Kristi Helvig’s interview of Leah Petersen.  We hope you’ll follow along on the tour! And don't forget the official hashtag of the tour, #MSFVSuccessStory.

Blog Twitter Posting   Date
David   Kazzie @davidkazzie 1-Aug
Leigh   Talbert Moore @leightmoore 2-Aug
J.Anderson   Coats @jandersoncoats 3-Aug
J.M.   Frey @scifrey 4-Aug
Elissa   Cruz @elissacruz 5-Aug
Amanda   Sun @Amanda_Sun 6-Aug
Kristi Helvig @KristiHelvig 7-Aug
Leah   Petersen @Leahpetersen 8-Aug
Monica   Bustamante Wagner @Monica_BW 9-Aug
Emily   Kokie @emkokie 10-Aug
Monica   Goulet @MonicaGoulet 11-Aug
Peter   Salomon @petersalomon 12-Aug
Sarah   Brand @sarahbbrand 13-Aug
Angela Ackerman @angelaackerman   & @writerthesaurus 14-Aug
Tara   Dairman @TaraDairman 15-Aug

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Twilight Games - Should We Write to the Market?

It's something we hear a lot on the internet, right? Don't write to trends. By the time you finish your vampire, dystopian, give-them-delegations-and-throw-them-in-the-arena novel, the market will have moved on (although for the record, I'd probably read The Twilight Games *snicker*). A lot of agent guidelines already say not to send stories with vampires, werewolves, angels, and so on. We all know that writing to trends is risky at best.

Which brings around the other internet advice I often, read. Write the book of your heart.

Now that's fantastic advice too, but here's a little story about when I wrote a book from my heart. It's a story I'd been dreaming about for a long time. It's not entirely filed away in a drawer, mind you--I think it might have a future someday.

After years of unfinished novels, I started doing something incredible--I started finishing the stories I started.

Breakthrough, right? But actually finishing stories can be a hard hurdle to overcome for us writers. I think we've all been there--you're slogging through the middle of your book, or bogged down with revisions, and things have become a little blasé between the two of you. And then suddenly, a fresh, exciting idea flits in front of your eyes. It's practically gleaming, and it takes all your will power not to follow it.

So I finally made it to the point where not only was I finishing my short stories, they were even selling! And so I deciding to finally tackle it--a book I'd wanted to write for a long time.

It was an epic, Narnia-style fantasy, complete with twists and turns, lots of journeying on horseback, mystical items, dying races, castles, flat-out war...the usual. And I was so proud when I started sending it out all polished.

There was only one problem. I didn't know the YA marketplace too well. But it didn't matter, right? Because don't write to the market! I sent my little novel into the world.

The responses I got from agents were fantastic, because they weren't form rejections! But you know what else? They weren't requests.

They were personalized letters that said, "This is great and all, but I'm just not reading traditional fantasies right now." One of them said, "Traditional fantasy just isn't as big in the market right now."


But...but... I thought I wasn't supposed to write to the market!

So I started following about 50 agent and book reviewer blogs. I brought home armfuls of books from the library and the bookstore. I spent a YEAR reading everything that was out there in every genre of YA.

And then I looked at my manuscript again, and I saw the problem. What I had on my hands was not very salable at the moment. The voice was stuck somewhere in the 90s, and it had no comparable titles.

Because while you SHOULD write the book of your heart, you should also be aware of the market around you. Be aware of the trends. Do your research. And don't keep your head down! You wouldn't head to school on the first day without a pencil in your backpack, right? You'd have a list beforehand of what you'll need, what other people will be bringing, and what's expected from you.

(Sorry for the reminder of school. It's August, so it comes to mind ^_^ )

So a year later, I sat down with my knowledge of the market, fresh from reading some of the most exciting voices in YA. I felt recharged, ready to share my own voice amid all these works of art.

I remembered that even dearer book of my heart, the YA I'd always wanted to set in Japan. The book that had haunted me for years after I left Osaka, whispering at me even from the plane, "You're going to write me."

And I did, and the rest turned out well because I was finally aware of the publishing world, how it worked, and what else was out there.

So writers, please, write the book of your heart. Be passionate about it, and write it the way you need to! But make sure your work is marketable. Research, read, and love your genre.

Because even more important than having your book published is having your book speak to a reader. And that will only happen if you look up and engage on common ground.

And if you have a vampire/angel/werewolf showdown in an arena book, I promise I'll read it, because you'll have written it with both eyes open, and it will be fresh. :)

Let me know in the comments--do you keep an eye on market trends?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

MSFV Success Story Blog Hop!

Wow, where did July go? Tomorrow is the first of August, and we're going to start it with exciting news.The first annual Miss Snark's First Victim Success Story Blog Hop (whew!) starts tomorrow!

