As part of the Full Blooded Blog Tour, I’m excited to welcome Amanda Carlson to SWR! She is the author of Full Blooded, the first book in a new series that follows the only existing female werewolf, Jessica McClain. I first came across this series when Amanda offered a Mother’s Day giveaway of Blooded, a novella that introduces you to Jessica’s world. I was blown away (read my review here). I loved the novella and eagerly anticipated the release of the first full-length novel in the series. And I was not disappointed! Please welcome Amanda to the blog as she discusses werewolves, music, and Swedish design.
SWR: For those who haven’t yet read Full Blooded, can you briefly describe the story and what they can expect?
FULL BLOODED starts with the worst wake up call ever. My heroine Jessica McClain is tossed into her first change ten years late. From there the action takes off and the reader gets to experience the new world of supernaturals Jessica is tossed into from the very beginning. It’s full of lots of action, adventure and snark. (I love snark.)
SWR: You really know how to write an open. In both Blooded and Full Blooded, you give readers action packed introductions to the world of Jessica McClain. Did you always envision opening the books that way?
FULL BLOODED started as a scene playing out in my mind, so yes, that opening was set from the beginning. When I decided to write the novella, BLOODED, I knew it would start with a fight scene. I just had to pick which moment I wanted to spotlight. Fighting is what Jessica had to do her entire life, so it was a natural place for the story to begin.
SWR: What are the rules of the Full Blooded world?
Supernaturals aren’t known to humans, female wolves have never existed, and every mythological creature you’ve heard about could feasibly exist. I had so much fun writing this world and it continues to surprise and excite me every day!
SWR: What’s on the Full Blooded soundtrack?
Lots of Kings of Leon and Florence + The Machine.
SWR: What are some of the werewolf tropes you wanted to avoid or embrace while writing Full Blooded?
I wasn’t really thinking of tropes when I wrote FULL BLOODED. I had no idea if I would have a good voice for fantasy or if I’d end up finishing the story. So tropes weren’t on my mind. I wrote the story as it unfolded organically in my brain and had a blast doing it. I realize people will draw their own parallels because urban fantasy is a small genre, but this is Jessica’s story and I really feel she brought something new and fresh to the table.
Strong, capable, intelligent, happy with a side of humor. I think alpha-females need to be strong but not so strong they don’t need anyone else in their lives. When Jessica needs help she takes it. She has a strong family unit surrounding her and without them, her journey would be much different.
SWR: Your bio says young adult urban fantasy is what inspired you to start writing. Can you share some of the YA and adult UF authors who inspired you?
I’d read Anne Rice and Stephen King in my early years, but hadn’t jumped back into fantasy until Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. After that, my daughter wanted to read Twilight. I read it first, since she was only eleven. I thought it was interesting, but wanted to see what was out there for adults. J.R Ward and Kresley Cole were my first PNR reads. They were amazing, but I quickly found that I loved my action with a side of romance, not the other way around. After that I dove in to Karen Chance and Faith Hunter. It’s safe to say I was locked into the genre after that!
SWR: What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing?
I enjoy going to the movies, playing Scrabble and beach vacations (which don’t happen nearly enough)! I don’t have a lot of free time, so date night is usually a movie escape, which I love.
SWR: Favorite quote from a favorite book?
Hmm, that’s a tough one for me. I didn’t usually remember many lines from books, but I do have one from my favorite movie The Princess Bride:
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
SWR: Finally, from what I understand, you love Ikea. I do, too. I have an unnatural obsession with their Expedit bookcases. Why are the Swedish so damn good with affordable design?
I have no idea, but I come out of here with carloads of stuff all for under a hundred bucks! We just got one in Minnesota a few years ago and it’s such a treat! You can redecorate your kids’ rooms as they grow up for a song.
Thanks so much for hosting me today! I had so much fun. Can’t wait to visit again.
If you haven’t read Full Blooded, please rectify that now:
FULL BLOODED by Amanda Carlson
GOODREADS SUMMARY: Born the only female in an all male race, Jessica McClain isn’t just different—she’s feared.
After living under the radar for the last twenty-six years, Jessica is thrust unexpectedly into her first change, a full ten years late. She wakes up and finds she’s in the middle of a storm. Now that she’s become the only female full-blooded werewolf in town, the supernatural world is already clamoring to take a bite out of her and her new Pack must rise up and protect her.
But not everyone is on board. The werewolf Rights of Laws is missing text and the superstitious werewolves think that Jessica means an end to their race. It doesn’t help when Jessica begins to realize she’s more. She can change partway and hold her form, and speak directly to her wolf. But the biggest complication by far is that her alpha father can’t control her like he can the rest of his wolves.
When a mercenary who’s been hired by the vampires shows up to extract information about the newly turned werewolf only days after her change, they find themselves smack in the middle of a war and there’s no choice but to run together. When it’s up to Jessica to negotiate her release against her father’s direct orders, she chooses to take an offer for help instead. In exchange, Jessica must now swear an oath she may end up repaying with her life.
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