Today I am so pleased to welcome Amy Lane to Joyfully Jay. Amy has come as part of the Coastal Magic Convention Blog Tour and to share a bit about her upcoming release, Regret Me Not. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
I have to admit—after traveling for book cons over the last seven years, I’ve developed sort of a love/hate thing with hopping on the plane.
Love—Learning about a new place!
Hate—Having to pee on the plane!
Love—having someplace to wear my nice clothes, put on makeup, and pretend to be a grownup.
Hate—Having to keep track of my nice clothes, buy makeup, and wear shoes that aren’t tennis-shoes or Tevas.
Love—Seeing someplace that isn’t my shitty little California suburb.
Hate—Sleeping someplace my husband isn’t.
Love—Seeing all the people! Talking! Hearing new stories! Noise! Excitement! Activity!
Hate—Not enough quiet in my own head per day!
I could go on—but you get the point.
That being said, I go to Florida a lot. For one thing, my publisher is based in Florida, so there is an annual retreat in Orlando that I go to once a year. But, also, for five of the last six years, there has been Coastal Magic.
Now Florida is sort of odd for me—my area of California has its share of rednecks, so that’s very familiar, but California has no alligators, so that is particularly bothersome. But new people (or old people), unfamiliar flora and fauna—those are all part and parcel of traveling.
What kills me about Florida is that the ocean is on the wrong side of the earth and the sun.
You heard me. And yes. I know it sounds odd.
It reminds me of when I was a little kid, locked in a giant Buick Le Sabre with my family and my grandmother on a trip from Loomis to Los Angeles. This is a trip that runs about eight hours when you have to stop for the bathroom, and given that my stepbrother and stepsister got along like rabid Chihuahuas tied in the same sack, the trip was an absolute surreal masterpiece of sibling aggression and parental oppression. (I remember my stepmother smacking my dad repeatedly on the arm for skipping the last bathroom for a thousand miles, because the kids wouldn’t stop whining to use the bathroom. Ah, childhood.)
Anyway, in the middle of this absolute bananashit vehicular family mosh pit, my grandmother looks out over the cliffs of California’s Highway 1 and says, “The ocean’s on the wrong side of the car.”
We thought that was hysterical. It actually united the family in scorn, because it was so out of left field. What in the hell did that mean? The ocean’s on the wrong side of the car?
It wasn’t until much later that the remorseful lot of us put things together.
Grandma was from the East Coast, and she’d had my father late in life. She was in her late seventies when we took this little trip through the cauldron of hell to Disneyland, and she was unused to all of the noise and potential violence that was three kids locked in a Buick Le Sabre with their long-suffering parents.
She woke up from dozing in the cramped, chaotic car, looked outside and saw the ocean—but it wasn’t where she remembered the ocean was supposed to be.
We were heading south and it was on the wrong side of the car.
Orienting yourself in a new place is a lot like that. You think you have your place all set out in your mind, and you think you’re oriented to the specifics of where you are, and all of a sudden…
Something you took on faith isn’t where it’s supposed to be.
The ocean is on the wrong side of the car.
So back to Florida, Daytona Beach, and Coastal Magic…
I love them all.
The Coastal Magic con is full of old friends and some established traditions, with a nice mix of new people I don’t get to see all the time. I’ve been to Florida often enough now that it’s starting to feel familiar—I set parts of <em>Black John </em>in Daytona, Left on St. Truth-be-Well off Highway 302, and my newest Christmas novella, Regret Me Not is set in condos in West Bradenton.
And if I ever feel like it’s too familiar, all I have to do is set foot on the beach. As I may have said, the ocean is on the wrong side of the sun.
But instead of a cramped Buick full of hostile relatives, I have a spacious hotel full of lovely people to talk to who usually like me and think I’m not annoying. (I hope.)
I love this convention in the same way I’m starting to love Florida—it’s new enough to be exciting, and familiar enough to give me comfort. It’s got people and happy conversation talking about my favorite thing—books!—but it’s not as big as some of the bigger cons, so I feel safe. In short, with the exception of missing the family—and having to pee in the airplane bathroom—Coastal Magic is most of my loves about traveling as an author with way fewer than my hates.
I can’t wait to go this year!
* In the spirit of Coastal Magic–which was originally for paranormal romance, I’m posting my cover for my newest paranormal release, Familiar Angel. Enjoy!
One hundred and forty years ago, Harry, Edward, and Francis met an angel, a demon, and a sorceress while escaping imprisonment and worse! They emerged with a new family—and shapeshifting powers beyond their wildest dreams.
Now Harry and his brothers use their sorcery to rescue those enslaved in human trafficking—but Harry’s not doing so well. Pining for Suriel the angel has driven him to take more and more risks until his family desperately asks Suriel for an intervention.
In order for Suriel to escape the bindings of heaven, he needs to be sure enough of his love to fight to be with Harry. Back when they first met, Harry was feral and angry, and he didn’t know enough about love for Suriel to justify that risk. Can Suriel trust in Harry enough now to break his bonds of service for the boy who has loved his Familiar Angel for nearly a century and a half?
Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused 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 gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.