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Celebrating POC Authors in Fantasy: Amanda Ross

By day, Amanda is a freelance writer and by night she spins tales about magic, mystery, and mayhem. When she’s not writing, she’s devouring podcasts and practicing Great British Bake-Off recipes. She lives in Atlanta with her spouse, Sky. To Astera, With Love is her debut novel.


Interview with Amanda Ross

What genre(s) do you write in?

Urban Fantasy

When did you decide that you wanted to write in your Genre?

When I was 18.

What things in your life do you draw inspiration from?

I draw a lot of inspiration from modern politics, the way social media plays a role in our lives, and black queer culture. Also shows like Charmed, Living Single, True Blood, and Supernatural.

What is the purpose of your writing? Is there a specific message that you hope to convey?

I write because I can't fathom doing anything else. I want people to know that it's important to take pride in oneself and ones own community and that it's important to take a stand for that community and do what's right, whether that's protesting, staying vocal on social media and in real life, or creating art that challenges the status quo.

How much of yourself is reflected in your writing?

I've always been a blerd and I wrote To Astera, With Love because I wanted to read about black and queer witches and to see that power reflected in the written word. There are five main characters in my book and I think a little bit of myself is reflected in nearly all of them.

What can readers expect to see from you in the next year? Any new releases, features, or celebrations?

To Astera, With Love is my debut novel and officially comes out on 6/20. Additionally, it is the first in a three-part series so hopefully they will see the second book out later this year or early 2021.


Check out To Astera, with Love

America, 2022 - drugs are legal, witches are real, and a literal vampire is President. In this world of boutique blood bars and policies that force witches to out themselves, 21-year-old Mercury Amell just wants to live. He wishes that the ages-old feud between vampires and witches didn’t exist. He wishes that his powers and his skin color didn’t increase his odds of being burned at the stake. After making a powerful enemy, Mercury and his friends must travel to Astera, an annual gathering of all witchkind. They battle vampiric cops, evil witches, aggressive humans, and each other along the way as they struggle to make it in one piece. Will their collective power be enough to get them to Astera safely? Or will they fall prey to their enemies and the laws that spell their destruction?

From the book:

A New World Order: Restoration Is Death for Us All

by Freddie Karr

The staff here at Jonquil conducted a poll, and the consensus was clear: 2022 was trash. It was the year that gave us Lil’ Freak Nick, a middle-class white rapper from the hardened streets of Saginaw, spiders with tails, and the world’s first (known) Vampire for President. We Americans have been through a lot this last decade with the recession and the resurgence of the culture vulture Crispin sisters. But since the universe is a bitch and is constantly urging us to hold its beer, the man taking up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is undead.


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