So who better to return to our 2013 GRL Authors I Have Read series than with one of the heavy hitters of the genre? Today, I have a few words about Amy Lane.
Amy's one of those really problematic authors for me as a weirdo...I mean reader! Reader. See, I have this odd pathology. If there's a book/movie/song everyone's talking about and everyone's raving about, I tend to cross over to the other side of the street. It isn't so much that I want to go against the trend just to be contrary. It's more that I've learned over the years that popular things are not for me. Titanic? Blech. Fifty Shades of Whatever? Ick. Breaking Bad? Meh. Sorry. I'm just wired strangely.
So - I wouldn't read Amy Lane. Refused to. The more people talked about her, the more I shied away. Silly? Yeah. Shut up. Then I read a lovely review on the blog "A Bear On Books." Now, I know Tom, trust his judgment, and quite frankly love his reviews since he writes them from the heart. And what was it that caught my eye? The much lauded Promise Rock? The wolves? The SF book that got so much attention?
No. It was a quirky little cover without headless naked torsos or hot manga style men. There was an alpaca in knitwear and a marvelously funny title, The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-bearing Critters. She had me at alpaca, but the oddball characters clinched it for me. The painfully antisocial, gruff Rance. The we're-not-acknowledging-our-attraction-to-each-other banter of Aiden and Jeremy. The absurdly optimistic vulnerable mess that is Ben. The writing was, at times, jumpy and higgledy, which suited the characters and the story. It suited me. It soothed me. It made me smile. (I don't knit. Never had enough practice. But I come from a family of knitters and crocheters. I may not be able to get my fingers to do it right, but I know, on a bone deep level, what it feels like.)
By the time I got to GRL last year, that was the only Amy Lane I had read, but the story had settled in my heart and affected me profoundly. When I did meet Amy - well into my third margarita of the night, I believe at the piano bar party - I hugged her and sobbed. She must have thought me a great ninny or a terrible lush or perhaps both. She was awfully kind about it, though, and patient.
Since then, I have read all of the current Knitter books - and have loved them all, especially the Honest Rabbit one, such a lovely, poignant portrait of a soul trying desperately not to come apart every moment of every day. I have read a couple of others, Dex In Blue and so on, but none that burrowed in as deeply as these knitters. I do adore them.
I won't promise not to drink this year, but I will be keeping a better eye on the consumption for reasons of health and perhaps dignity. Right. It's the little things. So perhaps if I run into Amy again this year, I can manage an actual conversation instead of dissolving into fangirl blubbering. Yeah, I know. We'll see.