Today I'm pleased to welcome author Samantha Young to the blog to talk a little bit about her Fire Spirits series, her first adult contemporary romance novel, and life as a writer.
What was the plot of your very first piece of unpublished fiction you ever wrote?
I don’t know if I can remember that far back, lol. I’ve been writing fiction since I was seven. I do remember something about a lottery ticket that was very ‘Roald Dahl’ of me :p
Do you have any superstitions or routines that you partake in before starting a new novel?
I don’t have any superstitions but I do have a routine. I always sit down with my music and a notebook and start plotting out characters and chapter summaries. I won’t start the actual writing of the book until I’ve done that.
Out of all the Young Adult books you’ve written, do you have a favorite series? What makes it your favorite?
I have love for all my series for different reasons, but I think the series I’m most proud of is Fire Spirits because it has been the most challenging and complicated of all my series. I’ve had to plot this series out from the very beginning because so much is revealed in increments over the course of the books and I’m just very happy with how it has turned out so far.
The Fire Spirits is by far one of your most popular series, what sparked the idea for the series and are you surprised with how well it’s doing?
I really wanted to write a series with a less common mythology than other books. I sat down and started compiling a list of supernatural creatures and Jinn just really stood out to me. Once I started researching the mythology I fell in love with it and knew I had to create a series based around it. I didn’t know what the response to Fire Spirits would be because it was so different, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the reaction to it.
Did you plan for the series to have five books from the very beginning or has the idea expanded and grown with time?
I’ve had the plans for the five books written from the very beginning :)
Ari is one of my favorite female characters, she's strong, independent, loyal, and brave. Is she modeled after anyone in particular or did you say to yourself these are the qualities I want her to have, as you were writing?
I really wanted to write a female heroine in YA that readers could admire. I wanted her to be flawed but I also wanted her to be all the things you mentioned. YA heroes are awesome, but sometimes it’s nice to have a female heroine who stands out on her own without the aid of a yummy love interest, and I wanted Ari to be that heroine.
I’ve got to ask, Team Charlie or Team Jai?
Oooh… I can’t answer that lol. I’m too close to these characters!
Which character is the most fun to write in your Fire Spirits series? Why?
It’s between The Red King and Asmodeus. They’re both very complicated characters, ambiguous and mysterious, and I love keeping the reader guessing about their intentions.
You recently dove into the world of Contemporary Adult fiction with On Dublin Street, what made you decide to dive into a new genre and how was it different from your experience writing young adult stories?
I had always planned to write adult fiction and the idea for On Dublin Street came to me earlier this year. It’s a book that’s quite personal for me and I couldn’t get the characters out of my head. I was going to set it aside for next year, but when a book wants you to write it, it’s too impatient to wait! It was a totally different experience for me. Most of the limits an author has to deal with when writing YA are gone and the worry of having to write in a way that younger readers connect to is gone.
Your first Contemporary Adult Fiction novel has not only made it into the top 100, but to the number 1 spot on Amazon's best sellers list. Were you surprised? Where do you plan on going from here?
I am blown away to see On Dublin Street at #1 on amazon. It’s an amazing feeling and just the beginning of more from me in this genre.
Who are you top favorite authors and books?
Oh that’s so difficult to narrow down. I’m such a big reader. Hmm… off the top of my head my favorite authors are Stacia Kane, Tahereh Mafi, Laini Taylor, Richelle Mead, Suzanne Collins, J.K. Rowling, Chloe Neill and many, many more!
The Cover for the Fifth and Final book in the Fire Spirits Series
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions Samantha Young! More information on Samantha Young and her novel can be found below:
Samantha Young is a 26 year old Scottish writer who graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2009. She studied ancient and medieval history, which really just means she likes old stuff. Since February 2011, Samantha has been self-publishing her amazon-bestselling young adult novels. She's the author of eleven novels and one novella. On Dublin Street is her debut into adult fiction.