Today I'm hugely excited to be a part of the promotional blog tour for Amanda Sun's paranormal young adult novel Ink, which releases June 25th from HarlequinTEEN. Amanda was nice enough to take the time to answer a few questions for me, so I hope you all enjoy the interview:) Be sure and check the bottom of the post for a pair of unbelievable givaways as well as a full list of participating blogs so you can following along as the tour continues!
Drawings sometimes come to life in Ink when Katie and Tomohiro are in close proximity to one another. What one piece of artwork would you most like to see come to life if it were possible?
Great question! One of my favorite painters is Michael Whelan. I’ve always loved the vast fantasy landscapes he paints, and how creative they are, so I think I’d choose one of his paintings to come alive so I could visit. In particular I love “Sentinels,” “Landing,” and “Destiny’s Road.”
Is there a particular piece of information or a small tidbit about Japan’s history or culture that most surprised or fascinated you as you were researching?
I was actually really lucky with my research, because the myths and history keep lining up perfectly with the stories I want to portray in INK. For example, Katie makes a visit to Itsukushima Shrine for a variety of plot and author reasons—it’s an important shrine to the storyline, but I also wanted to feature it in The Paper Gods because it made such an impact on me when I visited it. I looked for a historical figure associated with the shrine, and found Taira no Kiyomori, who features in SHADOW and is mentioned in INK. The most interesting part? He was plagued by nightmares like Tomo’s, and all the signs lined up to them having the ink in common. I keep finding these figures that I can twist just a little to place my own Paper Gods mythology there without altering too much, and that’s what I love. It keeps you guessing—how much is real? :D
What country other than Japan would you love to use as a setting for a future story? Why?
There are a few I’m really interested in writing about. One is the Cook Islands. I think Polynesian mythology is so fascinating, and it’s such a beautiful, almost unknown place. So I would love to set something there. Another is Egypt, since I majored in Archaeology. ^_^ And the UK, where I’ll be doing some research this fall.
I love epic Fantasy too, though, so I have a couple Fantasy worlds in my head that I’m pretty convinced are real. ^_^ I love YA set in other countries because it’s such a different experience to read. But of course, I want what I write to be authentic, so it would involve a lot of research to get it just right!
If Katie and Tomohiro could only describe each other using colors, what three colors might they say most suit the other person?
Interesting! Tomohiro would be dark blue, black, and plum. I guess he’d look like the cover of SHADOW. Those colors come up a lot when the ink is coming to life. They’re beautiful colors, but a little ominous.
Katie would be pink for the more gentle side of her, red for her defiant streak, and yellow for optimism. Even though she’s been through a lot in SHADOW and INK, I feel like she’s always trying to reach for more in life, so I see her as someone who doesn’t give up.
If Tomohiro were to give you a lesson in kendo, what’s the very first thing he would teach you?
First would be stances, I think. How to move properly, how to hold the shinai so you don’t pull (too many) muscles in your arm, and the etiquette surrounding kendo. There’s a lot of weight in martial arts put on respect, how you enter the practice area, how to treat your gear, and how to show respect to your fellow competitors. So I’m pretty sure he’d go over all that stuff first.
The cover for Ink is absolutely stunning and makes me want to blow it up huge so I can hang it on my wall. What’s one other YA cover that makes your jaw drop when you see it?
First of all, thank you! I’m so glad the covers have been well received. I love them too and think the team did an incredible job capturing the feeling of the books.
There are two YA covers I just love. One is SOME QUIET PLACE by Kelsey Sutton. That cover is a work of art. It’s so eerie and beautiful at the same time, and I just love it. The other cover I love, which is also eerie and beautiful, is A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness. It fits well with the feel of INK, too, so it just gives me shivers. Actually all the art in that book is stunning, not just the cover.
Let’s say Ink is going to be made into a movie and you’re put in charge of writing a tagline for the movie’s promotional poster. What would the tagline read?
You know, I’m going to cheat here and use the tagline my editor came up with for the series, because it’s brilliant and I think it’s the best one there is. “Ink is in their blood.” It gets everything in one go—a little sinister, a little literal, and a lot ominous. ^_^
Of course, I came up with a silly tagline a while ago which is fun too. I like to think of INK as a mini-vacation, making Japan accessible for those who may want to visit but be unable to at the moment. Which produced the tagline “INK—it’s cheaper than airfare!”
Thank you so much for having me on the blog! :)
• • • • • • • • • •
I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.
Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.
A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.
And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.
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.
Find Shadow (novella prequel to Ink)
• • • • • • • • • •
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.
• • • • • • • • • •
Thanks to Kismet Book Touring and HarlequinTEEN, I have two spectacular giveaways to share with you guys today. The first is a chance to win one of 9 copies of Ink, and the second is a one-of-a-kind authentic Japanese Yukata (see above picture). Isn't it gorgeous? Filling out the Rafflecopter form below enters you to win both giveaways, good luck everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don't forget to follow along with the remainder of the tour for more interviews, reviews, and chances to win!
Wednesday, May 29th – Page Turners
Friday, May 31st – Reading Angel
Monday, June 3rd – Alice Marvels
Wednesday, June 5th – Chapter by Chapter
Friday, June 7th – YA’s the Word by Katja
Monday, June 10th – Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, June 12th – Oh Chrys!
Friday, June 14th – Melissa Watercolors