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Thursday, August 7, 2014

RARM post-- The Bravery of Falling in Love

The Bravery of Falling in Love

Whee!  I’m so excited to be doing a post for the Read a Romance Month event.  I'd seriously like to thank Lucy Monroe for asking me aboard--she'd contacted me to say hello and to let me know she liked the work, but recommending me to participate in this was really amazing of her.  

I'm very honored to be involved with such a superlative group of writers as a secondary author-- I literally "squeeeeee!!"d when I got the e-vite, so this is a big furry deal for me.

And the topic—“Celebrate Romance”—is truly one of my favorite things to talk about ever.

But the questions… uhm…

Well, when you get to them, you’ll see.  Numbers two and three were pretty easy—I could do that. 
(This is Amy, on a plane alone, which is about the extent
of her daring-do!)

But number one? 

“Describe the most daring, adventurous, or inspiring thing you ever did.”

Hahahahahahahahaha!!!

Okay—people who know me know I’m not exactly a “running into a burning buildings” kind of person.  No, no, I’m very aware that when it comes to physical heroics I have a very thin grasp of space and time, and it’s best to let the experts handle things like delivering children or saving people in mortal peril.  A beloved friend recently called me a “were-Tardis”—which I’m pretty sure means that one minute I look like a perfectly ordinary human and the next minute I’m someplace I’m not supposed to be, knocking things over with my prodigious… uhm… base.

So, uhm, I could write the essay about celebrating romance and everything, but how am I supposed to answer that darned question?

(This is Mackey, who is brave enough to stand up
 in front of thousands, but
has a tough time talking about hisown heart.)
Well, when have I felt bravest in my life?

I seem to remember feeling brave when I tried out for multiple sports in the eighth grade.  I mean, I sucked at all of them, and the other girls made fun of me unmercifully, but, you know, I tried.  But that’s not particularly courageous, is it?

I felt brave when I passed my test for my driver’s license!  I mean, it was the fourth try and everything (see that whole space/time continuum problem I mentioned earlier).  And I kept trying for that, right?

Oh—I know!  I felt brave when I stood up in front of a classroom for the first time.  I’ve always had sort of a sweet, round face and a Minnie Mouse voice, and standing up in front of those kids?  It was terrifying.  I was horrible.  After the first month, the little darlings staged a riot to get rid of me. I felt really brave when I went back and stood up in front of them again.  I gained some presence, I learned from my mistakes, I went back the next semester to teach seniors, some of whom were nineteen years old to my twenty-three.  I improved. I gained confidence. I got my credential. 

So that was sort of brave. 

(This is Deacon whose luck is so bad
he's brave just for getting out of bed.)
My first book was self-published for kicks—that didn’t feel brave at all, in spite of the sort of risqué content, and I was frankly surprised when complete strangers read it.  And really destroyed when they ripped it apart for the editing.  So, you know, I edited the second one better.  And the third.  And the fourth.  And by the time I got picked up by a publisher, I was, well, at least unembarrassing in terms of self-editing.  I understood that editing made a story clearer, and I should be open to input.  For the most part, I don’t make my editing staff gnash their teeth upon seeing a submission, so that’s something. 

And when I lost my teaching job (my second teaching job, but the first one is a whole other story) well, I didn’t go back into teaching, but I did manage to haul myself up by my bootstraps and go into writing, and that was sort of brave.  So was learning to speak in front of grownups as opposed to high-school students during conventions. So, I guess I’ve done a few brave things.

In fact, looking at that first question that I was supposed to address later, it seems like the core of my few acts of bravery sits at the core of what I believe there is to celebrate about romance. 

See, the thing I love the most about romance is that the entire idea of two people meeting, falling in love, finding the best of each other, planning a future—even one in the afterlife—contains the most incredible hope.

Life isn’t easy.  We are knocked down on our asses time and time again.  We try, we fail, we get hurt, we fail, and somehow, we get up and do it all over, sometimes twice, sometimes thrice, sometimes a hundred times over.  Sometimes standing up and getting back on the horse, or on the soccer field, or in the car, or in front of the classroom, or in the work force, or face-to-face intimate with a lover when we have only been hurt before—that is the bravest thing we can ever possibly do in our entire lives.

