Between The Sheets With Amy Landon
Romance Narrators: You are from Blackfoot, Idaho, aka “The Potato Capitol of the World.” So, a pretty similar place to where you now live in LA, right? Kidding of course. The story of the small town girl making her way in the big city is a popular one in our genre. Did your transition to the city involve as much intrigue and romance as the books we narrate?
Amy: Omigod yes! I am a total small-town-girl-in-the-big-city cliche. I moved to NYC before LA and spent 7 years there. I definitely had a few meet cutes that were straight out of a romance novel. I fell down the subway stairs in a massive rain storm and was picked up at the bottom by a gorgeous bass player who got me on the train and handed me his card right before the doors slid shut. I smashed my face into concrete (god, I really am a klutz) doing a play in Battery Park and the ER doc who stitched me up came to my play the following night to ask me out. And I married the one who was doing a play around the corner from the bar where I worked. And don’t even get me started on those LA stories….
Romance Narrators: Talk to us about motorcycles. You’re a gal who digs a bike, yeah? Ever narrated an MC book?
Amy: Who’s got two thumbs and drives a Harley? Aw yeah, that’s me. Moto. Chick. Keep an eye out for a new commercial running where I’m riding on 2 wheels!
I’ve done a couple of great MC books! Cat Porter’s LOCK AND KEYwith Vikas Adam (swoon) & RANDOM AND RAREwith Aiden Snow (growl) is such great series. The characters are so real and interesting and complex.
BOUND BY FAMILYwith Joe Arden (pant) and CONSUME ME with Christian Fox (drool), both by Ryan Michele. HAMMER by Chelsea Camaron and Jessie Lane paired me and Joe again (he and I should start our own biker gang, amiright?). And while not an MC Romance, AGAINST THE ROPES by Sarah Castille has a suppppppper hot scene on top of a motorcycle. And it’s totally possible to do what they were doing. I’m guessing. I’ve heard. I mean. Bikes are…cool.
Romance Narrators: You go girl. Word on the street is you’re in a band! Tell us about Cylvia. What’s your role in the group? Where/when can folks catch your act?
Amy: Cylvia is a 7 person rock band (dear god that’s a lot of humans). I play keys! It’s pop rock with a 90s flair. We’re currently on hiatus for live shows and finishing up our second album.
Romance Narrators: Let’s talk horror for a moment. Seems you’ve narrated some horror audiobooks as well as acted in horror films. Is this a niche of sorts for you? You like being scared?
Amy: DUDE. I LOVE HORROR. SO. MUCH. I love watching horror movies alone, late at night (am I sick? That might mean I’m sick, right?). I’ve been in a couple of B horror movies - one has werewolves AND zombies (It’s on Netflix - have fun finding it. Be drunk when you watch it). I mean, what’s not to love? In another, I get eaten alive by dogs in a phone booth (Be drunker when you watch it). Also. What’s not to love? And I wrote a horror short that is hitting film festivals this year.
And, yes, I have read some amazing horror books. One is coming out soon called THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Paul Tremblay and it is one of the most beautiful, terrifying books I’ve ever read. Ever. Read it, listen to it. WOW.
And in all seriousness, I think I love horror/thriller so much because it taps in to the deeply human fears that we all have. It is a deeply human, visceral experience. And it makes you so present. It doesn’t allow you to be anywhere but in the present. It’s so good.
Romance Narrators: You have a beautiful Frida Kahlo quote on your website: “Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.” We all want to be looked at like that, yeah? Have you witnessed or experienced that kind of love in your life?
Amy: I have had a lot of amazing love in my life. My truest friends look at me like magic. And my family. But yeah, I’ve also been lucky enough to have had some lovers in life that looked at me like that (buy me a scotch later and I’ll get a little more detailed). And those magic moments stay with you, those people stay with you, always. I think that’s why I love reading romance and bringing romance to life. Those moments are everything.
Romance Narrators: You are one of the voices of NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED, Audie Nominated this year for Original Work. What piece did you narrate? What does this project mean to you?
Amy: Wow. This project. I was actually lucky enough to read two pieces. I AM NOT LOLITA by Tanya Eby and PARROTS ON THE WAY TO MUM’S FUNERAL by Tricia Lowther. This last year was a difficult year for many of us politically. I also had a difficult personal year. But time and again, the women in my life step up for each other and themselves and this collection really captures that energy, that resiliency. The piece that Tanya wrote broke me. It really just broke me. I was useless for days after reading it. But it also gives me such hope and belief in the strength of people, even in the darkness.
Romance Narrators: You’re no stranger to the award circuit. In 2016 you were nominated for the Audie Award for Humor for TEXTS FROM JANE EYRE by Mallory Ortberg; co-narrated by Zach Villa. Did you know when you were working on the book that it would resonate with so many listeners?
