At a booksigning a few years ago (blushing from being told she may not be able to read an excerpt because kids were in the store) Samantha mentioned she'd been contracted to try her hand at a sci-fi novella for EC. I was so happy for her because it meant a change from her normal historical genre and she could spread her wings. Since then, she's had a little trouble with release dates and the like, but now she can finally show off her first sci-fis! TOMORROW hit the web on the 22nd and ESPIRIT DE CORPS will soon follow from another publisher. All I can say, is "Hip hip hooray!"
I've been writing since grade school, when they wisely put me in my first creative writing class. I won a citywide writing contest in 4th or 5th grade with a poem about a man that kills his wife. Seriously. I've since purged the dark side. I spent the next twenty years writing for various newspapers, and pursuing a graduate degree in history, which required a LOT of writing, lol. But not enough, apparently, because the day I started grad school I started my first novel. It took about five years to finish (I finished grad school first). It wasn't until I had my first baby, and finally finished that book, that I decided I wanted to write fiction for a living. I joined RWA, learned about the romance publishing industry, and targeted a genre and publisher. Then I sat down and wrote THE COURAGE TO LOVE. So from decision to pursue a writing career to actually selling? About three years.
As a prolific author, how do you balance your work load with your everyday commitments as a wife and mother?
I'm prolific?! It sure doesn't feel like it, lol. Honestly, I don't know how I do it. I have to write every opportunity I get, but I cheat all the time. Sometimes I just need to kick back and relax after a hectic day with the kids. I usually sit there silently berating myself, "I should be writing," but I have to keep my sanity, too. And the characters don't have much to say to me when I'm tapped out after a long day, anyway.
The only way I can finish a book these days is to give myself a daily word count and make sure I hit it. It's usually around 1,000 words, which I can do easily. Most days I'll surpass that goal, which makes up for the days I don't do anything. And I set personal deadlines. One of the reasons I love working with Ellora's Cave is that I set my own deadlines, I don't have any written in stone, which would just freak me out. But I do set my own, and generally meet them. I'm very realistic when I set my writing goals for the year. I don't want to set myself up for failure or disappointment. So overall I'm a pretty easy-going, prolific author.
Would you care to share with us the top 3 highlights of your career to date?
I found for TOMORROW that I needed a much more involved plot than I generally create for my historicals. My historical series, BROTHERS IN ARMS, is very character driven, each book written around one or two characters loosely connected to characters in previous books. But I wanted the science fiction to be a trilogy (so look for the next two books next year), and I needed a plot that could carry over into two more books. I think TOMORROW is more of a plot driven book with very strong characters. At least that was the way I wrote it. The characters for the next two books have already been introduced, and while the romance in TOMORROW ends with a HEA, the main plot is not resolved. In many ways writing TOMORROW and the series bible helped me to tighten my plotting in my historicals, as well.
If you could go back in time and change something in your career, what would it be?
If you'd like to learn more about Samantha, check her out at http://www.samanthakane.us/!