|The blurb at the back of the popular "Lady Alannah"
"Amy Hayes spends
the time she's not writing in keeping her yellow lab, Ripley (yes,
after Ellen) entertained.
She loves dark chocolate and pecans, and never got the pony she begged
for so gave Alannah one."
real story is that Amaranth Drosato's old neighbor is the
Ripley, and she never begged for a pony, because she was concerned with
Amaranth was born to Nicholas and Anna Drosato, a
pair of practical idealogues living on a Israeli kibbutz.
the ideology of the kibbutz broke down into infighting and other junk,
they took their three-year-old daughter back to California.
Nicholas got a degree at Berkley and ended up with a job at Apple.
Amaranth's first computer – and tied for first love – was an Apple
180. Every few years, even now, Nicholas has a new computer
the tree for her. And of course, she's gone through pretty much every
iteration of iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
Even though they'd left the kibbutz and moved
to Silicon Valley, the Drosatos didn't give up their hippy
lifestyle. They kept a sweatlodge in the back yard, and were
officially members of the Native American Church. Anna
ran vision quests for her young daughter. At one point not
long after graduation, a friend of Anna's from her world-wandering days
came and helped. Amaranth found herself in the Timeplains
her mother, a young, curiously androgynous Indian man, and her new
mentor, her mother's friend Sameera. Within a few months,
joined Sameera in Tibet, then Katamaraga, a shrine in southern Sri
devoted to Skanda-Murukan, then back to Tibet. They spent three years
studying there, pilgrimaging to Katamaranga each year, even after
they'd migrated their studies to Greece for an additional year.
Eventually, she returned to Berkeley and finished her degree in English
literature, while turning her imagination and travel memories into a
young adult series centered around a fairly typical fantasy heroine,
Lady Alannah. In between soloing about fifteen characters to maximum
level in World of Warcraft, of course.
Not long after
graduation, an encounter in the park brought
childhood sweetheart and best friend back into her life. Brodie, it
turned out, had had his own Awakening while pursuing Parkour in
After reconnecting, their love story was cut short by Brodie's death
from a stray shot fired during a drive-by while he was running. When
every little thing reminded her too much of Brodie, Amaranth stuck a
pin in a map of New England—about as far away as she could get and not
worry about emigration procedures—and landed in Portland, Maine.