One of my favorite authors at the moment is Amy Lane. Lane has four children, two cats, a love starved Chi-who-what, a crumbling mortgage and an indulgent spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance--and if you give her enough diet coke and chocolate, she'll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together, which I'd love the chance of hearing. She'll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
Currently, I have read five of her books and working on a sixth. The first book I read, recommended by a dear friend, was Country Mouse followed quickly by its sequel, City Mouse. In these books, and all American boy is traveling in London when he meets a self absorbed British man and sparks fly. My friend and I can't decide if we like the clever banter between the characters or the exceptionally hot sex more. When you read Amy Lane you become hooked, so on the recommendation of the same friend, I read Clear Water. Clear Water is about a thirty-six year old college professor/biologist and his romance with a twenty-two year old guy with ADHD. I happen to be thirty-six and the friend who recommended it is a twenty-two year old guy with ADHD. Other than the sex (and that my friend has a wonderful boyfriend), the relationship was similar in many ways, and really resonated with me. Next I read Locker Room, a novel about two basketball players who fall in love with each other. I loved the book but I don't know if I will ever be ok with the ending. The most recent book I finished was Keeping Promise Rock (which is the inspiration for the picture above since the two main characters meet on a horse ranch). Currently, I'm reading Keeping Promises, the second book in the Promises series.
I had planned to write a review of Keeping Promise Rock, but I will just say that you really should read it. Instead, I decided I wanted to talk about Amy Lane as an author. When Amy Lane first started writing her author bio said she was an English teacher. As a fellow teacher, this just endears me to her more, she seems to no longer be teaching and is instead focussing on her writing (and knitting). I think that one of the most wonderful things about Lane is that her characters really touch your heart.
My friend calls her Amy "Rip Your Heart Out" Lane, because of the emotional roller coaster that is her books. She makes her characters so real. I always see parts of myself in many of her characters or see my friends in others. You cannot help but care about the characters, and the thing is, their situations are so plausible. Sometimes you read a book and the characters are just too perfect or there situations are too perfect.
Some writers write their ideal, but Lane seems to write real people. I'm not sure I have ever read a reaction a character had to a situation and said, "No one would ever do that." The reason is that you can see that the character would react just that way. Yes, there is a lot of pain and anguish at times. Lane's characters go through many difficult situations but you get to see real human struggles.
Lane also seems to write from the heart. The bio for Clear Water states that her own son has ADHD. She describes so well in that book Patrick's ADHD. It's apparent that by some of the reactions that other characters have ADHD as well. I will always believe that Carrick from the Promises series has ADHD. It's never explicitly said, but I would suspect that Lane's son had not yet been diagnosed with ADHD when she wrote the Promises series, which is why I believe it was not specifically mentioned. This is just one more example of the realness of Lane's characters.
I also love that Lane seems to have a hard time letting go of the characters. Some books, you'd think would end at a certain point, and many others authors would, but not Lane. She takes the characters to a conclusion. She ties up the loose ends and though she leaves you wanting more, you seem to be able to tell that Lane wants more too. I definitely want more of Amy Lane.