About Amber


Amber Argyle

Super short: Amber Argyle is the international, bestselling author of the Witch Song Series and Fairy Queens series. All of her books have an overarching theme to "outshine the darkness".

Slightly longer: Amber Argyle is the international, bestselling author of the Witch Song Series and the Fairy Queen Series. Her books have been nominated for and won awards in addition to being translated into French and Indonesian.

Amber graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in English and physical education, a husband, and a two-year old. Since then, she and her husband have added two more children, which they are actively trying to transform from crazy small people into less crazy larger people.

To receive her starter library for free, simply tell her where to send it: http://eepurl.com/l8fl1

You can find Amber on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Even longer still (I applaud your perseverance!): We have recently moved to southern Idaho. It's slightly wamer here. And there aren't many poisonous snakes. That's about all I have to say about that.

My first series consists of Witch Song, Witch Born, Witch Rising (a novelette), and Witch Fall (a companion novel).  Mostly people love this series because of the unique magical system--my witches sing instead of chant. Their songs control nature, plants, seasons, storms, etc. And there's a sweet love story.

Winter Queen is a bit darker in theme. I delve into survival themes and flirt with the line between submission and defiance. The sequel, Summer Queen is due out Fall of '14 and the final book, Daughter of Winter, Fall '15. I plan on writing a couple novelettes somewhere in there as well.

As for hobbies, I don't really have time for them. I'm a full time mom of three crazy people in small bodies. My husband and I are trying to work out the crazy before unleashing them on the world. No promises though.

I try to squeeze in some kind of exercise, I'm currently running about ten miles a week (just enough to keep my jeans fitting and feel healthy). I cannot abide treadmills, so when it grows too cold (see above), I'll switch to basketball and zumba.

My favorite authors are Lauren Oliver, Tahereh Mafi, Rae Carson, Suzanna Collins, and Jennifer Robertson.

Here's a list of questions you can pull from if you'd like to put up an interview:
  • Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models
AA: I grew up saying I wanted to be an author. But success was so significant to me that I didn’t—simply because the thought of failure was just too devastating. Then came my second son. He suffered from colic, often crying and fussing for 18 hours a day. By the time he was three months old, I was in a VERY dark place. Writing is what got me out of it.

Role models? Hmmm . . . Is it cheating to say Jesus?
  • What is Witch Song about?
Witch song is a fun quest by land and sea, and also a journey of the heart. A girl who grew up as an outcast discovers she is a powerful witch and a leader--and takes on the task of freeing her fellow witches to bring peace to a ravaged world. Senna's power comes from her voice---but she learns it also comes from within.~JoLynne Lyon (used by permission)

  • A haiku about Witch Song.
Moon paints my skin silver
Witch song paints the moon gold
On a broken night

  • Who’s your favorite character, and why?
AA: My main character’s love interest, Joshen. He’s easy going and like most teenage boys, loves to eat just about anything that holds still long enough. He’s also loyal and compassionate to a fault. The kind of guy anybody would want to be friends with.

He's the kind of guy that gets hotter everytime you see him.
  • Who’s the most challenging character to write?
AA: My MC, Brusenna. It’s really hard to write a shy heroine. Because the heroine has to MOVE the story, not hang out in the background. And because I’m kinda the opposite of shy. More like that really annoying person who wants to chat with you at the checkout line. Talk about drawing from hidden reserves.

  • What inspired you to write about witches?
AA: The whole concept of the book came to me with one line: I am a witch. I got all tingly and the plotting gears started spinning. I sat down to write and write and write. I finished the whole first draft in a month. Of course, as anyone who writes a book knows, the first draft is less than an 1/8th of the work involved in creating a book.
  •  What’s next for you? What other books have you written?
AA: After the Fairy Queen series is over, I'm hoping to start on a book I had to pause in order to write the sequels to my first two series. The first book, Forbidden Forest, is mostly drafted. I'm planning three books in the series. After that, I have a spin off series to Winter Queen. And after that, I have a thriller (already drafted) that I might turn into a dystopian (not sure yet). That will be a trilogy as well. I have other ideas as well, but I'm trying to smother them under a pillow (too many voices in my head makes it hard to sleep at night ;) ).
  • Favorite book as a child?
AA: In elementary I wore out my copies of the Laura Ingalls Wilder series. After that, I read mostly historical fiction. I didn’t actually discover fantasy until later. Shortly after, I started writing it.
  • What other hobbies do you enjoy aside from reading and writing?
AA: I play basketball (post), read (a lot), Zumba (badly), and chase three kids under nine (mostly the 2 year old. If she’s smiling coyly, you know she’s done something naughty).
  • Do you have a favorite mythical creature?
AA: Unicorns. I started riding horses before I could walk. I’d often daydream about the perfect horse. One with a horn and wings. Wouldn’t all the other kids be jealous?
  • If you could have any supernatural ability, what would it be, and why?
AA: The uncanny ability to move traffic out of my way and make all red lights green. Because I kinda have the opposite super power at present.
  • Tell us five interesting things about yourself?
AA: Uh. . . I have a canker? No, really. I have a six inch scar on my forehead from a car accident when I was in the 4th grade.
I participated in rodeo (barrel racing and pole bending)
I played varsity basketball in high school (I still play basketball).
I grew up on a cattle ranch (support my dad, Eat Beef!).
I drive a minivan. And I look sexy in it.
I love to watch Castle, Modern Family, and The Office
I love Oreos. Especially when mixed with ice cream
I grow the ingredients for and bottle my own salsa
I read really, REALLY fast.
I enjoy camping and hiking.
Anesthesia doesn’t work very well on me. It took some extremely painful surgeries to figure that out.

