Guest Post: Amy Ray

I’m delighted to welcome Amy Ray to the blog today. She’s a new New England author and one of the newest of my fellow Barking Rain Press authors. I can’t wait to read Dangerous Denial. Take it away, Amy! (And look at that cool shirt she’s wearing…)Amy Ray

Empty Nest

I’m the mother of a teenager who, in two and a half lightning-fast years, will be leaving me to go to college and start living her life independently. I’ve already begun to stockpile dark chocolate in anticipation.

Okay, who am I kidding? Dark chocolate would never last more than a few weeks days hours in my presence.

We raise our children to accomplish what will, essentially, result in our own heartbreak. To leave us. We diligently teach them survival skills: not to text while driving, how to use the air fluff setting on the dryer to avoid having to iron, how to cook Ramen. We want our young to be able to function successfully without us but when they set out to do just that, it causes anxiety, worry, and more than a little pain.

Currently, I’m facing a weird twist on the empty nest syndrome. It has taken a long time but, finally, my writing is leaving the safety of my computer’s memory, its home, and going out into the world. To be read by others. To be judged by others. And, hopefully, to be enjoyed by others.

It’s a strange feeling. I’ve wanted it, yearned for it, for a long time but it is exciting and a little scary all at once.

My push for publication began in earnest a year ago. With my daughter’s absence within sight, I decided to give myself two years to get published or I was going to find a new career that wasn’t home-based. Maybe I’d dust off my degree and tap back into my business background. But, while I enjoyed my former career, my heart is in writing so I decided to pull out all the stops and send out every piece I had been toiling over for years.

And something changed.

I sold a short story, “All’s Fair,” that will appear in the next installment of the NH Pulp Fiction book series, Love Free Or Die (February, 2014.) And then I got the news about which I had been dreaming: Barking Rain Press wanted to publish my suspense novel, Dangerous Denial (March, 2014.)

I wish I could pinpoint the catalyst that sparked the change. If I could bottle it, I’m sure I’d have a long line of beginning writers willing to buy it. But then I’d be back into my entrepreneurial mode which is what I had been trying to avoid in the first place.

Alas, there are no magic formulas to getting a writing career off the ground. I had already put in the time writing, revising, and attending workshops to learn more about my craft. Most likely, the missing element was the determination that was infused last December.

That, of course, and a little a lot of dark chocolate.

Readers: Ask Amy a question about New Hampshire, tap dancing, empty nesting, or anything else!

Amy Ray writes for both children and adults. She’s anxiously awaiting two upcoming publications: her suspense novel, Dangerous Denial (Barking Rain Press, March 2014) and “All’s Fair,” her story in the Love Free Or Die anthology (Plaidswede Publishing, February 2014.) When not writing or putting in volunteer hours for the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, she has rediscovered the joy of tap dancing. You can catch up with her on Twitter @WriterAmyRay or on Facebook at

18 Thoughts

  1. Do love the shirt!, Amy! I’m adding Dangerous Denial to my TBR list of NYP must reads. Congrats on becoming a published author. And, that empty nest chocolate concern gets better as your child becomes your adult friend. No matter what you or she accomplish – you’ll always be her mother ( and guilt trips still work). 🙂

    1. When I saw the book print — I had to have it! It’s actually a dress, although you can’t tell from the photo. Thanks for adding Dangerous Denial to your TBR list! I appreciate it.

      1. Amy I love the book print. I stared at it for an hour trying to figure out if I was seeing things—like the way you see people’s faces in your dining room wallpaper or something. It’s great.

  2. No, I didn’t. I can knit a scarf (it took me two years) and I can sew Halloween costumes but I’ve never attempted a dress. It’s from Tommy Hilfiger.

  3. Thanks for joining us, Amy! I am in the same boat book wise and understand the excitement and anxieties! My daughter left three years ago and there are joys along with the sorrow.

  4. You didn’t tell me about tap dancing! I wonder if I should try it?

    Seriously though, good luck with the book and I’m looking forward to reading it.

    I like that shirt too.


    1. Thanks Jed! I just rediscovered tap dancing — I took lessons until age 16 then stopped until a couple months ago. It’s so fun!

  5. Welcome, Amy! It’s great to have you here–and to add another New England book to my TBR list. Please drop in and remind us when it comes out in March!

  6. I’m reading Dangerous Denial right now and really enjoying it! I look forward to hunting down that short story. The NH Pulp books are great! Congratulations!

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