About Me

Bonjour mes amis!

I’m Amber and I’ll be your tour guide this evening.

The first thing I do when I visit a blog is check out the about me page.  Who is this person?  What are their likes, beliefs?  Are we going to spend a lot of time talking about fashion?  Or shall we talk about books, video games, and all things geek?  If it’s the latter – I’m down!  Lets do this thing!

I’m a 30 year old from New England.  I live in the sticks and when I was a kid, that totally sucked.  Now, I love it. It is so so nice to be able to take walk at night and see the stars.  Highly recommend.

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A brief summary of all things unimportant.

See that girl in the middle looking generally like this picture is the most ridiculous thing in the world?  Yeah, that’s me.  That photo was taken a week after college graduation by my boyfriend-at-the-time’s mum and I was not into that.  Also my hat mysteriously went missing, because, um, nope.

I graduated college in 2011 with a BA in History.  As far as career moves go, this major was a terrible plan.  Especially since I minored in Writing and not something practical like Economics!  Nonetheless, I have no regrets!  I’m very passionate about both history and writing and I really enjoyed school.  I was a member of the National Honors Society and Phi Alpha Theta (History Honors Society), so that’s why I’m in pretty colors instead of gold.  Yeah, I’m one of those nerds that loved school.

After school, I got very good at explaining to potential employers why a major in History had practical applications, and after a few unfortunate stints in retail while I bided my time, I landed where I am now – as a team lead for the imaging department of a finance company.  While it isn’t my passion, I really love the company I work for and the people I work with and I intend to stay there for a while.

In the meanwhile, I pursue my passions on the weekends.

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The things that really matter

In 2015, I married the love of my life (#sap) in a small wedding surrounded by old friends and our family.  I had the three best bridesmaids I could have asked for and I love them all to pieces.  For our honeymoon, we went on a cruise to Bermuda!  It was my first time on a cruise AND leaving the country, and I am a big fan.

I’m not a fancy person, I can tell you that right now.  My wedding dress, for example?  Super simple, made by a friend.  I’ve always had my own totally unfashionable style.  I love leather jackets and tank tops and long flowy boho skirts paired with gemstone jewelry and ridiculously tall platform heels.  I’m a mascara and bright red lipstick kind of girl.  My favorite, completely unwearable pair of shoes is a pair of light-up high heels I found in a thrift store for $6.  They’re too tight and impractical and I had to have them because, OMG, they light up.

I try to live every day being, unapologetically, myself.  I spent years trying to be the “perfect” person – perfect daughter, perfect student, perfect employee, and I’m done trying to fit myself into a mold.  I have absolutely no sense of style, I like to dress up for movie premieres and Renaissance Fairs.  Also Halloween!  I read furiously and there’s always a story in my head.  I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember, and I started writing when I was in fourth grade… and just never stopped.  My coolest job ever was teaching Improv theatre to high schoolers and I loved it furiously and wish I could have spent my life doing just that.  I adore theatre and performed a lot with my college’s Shakespeare Players then later with a local town troupe.

I love photography, but I’m just a hobbyist.  My favorite photographs are of abandoned amusement parks, and anything by Lissy Elle Laracchia.  I play Pokemon Go, and it’s great because I wasn’t able to join the hype as a kid, and now I finally can!  I love western martial arts (sword-fighting) but unfortunately have stopped practicing since there are no clubs anywhere near I live.

I have two cats that I adore.  Their names are Sir Reginald and Lady Elizabeth and they are sweet and ridiculous, respectively.  I’m allergic to horses, and it breaks my heart because I would love to learn how to ride.  I can play almost any woodwind instrument, but not particularly well.  If I could go back in time, I would have asked for piano lessons as a kid.  I adore classic rock, showtunes, and the soundtrack to Pirate of the Caribbean:  The Curse of the Black Pearl.  I like to cook… sometimes.  Sometimes I might share a Secret Ninja Recipe, but those are few and far between.  I’m more likely to give you a History Lesson.

