Tell us a bit more about yourself.
Well, I’m a mom to three monsters. Most of my time is devoted to them, but when they’re at school, I’m a writer/editor, and occasionally a domestic goddess.
What do you do with your leisure time?
I’m very rarely gifted this thing called leisure. However, on the off chance I get it, I’m reading, writing, doing some other crafting thing, playing Guild Wars (2), or staring at the ceiling, waiting for the muse to return to me.
On a more serious note, the best thing I love to do is curl up on the couch with my children and watch a movie or play a Wii game with them. Leisure time is family time, right?
How long have you been writing and what was your first published piece?
I know most authors say they’ve written since they were 5 or some unbelievable age. And maybe they have, but I didn’t and I don’t think I ever could claim that. I did write throughout school, particularly in middle school and high school. Half the time it was for a grade, but I do recall having a few things that weren’t. Such as: songs, poetry, and this lovely little rendition of Aladdin that I wrote with my brother on my mom’s old fashioned typewriter. I felt all “Official” and everything. My mom kept it and returned it to me when I needed to be reminded of how much fun writing was to me.
What inspires you as a writer?
Everything and absolutely nothing. Life, death, peace, sorrow, anger, happiness, the chirping of birds outside the window, the reflection of sunlight on a wall. The smell of spring carried on the breeze or the fading wisp of smoke from a cigarette. The flicker of a memory or the last remaining images of a dream. The glow in my son’s eyes when he smiles or the excitement in my daughter’s. The way my oldest boy laughs. Or the feel of my husband’s arms around me. All these things and so much more. You did want these answers to be relatively short, right?
Are you a panster or a plotter?
Is plotting by the seat of my pants a good answer? I tend to do that. But mostly, I’m a pantser. I plot out specifics, but I don’t kill the story. I like to have things like scenery worked out or a map to go by. Sometimes a little more than that, but I don’t sit down and physically plot the first draft of any story.
Have your writing habits and methods changed from when you were starting out?
Yes and no. There are things that I have learned that helped to enhance my writing and things that I tried and wanted to pull my hair out with. I don’t do the same exact thing for each story that I write, so I’m constantly learning something new about the craft and my skills. But I’m also getting better at writing too (if I do say so, myself!). Things that I have strengthened and improved upon such as tense slips, (yes, I do those too), character development, story line, dialogue, etc. But you didn’t about that, did you?
What inspired you to write Made To Forget?
Ha! A dream. I come up with things called Dream Scenes. They are dreams that are just too vivid in detail and plot to be forgotten. So I started to write them down. Some evolved into stories, while others remain as they are. But this one wouldn’t leave me alone. In a lot of ways, Elsa and her story is very real to me.
Tell us about The Fighting Hamsters and how has it helped you as a writer.
The Fighting Hamsters is the name of my critique group. Though we’ve had some new faces every now and then, there are a few of us who have been there since the beginning. They know my style and what I’m trying to say and aren’t afraid to tell me how it is. With that in mind, their opinions are held in high regard and have helped me to dig deeper as a writer and helped me to get better with my processes and tell which story ideas are worth fighting for and which ones are best left rotting in the wastes.
What are you working on now? Can include what inspired the story, what it's about and who your favourite character is.
I’m currently working through the notes from my beta readers on my second novella: Echoes of Memories. I’m also finishing up my NaNoWriMo project from last year. I left it late last month to get the novella ready to send out to my betas and so far, I’m nearing the 70k mark on words. The end is getting closer, but we’re not quite there yet. It’s called The Last Necromancer. I don’t know that I have an exact thing that inspired the story. I’m an avid gamer and the game that I play the most has a necromancer class with a really neat skill (that I won’t go into as it plays into the story) and I thought that’s it! That’s what I’m going to write about. Beyond that, writing a different story about necromancers floated around in my head for a while, but I didn’t have anything that would really kick off the story like that skill. Choosing a favourite character of my own book is a lot like choosing my favourite child. It’s damn near impossible!
What else do you have planned for 2014?
Writing related, I have the release of Echoes of Memories and the first draft of Forced to Remember to do. I’m hoping to polish off a full-length MS for publishing late in the year.
Non-writing related, I’m hoping to take my family on a vacation. We have several places we want to go, so narrowing that down is a task in itself. I’m also planning on some renovations of my house, and learning to say no. LOL I’m a pushover, really.
Who are your favourite writers?
The two people who have opened my eyes to the world of fantasy and an escape for my crazy dreams are Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. They are the authors of Dragonlance. I think that’s enough of an explanation on that. I highly recommend their series, particularly the firsts.
What is something you do that people find odd or even weird?
I’m rather outspoken and awkward. I’m a clown and a bit of a show-off at times, doing things that I probably shouldn’t, but it makes people laugh so it’s all good.
What is the funniest thing to happen to you in the last twelve months?
Oh man! Things in my life had been stressful the last two years, so I’m not sure that I have an immediate answer for this one. I’ll have to think about it and let you know.
What advice would you give new writers just starting out?
Ignore the nay sayers and do what’s in your heart. Disregard all the advice you are given unless you find it useful to what you are working on. And NEVER EVER give up. You’ll find your niche and what makes you happy. The rest will come in time.
Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
Hmm … I think I would like to be where I am now with more knowledge, more success, and more wisdom (as it is very different from knowledge), and all around just happy with what surrounds me and the experiences I’ve been gifted by life. Hopefully writing more books is involved in that as I think writing is like breathing for me.
A big thank you to Samantha for sharing her time with us. Her website can be found here.
Click here to check out Made to Forget
Another highly recommended book by Samantha LaFantasie is Heart Song.
A Conversation With is published by Alastair Rosie, author of The Deepening Dark. If you’d like to have a conversation with me please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and provide a brief bio and links to your webpage, blog and book(s) and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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