RAOK Release Party: Amy Rae Durreson

February 16, 2015

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To celebrate the release of the Random Acts of Kindness anthology today, some of the authors will be sharing with you a little glimpse behind each of their stories.

 

Believing in Kindness

I’m a great believer in kindness. Stating it like that always feels a little defiant. It’s so easy to assume the worst of everyone that declaring your faith in human nature sometimes gets treated as a sign of weakness or as if it’s a little embarrassing, like laughing too loudly in public, wearing a bow tie to the pub, or making obscure Doctor Who jokes to the cashier in the supermarket (all of which I’m certain Monty, the love interest of “Humming A Different Tune” has done).

But I’ve seen too much kindness to be cynical, from the lift offered by fellow youth hostellers when the heavens opened on the day I’d planned to walk five miles to the nearest bus stop to the usually gruff and belligerent fifteen-year-old who appeared by my desk last week to tell me that his best friend was too scared to admit how frightened he was about upcoming exams and could I please come outside and tell him everything was going to be okay. I’ve also seen phenomenal acts of kindness online, both within our own community and elsewhere. One of those was the inspiration for this story, and it’s also the story I tell every time someone scoffs at the idea of genuine kindness.

A few years ago, when my sister was pregnant with my oldest nephew, she joined an online support group for expectant mums. They all stayed in contact even after their babies were born, and she’s still friends with many of them now. They’ve travelled miles to meet for coffee, raised funds for a seriously ill child, and they’ve saved a wedding. It started when one of their number found out that her dad had only weeks to live. She was engaged and saving up for a big wedding, but cancelled everything so she could get married with her dad there. The new plan left them with very little money to put on a wedding celebration, but the baby group rallied round. They all donated, made, or lent something, from a dress to flowers to money to decorations (my sister made place settings).

I don’t even know the name of my sister’s friend, or the exact details of how it all worked, but the story stayed with me. The idea of collective kindness turning a tragic situation into something more hopeful is wonderful. In the story, my protagonist’s twin sister faces exactly the same family situation, but I made her a dancer, with friends in that online community. It’s an eccentric dancing friend, Monty, who first reaches out to Neil, my protagonist, and the two of them turn that initial kind impulse into a surprise wedding reception. It’s a bittersweet story, but I wanted to show how kindness can transcend tragedy and draw people together. Monty and Neil are both a little lost, but planning Lucy’s wedding leads them to each other.

So, yes, I believe in kindness, in both its existence and its power to change lives.

 

Amy Rae Durreson is the author of Humming a Different Tune in the RAOK anthology.

 

Amy Rae Durreson Author Page Here.

Check out Random Acts of Kindness here!

One Response to “RAOK Release Party: Amy Rae Durreson”

  1. Denise Dechene says:

    You see kindness quite frequently on FB in the LGBT romance authors. I have seen them rally around their hurting and fallen comrades and people they don’t know.

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