I believe we never stop learning, and it’s okay to act like a kid sometimes.  When I grow up, I want to be a writer.  J’adore les langues and I tend to use un peu of French when it suits me, although I’m only fluent enough to ask where the bathroom is and ask a person if they like grapefruit (Je regrette, je n’aime pas le pamplemousse).  Whenever I talk about myself or my life on the blog, I use the tag:  The Lady Behind the Curtain.  If you want to learn more about me, that’s the place to look.

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It’s a pleasure to meet you!

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40 responses to “About Me

  1. I love when people’s “About” pages actually contain some information! I understand that some people like to be a bit more guarded with their information, and that’s fine, but it’s great to feel like you’ve learned about someone and can connect with them, before really diving into what they think of books and life (Wait, aren’t those the same things?)

    • Amber

      I’ve never been a particularly private person, which certainly helps with blogging, I think. I agree – I respect and support everyone’s privacy, but I figure… I want to know the PEOPLE more than the subject matter. Because the subject may pique my interest, but it’s the bloggers themselves that keep me coming back. 🙂

      Thanks for swinging by!

    • Amber

      Thank you! I always read the About Me pages on a new blog, but I’ve always struggled to write my own. Last year I stumbled across a blog post about building the page, and I went all in. Even went through old Facebook photos! XD

    • Amber

      Okay, being obnoxious with a second reply.

      HECK YES we would be friends IRL. I actually wanted to comment on your About Me page last week and I just went back to reread it and remembered why. We have similar jobs, we are both INFJ, and if you live near lots of cabbage then I’m guessing also country girls? Not to mention the Harry Potter pun at the end of your intro is #winning.

      I’d’ve written all this on your About Me page, but comments aren’t allowed *weeps*.

      • I always love meeting fellow INFJs, we are quite a rare breed but I seem to know more INFJs through blogging than anywhere else. Yes, I’m definitely a country girl, born and raised. I love the space and fresh air, the freedom to roam wherever I want and perhaps not bump into a single person. I don’t know why I had comments turned off for pages, but I’ve fixed it now. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. Rae

    Hi Amber!

    Looking to reach out for an interview or guest post to feature on my blog if you are interested!

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Amber

      Hi Rae! Thanks so much for the offer!

      Unfortunately, I’m struggling to write up posts and keep my own blog on schedule at the moment, but I appreciate the offer. I hope you’re able to find lots of guest writers! <3

  3. We share a BA, haha! I also majored in history and minored in writing (well, English, but it was mainly writing classes). Luckily I had worked in my college library all of undergrad, so with that experience I was able to get a decent job at another academic library once I graduated. I always really hated the condescending comments about my major, though. Or the, “So, are you gonna teach?” Like, there’s such a misunderstanding about the capabilities of liberal arts majors and their applications.

    Anyway, I love the layout of your site (and the content, of course!), and I’m glad I stumbled across it! (Thanks to you I also discovered that I can add websites manually into my Followed Sites here on WordPress, ha! For someone who has been using the site for nearly two years, I know so little about it…)

    • Amber

      Hey, glad to help! 😉 I also add sites manually all the time!

      I love love love my major, but yeah, apparently the only things I’m allowed to do with my life are museums and teach? That is, until you ask the museums or schools, and then they’re very much “where is your education degree” and “oh no you need a masters sorry”. Pfft.

      I wish I had been a bit smarter with my in-school opportunities. My internship was wonderful, but absolutely non-practical career-wise and I worked retail FT during college to pay my way through, so I didn’t give myself career-relevant experience, and because of work commitments, I missed opportunities to make connections. I landed on my feet okay, but I’m definitely not in the field I’d like! 😛 Oh well, I’m still young (28 is still young, right?).

      Welcome to TLP, glad to have you here! 😀 😀 😀

  4. You’re About Me is fantastic! I love it! Mine on my website is pretty plain. I really wasn’t sure what to include, but yours has given me some ideas on how I can spruce mine up.

