Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Q&A with Samantha Young about Drip Drop Teardrop, a Novella

I happened to stumble upon an ebook giveaway not too long ago in an effort to support a friend. Lo and behold, I won a book! It was a pleasant surprise to receive an email advising me I was to get a copy of Drip Drop Teardrop, a Novella from talented Scottish author, Samantha Young. We started chatting, as I usually do, and the next thing I knew I was reading a short but sweet romance with a touch of fantasy and paranormal in it. It was so tastefully done that I had to ask her to join me here.

Collette: Thank you for agreeing to appear on my blog, Samantha. I hope you enjoy your visit as much as I enjoyed your story. Let’s start with the basics… When did you start writing?
Samantha: I began writing at a young age, about seven or eight. It was just after I read C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It was the first book I had ever read that took me somewhere so magical and I wanted to create my own worlds for people to read about.

Where do you get your ideas?
I'm usually inspired by something. With my trilogy, the Tale of Lunarmorte, I was inspired by a classical literature lecture when I was studying at Edinburgh Uni as a history student. With Drip Drop Teardrop, a Novella I was driving home one night from work listening to the song 'Overload' by The Cardigans and suddenly I had this whole story playing out to the song in my head. I began writing the novella as soon as I got home. My latest novel, however, Smokeless Fire, is the first in my new Fire Spirits series and it came about because I was looking for a fresh concept in YA paranormal. It struck me that I had never come across a series about the legends of the Jinn and I began researching them. A few weeks later I had an entire trilogy mapped out from my findings.

Were you inspired by someone to write the genre you’re writing in?

I was inspired by C.S. Lewis to begin writing fantasy and the older I grew the more addicted I became to urban fantasy and paranormal fiction (I'm also a massive Dystopian and Sci-fi fan). My inspiration in my teens were authors like L.J. Smith, Christopher Pike, Annette Curtis Klause, Orson Scott Card and Angela Carter. Just as I was getting back into writing in my early twenties, I was reading wonderful authors like Charlaine Harris, Rachel Vincent and Richelle Mead. These great writers definitely inspired me to push myself back into writing.
What is your writing process?

If I'm looking for inspiration I usually go for a walk with my music and hopefully let the songs I'm listening to spark something. It's either this or I've already come up with a concept I'm interested in. So I take that concept and start downloading info on it and borrowing books from the library. I go through days of researching, writing down anything that I think might be useful and pinning it to my 'ideas board'. After I've done all the research I sit in front of the board and try to make sense of everything I've written down, organising the thoughts and drawing a plot out of them. I then write out the plot for the novel (or books if it's a series). After that I begin building character profiles for all my characters, trying to get to know them as best I can before writing. And then finally I sit down and write out entire chapter summaries for the first novel. Once that's done I can pick up the old laptop and begin writing the actual novel.
Do you write full-time?

I am lucky enough to be writing full time now. I began writing full time in July 2011 after building up a wonderful readership over the last six months.
How long did it take you to complete Drip Drop Teardrop, a Novella?

It didn't take me long at all to write Drip Drop Teardrop. I think perhaps ten days, which is the fastest I've ever written anything but it only comes in at 25,000 words.
Your story has a touch of paranormal in it. Can you describe your research into your subject?

When I was Listening to 'Overload' by the Cardigans I heard a woman singing about her love for someone who takes her into darker places. I immediately thought of a woman falling in love with Death but I didn't want to write about a generic character, and to me it seems more 'realistic' that there are lots of beings who take care of the dead rather than just the one. So I started looking into the mythology of Death and came across Breton mythology on creatures they called Ankou. The Ankou was considered one of Death's Henchmen and he would collect the souls of the land he guarded over. I decided this was the exact kind of mythology I wanted to incorporate into Drip Drop Teardrop. I fudged a little with the dates (the Breton mythology came about much later than when I stated) because I wanted to make Brennus pretty old.
The artists’ prerogative, right? J

Can you describe Avery and Brennus in a few sentences? What are they like? What do they want? Goals, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
Avery is loyal and self-sacrificing. She wants the strength to make her own decisions but the circumstances around her parents' death have made her distrust herself. She doesn't really believe in herself to begin with but she believes in the people around her. Brennus is disconnected from life until Avery. He's not perfect. Although he has a kind and compassionate side he has been so long without love he is all consuming and determined to have it when it's in his grasp, no matter the consequences.

Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?
They're not based on any one particular individual but I have known people with their certain characteristics. Especially Avery. I've known a few people who, for a myriad of reasons, found it difficult to make their own decisions.

Do you ever incorporate yourself into your characters?
I think I definitely incorporate my sense of humour. Usually my characters are pretty sarcastic and they tease each other good-naturedly (I grew up in a family of good-natured teasing, you either armed yourself or got buried by people out-'witting' you). Also I'm really independent and have difficulty depending on other people... I think sometimes this comes across in my female characters. Actually, out of all of my characters Avery is the least like me and I found her character the most difficult to write because of it.

Are you still writing? If so, what will your future projects entail?
I'm always writing, lol. Never stop. My next upcoming release is Smokeless Fire (Fire Spirits #1) and it's coming out October 21st 2011. This will be followed by its subsequent sequels and a couple of sequels for series I already have out. 2012 will be an exceptionally busy year for me because I'm planning on writing and releasing the series, Lunarmorte Repercussions, which is the spin-off series to my most popular trilogy The Tale of Lunarmorte.

How often do you read?
I try to read at least once a day. Sometimes I can't when my writing schedule has me all wrapped up, but I love reading. I'm a complete book addict. I also love recommending what I've enjoyed to my readers on my blog, so I do try to fit in as much time for it as possible.

What is your favorite genre to read?
That's a tough one. I really can't choose between parnormal, fantasy, dystopian and sci-fi. I love these four genres. I also like them to have a sprinkling of romance within them to keep things interesting.

Ebook, paperback or hardcover?
Ahh I love my paperbacks... although I was recently gifted with a Kindle and I really don't know what I'd do without it now. It's awesome.

Where can we find you online?
Blog: http://samyoungyafantasyauthor.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Samantha-Young-YA-Fantasy-Author/173012182748570
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Samantha-Young/e/B004W7FT94/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Amazon.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samantha-Young/e/B004W7FT94/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/samanthayoung
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4167378.Samantha_Young
Other: Twitter username SYoungSFauthor

Where is Drip Drop Teardrop, a Novella available for purchase?
Drip Drop Teardrop is available to purchase from amazon.com in paperback and ebook, and in ebook from amazon.co.uk, smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Diesel Ebooks, Apple, Kobo and Sony.

What formats are your books available in?
Paperback, Kindle, epub, pdf and pdb

Do you have a release date for your next book?
October 21st 2011 - Smokeless Fire (Fire Spirits #1)

Thank you so much for joining me today, Samantha. We’ll all be keeping an eye out come October!
Thanks Collette!

Cheers, Samantha


Dean J. Baker said...

great blog

Collette said...

Thanks very much, Dean. And thank you for visiting! I hope you'll keep coming by!!