Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! Today I have a fabulous interview with romance author Samantha Sommersby. Sit back and enjoy!
Hi Samantha, and welcome to my blog! Can you tell readers a little about your background?
Sure! I was first published in 2005 and in January of 2007 I left what I used to call my “real life” day job in the psychiatric field to pursue writing and working in the publishing industry full-time. I think that my background as a psychotherapist is apparent in my work and it allows me to bring a unique perspective to my characters and stories. I’m thoroughly enjoying having the opportunity to spend my days writing and strive to create a hero that will literally sweep you off your feet.
I live with my husband of eighteen years, my fourteen year old son, and my cocker spaniel, Buck. My husband is a social worker who works with abused children. He’s an avid sailor who loves to surf, and you’ll find bits of him in every hero that I’ve ever written. My son is wonderfully sensitive, with a sarcastic sense of humor. He plays the piano, composes his own music, is a competitive fencer, and worships video games.
On the rare occasion when I manage to set aside some "play" time for myself, you’ll most likely find me reading a book, at the movies, or out wine tasting (we have an 800 bottle cellar and collect mostly California cabernets).
800 bottles?! Wow! (Fans self and wonders if it's 5:00 yet) So, how do you go about developing your characters?
I don’t outline with regards to plot, but I do extensive work before starting a story on characterization. I usually begin with the hero, then I move on to the heroine, and finally I address the important secondary characters. I’m pretty meticulous about it, creating a full background, giving them history, figuring out what motivates them, what it is that they’re afraid of, what they desire most, what they need. I like to get to know my characters inside and out then once I do, I set them loose. What happens after that? Well, they take on a life of their own.
Important question, now: how do you balance writing with the rest of your life?
That’s a constant struggle. I have the advantage of being able to focus on this full-time now, so I keep reminding myself that I can stop and pick things up the following day. I maintain a schedule and although it can be a challenge to stick with it, I do manage to most days. I always stop whatever I’m working on by 2:45 so that I can pick my son up from school, help him with his homework, make dinner, and enjoy the evening with my family. Once upon a time I’d write early in the morning, late at night, and on weekends because that’s the only time I had to write. Now I view writing as my job and I try really hard to balance that out with family, friends…and taking care of myself.
I think that's a terrific attitude to have. But do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?
Sometimes I find that I’ve taken my character down a path that wouldn’t be true to them and I get stuck. Normally if I go back a few pages I’ll see where I went wrong. Once that’s fixed things flow smoothly again.
Can you describe your writing space for us?
I have a small office on the northeast corner of the house. We live in an old two-story craftsman bungalow in southern California. It was built in the early 1900’s and the office has built-in bookcases and oak wainscoting. The office was my husband’s domain, but now it’s all mine. I redecorated it last spring. I painted over the dark green walls with a light buttery yellow, moved my favorite reading chair and ottoman from my bedroom down there, made new curtains, and completely reorganized the closet. It’s a cozy space, but it has everything that I need. And, there’s a huge window that overlooks the front yard.
Oh, it sounds wonderful! Tell us about your latest writing project or published title.
The third book in my Forbidden series, Forbidden: The Revolution, was released in mid-March and I’m working on promoting it now. I’m also in the early stages of writing book four, Forbidden: The Temptation.
The Revolution is set twenty-five years after the second in the series, Forbidden: The Awakening and introduces Byron and Violet’s son, Dell Renfield. Sorcerer. Sexy vampire. Special Agent. Secret weapon. In Forbidden: The Revolution, Dell is sent on a mission to Las Vegas where he encounters an old enemy of Byron’s and finds the two women that had been abducted along with Dell’s mother during Forbidden: The Awakening. The first woman is Rita, Byron’s former consort. The second is Alex Sanchez, who was an infant at the time of the kidnapping. Alex becomes Dell’s love interest. You’ll still see Byron and Violet, Luna will be back. But I’m also introducing some new characters, Byron’s daughter Lily, his assistant Chase, and a young werewolf names Jake who will be featured in book four. Oh – and there’s also a real badass mercenary mage named Basta in the book.
Sounds great! What kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?
My favorite genres are urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Laurell K. Hamilton, especially the early Anita Blake stuff. I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan. I discovered Jeanne Stein’s Anna Strong Series last year and I’m about to start on the third. I’ve got more Kim Harrison in my TBR pile, Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Kelley Armstrong. There’s this fabulous bookstore here in San Diego called Mysterious Galaxy. Every time I walk in there I walk out with an arm full of books!
Samantha, thanks so much for being here. Readers, make sure to visit Samantha's website, and check out her books! You might just find yourself a new favorite author today...