Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Amy Lea Interview - Set on You


Photo Content from Amy Lea

Amy Lea is a Canadian bureaucrat by day and contemporary romance author by night (and weekends). She writes laugh out loud romantic comedies featuring strong heroines, witty banter, mid-2000s pop culture references, and happily ever afters.

When Amy is not writing, she can be found fan-girling over other romance books on Instagram (@amyleabooks), eating potato chips with reckless abandon, and snuggling with her husband and goldendoodle.

Her debut romantic comedy SET ON YOU released in May 2022 from Berkley Romance at Penguin Random House.

        
  

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I’m a big believer in the saying: to write, you must read. Being a lifelong reader has influenced my writing tremendously, from inspiring my creativity, to studying craft. I’ve read voraciously since I was a young child, devouring books by Lemony Snicket, Meg Cabot, and Lois Lowry to name a few. Reading a wide variety of books as a child unlocked my creativity.

Once I found contemporary romance as an adult, I started studying craft. Authors that have greatly inspired me include Christina Lauren, KA Tucker, Helen Hoang, and Sally Thorne. Not only do I love their writing styles, but all these authors write with such heart at the center of their stories. This is my goal when writing my own books, to evoke emotion, love and humor.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Storytelling is about human connection. Stories unite people by conveying love, empathy, sadness, pain, all the things it means to be intrinsically human. They allow individuals to escape into new worlds, civilizations, and time periods. And some stories challenge the deep-seated, fundamental notions we didn’t even know about ourselves.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I am currently working on the next two books in my romcom series, featuring side characters from SET ON YOU.

In your newest book; SET ON YOU, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
SET ON YOU is a romcom about a curvy fitness influencer who reluctantly falls for her CrossFit loving gym nemesis. It’s the first in a three-book series centered around a trio of Chinese-American social media influencers, including Crystal’s sister Tara, a Romance-stagrammer, and their friend Mel, a fabulous fashion and lifestyle influencer.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
If there’s one thing I’d like readers to take away from this story (particularly those who don’t conform to mainstream Western beauty standards), it’s that loving yourself and moments of doubt are not mutually exclusive. Even someone like Crystal – an idol in the body-positive community – must come to terms with moments of insecurity. Society has a long way to go in normalizing marginalized bodies as being worthy of love – so be easy on yourself.

Most importantly, I hope readers come away from SET ON YOU knowing they deserve to be the main character in their own story, with their very own happily ever after.

What part of Crystal and Scott did you enjoy writing the most?
My favorite part about Crystal and Scott’s relationship to write was all of their gym scenes – particularly the ones where they are still gym rivals ;)

TEN REASONS TO READ SET ON YOU
  • 1. An uplifting message of body acceptance
  • 2. Early 2000s and pop culture references
  • 3. A Chris Evans-inspired firefighter love interest
  • 4. A diverse curvy, Chinese-American fitness influencer main character
  • 5. Banter
  • 6. Steamy scenes ;)
  • 7. Loving family and grandparent shenanigans
  • 8. Supportive friendships between women
  • 9. A goldendoodle named Albus
  • 10. Flirty texting
Meet the Characters
Crystal Chen (The Main Character)
Crystal is a confident, curvy fitness influencer and a staunch advocate for body acceptance and inclusivity in the fitness industry. While she’s a boss in the gym and probably squats more than some men, she always puts others before herself. She’s the “mom” friend of the group who will hold your hair over the toilet after a hard night of drinking while not-so-discreetly laughing at you. When Crystal isn’t killing it at the gym or training and cheering on her clients, she can be found being a general introvert in her apartment, indulging in reality TV, and doing errands for her eccentric Grandma Flo.

Scott Ritchie (The Love Interest)
Aside from Scott’s Marvel superhero-worthy good looks and unfairly chiseled exterior, Scott is a laidback, chill guy who happens to be a firefighter with the Boston Fire Department (so you know he has a hero complex). When he’s not working overtime at the fire hall, he can be found getting in Crystal’s way at the gym, walking his goldendoodle, belly laughing over crude jokes and GIFs, and falling asleep while watching TV. Although Scott comes across uber confident and a little cocky, he’s truly a softie on the inside, especially when it comes to his family.


A gym nemesis pushes a fitness influencer to the max in Amy Lea's steamy debut romantic comedy.

Curvy fitness influencer Crystal Chen built her career shattering gym stereotypes and mostly ignoring the trolls. After her recent breakup, she has little stamina left for men, instead finding solace in the gym - her place of power and positivity.

Enter firefighter Scott Ritchie, the smug new gym patron who routinely steals her favorite squat rack. Sparks fly as these ultra-competitive foes battle for gym domination. But after a series of escalating jabs, the last thing they expect is to run into each other at their grandparents' engagement party.

In the lead up to their grandparents' wedding, Crystal discovers there's a soft heart under Scott's muscled exterior. Bonding over family, fitness, and cheesy pick-up lines, she just might have found her swolemate. But when a photo of them goes viral, savage internet trolls put their budding relationship to the ultimate test of strength.

You can purchase Set on You at the following Retailers:
        
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1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

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9 comments:

  1. "Best date you've ever had?"
    I have never been on a date. I once had lunch at a restaurant!

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  2. Gordon Lightfoot at Massey Hall in Toronto with the beautiful Heather Graham back when I was in high school. Ah the memories. :^)

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  3. The first date with The Mister.

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  4. Never had a date before, to be honest.

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  5. don't know which one was the best tbh

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  6. Just recently. My husband and I finally got legally married!!

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  7. I love the cover! The colors and graphics are great.

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