Connect with Amy Lane on Twitter @amylane or visit her website: http://www.greenshill.com/.
Q&A with Author Amy Lane:
- If you could swap places with one of your fictional characters for 24 hours, who would you choose to be? Why? And what would you do that day?
I would be Deacon from Keeping Promise Rock, I think, for a lot of reasons. First off, he’s the strong silent type, and I am NOT silent, and not particularly strong, so that would be a switch up. Secondly, everybody is telling him to eat! And cooking for him. Oh my God—that would be a dream too! And third? Mostly, it’s the horses. I admire the hell out of horses, and I love watching people ride, but I am a total horse coward. When I was a kid I kept trying to be near them—I got (at various times) stitches under my arm from a bite, a concussion from a loose saddle, and three broken bones, a broken nose, and facial lacerations from a spill I could have avoided if I’d had a lick of sense. That last one sort of killed it for me. I’ve ridden since, and my parents and best friend both have horses, but I figure it’s better a long distance love affair. So Deacon is my chance to be a superstar on a horse. I’d probably ride them for the whole twenty-four hours, and Deacon wouldn’t begrudge me one bit.
- Please tell us what inspired you to begin writing Young Adult?
I taught high school for almost twenty years, for one, and I met my own husband in my second year of college for another—we’ve been together for twenty-five years. I have a real sense of romantic possibilities at that age. I never doubted that any of my high school students could find their soul mate in their senior year of high school—I know that they didn’t always, but the hope and the self-discovery of that age is exciting. When students read romance novels in my classes, I know that they were trying to find a model for who they wanted to be when they grew up. They learned honor and hope and family (especially in my school, where family wasn’t always a blessing) and when I wrote romance novels, that was what I was trying to give to my readers.
- Can you tell readers a little bit about the bond between Chris and Xander in The Locker Room?
The way kids bond over sports is enchanting. It’s almost a magical human thing. And teaching where I did (right across the freeway from the Kings arena, actually) I got to see how young and vulnerable even the most jaded students would become when they ran into a basketball player in their everyday lives. Those players were gods to them—and Chris Webber, Doug Christie, Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakowicz—they never let us down in terms of being kind to their fans. They would take pictures with kids anytime, anywhere—when they went grocery shopping, when they were in the parking lot. And I know that a lot of kids like Xander, who had nothing on top of nothing, drew a lot of hope from that. I remember a young man who was dating the prom queen. He was an awesome young man—but his family situation was not great, and she loved him anyway. There was an event for the students to go see a Kings game at only ten dollars per ticket. I said, “Why aren’t you taking your girl?” And he didn’t have the money. I bought his tickets—and that was a magical thing for them. That was a chance for them to go and be a part of a big community of people who all loved the same thing. I wanted to recreate that moment. I wanted to give the Xanders of the world a chance to shine.
- Do you have any upcoming YA’s that you want to tell us about?
I’ve actually had an idea for one for a long time—and I may get a chance to write that, and I’m excited. What I wouldn’t mind telling you about now is an old set of stories I wrote when I was self-publishing. I actually wrote them for my older children (who were in high school at the time) and although the editing isn’t great, they are part of the epic fantasy tradition, and I’m really proud of them. They are truly YA—their protagonist starts out at fourteen years old, and the first book spans about twelve years of his life and the second book looks back upon a very crucial year. He is bisexual, and although that is certainly not his defining trait, the connections that his different lovers bring him turn out to be the defining difference between success or failure in what turns out to be a very important endeavor. The books are called Bitter Moon I: Triane’s Son Ascending and Bitter Moon II: Triane’s Son Reigning—and they are two of my lesser-known works. But young LGBTQ adults who have enjoyed the works of J.R.R.Tolkien, G.R.R. Martin, or Lloyd Alexander may really enjoy them.
- What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?
Well, like I said, when kids were reading romance in my classroom, they were reading it to see how it worked in the adult world. “Who do I want to be when I grow up?” I want them to see that making moral choices isn’t always easy—but it’s always worth it. I want them to see that treating people well reaps the benefits of being treated well in return. I want them to see that kindness is sexy, and that nice guys very often finish first—they just don’t brag about it. In Bitter Moon, the three gods are Compassion, Honor, and Joy—I want them to see that these things are tremendously important in being happy human beings.
Now Available from Amy Lane:
From the moment Yarri Moon was born, Torrant heard the bells of joy whenever she was near. But the world can be a cruel place, even for the moon destined, and when an evil born of ignorance destroys their families and their home in the heart of Clough, Torrant and Yarri learn first hand how ugly prejudice against the Goddess moon can be.
After a terrible journey, they find shelter with Yarri's family in Eiran, a land of easy tolerances and joy. However, as Torrant grows, so does his anger at the forces that destroyed their peace, their home, and their family back in Clough.
Torrant is a healer and a poet, and he has the magic gift of truth. As he waits for Yarri to come of age, he sees, first hand, how the same beliefs that destroyed their home are poisoning the lands around him, and corrupting the hearts of the people within.
Ultimately, Torrant is faced with a choice: He can claim Yarri and they can live the love that has been promised them since the beginning, or he can take his one, most terrifying and secret gift into the land of Clough and remove, in one dreadful strike, the evil that has cost him and his beloved so very much.
But choosing vengeance over love exacts its own terrible price, and Torrant may find that the part of him that was destined to be loved by Yarri is the part that's annihilated in his quest to make her safe.
Bitter Moon II finds Torrant riding into Clough with his best friend (and one-time lover), Aylan, at his side. Torrant plans to assume the identity of Yarri's older brother, Ellyot Moon and take over Ellyot's position as a regent of Clough. He hopes to overthrow Rath bloodlessly, through the political arena, and therefore to kill all of Rath's genocidal policies as well. What he doesn't count on is the backlash of Rath's guardsmen on the Goddess people of Clough, and Torrant realizes he must assume more than one identity as he argues for human rights in the day and protects the Goddess folk's very right to exist by night. Aylan, who failed once to do what Torrant is doing now, finds himself engaged in a full time struggle to save Torrant as Torrant tries to save the world.
After a spectacular and heart-ripping failure, the perilous situation in Clough is even further complicated when Yarri realizes the full extent of Torrant's danger. Never one to sit back and let events unfold without her, Yarri ventures into Clough, supported by the friends and family Torrant left behind to protect. Together with her cousins they venture into the heart of enemy territory to protect the family member they call 'the heart of their Joy'.
Filled with adventure, danger, love and heartbreak, Bitter Moon II: Triane's Son Reigning takes us on a journey with Torrant Shadow who learns the complexities of love and the evils of power firsthand, as well as the hardest truth of all: One man alone can't save the world, and love is only salvation when it comes with blood and sacrifice.