Debut Author Spotlight is a Saturday feature at Book Chick City. We will be showcasing a debut author each week from the genres of horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance. We will give you all the relevant book information as well as an insight into the author.
Amber T. Smith lives in Cardiff, the bustling capital city of Wales. When she isn’t busy keeping her kids, her cats, and her lizards from fighting, she can generally be found dreaming up new plots for alternative fairy tales.
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: April 2o13 | PUBLISHER: Crimson Romance
Life isn’t a fairy tale… except when it is. There’s nothing wrong with Ella Gibson’s life— it just isn’t very exciting, despite being surrounded by lingerie. Working for Cardiff’s top modelling agency should have been glamorous, but most of the time Ella is running around with memos and cups of coffee. It’s a far cry from living the dream, but skirting the edge of her fantasy life is enough. Then comes the day when her cat starts to talk, claiming to be Ella’s fairy godmother. As if that weren’t crazy enough, the pesky puss becomes a fashion advisor and behavioral expert, too. Add an evil ex-stepmother, a hunk called Charming, plus a looming party-cum-ball, and you have all the elements of a classical fairy tale. There’s even a couple of ugly sisters—the fact that they are two gorgeous gay men being neither here nor there.
Ella’s not your typical fairy-tale princess though, and it will take more than a discarded glass slipper to get her man. It’s quite possible she may have to curb her enthusiasm for cursing a wee bit, not to mention her love of vodka. And can Muse, her surprisingly straight-laced feline friend, overcome her prudishness long enough for Ella to sneak a kiss or three with her intended beau?
What is IF THE SHOE FITS about?
This story is a whimsical twist on the familiar Cinderella theme. I love fairy tales, I love quirky, and I love silly humour, so when I set out to tell a modern day Cinderella, this is what inevitably happened. I also based the story in my home town – Cardiff, Wales – because I was looking to share a little love of my roots.
The story contains many references to the original fairy tale, but I like to think that I gave it enough spin to make it original at the same time. It’s light-hearted, fun, and contains enough of the sillies to make you laugh out loud! It definitely reflects my own humour, and in turn represents the sense of fun that I think is shared by fellow Brits.
Tell us a bit more about the hero/heroine in IF THE SHOE FITS
Eleanor Gibson – or Ella, as she is more frequently called – is basically me, which I think is par for the course in debut novels. She’s clumsy, scatter-brained, heavy on self-doubt, and never misses an opportunity to laugh at herself. Her sense of fun becomes essential as she learns to cope with the escalating ridiculousness of her situation. It takes a certain kind of person to take advice from her cat! She’s also sassy, often sarcastic, and never at the back of the queue when it comes to helping her loved ones. She’s someone I’d want as my best friend, definitely.
How did you research IF THE SHOE FITS?
There wasn’t anything specific that I needed to research, to be truthful. I live in Cardiff, so the setting was already firmly in my brain, and the basic Cinderella plot is pretty much memorized. I just added my zany brand of humour, looked to my cat for feline behaviour, and ran with it!
Is IF THE SHOE FITS the first in a series or a stand alone novel?
This is the first book in a series, tentatively called The Furry Tale Chronicles. See what I did there? *laughs*
When and where is your favourite time to write?
I’m a night owl, so as soon as my kids are settled for the night, I’m glued to my sofa in the living room, and probably physically attached to my laptop. I can get in three to four hours on a good night, less if I am distracted by the various social media platforms that I’m addicted to.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve always dreamed about it, but I never seriously considered it until three or four years ago. Prior to that, I wrote a lot of fan fiction just for fun, and shared it online. If the Shoe Fits is the result of the 2009 NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge, and it took me two years before I seriously considered cleaning it up and submitting to publishers.
What was the last book you enjoyed and why?
I love a variety of genres, particularly fantasy and romance, and my latest read was from the romance genre. Vristen Pierce’s The Scheme of Things (another Crimson Romance book) was just fabulous. Fantastic humour throughout, which is right up my street, and some smexy times, which is always a bonus!
Which authors do you admire?
Recent author Stacy Gail has a fabulous backlist from the last two years, from Steampunk to contemporary, and her Earth Angels series is fabulous! I really admire how she writes such a fantastic variety of romance. Stellar romance authors for me are Julia Quinn and Mary Balogh (both historical authors). When I want to read fantasy, I head to my prized Tolkien shelf, and also gorge on R.A. Salvatore and George R.R. Martin. And the fabulous J.K. Rowling too, as I’m a huge Potter fan!!
Describe yourself in five words.
Clumsy. Sarcastic. Nutty. Forgetful. Procrastinator.
I have a contemporary novella on submission at the moment, which is much darker than my fairy tale, and I’m working on the next in The Furry Tale Chronicles series. I’m also slowly adding to my epic fantasy novel, which is a story of legend, mystical characters, and reincarnation. I don’t always stick to silliness, sometimes I like to delve into darkness!
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