And welcome to another author interview. This week we have Samantha Holloway (aka pirategirljack). And here she is.
-What book and/or experience made you want to be a writer?
By the time I was twelve, I was tired of kids' books, and I'd read my way through everything that looked interesting from my mom's romance and mystery collections. I was looking for something new to read. Then, one day when I was home sick from school, I discovered Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight. It was the first of a series, so there was lots for me to read afterward. It had a female protagonist who got to have adventures on her own terms (mostly), so that was another check. And it had dragons, and, later, spaceships. I was bowled over. As soon as I finished that first book, I wrote my first original story.
It was terrible, but I was hooked on writing, too, and I never looked back. I mean, not only the chance to continue a story I loved, but to write my own stories? I don't think there's anything in my life that has ever felt so right!
-What genre(s) do you write?
I write fantasy. I refuse to narrow it more than that, because I like all kinds of fantasy, from Epic to Urban to Mythic to Dark. Whatever strikes my fancy as I start a story!
-What project are you working on now?
I'm going into revisions on my first official novel, Married to the Wind. I say official, because everything that came before wasn't good enough to see the light of day! This one? I'm still in love with it.
On top of that, I'm starting to plan out (as much as I ever plan anything, which is to say, I'm thinking a lot about) my next two, an Urban Fantasy that's the start of a series, called Beacon, first book of the Aetherium Cycle, and a YA dystopian scifi called Ember. And I have about a million other side projects, too! I'm working on an ebook on Inspiration, a public novel-writing experience, I'm getting back to writing poetry and short stories, I have a paper coming out in an academic book later this year...I'm happiest when I'm busy!
Haha, spoilers! My fannish brain went right to River Song and Doctor Who. Well, the WiP is about twinned princesses, a boy who fell from the sky, a kingdom walled off from the world, and a battle between competing world views that are more literal than the people in the world (and hopefully the readers) first realize. Spoilery enough?
-For other aspiring writers, any tips?
I'd say, first and foremost, you have to totally love writing, because it's hard work and a pain in the butt if you don't feel compelled to tell stories. After that, I'd say write everything down, or find some equivalent to writing it down, because there are few things as terrible as the feeling of knowing you had a great idea, and now having no idea what it was! And if you're going to write a lot (which I am, and I think everyone else should, too), you need to keep those ideas so they're there when you need them.
-What’s your favorite book/genre to read?
My favorite genre to read is Fantasy. This is almost definitely why I write that genre. Personally, I prefer more folkloric and mythological to more mundane, more epic to smaller scales, and more story to sex or fighting (though those are great, too, in their place!). I will read almost anything even glancingly by Neil Gaiman, Robin McKinley, Jim Butcher, NK Jemisin, Peter S Beagle, or Cassandra Clare. And the last few years, I've been picking up other writers I want to start following better as soon as I have more time to choose my own reading--Harry Connolly, Amelie Howard, Robin LaFevers, Lia Habel, Amanda Stevens, Patrick Rothfuss, Deborah Harkness, Jasper Fforde, David MacInness Gill, Anastasia Hopcus, Daryll Gregory... There are piles of good writers out there, and I want to read them all!
I'm interested in scifi, but I like short scifi better, so I read a lot of that in short stories. And I'm just getting into mystery again, and I haven't read any since I was twelve, but I'm working through my to-read list so I have some space for it!
-What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?
I think whatever I'm working on right this minute is my favorite. I think it's unfair to my work to have it otherwise. I have a few short stories that I really love, because they're the ones where I get to play the most, and do weird things with tone and point of view that would get tiresome in a longer piece. I have a few adored poems. I just love my novel, and I'm falling quickly and hard for the next ones. It's the happiest way to handle favorites!
Want more from Samantha? Says she…
I'm all over the internet, but my blog is Herding the Dragon. I'm @pirategirljack on Twitter, and I have a Facebook Author page--Samantha Holloway. I'm also on Tumblr (Mostly fandom stuff), Instagram (pirategirljack), and I write TV reviews for Examiner, The TV King and TV Geek Army, which should start up again as soon as the shows come back on. Basically, of you search for "pirategirljack", that's me, and most of the "Samantha Holloway" searches that aren't about an actress or a soccer star are me!