In the ongoing countdown to Coastal Magic Convention in February, our very own Lynn interviews Amy Lane. Take it away, Lynn!
Lynn: Amy, when did you first start writing?
Amy: I was five and in the house alone. I ranged my stuffed animals around me in a semi-circle and set about telling them the story of two princesses. They were not impressed, but I was hooked.
Lynn: Where do you find the inspirations for your stories?
Amy: Frickin’ everything. I have yet to write a story about the model-hot guy who stopped to help me with my wipers in the rain two years ago, but that’s only because he keeps getting superseded by every-frickin-body-else.
Lynn: Is there any topic you won’t write about, no matter what? Is there a topic you want to write about, but haven’t yet?
Amy: There are a couple that I seem to be avoiding — and some that I did a few years ago that I haven’t revisited. And as for what I want to write about? Everything. Still. It’s everything.
Lynn: Who is you favorite “go to” author that you must read?
Amy: Mary Calmes, Kim Harrison, Rhys Ford, Kaje Harper, Tere Michaels, Guy Gavriel Kay, Rob Thurman… well, my “must read” list is now so long I don’t have time to read them!
Lynn: You’re going on a long road trip. Which two characters from any of your stories would you choose to take along for the ride and why?
Amy: Probably Bracken and Green from The Little Goddess — they’re both pretty, Bracken is muscle, Green is good at the first aid, they are endlessly entertaining, and they’re both great in bed!
Lynn: Is there any one book out there in the literary world that you wish you could’ve written? Why?
Amy: Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. Complex and haunting. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Simple, poetic, and haunting. Pride and Prejudice. Buckets of awesome.
Lynn: Your new release, The Bells of Times Square, is such a beautiful story. At the end, in the Author Notes, you give the readers a little insight on the inspiration for the story. For those who haven’t read the story yet, can you talk a little bit more about what inspired you to write this particular story?
Amy: My grandparents on my mother’s side were both spies in WWII. They both worked for the OSS– in fact, my thing with naming people nicknames comes from them. While everybody was assigned an alternate name, so, for instance, my grandpa Ken was known as Phillip, my grandmother’s name was so unusual, (Olga, which is a Russian name on an Italian woman, because, as she claimed, her parents were both immigrants and thought Olga was an American name) that she got to keep hers. Nobody in her office thought that was really her name. But back to The Bells of Times Square, my grandfather was an aerial photographer in the war. Neither of my grandparents were allowed to talk much about their work when they were alive– much of it became declassified after my grandfather’s death and months before my grandmother passed away– so I had to do some research things like what squadron my grandfather might have flown in, what kind of plane he used, and why they would need an actual man with a camera instead of the surveillance equipment developed by the British at such cost. (They had problems with the cooling systems in the Spitfires. Test pilots were freezing to death and falling out of the sky. Grim and terrible, the sacrifices made for the war.) And although neither of my grandparents were Jewish, I paid tribute to them in the origin of the two characters as well. Nate Meyer was from Manhattan– but my grandmother was raised in Queens. My grandfather was a farmer’s son from Idaho, like Walter. The war was one of those rare instances in which people from all walks of life really did come together, and I wanted to pay tribute to that as well.
Lynn: Lastly, you’ll be in Florida in February for The Coastal Magic Convention. Tell us why this convention keeps you coming back? What are your favorite memories of this particular convention?
Amy: Well, the people of course.
Seriously– You, Jennifer, Doloriane, Amy diMartino– you were some of my very first fans, back when the Little Goddess series was all I’d written. Having readers with that kind of faith backing me makes me really proud to come to Florida and sit with other authors that you love. There is something sweet and intimate about this convention– I’ve made some great friends there. Gini Koch — who writes science fiction– and I bonded last year, and I can’t imagine not knowing her now!