From the Desk of…Amy Lane
Interview by Sherry Perkins
1. Who were your creative mentors or cheerleaders? My husband, mostly. It wasn’t even his genre–he was just really supportive of me writing–of me making something. Pretty much everyone else in my life thought what I was doing was stupid and a waste of time. If I’d listened to them, I would have stuck to my knitting.
2. What does your workspace look like? A hot mess and an archive of stuffed animals, books, old cereal bowls and health and beauty aids.
3. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer/creative? High school, I guess–I would write poems in typing class and illustrate them. When Beauty and the Beast came out, everybody said, “Hey, that’s Amy!” I guess I was the only person I knew who liked to read quite that much, and writing a book seemed to be the ultimate achievement for me.
4. Where were you when you made your first book or book-related sale? LOL–where all good things happen. In the kitchen. I’d been mostly independent until I submitted to my publisher, and I’ll never forget those days getting e-mails on the way to taking the kids to dance or soccer or something. Back then, I had to print out the contract and take it to Staples to fax it after it was signed. My kids got really used to being dragged into Staples while I fought with the fax machine!
5. Why do you write in the genre you do? Believe it or not, I teach a class that’s an hour and a half long, and the conclusion of the class is why some of us write in the genre I write in. The short, glib answer is that equality is sexy–partners whose strengths in the partnership are determined by who they are and not what gender they are is incredibly exciting. Also, I like men. I mean, I like women, but I like men’s bodies. Playing with them in fiction is… enjoyable 😉
6. How do you support other creatives, or how do you choose a promotional strategy? Mostly word of mouth. I’m horrible at business and business decisions. Even my cover art–I’m lucky to have had some lovely cover artists who pat me on the head and say, “Uhm, Amy–I’ve got this.” But I run a “shout out” on my blog once a month called “Kermit Flail” and at present, I’m organizing a “Fabulous Follow” event. This last thing is new to me–I’m hoping I don’t bollux it up too badly. I like to give my fellow creatives all the props–but I’m also strangely shy. I have to know them personally first, and trust them as well.
Wild Card Question– What was the most unusual place or event that prompted you to write a story? *laughs* This is a trick question because one of the seminal members of the PRG was with me when it happened! About ten years ago, I attended the first Coastal Magic convention–at the time it was held in St. Augustine, Florida. Gloria Lakritz was another attendee, and the hotel was… wow. We could start with the many, many parrots–and their piles of excrement below the cages–that greeted people when they walked in the foyer, but that was only a start. In the course of the weekend we heard that the hotel should have been condemned after Hurricane Andrew, but instead, the owners had slapped some new carpet over moldy boards, some wallpaper over sodden drywall, and had fumigated for all the bugs–many, many times. The result was horrific enough–but things got worse. I was rooming with a member of my publisher’s staff, and it turned out our room had a broken door–we were lucky we didn’t get robbed when we left for dinner. We were getting ready to turn in, feeling very uneasy about the whole thing, when my friend pulled down her sheets and saw a termite and a palmetto bug scurry across a suspicious stain on the bed. That was it. We threw on our sweats, gathered our stuff, and got a room at the Super 8 across the street, and I put out an ABORT ABORT ABORT code on all my social media. The convention itself was great–Jennifer Morris is organized, creative, and sensitive to attendees needs–and she throws a hell of a party. Fortunately for everybody, she has since found a venue that is EVER SO MUCH BETTER. But in the meantime, I walked away from that experience thinking, “There has GOT to be a story to get out of this!” and that was the origin of one of my first mystery stories, Left on St. Truth-be-Well. It’s not one of my bestsellers, by any means, but it does have a memorable inspiration!
SHOWCASE ONE OF YOUR BOOKS:
Blurb from Hidden Heart by Amy Lane:
Search-and-rescue worker Spencer Helmsley has everything he needs: a job he loves, a flight partner he’d die for, and an amazing dog.
Then he flings himself out of a helicopter to rescue Theo Wainscott.
Stuck on a raft in the middle of a flood with the most stubborn, argumentative man in the world, Spencer soon finds himself asking not how they’ll survive but what’ll kill them first—the water, each other… or the sexual tension.
While Theo and Spencer are trying to beat the odds, Theo is also trying to beat some sense into his rescuer. Spencer seems to have no regard for his own safety, and that’s a problem for Theo. Maybe he’s never seen another gay man in the wild, but it doesn’t take him long to recognize that he’d like to get to know this one better.
If they make it out alive, Theo will have his work cut out for him convincing Spencer to risk his heart instead of his life….
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FB: Amy Lane Anonymous (group)
Choose Your Lane to Love (page)