What is Miss Snark's First Victim? It's a fantastic writing blog with a great community of writers, agents, editors, and readers. Authoress, the lovely blogger who runs MSFV, hosts critiques such as Secret Agent and the annual Baker's Dozen Agent auction, where agents bid for the manuscripts writers have sent into the contest. In many cases, writers have been offered representation or even signed for publishing deals!

The MSFV Success Story blog hop is a fun look at some of the authors who've directly or indirectly experienced success thanks to Authoress' community. It's a way to say thanks, promote each other, and learn more about the writers who have roots in MSFV.

The tour runs from August 1st to August 15th, but don't miss a single stop! Along the way there will be some fabulous giveaways! And don't forget to use the hashtag #MSFVSuccessStory for info and discussion about the tour!

David Kazzie @davidkazzie 1-Aug

Leigh Talbert Moore


J.Anderson Coats


J.M. Frey


Elissa Cruz


Amanda Sun


Kristi Helvig


Leah Petersen


Monica Bustamante Wagner 


E.M. Kokie


Monica Goulet


Peter Salomon


Sarah Brand


Angela Ackerman

@angelaackerman &

Tara Dairman



Friday, July 27, 2012

Write On Teens Q&A

This weekend, July 27-29, I'm answering YOUR questions on the Write On Teens forum! Ask your questions about writing, querying, revisions, or my book INK!

Visit the forums here:

Hope you drop by to say hello!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Peeking Outside the Writer's Cave -- The Writer's Introverted/Extroverted Life

I've started reading Nancy Ancowitz's book SELF PROMOTION FOR INTROVERTS, and it's got me thinking about the interesting double-life that writers live.

For the purposes of this blog post, I will go with a simple definition of introverts and extroverts, noting that of course we are all complex and share various characteristics of each set. But introverts mainly recharge by being alone, and extroverts mainly recharge by being with others.

Leaving the Writer's Cave can be Intimidating.

(Photo by T. Timlen)

Writing a novel can be a very solitary activity. You might prefer to write in lively cafes, read your work out loud to your writer's groups for input, or have long discussions with your friends and family to work out tangles in your plots, but at the end of it all, it is YOU putting down each word. You must separate yourself, with only yourself and your characters for company, and travel those difficult roads, endure their suffering and celebrate their success, and all of these things, even if shared later, you must first do alone.

A novel is a very personal letter written to others, and it puts the writer in a sort of isolation. I guess that's why we refer to it as the Writing Cave or the Editing Cave--there's nothing we can do but go in, fluff the pillows, and write. Alone.

But when we leave the Writing Cave, the vivid brightness outside can be blinding. We blink, and blink, trying to let our eyes adjust. Suddenly there are readers to talk to, bloggers to discuss with, interviews, giveaways, special dates and excerpts and reveals!

As an introvert myself, I enjoy the quiet time spent with my characters. But I also love social media like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest because it allows me to enjoy fellowship and share my interests with other lovely creative people. But still with a bit of a safe distance. (And that is more to do with being shy than an introvert--they are NOT the same thing!) I'm interacting with others while being alone--the way it feels when I'm reading or writing.

But sometimes, I must talk about my own work. I must--*gasp*--promote INK, or ask people to read it. And I'm not sure if it's because I'm an introvert, or because I'm shy, but while I can easily chat about My Little Pony or cupcakes, promoting INK is putting myself out there, drawing attention to myself in an extroverted way, and it can be intimidating!

As writers, we must live like introverts. And as promoters of our books, we must live like extroverts. And one of those feelings may be uncomfortable for us!

The best thing I've found is that if you're honest, and kind, both experiences can be wonderful! Finally leaving the Writing Cave and talking to others about your work allows you to make connections with others, to not feel alone in the world but to find kindred spirits.

And while reading your work aloud to others might (or might not) intimidate you, the one-on-one conversations books will bring into your life will always stay with you.

Which type do you identify as? And how does it affect your writing/reading life?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

INK Board on Pinterest

Thanks to a few friends, I've finally made the plunge and joined Pinterest. If you're on the site as well as like cosplay, chara-ben/cute food, or just want to learn a bit more about me, pop on over to my boards. Let me know who you are as well so I can have a look at what pictures inspire you!

Also, I have created an inspiration board for INK. I will be building it up as the release date nears, so be sure to have a peek in case you're looking for subtle spoilers you can muse on! ^_^

Follow Me on Pinterest

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Where can you find me?

Here's a breakdown of where you can find me and more info about INK:

Goodreads -

Twitter -

Facebook - https//!/pages/Amanda-Sun/286049961408426

Tumblr -

More info to come soon!