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Acquisitions Announcement: Amanda Pavlov

Sword & Silk books is excited to welcome Amanda Pavlov

Her book 'Mind Like A Diamond' is YA Paranormal Fantasy that would appeal to fans of Sawkill Girls, The Hazel Wood and Ninth House

Teetering on the brink of eviction, a skeptical gymnast must complete an enchanted haunted house on Halloween night or lose her beloved French Quarter apartment.


Seventeen-year-old gymnast, Lisette Colbert, is skeptical of her criminal mother’s claim that they are descendants of pirate witches. But on Halloween night, Lisette will learn you don’t have to believe in magic for it to kill you. Lured by a $10,000 prize, Lisette recruits her best friend Xavier and together they enter The 13th Realm of Hell—an escape-room style Haunted House run by a mysterious coven. Xavier has his reservations, especially after reading the fine print on the waiver to enter. Lisette is too focused on proving herself to consider the risks. With him or without him, she is determined to complete all thirteen realms. If she wins the prize money, she’ll avoid eviction from her beloved French Quarter apartment. But the witches who run the show don’t write happy endings.


Amanda Pavlov started performing stand-up over a decade ago in her hometown of New Orleans. Prior to finding her voice on stage, she imitated Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Miranda July, much to the amusement of her Creative Writing professors. She believes in Science, kindness, and crossing the street to pet every dog she sees.

An Introductory Interview with Amanda

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I am a comedienne, dog person, and New Orleans native who believes in Science and kindness.

Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

When I was a kid I heard an advertisement on the radio for a Haunted House where you would be paid $300 if you made it all the way through on Halloween night. My friends and I loved speculating  who ran it and what could be so scary about it. We talked one of the more adventurous dads into taking us—we barely made it through the first level. I never stopped wondering about the rest of the haunted house.

What is your writing process? Plotter or Panster? Are you a morning or evening writer? What is your tried and true method for getting words on the page?

I am a hybrid—I love filling out character development questionnaires and analyzing my characters until I can predict their reactions, then I use a rough outline to plot. I can’t know too many details of the story or I’ll lose my motivation to write it. Finding out the twists is part of my motivation. The best way to get words on the page is peer pressure! My critique partners are wonderful about pushing me to finish so they can find out what happens.

Authors often impart pieces of themselves into their stories. Which character best reflects you? Do you share any personality traits with your protagonist?

I’m most like Xavier, my protagonist’s best friend. I pride myself on being loyal like Xavier. Lisette and I share a soft spot for animals and people who need us to take care of them.

What drew you to the YA genre as an author?

I love writing teenage protagonists because they can be smart and still impulsive enough to make the bad decisions that make for the best stories.

If you could give your teenage self one piece of advice what would it be?

Dyeing your hair from blue-black back to blonde won’t work. You will look like Little Orphan Annie. Everything worth doing takes time.

Where to find Amanda

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