Every now and again, I'm lucky enough to have an intern who wants to learn about writing, editing, website administration, and the proper establishment of wtfery, mayhem and shenanigans. (Yes, I totally write that on evaluations).
Please meet Intern Amanda, whom you'll see here periodically. Here is her introduction:
Helloooo, Bitchery! I'm Amanda and, for the next few months, I'll be lurking around as the new SB Intern! Exciting, right? To give everyone a quick and boring background, I am senior at Florida State University where I hope to graduate that following spring with a B.A. in Editing, Writing, and Media. As part of my degree requirements, I need to fulfill an internship of my choosing and assemble a portfolio of my work. Naturally, I read in my spare time and, on particularly bad days, subject myself to the horrors of reality television.
My program at the university is less than five years old, so the curriculum is relatively new and the notion of applying for and seeking out an internship on my own was very daunting to say the least. My career goals lie in either the world of publishing where I would love to work as an editor within the romance genre or serving as a scathing literary critic for some type of publication of another. I have been a purveyor of the SB community and their infinite wisdom for around four years and, in the impulsive stress-haze of internship deadlines, I wrote Sarah an email, hoping to win her over with my charm and wit. And begging. Lots and lots of begging. Thankfully, Sarah welcomed me on to the “crazy train” and I nearly wet my pants when she took graciously pity on me.
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books embodies what I want to create and become a part of as a result of my education and, with this internship, I certainly believe that I'm going to get experience in all three aspects of my concentration; editing, writing, and the use of the Web in the grand scheme of new, digital media. Not only that, but I've found a sense of community here where I can enjoy a feeling of literary liberation with the added benefit of snark and open acceptance. And, to be honest, I'm at my wit's end having to discuss all of the secret metaphors and close reading analysis required of my literature courses. Sometimes, a woman just needs a brooding rake complete with a hidden heart of gold, who shuns the swooning maidens for a marriage of convenience to a fiery-haired temptress, who may or may not be of Scottish royal origin.
It took me awhile to fully embrace the world of romance, but my first encounter occurred when I was very young, noticing the interesting covers on my Nana's bookshelf. She was an intimidating Italian woman whose diet consisted mainly of pistachios and vodka. Eating her spaghetti sauce was like playing a game of Russian roulette. It was a fun guessing exercise, trying to decipher which of her expiring leftovers she added to the recipe. But while she did whatever nanas do, I would sit in front of her shelves and pull out each book, picking which cover I liked best according to the fanciest dress or prettiest lady, a superlative competition between the visual representations of the books' heroines. Little did I know that these poor women were about to be ravaged by some pirate/warlord/scoundrel/etc. Oh, my naiveté was astounding!
My mother is also an avid reader and, as a foolish and misguided youth, I would often tease her about her choice in books. I'm pretty sure she owned every single Bad Boys anthology ever published. Bad Boys on Board. Bad Boys in Black Tie. Bad Boys: Now Part of a Balanced Breakfast. I think I made that last one up, but I'm willing to place a wager that something like that exists. She would tolerate my ribbing for the most part, but there came a time when she decided to clean house on her collection to give way to the world of mystery and autobiographical works instead. Loath to see them go, I rifled through the boxes and boxes, undoing all the careful stacking. Even though I know it probably wasn't the first romance book I read, it was the one that began my obsession: Sherrilyn Kenyon's Fantasy Lover. It was all downhill from there. Through the wonders of the Internet, I discovered Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and that, paired with Goodreads, gave birth to an addiction that hasn't once slowed down.
It's because of this love of romance in all its forms; paranormal, historical, contemporary, suspense, that makes me want to promote its widespread reading. Whether it is through helping an author sculpt a worthwhile story or opening up a discussion that advocates the romance novel, I want to be involved in some way, shape, or form. It may be campy and sometimes I roll my eyes so much that they hurt, but romance has an important and unmistakable presence in literature. It shouldn't be treated like a four-letter word or patronized for some asinine claim that it lacks substance or depth. And, if you'll excuse me, I'm just going to step down off my soapbox.
In short, The Wallflowers series by Lisa Klepas changed my life. The most disappointing ending I've ever read was The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton and, like most, I mourn the loss of Laurell K. Hamilton's sanity and humility. I welcome any sort of questions and comments. Please be gentle with me, Bitchery.