Amanda Hocking has re-released "Ascend," the third book in the Trylle trilogy. - Photo provided

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Famous Austin author at it again

Published 7:00pm Saturday, April 28, 2012

Austin author gears up for fall releases

Austin resident Amanda Hocking isn’t quite used to being a famous author.

“It’s still surreal,” she said. “It’s more commonplace [now], but it’s weird.”

Picturing so many people reading her work is tough for Hocking, who self-published her first book only two years ago. Now she’s a well-known name in the paranormal romance genre. Tuesday marked the re-release of “Ascend,” her final book in the Trylle trilogy.

“A lot of people are looking forward to ‘Ascend,’ “ said Eric Goldman, Hocking’s assistant and longtime friend. “It’s the last book in the trilogy, so I think people are excited to see how everything turns out.”

"Ascend," by Amanda Hocking

To celebrate the book’s release, Amanda asked her readers to send in pictures of them buying the book, he said.

“She’s planning on putting the pictures up on her blog,” Goldman added.

“Ascend” is the third installment of a story based on Scandinavian folklore about trolls. The plot centers around Wendy, a changeling switched at birth who searches for her real family while growing up and finding love. It had previously come out only as a digital copy.

The first book in the trilogy, which hit shelves in January, is now in its fifth printing. The second book has also passed its first printing.

Before she was published, Hocking worked in a group home for people with disabilities and wrote in her free time. While she’s been inspired by many different writers, she said, no particular one drew her to being an author.

“Writing is just something that I’ve always wanted to do,” she said. “It was kind of always there.”

While Hocking said she’d be open to other writing about different subjects, the paranormal romance genre had always been of particular interest to her.

“I grew up watching paranormal and fantasy stuff,” she said.

Hocking decided to self-publish because it was working for others, and she had nothing to lose.

“I had been trying to get published for years,” she said. “I thought that if I tried a couple of books and it didn’t work out, I wouldn’t be out anything.”

When she first started publishing in 2010, Hocking said she released books about every other month. Some were stories she had written in the past that had never reached the hands of readers. To date, she has self-published eight books, three of which were re-released in print this year by St. Martin’s Press.

Hocking made Goldman, a best friend, her assistant to help manage her work and allow her more time for writing.

“I really enjoy getting to play a role in helping Amanda with everything,” Goldman said. His experience working with her and her agents, publicist and editor have all been great, he said. He and Hocking met about 10 years ago, when they were introduced through friends.

“I don’t think we were very big fans of each other at first,” he said. “Now we’re besties.”

Hocking’s readers are very responsive to her books. She said she gets a lot of feedback, which tends to come in through her Twitter, Facebook and email.

Hocking said she expects the media hurricane to pick up again in August with the release of “Wake.” The title will be the first of four books in her upcoming Watersong series, which garnered a $2 million book deal from St. Martin’s Press. Watersong revolves around sirens, creatures from Greek mythology that would lure sailors to their deaths.

And despite her success with novels, Hocking hasn’t been limiting herself exclusively to print lately.

“We’re working on the graphic novels,” Hocking said, which will be based off her zombie series “The Hollows. I always really liked graphic novels and I think this story, more than some of my others, lends itself to that.”

While Hocking said she may be interested in venturing into other media in the future, she’s putting the idea on the back burner.

“Right now I’m just focusing on books, because I know how to do them,” she said.

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