A native South Carolinian, Samantha didn’t go too far from home. When she’s not arguing with the characters over the plot, she’s baking, exercising, or Netflixing with her two rescue dogs and husband.
Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
For a long time, my book didn’t have a title. I was still figuring out my main character’s background. I finally came up with Amaranth when I listened to Nightwish’s song of the same name. I had heard the song a hundred times but in that moment, I had an epiphany and was like “That’s my main character’s name.” And then it became the title.
How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?
The realization that “Yes, this is happening” was so exciting that I had to tell everyone. For years, I told people I was writing but I didn’t feel like an author. When I actually held my book with my name on it, I truly felt like an author.
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
When I started writing, it was after a severe car accident after which I suffered short-term brain damage. I lost my drawing ability and spiraled down into a deep depression. To keep my head above it, I wrote the first draft of my book. Later, after growing and learning from reading some of my favorite authors’ books (the main one being Tamora Pierce), I realized that I couldn’t relate to a lot of the characters, particularly the female protagonists. I wanted to write a character that I could relate to and a story that was unlike any fantasy genre.
What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?
I work on documents all the time through my work. But what I’m mostly known for at work is my baking. I’m always on Pinterest looking for something to challenge me. Right now decorating neatly is a challenge but I like how some of my artistic ability has returned in a different form.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
I hope my book is unlike any fantasy genre they have ever read. I would love to talk to my readers and hear their thoughts and opinions about the characters. My perfect reader is really anyone, no matter their age or preferred genre. I want everyone to enjoy my book.
What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?
Working on book two of The White Dragon! I will hopefully be submitting the manuscript soon. I’ll keep everyone posted on my social media.