Okay, so this is the "code" or "color" I made my name with.
I didn't mean to, really.
The first thing I wrote for Dreamspinner Press was the beginning of Gambling Men. That's not on this list. The second thing was a short story called Shirt. Also, not on this list.
The third thing? If I Must.
And all of those covers are going on my next entry about the new logo and the marketing code, the one titled yellow.
They're quirky and fun and a little happy.
The fourth exclusively M/M gay romance that I wrote was Keeping Promise Rock.
And THAT is on this list.
In fact, that is what made my name, "The Queen of Angst."
In fact, my tagline? Was the result of signing a thousand vellum sheets for Keeping Promise Rock. I used to sign The Little Goddess series, "Blood like Rain… Amy Lane," from a line from Vulnerable. I got a little loopy on my sixteenth vellum and signed it "Angst and Pain, Amy Lane", and BOOM. My identity was born.
And I have enjoyed living up to that reputation.
If you look at this list of stories, I'm damned proud of them all. They are sad and complex and happy and joyful and painful and the whole spectrum of human behavior and emotions-- and that's not easy to write, but it is gratifying. I love writing contemporary romances this way.
But it's not the only way I can write.
My next entry in this series is going to be about Sunny, Bright, Happy, Lemony, YELLOW!
But this one…
I've got a dark side.
And although a lot of my readers haven't cried at EVERY title here-- most of them have cried over at least one. And there is something in me that is happy writing all of this sadness. I think it's because most of the time, there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and a moment at the end when all of the pain is worth it.
Sometimes, it's a small pot, and sometimes, you have to wash the crap off the diamond to see it shine--but for me, there's always a diamond at the end.
So that's what Angsty Orange is for me. It's not JUST sadness--- but it IS a hard road through the complexity of life. It's a hard won ending. And the conflicts are usually big ones-- some of this is the shit part of surviving life's curve balls.
But there's usually survival, and it's hopefully glorious, and let's hear it for human triumph.
But here's the thing-- and it's a hard thing to get across to people. Not every sad story is your sad story. For some people, Black John was a horrible tear fest. But not for everyone. Some people could identify with the recovering addicts, with the pulling your shit together in your thirties after some horrifying personal failures. Some people wanted to see that brilliant first passion of the younger guys. For some people, realizing that Jared in Behind the Curtain was really all on his own just destroyed them.
For some people, it was no big deal.
And so on.
If I'm putting myself in the shoes of every kind of character, I need to feel for that character-- but it's got to be something that resonates for me. But not for everyone.
So, while some folks tend to measure my angstiness in terms of chocolate, wine, and kittens, it doesn't that work for everybody.
Some people think I'm not that sad at all.
And that's fine. But for the people who read the words and find their hearts bleeding on the page, these books are for you-- because there's a sweetness in that pain, a catharsis, and hopefully a happiness that follows.
And for folks who hate that feeling?
Well, that's what Code Yellow is for. And we'll talk about that later.