Amber Benson Has Pre-Halloween Book Tour

She appeared at Borders in Sacramento on October 22nd with Sina Grace, who made the illustrations for the book.
Not only did she sign copies of her new book, and gave out some candy, she also read a chapter from her new book. She talked about the legend of a young boy who was able to make himself invisible…and the terrible fate he soon suffered.

Afterwards, she talked about everything from writing to Joss Whedon, and favorite books.

First off, she admitted that she almost considered going to UC-Berkeley to take classes in Celtic Studies, but decided to stick to her acting career. "Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to go to school," she says. "Maybe I’ll go back."

For now, she really enjoys writing. "You get what’s in here (pointing to her head), and onto the page in a way that you don’t as an actor, or making a film," she says. "When you’re writing a book, it’s truly what is in your head, totally undiluted."

She also gave some advice for advice for budding writers: you should write for yourself, but also think about starting a blog. She says she uses her blog to write short stories or anything else, and it’s a great way to show people what you can do. "A lot of times, people from the publishing world read blogs, and they’re like ‘I like this, let’s turn it into a book’", she says,  "and all of a sudden you have a publishing deal. Anything you can do to put the word out about your creative stuff, you should do it."  She says it’s much easier now, thanks to the Internet.

She also admits she hasn’t taken the plunge into buying an e-reader because she, like Rupert Giles, likes the excitement of cracking open a new book.

These days, Amber is known for her supernatural stories. She admits she likes spooky things, but she hopes to take on other styles in the future, "I wish I could be Dostoyevsky or Hemingway," she says, "but I write chick-lit:." She was later more specific that she writes "chick-lit with some punch".

Sina Grace, who made the illustrations for the book, said he was approached by Benson after he drew some pictures for her, and that he was intrigued about making drawings for a book about a girl and ghosts.  He’s also done some work in web comics and comic books.

Amber also said she occasionally reconnects with some of her old friends from Buffy, but also notes many of them are starting families. "Invariably, I run into them in something and catch up," she says. "You get like all the gossip for like a year…and here’s the kid!", drawing a lot of laughter from the audience.

She also announced that Drones has found a distributor, Phase 4 Films, and that it will be released in March 2011. She co-directed the movie with Adam Busch. She says she’s very pleased by this, after it’s been shown in several film festivals. "In this climate when things are not being bought for distribution," she says, "we got picked up by this distributor. That was really amazing. I was really surprised and happy."

The movie is about an alien invasion…into a typical office. It stars Jonathan Woodward, who Amber says is like a young Bill Murray. She even recalls how the producers saw a clip of him in his underwear, playing a ukulele.

Her next Calliope Reaper Jones book, Serpent’s Storm, will be released in February. It had been planned to be the last of a trilogy, but she has just signed to write two more books starring Jones.

 

Afterwards, Amber posed for photos and signed copies of her books. She also had signings at two Borders book stores in San Francisco, and also held a costume contest (according to her Twitter).

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