  • What is your favorite book? Favorite author?

AA: I could no more pick a favorite book than a favorite child. But a few of my favorites are Hunger Games, The Hollow Kingdom, Fablehaven, Forbidden Seas etc. 

I absolutely love Shannon Hale and Kristin Cashore. Let’s face it, the girls can write and write well. I also like Brandon Mull, Tolkien, David Farland, Jessica Day George, Jennifer Roberson, Suzanne Collins, Clare B Dunkle, Aprilynne Pike, and Robin McKinley. I could probably go on forever.
  • I love how your initials are AA. Is your middle initial also an A?
AA: My full name is Amber Lynn Argyle Smith. Smith is my married name. All together, my initials spell ALAS. Which is kinda anticlimactic.
  • Have you ever kissed a frog?
AA: No. But my singing sounds like I swallowed one.

  • What's most exciting about Witch Song at present?

AA: Witch Song is the 5th most popular September release! I’m really excited about that.

EXCERPT:

The Witches in WITCH SONG aren't your average Witches. Their songs control nature—storms, season changes, plants. Here’s an excerpt that shows Brusenna (Senna) controlling nature:

As she’d seen her mother do so long ago, Senna spread her arms and sang, “Wind, lift me high, that my words reach to’rds the sky.” The violent wind slowed, like a herd of raging colts pricking their ears to listen to her song. She sang again. Slowly, it bent and began circling her. As she continued the song, it became a lazy whirlwind that twisted her hair up and made the trees at the edge of the circle sway as if entranced. The air thickened, tentatively testing her weight.

She sang one last time. And this time, the wind lifted her. Her feet dangled above the ground. “Higher,” she sang. The wind obeyed, twirling her skyward as easily as a handful of dandelion fluff. She didn’t stop until she could see the churning sea beyond the island walls.
When she’d reached the apex, the wind carried her voice over the world, “Though Espen’s curse that nature break, I beg of thee hold thy stake. Seasons stay in thy place, winds blow in pace. Weather hold thy climes, plants keep thy times. Not to break but bend. Until at end, I bring thee mend.” She repeated the song over and over again, until her words came through her throat raw and her voice broke.

When she could sing no more, the wind hesitated, as if loath to part with her. She hung suspended, watching the boiling seas and raging storm settle. She looked for any sign of a struggling ship, some proof she wasn’t completely alone, but there was nothing but the empty sea.

She wished she could stop the storm completely. But though the strength of her songs had grown, Espen was stronger. Much stronger. But as long as the other witches resisted, Espen couldn’t have total control.

The wind set Senna gently down. “Thank thee wind, for heading my call. For holding strong, so I did not fall.” She waited as it slowly faded, caressing her face one last time before retreating all together and leaving only the ever constant thunder and rain.

And another that shows Senna using her song to use the plants as weapons:

The dogs streaked through the trees, their baying increasing to a fevered pitch as their quarry came into view. Reaching inside her pouch, Senna drew a Barrier Seed. She forced a hole in the soil and pressed the seed down. “Back up,” she said, gripping Joshen’s arm and pulled. As she moved, she sang, “Take in light, take in air; spread thy roots, thy leaves grow fair.”

She kept repeating the song over and over. A green shoot burst from the earth. Within moments, it was taller than Joshen. “Just a few more songs,” she thought. But the first dog sprang past the tree. Joshen swung the tree branch, catching the dog in the ribs. With a yelp, it backed out of his reach and barked like mad.

Too late to grow it to full maturity! Senna’s song changed into something deeper and darker. This wasn’t a song, so much as a chant. She cringed at the animosity and menace in her voice, “Let nothing pass.” The other dogs slowed, sensing the danger, but not understanding it.

They didn’t have time to do more than flinch as the tree’s branches wrenched them from the ground. Barks of excitement changed to howls of terror as they writhed to free themselves. But the tree didn’t even pause as it flung them back in the direction they’d come. Tail between their legs, the others fled—terror plain in their wild eyes.
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