    I’m an author instead of a blogger. I have a Characters page on my site where my characters from my first novel introduce themselves. And while much shorter for each character, I took this same approach of letting their personalities shine forth. I need to do that for my About Me page, though. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Also, I’m completely guilty of having a lot of books on the bookshelf that are waiting to be read!

    • Amber

      How Dawn! Thank you for your feedback. Baum is certainly on my to-do list, along with others like Emily Duncan, Mackenzi Lee, and Mark Twain. As I noted on the landing page for the Problematic Authors list, the list will continue evolve and grow and I go through my own bookshelf and as unfortunately new incidents appear, the list will be updated accordingly. Thank you for the link – I will definitely reference it when I get to Baum!

    • Amber

      Thanks Steff, I’m glad you enjoy it! I will certainly keep her in mind as the page continues to grow. 🙂

  5. Hello, my name is Jamie. I happened to stumble upon your gorgeous blog after stumbling upon Kat’s novelsandwaffles.com’s portfolio. Anyways, after checking out her clients’ header logo images, I saw your header logo and became heavily inspired to create my own header logo image for my blog https://jscribbles.com using icons that represents who I am as an artist, poet, web developer, blogger, coffee/tea, music lover, science lover, writer and etc. if it hadn’t been for me stumbling upon Kat’s portfolio and your logo, I will still be depressed and still be stressed out what to create and what I should do or if I should give up blogging and being a web developer altogether. Both you and Kat have inspired me so much so that I feel it is only fair and right to credit the both of you in my https://jscribbles.com/credits page (it is the works at the moment). I’ve already told and showed Kat that I was inspired by some of her logos that she made for you and others, and also told her I will credit her for the inspiration and she thanked me and said she loved my header logo. I just felt it was only fair to tell you that you helped inspired me as well and I will credit you for the inspiration as well. Thank you for saving my book blogging career and web development career.

    • Amber

      Hello Jamie!

      First of all – what a lovely, sweet comment to receive. I’m so glad you stumbled across my lil’ ol’ blog and the images inspired you! Kat is truly a wizard – she’s done some wonderful work and I loved collaborating with her. Kat’s right (as usual 🙂 ) – you’ve done a wonderful job with your header and overall blog design and it’s something to be proud of! No need to credit me for inspiration (though that’s lovely of you) – I’m just glad my blog was here when you needed inspiration!

      Happy blogging, Jamie!

  6. Ruby

    Yeah my comment is also about the problematic authors. First of all, thanks so much for making it!! Also, Jay Kristoff is also antisemitic. In one of his books, the villian was named Adonai, which is the name for G-d in Judiasm. Adonai was also from the Ashkahi tribe, which sounds an awful lot like Ashkenazi, one of the two major kinds of Judaism. And to top it off, he drank blood, which is a very common antisemitic stereotype (kind of like blood libel). Thanks again though!

    • Amber

      Hi Ruby, thank you for taking the time to comment and share your concerns. I will dig into sources to build an additional section as soon as I have more time. In the interim, I highly recommend continuing to use your own platforms to spread the word! Especially when it comes to social media, things move quickly and there are bound to be newer readers who may not the intellect you have. 🙂

  7. Bekie

    Hey Amber! LOVED your list of problematic authors, it was and will be so dang helpful. I did have a question though. You mention an author “writing outside their lane” and that this was problematic. I am really curious about that. I think part of me is wondering if my disabled self can write a led characters, or if abled authors will ever include someone like me. The other part is that I want to write authentic characters of color in my writing. It this possible? I know this is long, but thanks for any info you have!