Amy: I love this project. Zach and I recorded this as a duet, in the same booth, on the same mic. I remember when we got the audition for it, we cracked ourselves up and then sent it in and the publishers said they were playing it on loop. This whole book is so damn funny. And getting to record it live with a Zach meant we could really lean into the Abbot and Costello timing. We would argue over whether parts were funnier with a second pause or a second and a half pause. I didn’t know it would go where it did, but it remains one of my favorite recording experiences. It’s just so damn fun and a lot of love and passion went into it.
Romance Narrators: Tell us about HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES by Carmen Maria Machado, which you narrated. It was a finalist for the National Book Awards and on NPR’s Best of 2017 list. Sounds like a special book!
Amy: THIS IS A SPECIAL BOOK - You got that right. This is Ms. Machado’s debut book and it’s a doozy. It’s a short story collection that references and re-tells urban myths and legends (I really do love dark and twisty and horror) from a woman’s perspective. It really nails, in my option, what it is to be a woman (a queer woman, a woman of color) in today’s world. But the fish eye lens of genre it’s told thru makes it an extra special journey. Everyone should read this, listen to it, share it. It’s that good.
Romance Narrators: You are an accomplished performer in every medium it seems: audiobooks, voiceover, stage, film, TV and - as we mentioned already - you’re in a band to boot! What’s that like constantly shifting between art forms? Do they exercise different parts of you? Would you ever be able to choose your favorite?
Amy: I love all the different aspects of storytelling. All of them. I think they exercise different parts of me, keep me fresh, open up different ways in to the work for each medium. I honestly don’t know if I have a favorite, but I am the geekiest nerdiest book nerd you’ve ever met - I was the kid who got so lost in books in class that bells rang and I didn’t notice. So I think my work in audiobooks taps in to my truest, deepest self and it lets me delve into characters I could never play otherwise. And that. That is amazing. So. Maybe books win. (Who am I kidding? Books have always won my heart, they’re my favorite. SHUT UP. I ADMITTED IT. BOOKS ARE MY FAVORITE. SERIOUSLY STOP.)
Romance Narrators: You have a popular alter ego who goes by the name of Lucy Rivers. That girl seems to have a LOT of fun. How do you decide what is an “Amy” book and what is a “Lucy” book?
Amy: Oh my yes does Lucy have a LOT of FUN. To be honest I think Amy is sometimes jealous of Lucy’s fun. Lucy gets ALL the racier tittles and she loves it and lords it over Amy. Lucy is like that.
I think having a pseudonym is a helpful marker for listeners. Amy reads literary fiction, non fiction, horror, YA, SciFi, Fantasy and sweet romances. But if you buy a Lucy book you know there are going to be some heart pounding naughty bits. I don’t have a set way of choosing who reads what, like if you say ____ 5 or more times, it’s a Lucy book. I generally do a quick pass of the book and get a feel for it and then decide. Or authors will request one or the other know who/what the fans like.
Romance Narrators: Tell us about a book you’re particularly proud of, why don’t ya.
Amy: This is Sophie’s Choice. I will not choose which baby to kill. I won’t. Nope. Not going to do it. Not killing a baby. Unless the baby is Rosemary’s. (I AM PROUD OF EVERY BOOK I WORK ON). No dead babies.
Romance Narrators: Way to stand your ground! Can you tell us about any exciting projects that you have coming up?
Amy: OOOOOOOOO. So. Hold on to your butts everybody - there is some good shit coming your way.
TWO DARK REIGNS by Kendare Blake - this YA series is Game of Thrones but better. Trust me.
CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Paul Tremblay - amazing horror (we’ve talked about this).
THE CROSSING by Jason Mott - YA, apocalypse, gorgeous and haunting memory piece.
2 new duets for May Sage with Shane East - super hot y’all.
EVERYTHING WE GIVE- the final book in Kerry Lonsdale’s Trilogy
LANDS OF LOST BORDERS by Kate Harris - a memoir about breaking down our own boundaries and barriers.
Keep up with Amy online:
Amy’s Audible catalog - https://adbl.co/2qhxopS
Lucy’s Audible catalog - https://adbl.co/2JueK6d
Here are the people Amy mentioned in her interview:
Cat Porter - http://www.catporter.eu/wordpress/
Vikas Adam - https://www.facebook.com/VikasAdam/
Aiden Snow - https://www.facebook.com/AidenSnowNarrator/
Ryan Michele - http://authorryanmichele.net
Chelsea Camaron - http://authorchelseacamaron.com
Jessie Lane - https://jessielanebooks.com
Sarah Castille - http://sarahcastille.com
Tanya Eby - http://www.tanyaeby.com
Carmen Maria Machado - https://carmenmariamachado.com
Kendare Blake - http://kendareblake.com
Jason Mott - http://jasonmottauthor.com
May Sage - http://www.maysageauthor.com
Kerry Lonsdale - https://www.kerrylonsdale.com