Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bonjour mes amis!

Yes, I'm using the masculine plural form of "Hello friends" because while let's face it...there will mostly be women reading this blog, who knows? Guys could like our books, too. So I'm equal opportunity.

Anyway, hi, I'm Amanda Brice and on Tuesday, March 25, 2008, I got the wonderful news that I'm nominated for a Golden Heart Award for my YA manuscript, Party Like It's 1899. Needless to say, I'm still partying like it's March 25. :) This is the story of Julie Florence, a 19-year-old college sophomore spending a semester in Paris when an enchanted Jules Verne book inadvertantly sends her back in time to the Belle Epoque.

I did actually spend a semester in Paris when I was in college, but alas, no time travel was involved.

OK, so about me...

I live in the DC area with my hottie hubby. In my day job I'm a trademark and copyright attorney, and he's a patent attorney, so we're a matched pair. LOL!

In my spare time, I dance. Dance has always been in my blood, ever since the first time I start bouncing up and down along to the music on the Coke commercial when I was 2 years old and my mom decided she needed to put me in dance classes. I made a fabulous Cuddly Duck in the recital, let me tell you.

Anyway, I joined a pre-professional dance company when I was in 5th grade, and continued all the way through high school. Most of the girls (and guy...yes, only one) from that company are now making their way on Broadway or on cruise ships, but as much as I loved dancing, I knew I was never going to be a professional dancer. So I majored in poli sci and French instead of dance in college, although I continued to take ballet on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Then when I went to Paris for the semester my junior year, I started doing salsa and tango dancing. It was so different from anything I'd ever done, but I loved it! So when I came back to campus, I immediately enrolled in a ballroom dance class. This was right around the time that a brand new intercollegiate club sport was forming on campus...a ballroom dance team!

Needless to day, I auditioned and joined! And that's when a new love was born...competitive ballroom dancing. Yes, I admit it. I'm obsessed with Dancing with the Stars. I even have a clone of that show in one of my YA manuscripts. LOL!

In addition to dancing, I'd always loved writing, but my dad convinced me it was impractical, so I stopped until I was in my late twenties. Then one day, after reading the fabulous The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, I decided it would be a lot more fun to write chick lit than a paper on the patentability of indigenous medicinal methods. So I banged out the first 88 pages of my first novel, and I was hooked.

That first book will never see the light of day. Never. But that's OK, because it made me realize how much I love to write. When I was trying to come up with an idea for my next book, the plot popped fully formed into my head...but it seemed to be more for preteens than for adults.

That's when it hit me...I *loved* all the YA books I read in middle school and high school. So why not write for preteens and teens? It actually seemed to be a better fit for my voice, too, so I gave it a shot.

And YA rocks, because it's not even really a "genre" per se. Other genres are easily identifiable, but YA is more of a big giant umbrella under which you can have a wide range of genres. The only requirement is that it appeal to teens.

Works for me!


  1. WOO HOO--I hear ya...I came into YA after writing adult material. It's funny how that happens sometimes!!

  2. I knew you were a dancer, but I didn't realize you were a DANCER. wow. Impressive.

    I can't wait til you sell this series. It sounds so fun!

  3. LOL, Mel. Yeah, even though I stopped dancing when I was in law school, I had to come back to it again after a few years away.

    Needless to say, I'm nowhere near as good as I once was...not to mention a good 30-40 pounds heavier (then again, when I was most heavily into the dance thing, I was actually underweight, which is why I have a strong body image theme in my dance mystery books...because I didn't realize that "forgetting to eat sometimes" was a bad thing...I thought it was totally normal!), but I still love it!

  4. I love ballroom dancing, too! Hate the reality show, but I always try to catch the championships that come on on PBS and one of my fav movies is Strictly Ballroom.

    Like the blog. Will have to add it to my cast of "Characters".

  5. Celise, Strictly Ballroom rocks! That used to be one of our old standards when we were driving to ballroom competitions in college (team bus).

    That and Shall We Dance?...the original Japanese version, not the one with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez.