MH: Hi Samantha, thanks for stopping by today. Why don't you tell my readers a little about yourself and what you like to do when you’re not writing?
SC: When I’m not writing? When is that? Let’s see, I’ve been married for 24 years, have two amazing sons (ages 21 and 13) and writing has been my passion my entire life. I just never thought that I could make a living at it! When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with my family, scrapbooking, reading and I am addicted to Scrabble and computer Solitaire!
MH: I know what you mean, I can't imagine a day I wouldn't read or write! When and what made you decide to become an author?
SC:Writing has been my passion for my entire life. I wrote my first short story in the third grade, read my first Harlequin book in the 7th grade and wrote my first romance (hand written!) in the 9th grade! I always wanted to write but didn’t think that I was talented enough to do it. It wasn’t until I was teaching creative writing to home schoolers that I realized that I had so many stories in me waiting to come out! I was encouraging my students to write, why wasn’t I?
MH: Wow, hand written! I did that once but will never again unless it's notes, all I can say is thank God for technology. Anyway, in the last week I’ve just been searching for the perfect names for my new characters. I always love seeing how other authors create names so how and what do you use to name yours?
SC: Naming characters is always tough because I seem to be drawn to very similar names or I want to use them again in other books. Sometimes a name will just come to me as I am creating a character but primarily, and I know it sounds silly, I use the latest list of the top 100 baby names and go from there.
MH: I couldn't agree more, for some reason I'm drawn to Cs, Ks, and Ss - no idea why. Baby name sites are great too, I use them all the time :) While we're on the subject of characters, which was your favourite to create and why?
SC: In “Catering to the CEO”, the male lead, Adam Lawrence, was my favourite. He was just type of alpha male that was fun to write and had my emotions all over the place. One minute I was sighing and the next minute I wanted to strangle him! Readers seemed to love him, too!
MH: He sounds interesting, I might have to add it to my ever growing tbr pile. If you could cast any actress and actor for your leading characters who would they be?
SC: Ooo…I love this question and yet it stumps me every time because I don’t watch a lot of TV or go to the movies so I’m not up on who is big in Hollywood right now! For my book “Ever After”, I pictured Josh Duhamel and Blake Lively as Ava and Brian. In “A Touch of Heaven” I could imagine Jennifer Lawrence as Regan and Charlie Hunnam or Alex Pettyfer as Sawyer. And I don’t know who I would cast as Lacey in “The Christmas Cottage” but I would LOVE to see Henry Cavill as Ean!
MH: *Sigh* I would definitely go and see all of those with that cast - some of my secret - well not so secret - crushes there! Anyway moving on, do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do when it happens?
SC: Writer’s block is so frustrating because I can sit and agonize all day about a scene or a character or anything and then when I am mentally and physically exhausted and finally crawl into bed, THAT’S when I think the most creatively! I’ve tried just staying up later but it doesn’t work. My brain has to shut down quite a bit before I can actually allow myself to think clearly. Does that make sense?
MH: It makes perfect sense and I have exactly the same problem. I've never had writer's block once writing, it's always in the planning stages for me when I'm trying to figure things out. Speaking of new books, are you working on anything now? If so can you give us any details as to what it’s about, when we can expect it etc?
SC: Right now I am getting ready to release a box set of my Montgomery Brothers trilogy. It will be called “All of Me” and it will include a bonus novella that will be exclusive to the bundle. That is scheduled for release on 10/24 and then after that I have a Christmas novella entitled “The Snowflake Inn” with a tentative release date of 11/19. My goal for 2013 was a book a month and so far I’ve managed to do it so basically there is always something new coming out!
MH: Wow a book a month, that's impressive! What is your process for writing? Do you write notes or just let the words flow?
SC:It’s different with every book. Some ideas come to me and I feel like I have to write that story immediately. I have a notebook with 25 different plot ideas and synopses! It’s crazy. And what’s crazier is that out of the 10 books I’ve released, only one of those came from the notebook! Most of the time the words just flow; every now and again and sit down and do some serious plotting but really, I tend to get an idea, loosely jot down the plot points and basic character descriptions and go from there.
MH: Notebooks are great, I'm always adding new ideas. I wish I could just let the words flow like you but I need a detailed plan to begin with...What’s one of the first things you remember writing?
SC: In the third grade I wrote a short story called “The Homework Machine”. I illustrated it and everything! I don’t remember if it was a class assignment or something that I did for fun but I always remember that story!
MH: I love looking over old work from when I was younger, it makes me smile at how much my interests have changed. Is there a secret to how you became a New York Times best-selling author? Can you reveal what you did?
SC:I was very blessed to work on a bundle with four other amazing indie authors. The “Loving the CEO” was such a surprise for me because I had never really paid too much attention to how such things worked. When I was approached to be a part of it, I thought “Sure, why not?” and I’m so glad I did! You have to have a good story to start with and we had a good trope that people wanted. We priced the set at .99 cents for a promotional period and really made sure that we advertised and promoted it.
MH: You mentioned you worked with four other authors for 'Loving the CEO.' I've always wondered how more than one author work on the same book. Would you be able to explain how the process works?
"Loving the CEO" wasn't one book; it was a box set/bundle of five books. Each of the books were written by a different author and previously released; we just put them together because they had a common theme. That process wasn't easy because not only were we looking for authors with books with our common theme of CEO's as the main character, but we needed them to all be written in a similar style - contemporary romance vs. erotica. It wasn't a quick process at all but I think that we ended up with a great group of authors and the fans seemed to enjoy it too!
SC: To stay true to what I write. Contemporary romances really seemed to take a back seat to the erotica flooding the market after the success of the Fifty Shades series and while that’s fine for some people, I enjoy reading and writing contemporary romances. I may not be writing in the top genre but it’s what I enjoy writing. I may never get the commercial success that other authors do but I was true to myself.
MH: I love that you stay true to what you enjoy and don't fit in with the latest trends. I prefer contemporary romances too over all the erotica being released. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
SC: Don’t wait for “the perfect time”. There is no real perfect time. I was unemployed for two years and didn’t write a thing. THAT would have been the perfect time to do it. It wasn’t until I participated in NaNoWriMo and wrote “The Christmas Cottage” and decided to just put it out there that I realized that there was an audience for my work. Sit down and write! Don’t wait. You’ll most likely never have the perfect writing environment or the top of the line computer or even the time but don’t let that stop you. Write, write, write!
MH: I couldn't agree more! What was one mistake you learned from when you first started out?
SC: Never underestimate the power of good editing. I skimped on editing because I thought I could do it myself and didn’t have the budget to pay someone and let me tell you, fans were NASTY. I got a lot of negative, personal attacks in my reviews and now, I pay someone to edit for me.
MH: Oh my, I've done exactly the same thing and know plenty of others too. It was definitely learning the hard way. Who are your favourite authors?
SC: Bella Andre, Kate Perry, Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins to name a few.
MH: What genre do you like to read and do the books you read influence your writing decisions in anyway, for example genre?
SC: I have always been and will always be a contemporary romance girl. I have been reading that genre since I was 13 and it just is something that I thoroughly enjoy. I read a LOT (my Kindle has like 300 books on it!) and sometimes I’ll read something and think that it’s a good idea but that I can make it better. And I don’t mean that in a mean or conceited way; just that I’ll have ideas on how to use a general premise and create something different from it.
MH: I know what you mean, I do it mostly with endings that I hate and re-write them in my head. To finish off, what is one interesting thing people would be surprised to know about you?
SC: Hmmm…I don’t know if it’s interesting but it’s funny. I am terrified of the cartoon “Underdog”. I can’t watch it, can’t see pictures from it…I’m almost 45 years old and I still can’t do it! My older son thinks that it’s hysterical!
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan's Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40's to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.
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