Meet Intern Amanda!

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.



Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Julia Broadbooks says:

    Hi, Amanda! Glad to have you here.

  2. 2
    Beccah W. says:

    Awesome post!

  3. 3
  4. 4

    Welcome!  From one Amanda to another with an Italian grandmother who loved romance novels!  (Though mine subsisted on a diet of cigarettes and donuts.  Everything else is the same.)  And yes, THIS is what I try to explain to people:  “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.” 

  5. 5
    Emilia says:

    Hello, Amanda! Congrats on your smartypantsiness- interning at Smart Bitches sounds like a wonderful way to get both experience in your field, and insight into the eternal question, “what readers want”!

  6. 6
    Carrie Gwaltney says:

    Welcome, Amanda! I think that last Bad Boys book is “Bad Boys: Not Just for Breakfast Anymore.” But I could be wrong….

    It sounds like you’ll fit right in around here, which I mean as a compliment—but there are people who will think fitting in around here is something you might not want to advertise. ;-)

  7. 7
    MissB2U says:

    Welcome, oh worthy sister!

  8. 8
    Darlynne says:

    Welcome to the hot pink palace, Amanda. I can tell that we’re all going to get along like a house afire (which does not mean, as Terry Pratchett’s Miss Tick said, “There may be no survivors.”).

  9. 9
    riwally says:

    Oh, wow!!  How can one compete with an intro like that?  I am so jealous, my green-eyed monster is scratching and clawing to get out (back, I say, back).  Hope to hear much more from you, Amanda.  Congrats….**wish it was me…sigh**

  10. 10
    Kristy says:

    Nice to meet you Amanda. All of these nana comments are leading me to believe there is a nana book club out there called Smart Nanas, Trashy Books. I’m guessing they smoke, drink, never throw away leftovers, and read romance novels – the smuttier the better. If it doesn’t exist yet, I’ll have to start one when I enter my Nanary years.

  11. 11
    Jordan says:

    Very jealous, but happy you’re here!  I’m jealous of your romance reading family.  And I just started the Wallflowers last week (and am now reading the Hathaways) – I’m in love!  I probably would have them finished by now if not for pesky pharmaceutics, biochemistry, and phys/path.  I think you made the better choice of major ;)

  12. 12
    Tam says:

    All the romance-reading grandmas are making me grin.  I had an Irish granny with a wicked sweet tooth and a penchant for homemade liqueurs.  (She smoked too, although I believe she’s since given it up.)  She caught me secretly reading one of her bonkbuster romances when I was twelve and gave me a vast paperback all about the erotic adventures of Marco Polo, saying ‘Here, read this, this’ll make your toes curl.’  It most certainly did.

  13. 13
    Rebecca says:

    Hi, Amanda!  (Waves cheerily.)  Sad you don’t like the end of The Age of Innocence.  I remember reading it in high school (right after the movie came out…yes, I’m that old), and thinking it was a little sad, but also sweet.  [SPOILERS AHEAD]…..

    After all, the important optimistic thing is that Newton’s son and his love get THEIR HEA.  And even while my high school self denounced May as a conniving bitch in the penultimate chapter, some future glimmer of maturity thought it was a bit like the end of Georgette Heyer’s A Civil Contract.  When you’ve freely chosen to stay married to someone for decades…that’s not something you throw away lightly for an old crush.  And after all…would the old crush really thank you for showing up after 25 years?

    Anyway, have fun working at the Bitchery.  I look forward to your guest entries, if you’re doing them.

  14. 14
    merry Macdougal says:

    Welcome, Amanda! 

    Has something happened to Laurell K. Hamilton?  I’ve been away a bit, but I googled and found nothing out of the ordinary.  What am I missing?  Now I’m worried about her.

  15. 15
    Sveta says:

    Hey Amanda,
    I kind of am a reader of smartbitchestrashybooks and personally I loved the ending for The Age of Innocence…its unexpected and surprising. (@Rebecca: I read the book twice, but don’t recall that Newland’s son had to struggle for a HEA…) will be looking forward to your entries.


