Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Musings with Amy Lane

Hi, and welcome to the Blog Tour for The Bells of Times Square!  This book is close to my heart-- if you read the extra front and back matter in the story, you will see that I drew inspiration from my grandparents and their roles in WWII.  There was a lot of research involved here and also an unusual romance.  I hope you enjoy this stop on the tour, and don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter below for the giveaway of two ebooks from my backlist a $10 Riptide store credit and a signed copy of The Bells of Times Square!  Feel free to comment, or to contact me at any of my links below--I'd love to hear from you! 

The Trouble With Research

People are going to read this book and either two things are going to happen. 
 A.     They’re going to be really excited about all the research I did and think I’m great at it.   
      B.     They’re going to have more Google skills or more research under their belt or a detailed mental map of where all of my research went wrong, and they’re going to say I’m full of shit.
I’d like to point out that neither of these things is true.

Yes, I did research. I did copious research. I got lost in the halls of Wikipedia, paperback books, Kindle books, movies, people’s stories, Internet forums and conversations with experts.  I studied Jewish history, Jewish religion, Jewish vernacular, and the migration pattern of the Jews in New York, Manhattan especially, because it’s practically it’s own nation.  I studied WWII planes, the camera corps, the Red Stocking missions, the Joker missions, and asked experts what kind of planes what kinds of cameras, what kinds of film would be used, and where it would go for analysis.  I looked up privies, and referenced my own childhood spent in places that had been designed before WWII for the layout of the summer home in France, and questioned someone who had lived in France for specifics in location, and…

Oh God.

It’s all muddling together now.

Research was never my strong suit.

In high school, in college, I never took notes. 

I always just read my sources, got lost in them, and then took the story from the sources, and lived with that.  It’s how the condottieri became my favorite army, and how I got an A in sociology just by reading the jacket notes on an old 80’s band called Gorky Park. 

Not five minutes ago, I set about Googling my source material in another way, and got hold of a resource I only wish I’d had a year ago, as I was writing this damned book.  If you are one of the five people on the planet who have read that resource, you will assume I didn’t try at all to get any sort of historical accuracy into this manuscript.


Which really wouldn’t be true.  In a thousand years, I would not have thought myself capable of the effort I made to not look like an asshole.  In a thousand years, I would not have recognized the holes in my own abilities that would have made looking like an asshole a complete given.

I have to remind myself what I know to be true.

If I had the kind of mind that could catalog, sort, and classify all of these details, I probably wouldn’t have the kind of mind that would write a Walter and a Nathan and put them in the same house together and have them fall in love.

Walter and Nathan are an “out of the box” couple. They are a doodle in the margins of history.  They are a “the time and place were so extraordinary, the spectacular might have happened” sort of romance. 

They are a glorious hope for mankind to work like that.  They are a prayer for love cut short to be redeemed.  They are a reason to work for a better future for anyone else who has been marginalized and dehumanized by war. 

Miguel de Cervantes said (through Don Quixote, of course) that “Facts are the enemy of truth.”  In this case, someone getting lost in the unforeseen holes in my research (oh please let there not be many, please let there not be many, please please please please please…)  is going to miss the truth of this book.

It doesn’t matter if there is really a Provence Claire la Lune in Moselle.  (As far as I know, there isn’t.)  It doesn’t matter if Nate flew in a de Haviland Mosquito or a Spitfire.  (All my research pointed to a Mosquito.)  It doesn’t matter if Hector and Joey’s missions were called Red Stocking or Joker (one was for pictures, the other was for giving intel contacts behind enemy lines and rousing the French resistance.) 

What matters is that Nate was both gay and Jewish, and he knew what loneliness was.  What matters is that Walter was poor and uneducated, and he knew what it was to live without hope. What matters is that they lived in a long ago world and fought to make those conditions better.

What matters is that as we live in the present and assume our world has improved, that we make sure it does just that.

So I guess my hope is that people neither praise my research or decry the unforeseen holes in it.  My hope is that they ignore the facts and look to the truth. 

The truth is a better world is always worth fighting for. 

And that’s a fact.

The Bells of Times Square

Every New Year’s Eve since 1946, Nate Meyer has ventured alone to Times Square to listen for the ghostly church bells he and his long-lost wartime lover vowed to hear together. This year, however, his grandson Blaine is pushing Nate through the Manhattan streets, revealing his secrets to his silent, stroke-stricken grandfather.

When Blaine introduces his boyfriend to his beloved grandfather, he has no idea that Nate holds a similar secret. As they endure the chilly death of the old year, Nate is drawn back in memory to a much earlier time . . . and to Walter.

Long before, in a peace carefully crafted in the heart of wartime tumult, Nate and Walter forged a loving home in the midst of violence and chaos. But nothing in war is permanent, and now all Nate has is memories of a man his family never knew existed. And a hope that he’ll finally hear the church bells that will unite everybody—including the lovers who hid the best and most sacred parts of their hearts.

About Amy Lane

Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.

She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.

She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.

Connect with Amy:

·Twitter: @amymaclane
·Facebook group: Amy Lane Anonymous

Rafflecopter code:

Edited 15/12/14 5:48pm to change the prize for the giveaway at the request of the author. 


  1. Really looking forward to reading this and have tissues ready. A signed copy would be even better.

  2. Gentle Hugs, Amy. Research....and all the trivia that gets stuck in my head that is of absolutely USE whatsoever unless I find a way to weave it in somewhere...and the result looks like the Hitchhikers Guide to Insanity....But, it's OK - Because we all find a way to dance with the bizarre and beloveds equally within our own heads and hearts. Love the bio, BTW. :)

  3. Have been waiting for this book.

  4. I've got my electric blanket and box of tissues at the ready to read this book. :)

  5. Amy I'm just looking forward to reading the book and I'm sure that you have made a wonderful story for all of us to read.

  6. Oh awesome-- I'm glad you guys are looking forward to this one!

  7. Love Amy Lane's books! Looking forward to reading this new story!

  8. While I think research would be one of the most interesting parts of writing I can see myself getting lost in it as well.

  9. They are a “the time and place were so extraordinary, the spectacular might have happened” sort of romance.

    And this, IMO, trumps any holes that could pop through anyone's research. Love your books, Amy, and I'm looking forward to this one.

    Happy Holidays!

  10. Love the insight into the research you did. Thanks for there chance to win.

  11. Congrats on the new release, Amy. I'm really looking forward to this one. Of course, I love all of your books. :) Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. I have been waiting impatiently for the release of this one and can tell already I will have to have a box of tissues close at hand. Such a fabulous holiday gift you are giving us. I had to buy it, of course. I can't leave things to chance...

  13. I appreciate research, but I think sometimes people get too hung up on minutiae and forget about the story. I know this will be intense, but it sounds excellent!

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com

  14. (so inappropriate, but you guys who are going to read this w/ tissues handy - yeah. Crying was NOT the first use I thought of... *smacks self*)

    Re: reasearch. You can only ever do your best. And even if a (relatively) minor mistake has snuck in, the story will still be wonderful

  15. I love your ability to make me laugh, cry and just plain feel. And there are so many truths out there, it's impossible to please everyone no matter how much research one does I think. Main thing write wonderful stories and I look forward to delving into this one tonight. A signed copy to put on my night stand? Keeping my fingers crossed.

  16. I know there are a ton of people who look for details and research, but I look for a great story. Something's might need to be changed to fit the story. To me, that's ok because this is fiction. I look forward to reading this! Thank you Amy. :-)