    • Amber

      Hi Bekie! Writing “outside their lane” is only problematic depending on the reader – it’s poor representation that’s really the problem. In my personal perspective, I think that good research and good sensitivity readers go a long way. The real goal is that experiences are portrayed as authentic. Many readers believe this is only possible when you identify the same as the characters you’re writing about, and this is why I note it on my page for the readers who want to know. I would recommend researching carefully and working with sensitivity readers throughout your process to assure the most accurate representation possible. Good luck! 🙂

  8. Salem

    Hi, I just read your problematic authors list and wanted to add one. Victoria Lee is a queer, Nonb author I recently read and had an issue with. Lee goes on tiktok and social media and jokes about her fans loving and shipping the main character and the love interest with the obvious, pedophile, sexual assaulter and groomer as the main villain, and jokingly posts about how people find the villain, Lehrer, hot. She also wrote her newest book, A Lesson in Vengence, in which the only black character dies first, has no character traits, and treats mental health, schizophrenia and “psycho” as a last minute surprise ending and explanation of the characters and villains arc/twist. She’s also lashed out, check good reads reviews on ALIV to see more, at people who’ve given her books bad ratings, by posting on Instagram. Not to mention, she’s constantly joked about having a degree in mental health, and writes tropes and posts on social media such as “if my character falls for the pedophile, it’s his own fault not mine” and genuinely victim blames both fans and her characters. Also… just… she handles trauma very poorly and inappropriately jokes about underage fans shipping the pedophile villain with underage victims in the story. Just thought it would be good for people to know

    • Salem

      I am so sorry, to add I apologize for writing the wrong pronouns, my brain was on auto drive and forgot that Lee changed pronouns and it slipped my mind

      • Amber

        Hi Salem! Thank you for reaching out. I have quite a lot of authors on my longterm research list and I’ll make sure Lee is there!

  9. Hello, upon a comment made to me by a friend, I started looking at one author on your problem author list, but my eyes were caught by another, and your own stated points that you do not have a person from the disability community to comment on her works. I am an autist, with severe c-ptsd, and likely dyspraxic, in addition to a few other issues, and am, honestly, considered permanently disabled by the government. I am also non-binary (agender and grey-ace), and am a writer myself, so might be able to show you a different perspective on Mercedes Lackey. Because, honestly, I do not consider her writings to be harmful, and, indeed, potentially good at showing how society treats some of us (ie, showing accuracy, rather than a level of compassion that is not well seen outside of fiction in our world). I see what she has written, as well as her comments on her own writing, to be putting her very much on our side. Notably, the supposedly ‘ableist’ outlook is more a showing of how society currently treats us, and how they have done so in the past. Talia, for example, the lack of support, and when the breakthrough happens, are amazingly accurate. For many of us, we don’t get outside support until things go catastrophically wrong. So it’s not ableist in any way to show that you pretty much have to prove what you can’t do to get any kind of help at all from society at large. As for the lack of good trans representation? She recognizes, and has, as far as I can tell, acknowledged, that she doesn’t think she can, at this stage, properly represent trans characters. I can tell you that, as a non-binary author, with a ‘heroic fantasy world’ that I write in, I have a hard time getting proper credit to trans characters. Belor was skirted around, and even now, though I’d like to go back and fill out his story, I find that I have difficulty there. Some things are much harder to write in, even if you have the experience, and, recognizing that fact, I honor her resistance to adding much of that characterization to her books. I can also agree that, especially if one is largely ‘kicked out of society’ for their nature, that would create a distinct villain. I know, as I sit in on counselling groups online to try to help others process things. I can’t always succeed, but I understand that no one succeeds at everything. What she has shown is viable explanation of what life is like, especially for us. And that’s something we need more of. As for racism, that’s always going to be an iffy thing, especially when dealing with fantasy settings. they have to have at least some form of a counterpart in the real world, but they also develop differently, and that makes things seem one way when that is not how it is intended. (Good example is my portrayal of the Rasi peoples in my own books…Steppelanders and Toyurasan are both exotic to most characters–though I do have a few characters from both societies–but they clearly indicate both good and bad. As all societies do.) Please consider that not all ‘abusive-labeled writing’ is bad. In many case, it’s actually strongly indicative of our own complex social patterns.

  10. Hi Amber! I was just looking at your Diverse Reading Lists (which are AWESOME, btw!) & I was just wondering if you would like to include my brand-new website (YA Disability Database) as a location where people can discover middle grade/YA books with disability representation? I have well over 200 books featured & more are still on the way! The link is yadisabilitydatabase.com if you’d like to check it out. Thanks so much!