There are some women who can’t help but inspire you. They make you want to be better. Live better, think better. They support and encourage you in such a way that you feel empowered - but never restricted to do things this way or that way or whatever way you’re ‘supposed’ to.
For me, one of these women is Amy Andrews. Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Australian author who has written over sixty contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. She has written for Harlequin Mills & Boon, Entangled, Harper Collins, Momentum, Tule and Escape. She's sold over 2 million books and been translated into thirteen different languages including manga.
And just quietly, she’s one fucking awesome bird.
Amy was one of the first writers I met when I started writing romance. We struck up a friendship based purely on her determination to see me succeed. I had nothing to give the relationship besides some mad fan-girling and a would-be-if-I-could-be neediness.
She liked me anyway. Very Darcy-esque of her which of course made me fall madly in love with her (which I still am.)
Sex is not a bad word people!
Amy’s books have been described as romantic, hilarious, sexy, emotional, kinky and smutty. Some critics have condemned the amount of sex she manages to weave into her stories and Amy has a clear message for them.
“I like that modern romance novels explore the sex lives of women in a positive and open way. I like that they say it’s okay to have sex, to like sex, to want sex. You don’t have to wear a scarlet letter around your neck or throw yourself under a train in the pages of a romance novel. They celebrate women as sexual beings and that’s a good thing.”
Being a romance writer was not always her full time job. While penning her stories on love in her spare time, she worked as a nurse. Many of her stories reflect her knowledge in this field which brings an authenticity to her work and it was her ability to listen, watch and care that helped her develop her ability to spin a cracking yarn.
It also helped that she was a woman. So writing stories about women kind of came naturally.
As a woman writing love stories about women to be read (mainly) by women, Amy feels feels she is feminist as fuck, without even having to think about it or ponder on it or question her motives.
“Romance novels privilege women’s stories. Women get to be the heroes of the stories – not the flighty love interest or the dorky side kick or the evil black widow - and it’s their journey that dominates the story. And just because the journey is towards love doesn’t mean they’re waiting around for their prince to rescue them or that they need a man to be complete. It means that sharing the journey of life with someone special is that much sweeter and stories exploring that are endlessly fascinating. Writers have been writing about people falling in love for hundreds of years – romance novels are no different.”
Although Amy has done her fair share of bra burning (during high school English class to be exact. Which raised eyebrows but resulted in an A grade so...matches out ladies) she feels that for her, being a feminist is something much more internal. It’s about equality and understanding herself as a woman who is always facing challenges that only women face.
Resetting my compass to just being me again
“At the moment being a woman during a time of transition in my life means being brave. Moving into middle age, giving up a good paying job to become a full time writer and letting go of kids as they fly away to explore the world, are all giant leaps of faith. It’s also about resetting my compass to just being me (mostly) again, getting my body back. For so many years it seems like rarely a minute passes that a child isn’t touching/clutching at you so that you don’t feel like you’re ever in full possession of your body anymore. But that’s all changed. I can be selfish again. Have a pedicure, go for a massage, take myself to the movies and not have to worry about making a hundred arrangements before I do so. I’m looking forward to this new stage of my life and seeing how my definition of woman changes in the next twenty years.”
Now, to be honest I can be a prickly old bird to get to know. And I’ll only put people on a pedestal if I think they deserve it. It helps if they’re funny as fuck, smarter than the average bear and have the confidence of a 60 year old playboy with a pocket full of viagra.
Amy Andrews passes all these tests with flying colours so up on the pedestal she goes.
Hot rugby star? Check. Ambitious style columnist ex? Check. A six-part feature series neither want to be part of? Check. Check. Check.
Sydney Smoke captain and rugby god Tanner Stone wants to be interviewed about as much as he wants to snap an Achilles, but it may just be his chance for a rematch with his high school sweetheart.
Matilda Kent’s big mouth has landed her an interview with the one man she hoped to never see again—her high school boyfriend who broke her heart. But, with a promotion on the line, she’s prepared to play nice while dishing the dirt on the guy.
An epic war or words leads to a flurry of action both on the field and between the sheets and this time winner takes all.