Brianne Johnson

YA Fantasy

Harlequin TEEN/Harper Collins

ACE OF SHADES (April 2018)
Harlequin TEEN/Harper Collins

Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. She is the author of young adult fantasy novels, including The Shadow Game series and Daughter of the Burning City. She works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, surrounded by her many siblings and many books.

Being the sort of person who always takes myself too seriously, I started querying while in high school, with what was my fourth finished novel. At the time, I had not realized it would take three more books, two agents, three rounds of submission, hundreds of rejections, and five more years to reach publication. I am very happy to say that, in that time, I have found my style and my confidence. And this year, I am publishing the book of my heart, five years in the making!

I have a B.A. in English/creative writing and a masters in accounting (You might not think that’s helpful, but I do write books about magical financial operations). While in college, I worked internships at several literary agencies, including P.S. Literary and Creative Media Agency, where I read queries and requested submissions. I was a mentee in PitchWars in 2012, and since then, I’ve mentored in PitchWars in 2016 and FicFest in 2015 (My PW mentee is another AMM mentor!). I’ve worked with two different agents for a total of five years, as well as my editor for two. And I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by some savvy, fantastic critique partners, most of whom have agents and/or book deals with major publishers.

I genuinely love mentoring. I knew so little about the publishing world when I started out, and I think I would’ve made a lot of different decisions–artistically and professionally–if I had had any guidance of my own. For as much as we follow deal news and upcoming releases, there isn’t very much frank information available about this process. Writing is more than a passion–it’s a dream! And it’s very rewarding to be part of someone’s journey toward achieving that.

I typically expect my mentee to be willing to work hard, but you can expect me to give constant enthusiastic support. I don’t necessarily think of myself as specializing in one element of storytelling–plot, characters, or world-building. I truly think every story demands something different, so my primary goal is to work with your vision for your story and to help you make your favorite elements and your writing shine.

  • Fantasy
  • Magical Realism/Fabulism
  • #ownvoices
  • Urban/Contemporary Fantasy

No girl hate, please! Unless the mean girl and the heroine have some incredible arc that shreds my heart. I’m here for that.


  • Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
  • Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
  • Skype or phone call
  • Freestyle in chat

I’m very hands on! Open to chat, call, email, Skype whenever you might need it! I do try to provide formal letters/notes because I think it’s helpful to have all of that information in front of you at once, but I’m not a touch and go person. I like to know how you’re doing! I am honest about what is and isn’t working, and I’m not afraid to give extensive notes. But I will also be tirelessly enthusiastic for your project, and I will comment all over it with memes and exclamation points and delighted gibberish. I am the person who will write you a fifteen-page editorial letter and then make you five aesthetics and a book playlist.

Someone who isn’t afraid of a lot of work–not that I necessarily WILL bury you in edits, but I just respect the drive! I’m just a buckle-up sort of person.

I like anything with a clever magic system–whether it’s complicated or simply unique. I’m trash for a romance that makes my heart flutter (or break), but I absolutely don’t need romance in a book. I seek out female leads whose character arcs will destroy me. The more atmospheric, the better.

I’m not really into magical creatures or Tolkein style fantasy. Unless you do them like Rachel Hartman or Holly Black. Then you’re just my favorite author.

Some of my favorite books ever (in no real order) include The Night Circus, Seraphina, anything by Holly Black, Six of Crows, the Shades of Magic series, Strange the Dreamer, the Seven Realms series, Carry On, and Uprooted. I’m also a huge fan of anime–my favorites are Hunter x Hunter, Naruto, My Hero Academia, Death Note, and D. Grey-Man. My favorite three movies are Spirited Away, the Devil Wears Prada, and Kingsman. Shows include Gossip Girl and Game of Thrones. I love games like Settlers of Catan, Betrayal at the House on the Hill, and Age of Empires. I’m a 90s child but I love corny 80s rock.