And lastly, but definitely not leastly in my month of blog interviews, is Samantha Warren! She is the author of the newly released IRON LOCKET.
I love this stuff, don’t you? Fantasy is always fun. Throw a little mayhem in there and we have a party.
Now, a little bit about the author.
Samantha Warren is a fantasy and science fiction author who spends her days immersed in dragons, spaceships, and vampires. With her pet dragon, Anethesis, she ventured to the ends of the universe, but the cost of space travel cut into her sock fetish fund, so she sold her ship and returned home. When she isn’t writing, she’s milking cows or trying to feed them Pop-Tarts. She spends a lot of time in her weed patch (aka: garden), watching any show featuring Gordon Ramsay, or posting random things on her blog (http://www.samantha-warren.com).
To the interview!
What got you into writing in the first place?
I don’t really remember, to be honest. I wasn’t one of those kids who grew up thinking “I love writing, I have to write!” I was a reader, not a writer. I loved books, but hated school. Papers were easy to write, but torture nonetheless. I tried my hand at writing during a break from college and wrote a few chapters in a story (that’s available to subscribers for my newsletter *cough cough*), but I got stuck and the urge fizzled out. Then in 2009, I did NaNo, but hit a rough patch where I didn’t like the turn the story had taken and stopped again (that eventually turned into the Jane series). I tried NaNo again in 2010 and that time I was prepared. The story had been percolating for awhile and I was really excited about it. One day in the middle of November, I was substitute teaching (teachers are insane people who deserve a lot more credit than they get) when I thought “I need to get home so I can find out what happens next in that book.” Then I realized the book was mine and I still hadn’t written the what happens. That sealed the deal. Won NaNo, finished the book in January, and the rest is history.
Why your genre? Do you plan on branching out or do you feel at home in what you write?
I always say that I write the books I want to read. Fantasy and sci-fi are the books I like to read, so they’re the genres I’m naturally drawn to. I do have a couple ideas for some other books, such as a zombie western and an A Life Less Ordinary-esque book, but I’m not sure they’ll ever get written.By the way, watch that movie. It rocks. And Tank Girl. Watch Tank Girl. Just because.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Pantser to the core. I’ll usually make up a very minimal outline so that I know where I want the story to go, but then I just let the story develop organically. I’ve been surprised by my own work enough to know that planning is futile. 🙂
Do you have a writing room or place that you go to write?
I get my best writing done in my bed, which really is very uncomfortable. As a reward for completing The Iron Locket, I bought myself a nice poofy chair and turned a small room into a reading room. I’m hoping I’ll be as productive in that chair as I am in bed. For some reason, I don’t get much done when I’m sitting in my computer chair. It has nothing to do with FB being open the entire time, I swear!
Take me through your writing process. How do you begin?
Most of my books begin with a sentence. The first sentence. I know, you’re staring at the screen and thinking, “Um, duh?” But it’s more than just words. That first sentence is usually where my ideas come from. “He didn’t notice me at first. They never do.” – Vampire Assassin (Jane #1), “Edith Myers had just about had enough.” – The Seven Keys of Alaesha, “The dirt and sand along the riverbank glistened darkly in the fading light.” – Blood of the Dragon. The Iron Locket is a bit different, though. I started with a sentence, “Aiofe Callaghan knelt beside the bubbling stream, pressing her lips tightly together and squinting her emerald eyes in concentration.” That was intended to be the first sentence, and it still is in a way, but it doesn’t occur until halfway through the book now. TIL went through a major overhaul and lots of rearranging to make it the book it is today.
Tell me about your book. Why could only YOU have written it?
The Iron Locket is a fun book that melds modern ideas of faeries and medieval lore. One of my beta readers likened it to a faery tale, and it is in a way. There’s a little bit of Red Riding Hood meets Cinderella (sort of), all mixed in with a whole lot of action. I don’t know of anyone else who would have come up with this particular idea. It started out as a simple faery romance and took the little idea of King Arthur buried in a faery hill and blossomed into something that I absolutely love. To describe it in one sentence: It’s awesome.
Tell me what makes your book(s) special. Why should I read them?
I mentioned before that I write the books I want to read. That’s what makes my books special. If you give a dozen writers an idea and tell them to write, you will end up with a dozen different stories. No two people have the exact same ideas, no two people think exactly the same way. That’s why I hate the argument that “So and so stole this other person’s idea”. All writers get their ideas from somewhere. Some are better at making them their own than others are. Look at 50 Shades. No, I’ve never read it and never will, but it’s a good example. Everyone knows it was initially Twilight fan fiction, but from what I can tell, there’s nothing really Twilighty about it anymore. Would anyone know that was the inspiration anymore? Probably not. I’m babbling, sorry about that. Anyway, back to my books. They all are books I enjoy reading. Sometimes when I’m going through them after putting them aside for awhile, I forget they’re even mine. They’re fun, snarky, and exciting. My books are also shorter than most. I’m not a fan of long-winded babbling (unless I’m doing interviews, then I’ll take all day and tell you my whole life story). But when it comes to my writing, I stick to the action most of the time. I want exciting, thrilling, can’t-stop-reading books. So those are what I try to write. I’m so thankful for self-publishing because without it, I wouldn’t be able to write those types of books.
Writers say that reading is important if you want to write well. Keeping that in mind, what kind of books do you read?
Reading is definitely important. As Stephen King said in On Writing, not only do you see what good writing looks like, but you also learn what bad writing looks like. I read some craft books, but probably not as many as I should. Most of what I read falls into the genres I like, such as fantasy (all sorts), sci-fi, a little bit of historical romance, pretty much anything that looks good.
You’re in a coffee shop. You get two authors to have coffee with. Which ones and why. GO.
JK Rowling because it’s JK Rowling. I think she’d be a blast to talk to. And Jonathan Maberry. I don’t write/read his genre, but I’ve met him before and he’s awesome. I’d love to spend some one-on-one time to just pick his brain. Plus, he’s freaking hilarious! I’m taking a class from him this summer at the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference and I can’t wait.
Do you wear mismatching socks? It’s okay if you do. Don’t be shy.
I have a bit of a sock fetish. I own so many socks, they don’t all fit in one drawer. In fact, they may not fit in two at this point. My biggest task of the day is finding matching socks. Sometimes it takes me a good ten minutes (often because I don’t want to wear the matches I do find). There is one, well, two pairs of socks that I will wear mismatched, though. One pair is red/white, the other is green/white, but they’re pretty similar otherwise. They’re both Rudolph socks with Clarice, Santa, etc on them, so I intentionally mismatch those. They’re adorable that way.
So much awesome, right?
So here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re going to follow all of the links and ‘like’, ‘follow’, ‘stalk’, and all of those other things that the kids are doing these days. Why? Because you need a little mayhem in your life.