about Amy, the author

How did I end up here?

I started writing about this woman and her life in May of 2019. Until then, I hadn\’t written anything more than emails. I knew I had a story and a message I wanted to share but the idea of \’writing a book\’ seemed ridiculous. I kept telling myself that I could write down a story and worry about what it became later.

By May of 2020, I had a 93,000 word manuscript put into 52 chapters. I printed it out a few times for editing. It felt pretty amazing to see the stack of pages that were full of my words. I walked around the house with each chapter on a clipboard, reading it out loud with a red pen.

At this point, I had told no one about it. Knowing that there are millions of people that say they are going to write a book but don\’t, reminded me to keep my baby close to my chest. At some point later, the woman in the story earned the name of Alexine.

On Fiverr, I found an English teacher in the Midwest to give her red pen a turn at it. I was adamant that I wanted the tone and flavor of the story to remain as I intended. As I chewed on what this baby of mine would become and how to get it in front of people in a sea of manuscripts from unpublished authors vying for attention away from the multitudes of books published every year by people that had done it before and knew what they were doing, I wanted a gimmick to set my baby apart from the rest.

That idea may sound tacky but I knew I needed to add something to Alexine to give her legs, so to speak. I enjoyed Nancy Drew illustrated chapter books as a kid and thought that format would be fun for adults.  I asked Brad Collins, an accomplished BC artist, to bring Alexine and her shenanigans to life.  Peppered with F-bombs and a few juicy sex scenes, my baby is not for children.  

This story draws on my own life experiences and those around me. My intention is to help readers feel good about their lives, their world and their future through levity and the strength of everyday people. Women, especially those over 35, do not have many heroes in books or film, yet many are heroes. I hope this group and the people who care about women over 35 find Alexine Cleans worthy.

About these photos: I quit coloring my hair to keep it the auburn I was born with in the summer of 2020 after the death of a young and dear family member, and witnessing the George Floyd tragedy, the political turmoil in the States and oh, that pesky pandemic. Once I let my silver shine through, I felt more authentic and grounded. It renewed my clarity and purpose.

The good-looking kid with lots of hair is my truly amazing son, Aubrey.
There I am in early 2019, brandishing a screwdriver, proud of the fact that I installed both ends of my dryer exhaust myself.
In 2017, I took our portly mini Schnauzer Pippin in matching pink outfits to a pet show. We were a big hit, but didn\’t win any treats. He almost made it to 17. Both Aubrey and Pippin were strong influences in the characters of this story.
The dog with the red handkerchief is Lewis, a dog of a good friend of mine. We have lots of fun together although he is looking at me sideways. I\’m sure he has just cause.

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