Author Amy Lane on what makes Green’s Hill so special #Quickening #LittleGoddess #UrbanFantasy
If you’re a fan of urban fantasy and you haven’t read Amy Lane’s Little Goddess series, you MUST check it out. The series has a lot of similarities to Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series, but without the retina-burning horror elements and the out-of-control menage. Little Goddess is what Merry Gentry could have been. Don’t let that fool you into thinking this series is “safe”. Vulnerable (the first book in the series) will break your heart, and each new book after it will shock you in ways you can’t predict. But that’s what makes this series dynamite. Author Amy Lane is here today with some personal perspective into what makes Green’s Hill (the series’ home base) so very addicting.
Welcome, Amy Lane!
Why Green’s Hill
I’ve heard it from a lot of people over the years—they wish there was a place like Green’s hill. I mean it’s not perfect—privacy is an illusion, monogamy has all sorts of drawbacks and somebody is literally trying to kill you at every turn.
But the pros are also easy to spot: beautiful people, sexual freedom, guaranteed job security doing whatever you like that helps the collective, and let’s not forget immortality or at least a generously increased lifespan.
Who wouldn’t want to live there?
But people who stop at eternal sex and excellent job training are missing the point.
Mental health problems and drug addictions are sort of my milieu. Not mine personally—in fact, a lot of people I hang out with would be hard pressed to remember seeing me drink more than a glass of wine or a single mojito, and there’s a reason for that. But I’ve seen up close the damage done to lives and promising futures and families when self-medicating one problem with another gets wildly out of hand.
When I was teaching, there were a lot of times I saw the signs of kids who were about ready to fall through those same cracks. There wasn’t much I could do for them—helping them pass English, telling them they had a future, helping them find someone to talk to—in the end, I spent less than 4 ½ hours a week with a kid, and much of that was in the company of 35 other people. (California public schools, where class size is no joke.)
And I had a fondness for kids that nobody else seemed to see. The natural smartass—that was my kid. I didn’t care much if they were always on time—what I liked was a kid who knew how to be late. If a kid got to school late every day, entered the room, sat down, and started the warmup so silently that I didn’t see her, seriously? Why get mad? My personal rule of thumb was that if it didn’t disrupt the learning, I didn’t give a rat’s ass, and the kids who bought into that idea were the kids I showed up for every damned day.
So one day, I was driving to work, and got stuck behind a giant hulking land yacht, rumbling at the U-turn where most of the late-ish teachers were idling. As I was staring into space, pondering the latest urban fantasy novel I’d read, I saw a hand with a cigarette hanging out of the window—the sort of bored smoking that a veteran nicotine addict indulges in.
Then I recognized that kid.
I loved that kid.
She was one of my favorites—she’d already submitted to nursing school, and while she wasn’t top of her class, she was definitely going somewhere.
But the nicotine addiction made me so sad.
Because she wasn’t even eighteen, and that was a thing that would follow her through her entire life. I wanted a do over for her—a chance to re-negotiate that part of her life, to come out with the promising future she’d earned and the zero addictions she deserved.
And then (because seriously, this was a frickin’ long light) I thought about fantasy stories. Why did they only serve the introvert, the super smart kid, the exiled nerd? That always seemed sort of self-aggrandizing to me. I mean, yeah, I was that kid, but I didn’t see any of my favorite kids in my books. The disenfranchised. The ones who didn’t test well, or whose hostility got in the way of their brains sometimes. Remember—this was 2000/2001. There was an entire market of YA books of kids who got addicted to meth and then raped by their dealers (no, I’m not kidding!) but there wasn’t much hope in the way of redemption for those kids.
And not only that, but those books… they always made sex seem like such an awful thing. If you have sex, you’ll break up and you won’t be a virgin for your next boyfriend and that’s BAD! Don’t have sex or do drugs because you’ll become perfectly irredeemable as a person and nobody will ever want you again EVER. OH MY GOD, EVERY MISTAKE YOU MAKE WILL BE HELD AGAINST YOU AND YOU WILL BE JUDGED FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!
That’s not the way life works!
Or it shouldn’t be.
One kid doing X at a party shouldn’t get him put in jail for years. One kid who gets high and laid shouldn’t be given up on—ever. And once the addiction started, what then? What happened to that kid whose self-destructive spiral just can’t seem to end?
Because we all know where it does end, don’t we? We’ve seen the commercials and read the literature often enough.
I didn’t make a conscious decision to write Green’s hill that day—but I was writing. When I wrote Cory and Adrian—and then added Green to the mix, I needed Green and Adrian to have a bigger purpose than themselves. They needed to be doing something important, otherwise if Cory ended up with them, she was just trading in one small town dream for another.
And then I realized what job Adrian would be perfect for. What purpose Green’s skill at sex and healing seemed to lend itself to.
[quote]If your number one tenet is no shame, and your creed is sensual and consensual, you are the perfect beings to help unfuck the young and the lost, the addicted and the despondent[/quote]
These two characters—they were agents of redemption. If your number one tenet is no shame, and your creed is sensual and consensual, you are the perfect beings to help unfuck the young and the lost, the addicted and the despondent, those who have been told that their mistakes have rendered them worthless, when the human being who made those mistakes is, in fact, shining and pure and good.
This idea of the found family has become the cornerstone of my writing since then. The theme of forgiveness and empathy being stronger than hatred and shame has crystalized as one of my most dearly held beliefs.
And when I write about Green and Cory, Bracken and Nicky, and dear, darling, beloved Adrian, I am drawn again to the magic of Green’s hill, and reminded that the true magic—forgiveness and unconditional love—are the most human of enchantments.
New to the Little Goddess series?
Start with Vulnerable. This is a series you definitely need to read in order! Grab your copy on Amazon below*:
Quickening by Amy Lane
on May 2nd 2017
Add it to your To Read shelf: Goodreads
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Little Goddess: Book Five, Volume One
Cory thought she’d found balance on Green's Hill—sorceress, student, queen of the vampires, wife to three men—she had it down! But establishing her right to risk herself with Green and Bracken had more than one consequence, and now she’s facing the world's scariest job title: mother.
But getting the news that she’s knocked up takes a back seat when a half-elf hunts them down for help. Her arrival brings news that the werewolf threat, which has been haunting them for over a year, has finally arrived on their doorstep—and it’s bigger and more frightening than they’d ever imagined.
Cory throws herself into this new battle with everything she’s got—and her men let her do it. Because they all know that whether they defeat this enemy now or later, the thing she's most afraid of is arriving on a set schedule, and not even Cory can avoid it. The trick is getting her to acknowledge she's pregnant before she gives birth—or kills herself in denial.
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