If Amy Lane Weren’t a Writer, She’d Be…

November 1, 2015

*This is the English translation of a German interview with Amy Lane*

A big thank you to Amy, who agreed to do this interview and answer the questions of her readers. I also want to thank you, the readers, who came up with the questions and thus made this interview possible.

First of all, name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you. 

I was very surprised to be labeled „the queen of angst“ when I first started out—I would cry as I was writing some parts of my books, but I considered what happened there a very natural part of the plot. On the whole, I’m sort of a snarky, sarcastic person, so I don’t seem like the kind of person who would sit around brewing tea from the tears of my readers.

If you could meet any writer, alive or dead, who would it be and why? 

Jane Austen, of course. I’d like to tell her that the thing that she saw in her tiny corner of the planet was really the big driving machine that ran the world.

What made you start writing M/M novels? How long have you been writing, and was it a long process to become a published author? 

Well, originally I was writing what I thought would be a het vampire romance, and then, as I was writing, I realized my male vampire had been carrying on an affair with a male elf for 150 years prior to the beginning of the story. (Yes—I was surprised too.)  Anyway—I self-published that story, and the subsequent five books that followed, and in every story, M/M seemed to be an organic part of the story. But writing was a hobby, really, until I saw I saw a Tweet from the editor in chief at Dreamspinner Press—it said, „We want to see a fic written to THIS:“ and it featured a very sexy vodka commercial.  I wrote 750 words and sent them in—just for fun—and the response was, „Oh, Amy, we’ve been waiting for you to write for us!“  I hadn’t realized that my self-published work had attracted their attention, but once I’d made contact, there was no going back. Those 750 words eventually became Gambling Men, but by then I’d already written over 10 works for Dreamspinner Press.

Complete this sentence: If I weren’t a writer, I would still be teaching.

I hope this question is not too personal; if yes you of course don’t have to answer it. How do you unite your writing with your private life (family, friends, partner, etc.) without neglecting anyone or anything? 

I don’t. I mean, I try, but housecleaning has become non-existent in my house, and my kids haven’t eaten on the kitchen table in—literally—years. That being said, I attend every soccer game, every dance recital, and talk to the kids to and from school every day. We go out on the weekends and enjoy ourselves, and I try to spend at least an hour every evening at least relaxing with the family. So, it does impact my family interactions, but I do draw the line. My kids will only be young once and I want to spend that time really enjoying their company.

When you write a book, do you plan it before you start writing or do you let things just develop themselves? Do you work at several books at the same time or do you rather focus on one? 

I write one book at a time, from beginning to end, and I usually start with a beginning, middle, and end in mind, and then as I write I fill in the blanks.

What are some of the most awesome/coolest things you’ve learned in the process of research?

KY Jelly has been around since the early 1900ds.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way? 

Well, I taught literature for nearly 20 years—that influenced me in a big way, as did old Harlequin romances and every song I’ve ever heard.

Which novel or series did you enjoy writing the best?

That’s easy—whichever one I’m working on now!

Be totally honest, what’s the most difficult part of being a writer? 

Not eating. I schedule exercise into my week as much as I can—but I am working from my kitchen, and I eat way too much.

What character from one of your books would you like to have come alive and be real? Why?

Green, from my Little Goddess series. Because he rules with kindness, and he’s very wise—but very human. He still makes mistakes.

Which character do you think most closely resembles your own personality?

Auntie Beth from the Triane’s Son books.

If you get the chance to end up in one of your books which would it be? Why? 

The Little Goddess series—because I want to be a ass-kicking sorceress with four amazing lovers!

You’ve just inherited a sheep farm. What do you do now?

Figure out how to turn it into a fiber mill and totally change my vocation.

Have you ever got insulted because of your books? Or have your books ever got insulted? If yes, how did you react to it? And how do you react to negative reviews although it’s obvious the writer just want to do your book poorly? 

My books get insulted all the time—and mostly, I just rant in private to my friends and family, and smile in public. It helps when you accept the fact that not everybody is going to enjoy what you write—that’s a simple fact of life. Some people are mean and horrible about it, and some people simply go, „Not for me.“  I prefer the second approach, but I’m always ready for the first.

Last week DSP published the german translation of Making Promises. It’s the second book of the series Keeping Promise Rock. What part of the novel was the most fun to write and why? What made you struggle the most? 

I loved writing all of this book—but I think the hardest part was making the timelines fit. Some of Making Promises and Keeping Promise Rock were concurrent, and I had to make sure the overlapping parts matched.

Who surprised you the most when you were writing this book, which character had you saying “okay wow! That was unexpected?”

Mikhail—I did not expect to love him nearly as much as I did.  He was snarky and sarcastic and he had such a guarded heart, but once he let Shane in, he was all in. I loved him so much.

Who was the most difficult character to write in this series? And why?

Mikhail—because he was so hurt, and he was going to hurt Shane no matter how I wrote it. I loved that character but he did not make it easy on me.

If you had to pick a theme song for this novel, what would it be?

I think I picked a lot of them. Every chapter title was a song title, if I remember aright.

If there was one thing you’d like your readers to take away with them from this book, what do you hope it is?

You don’t have to shoot bad guys to be a hero. Sometimes being a hero is being the right person for the person you love.

When you began this series did you have a clear vision of how it would begin and end?

No—but by the time I was done with the first book, I did. The last book was exactly as I imagined it.

Can you give your readers any insight as to what we have to look forward to in the rest of the series?

Well, book three is Living Promises, and that’s Jeff and Collin’s book, and book four is Forever Promised, which is sort of a wrap up of all three couples, as well as Andrew and Benny, who give Deacon and Crick a very special gift.

Last but not least: What book will be published next, and what are you working on right now?

Next out from me is a story called Winter Ball, which I love very much, and I’m working on a category romance right now from Dreamspinner Press, called Tamale Boy and the Spoiled Brat.

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