And people do it.  They do it every day.  They hold another person’s hand and hope that their faith is well placed.  They reveal themselves one layer at a time to someone who may or may not be exposing their true selves as well, and they hope their hearts are in good hands.
My God, that’s incredibly brave.

(And this is Dex and Kane,
who are brave for thinking of a different
tomorrow)
I don’t know how we do it. 

I had enough trouble just teaching, learning to drive, being a parent, learning to love, being part of the human race. 

So that’s what we celebrate when we celebrate romance.  We celebrate small acts of personal heroism that make the world turn with hope.

A romance book is like a heroes party for those who dare to love.

***







2014 Questions:
1 - Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did. 

Heh heh—I think I covered that.

2 - Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide
to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)  I actually sort of covered that as well—but I should add that I’ve been telling stories since I was a kid.  I told them to my stuffed animals, to my friends, and, as a teacher, I told them to my students.  I told the kids about my weekend or my own children, and then I turned around and showed those same students how the masters told their stories.  I have old manuscripts meant for Harlequin that were written over twenty years ago, that I never submitted—but writing something with romantic content just never stopped happening.

Writing was who I was—getting published was just sort of celebrating that.

3 - Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)

I think the book that changed my life the most was The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley.  It taught me that A. The heroine could have red hair, B. She could fight the dragon alone, C. She could fall off the horse and get back on, and D. She was allowed to have a complex, dreaming heart.  I owe a lot of whatever bravery I have to that book—thanks Robin!

Drawing – Since this post has the opportunity to be seen by a lot of people who might not have ever heard of me, I think I’ll offer one of my previously released titles from my backlist to two different lucky commenters.  You can find my backlists here at Dreamspinner Press and Riptide Press.  (Note—I have two upcoming releases on those websites—those are not included in the contest.)  I’ll announce the winners on my August 11th blog post at www.writerslane.blogspot.com

Recommendations – Oooh… this is the fun part.  I love recommending authors to people!  In the M/M subgenre, you can’t get better than Mary Calmes, Rhys Ford, Kaje Harper, Jordan L. Hawk, K.J. Charles, and Andrew Grey.




Bio –
About Amy Lane: A squirrel-brained mother of four, Amy Lane enjoys knitting, reading, music, movies, and the company of her beloved Mate. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion in a colorless Nor Cal suburb, with her family, cats, and an emotionally stunted Chi-who-what. She doesn't keep house, manage money, or organize anything important, but she can knit a sweater while reading a book in front of the television. If you ask her a question, be prepared to pull up a chair--and duck! You never know what's coming out of her mouth. She writes to silence the voices in her head.

Twitter handle: @amymaclane
And don’t forget to join my Facebook Group, Amy Lane Anonymous!




7 comments:

Carolyne Kleinman said...

When you least expect it, something happens and the Hero comes out in all of us. It just doesn't hang around for the biography later. Moms are heroes. Teachers are heroes. Folks that spins their dreams into reality are the bravest heroes of them all...because they went THERE. :)

Jen said...

Thank you for a wonderful post! You are definitely a hero in my book for following your heart and for giving us all those beautiful characters and stories.

Bronwyn said...

Can i say thank you for the simplest of showing that being brave doesnt have to be something dramatic and internationally reconised but something simple, personal, because there are time i forget that just walking up to someone and asking for help can be an act of bravery for me.

Thank you for this, sometimes its the nicest thing in the world to know that what your doing is an acomplisment even if for others its just normal.

Antonia said...

Loved your post! Thank you!

wendy stone said...

I love reading your posts and blogs. I think you're brave every day!

Jen CW said...

Thank you for the great post! Sometimes being a hero comes naturally and sometimes it's necessary. Bravery can be found in many small things that are so easily overlooked.

Laura said...

Love this. I really just discovered the m/m genre this year and am in love. You are in my top handful of authors, so I really appreciate your recommendations for others to read as well!