This week we have the lovely Samantha Anderson up on the chopping block 🙂
Why is this always such a hard question to answer? I can write books but when it comes to telling about me, I clam up. I would like to think that it would say I was not afraid of facing obstacles. That I never give up on the things I believe in, and that I love recklessly and whole-heartedly. It would probably also say that I’m an obsessive fan-girl over vampire shows on TV.
When did you start writing and why?
I actually started writing when I was younger. I was raised in an overly religious home and my creativity was stifled by parents that thought what I wrote about was too taboo. I didn’t actively start pursuing a writing career until I was in my early twenties and it was because I got bored of reading. I would put a book down and 90% of the time think that I could do better. I wanted to write the stories that I wanted to be reading.
If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?
It hasn’t affected my writing style in the least. I have two daughters who are 12 and 9 and they know that there are certain things in my writing that they are not old enough to read. My oldest has taken an avid interest in writing so we collaborate on short stories a lot. As far as habits though, nights are my writing time. After the girls are in bed, I put in headphones and start creating. It’s difficult to focus during the day because of constant interruptions.
Who is your favorite author and why?
I cannot say I have an overall favorite. My reading tastes have changed as I’ve grown older. There is a piece of me that loves Sherrilyn Kenyon and Lori Foster for the best semi-trashy novels they write, but I also love J.K Rowling and Michael Crichton for the way they suck you in to a story. The first author that comes mind when asked this is George R. R. Martin for the Game of Thrones series. I was only able to get through book 3 simply because I was so emotionally and mentally drained by the time I finished, I couldn’t pick up another one. That’s the kind of writer I want to be. The one that makes you feel something, makes you so invested in a story that you physically ache over it.
What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
Before I started writing, books were my escape. Coming from a less-than-perfect childhood, they helped transport me out of whatever I was in, into a new world full of possibilities. The same has happened with several stories I’ve read in my adult years. That’s what I want. To meet someone someday that says that my stories helped them in some way. Helped them cope, pulled them away from the harshness of reality.
Traditional or Self publishing? Why?
Can you insert a nervous chuckle here? When I wrote my first novel I went with self-publishing because all I wanted was to have a tangible copy of my book in my hands. I wanted to put it on my mantle and say “Yea I did that!” However, when I self-published, I about gave up when it came to formatting because I was solely on my own. I have always said that most indie authors are one 6-figure check away from selling out. I love the control of self-publishing. I like being able to say how and when etc. but I have no time for marketing. I had thought that if I went through a traditional publisher that I wouldn’t have to do anything but write. I quickly learned that wasn’t the case. I have no clear-cut choice when it comes to publishing. I will continue to self-publish because it works for me currently. However I know if I was approached by a traditional company and could reasonably make a living from writing, I would go that route as well.
Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing.
I wrote fan-fiction online for years. I honestly thought that it would be all that ever came of my creativity. It was a hobby and that was all, even though it wasn’t. I lived and breathed writing. I gave all the excuses of not being able to do a novel etc., and then a fellow fan-fiction writer named Mike, published his first novel. I was so happy for him, but to be honest, a bit peeved too. I then started the task of questioning Mike incessantly about the process and found out an average novel was only about 60,000 words. I totaled up all the fan-fiction pieces of short stories I’d written in three years and had almost 300,000 written words about one character. 60k didn’t seem that daunting after that. The writing that had seemed daunting was the easy part when I got to formatting for print and e-book. I spent weeks trying to get everything lined up right and managed to meet a few people through Twitter who recommended wiping all existing formatting and starting from the beginning. It was a breeze after that. I used Createspace because I had Mike to hound for help if needed. Smashwords proved to be more daunting as they were pickier about formatting to get into their premium catalog. My second novel though, once I’d gone through all the headaches with the first, only took about a week to push through CreateSpace and Smashwords because of everything I learned the first time.
Tell us about your book (s)
The first novel is The Devil’s Angel and chronicles the life of vampire Devrynne Kaine. It is told as a series of flashbacks, brought on as she is being blackmailed in present day for killing the vampire who turned her. She is owned by Lucifer, controlled only by him and trying to balance the task of being the vampire she now is and not losing the humanity she once had.
My second novel is the sequel to that called The Devil’s Apprentice. This is a continuation of Devrynne’s life as she is put to the test again, more choices, new battles faced. You know, all the things a good sequel is supposed to be!
I am in the writing process for the conclusion of Devrynne’s trilogy which is The Devil’s Downfall. I won’t give anything about that one except that nothing is what it seems. Characters you think you know from the first two novels will surprise you and show you even more facets of their personalities.
What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?
Devrynne’s character has always been the easiest for me to write, ever. It started from a photo of Kate Winslet and has fit like a glove ever since. I wanted to write a story where your main character wasn’t your typical “good” person. She’s not a hero and yet you find yourself rooting for her. I also enjoy writing the many faces of the devil. I have always been fascinated with the WHY are people good or bad. Being told as a child that the devil is bad wasn’t enough for me, I wanted to know why. Simply being told he disobeyed wasn’t enough for me either. I wanted to put a personality with it, an understanding of why he is that way. It was only after I’d published The Devil’s Angel that I realized the sub-context of things in the book that paralleled in my own personal life and realized that it was more about the lengths a woman would be willing to go to get the life she wants, to get rid of the toxic people in her life and stay loyal to the ones that have loved her even if in unconventional ways.
Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?
I think there are pieces of Devrynne that everyone can relate to. I think we don’t generally want pity and she knows that her life is a mess because she made it that way. She owns the fact that all of her decisions have led her to where she is. That alone is the reason why I love her. I think the audience will appreciate that but also hate her because like any true woman, when it comes to love, we don’t always learn from our mistakes.
Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?
They do! For The Devil’s Angel it would be as follows: Rev 22:20 by Puscifer, Like Suicide by Seether, Pain by Three Days Grace, Dance With The Devil by Breaking Benjamin, Lucifer’s Angel by Rasmus, Broken Dreams by Shaman’s Harvest, Not Meant To Be by Theory of a Deadman and Get Stoned by Hinder.
For The Devil’s Apprentice it would be as follows: Innocence by Halestorm, You Stupid Girl by Framing Hanley, Almost Told You That I Loved You by Papa Roach, Curly Sue by Takida, Seven Devils by Florence + the Machine, This Is War by 30 Seconds To Mars, Fix Me by 10 Years, Blurry by Puddle of Mudd and Control by Garbage.
These are all songs that fit with the story in some way if you really listen to the lyrics, or are songs that inspired certain scenes or tones for the novels. I have not completely comprised a soundtrack for the final book of this series, but have written a great deal of The Devil’s Downfall while listening to Requiem for a Tower by Clint Mansell on repeat.