Today, on publication day! I have great pleasure in welcoming Samantha Young to Jera’s Jamboree:
I’m a 27 year old Scottish book addict and I graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2009. I studied ancient and medieval history at uni, and it was in my first year there, in the middle of a classical literature lecture, that I first came up with the idea for The Tale of Lunarmorte. I’ve been writing since as long as I can remember, and I write in a number of genres including romance, paranormal, urban fantasy, fantasy, and contemporary.
I love pulling pieces of historical fact (or mythology) and twisting it to fit my stories, and am more than thankful my degree is being put to good use in my writing. I began self-publishing in 2011 and now write full time.
Another huge part of my life is music and more often than not my music and writing come together.I’m a fan of many, many bands and artists; topping the list: The Airborne Toxic Event, Metric, White Lies, Biffy Clyro, the Killers, Muse, Paramore, Alex Winston, The Cardigans, Adele, We Are Scientists, the Kooks, Arcade Fire, Silverchair,Rihanna, Paolo Nutini,Kings of Leon, Florence and the Machine, and many, many more artists who can inspire the perfect scene.
Please summarise your latest book in 20 words or less.
Earthy, hot, funny, emotional, and relatable, Down London Road is a story about self-discovery and love in unexpected places.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
The inspiration for the novel was really something that came together organically in On Dublin Street: family and the lengths we’re willing to go to for them. Ultimately Down London Road is a romance, but the driving force behind the main character, Johanna’s, actions is her loyalty to her little brother.
If you could choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
I think I would be Jo. I know she’s had a difficult time but I love the people in her life – her brother Cole cracks me up, and her Uncle Mick is a real character. And then there’s Cameron of course. Mmm… yeah I’d definitely like to be in Jo’s shoes.
How do your characters come into existence? Do they have a bio?
Yes, definitely. All my characters have a history and profile before I start writing them. It’s the only way I can put them down on paper and have them react in a way that makes sense to their personality. Sometimes as I write I may change a character slightly, but overall they usually remain who they were when I first set out to write the book.
Did you do any research for your book? What resources did you use?
I didn’t do any heavy research for Down London Road and any I did was by speaking to people either in person or online, who had the knowledge I didn’t. A lot of Down London Road is incredibly relatable, so it was really a case of understanding my characters and how they would react to a situation. It also helps that I know my setting – Edinburgh – really well.
Did you travel to any places? Undergo any new experiences ie a particular job?
I’ve worked in admin just like Jo so I knew how that kind of job worked already, and my dad used to be a bar manager so I can always turn to him for advice regarding Club 39.
Do you have a theme for your book covers? Who designs them?
My self-published books are designed by the extremely talented Phatpuppy Art. A series always follows through with some kind of theme and continuity, but overall each cover should represent the story, and my cover artist is excellent at doing that for me.
What inspired you to write?
When I was little I immediately wanted to pick up a pen and paper after reading the Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe. Since then I’ve always written.
Are you a panster or a plotter?
A plotter! I wish I could be a pantser. However, I need to have my characters all worked out and chapter summaries written before I can start writing the book.
Do you have a most creative time of day?
Not really. I’m so busy I need a set schedule so I write with breaks throughout the whole day. I do write into the wee hours of the morning though.
Do you have a favourite place you go to for inspiration or a favourite activity?
Taking a walk and listening to music always helps me, especially if I have writer’s block.
Which authors have influenced your writing?
Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Clare, Chloe Neill… they all have this relaxed, smooth prose that draws a reader in and I really hope that I’m achieving the same in my writing.
Do you have a favourite book? Why? What is it about that book?
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. I absolutely love the unique prose and the way it emulates the personality of the main character Todd. The concept is genius, thrilling, exciting, un-put-downable. But mostly it’s my favourite book because I fell so hard for the main characters and it moved me emotionally to the point where it was almost as though Todd and Viola were real. It’s a stunning series.
What is in the future?
I’ve just signed with Penguin to write a third book in the On Dublin Street series which is what I’m working on at the moment. I’m keeping pretty quiet about the details just now but all will be revealed soon, plus a secret project…
Thank you for sharing with us today Samantha.
Wishing you success with Down London Road
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Penguin (9 May 2013)
Johanna Walker knows what she wants. And that’s a strong, steady, financially secure man who will treat her well and look after her and her little brother, Cole – something her parents have never done.
But when she meets the gorgeous Cameron MacCabe, a new bartender at work, Jo can’t deny the instant and undeniable attraction she feels. Cam doesn’t fit into her strict specifications of her perfect partner at all – but for once she is tempted to let her heart rule her head.
And as their intense connection grows, Jo has to stop hiding the truth about herself and her family. Is Cam prepared to accept Jo for who she really is? And is Jo willing to let someone into her life for keeps?