  16. 16
    InternAmanda says:

    Hey, everyone! Intern Amanda, here. I’m a little verklempt at the warm welcome that I need to awkwardly fan at my eyes for fear of being pegged as the first to cry in the campus library this term. My mother has also started spamming my relatives’ Facebooks with a link to this intro.

    I fully support Smart Nanas, by the way, especially if there happened to be a way to get all the nanas to meet up. Oh, to be a fly on that wall.

  17. 17
    InternAmanda says:

    I did like the book, don’t get me wrong. Edith Wharton is a wonderful author and Newton obviously made the commendable and responsible decision in the end. The petulant child in me wants a happy ending at whatever the cost, despite realism.

    I suppose I just wish they could have gotten the timing right in terms of their romance.

  18. 18
    InternAmanda says:

    Oh, don’t be too worried. Physically, she’s fine and swimming in her piles of money. However, I’ve become disappointed in her as an author, especially with her inability to handle criticisms from her fan base.

  19. 19
    InternAmanda says:

    You’ll love The Wallflowers. Whenever you get through them all, I’d love to hear which one happened to be your favorite. The heroines are all so different that I never feel like the stories are repetitive. As for The Hathaways, I’ve read the first two of the series. Truthfully, I haven’t read anything by Lisa Kleypas that I haven’t enjoyed.

    And I feel your pain, you poor thing. I used to be a chemical engineering major until I realized that I would wind up committed to a facility by age thirty-five if I didn’t change my concentration.

  20. 20
    Heather says:

    Yeah, LKH has become an absolute tool. She doesn’t appreciate her fans – who made her successful in the first place—calls those of us who don’t like her more recent books with their (poorly-written and -edited) erotica in place of actual plot “prudes”, thinks we’re just a bunch of haters who are “OMG, ur so JELOUS of ME” because we don’t think every word she writes is made of gold with the rainbow and leprechaun at every printing, etc. The list goes on. Namely: she’s rich, never has to work again, and it doesn’t matter how many of her fans call foul on her crappy writing, she still thinks she’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

  21. 21
    Heather says:

    Cue the LKH ranting. That woman really has rubbed her fan base the wrong way with her complete and utter disregard for our feedback. That’s okay. We’re all just a bunch of prudes who lack the intelligence to understand the real depth and meaning of her writing. *gag*

  22. 22
    Sandra says:

    Hi, Amanda. From one Florida girl to another (and the daughter of an FSU alumna – Go ‘Noles!), welcome to the Bitchery.

  23. 23
    CutMyTeethOnKleypas says:

    Hola Intern Amanda!  (I wish I had your balls way back in 2006 – 2008, when I needed them most.)  I appreciate your appreciation for Kleypas.  My VERY first romance was Suddenly You.  ;)  Let our bitchery commence!

  24. 24
    Lakshmi says:

    This has to be the most awesome college internship idea EVER. Why didn’t I ever think of something like this when I was an undergrad? Welcome to the bitchery, Amanda!

    And let me lend my voice to the anti-LKH chorus. The woman makes Anne Rice look sane.

  25. 25
    Angela says:

    You had me at “I mourn the loss of Laurell K. Hamilton’s sanity and humility”. Good luck!

  26. 26
    ms bookjunkie says:

    Does this make you SBI Amanda? Amanda, SBI? Cool. And welcome!

    (You’ve now made me want to reread the Wallflowers and Hathaways, ignoring my ever-growing print TBR…even more than I’ve done lately.)

  27. 27
    Sarah Morgan says:

    Welcome Amanda and thanks for both the amusing post and the inspiration for breakfast (pistachios and vodka. Yum.)

  28. 28

    Welcome, Intern Amanda! I was willing to graciously let the whole FSU reference pass unremarked until I saw the “Go ‘Noles” comment. *Sigh*

    I’m sure you’ll graduate with honors from that Tallahassee school, but if you’re thinking of the Masters in Communications, there’s a nationally ranked school just up the road.

    Go Gators!

  29. 29
    InternAmanda says:

    I actually did go to UF when I was an engineering major since their program is awesome. When I switched majors, I wanted something more specialized than an english degree and I found that at FSU.

    I also grew up outside of Gainesville, so most of my friends went there. There were a lot of collective gasps when I chose to switch.

  30. 30
    Josephine Hawkins says:


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