Today on the blog we have author Samantha Holt for an interview. Her book To Steal A Highlander’s Heart is today’s spotlight on the blog. So sit back and let’s get to know her.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I originally wanted to be an archaeologist. I studied it at college and again several years ago but unfortunately it’s not a very family friendly career! I also trained as a nurse. Writing as a career never occurred to me until I actually sat down to write.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
When I could actually pay all my bills with my royalties! Up until then, I considered it more of a hobby but I try and take it a bit more seriously now and ensure I do a sort of 9-5pm type day with writing.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
Not too long actually. I was pretty lucky. I picked the publisher I really wanted and subbed to them but did have to wait 3 months to hear from them. Thankfully they said yes.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is To Steal a Highlander’s Heart. Quite simply, it’s story of love, war and a little bit of magic set in the Highlands.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
I’m a mix. I have two publishers at the moment—Jupiter Gardens Press and Lyrical Press but I have some self-published titles and the most recent one will be. I love working with publishers but I like to be able to offer some of my titles at cheaper prices, as a thank you more than anything and self-publishing allows me to do that.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
I can be quite speedy. Not really quick. I have friends who can churn out a book month by month if not quicker but I write almost every day and have strict work count targets. This latest one only took a month and a half! Which is quick for me. Normally it’s about 3 months.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I have another medieval one to finish, the third book in The Borderland Legacy series, and another one leading on from To Steal a Highlander’s Heart. I will probably always stay within in the romance genre I imagine but I do intend to explore different sub genres. I wrote a short cowboy romance for an anthology recently and really enjoyed doing it so I hope to do more of that and I have a fantasy romance coming out next April.
What genre would you place your books into?
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I love history and specifically the High medieval period. I’m lucky to live near two beautiful castles and there’s always plenty of medieval inspiration around. So it seemed natural to write in that genre.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I am terrible with titles. Usually they come last. To Steal a Highlander’s Heart actually came very early on which is unusual for me but that was mostly because I forced myself to sit down and think about it. But it only came about because I knew the story very well before I’d written it.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
My place names are usually fictional. It’s tough because you have to have realistically historical names for both places and characters. I often look at old maps and create a name from two different places or just tweak a name slightly. The Highland place names were conjured up with the help of a friend who has a lot of knowledge of Gaelic so that they made sense. For character names, I have a very reliable list of medieval names but it does limit you sometimes. Particularly with men’s names! They were all called Richard, John, William and Henry mostly!
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
Character names usually come right at the beginning. Some secondary characters may remain nameless, usually written as ???. Sometimes I use my own name for female characters if I haven’t figured it out yet. Place names usually come right near the end.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Not at all. My books are intended to be just a little bit of escapism. Some light-heartd, occasionally steamy, romance. All I want is for someone to come away from my books with a smile on their face and hopefully a feeling of having been in the past for a short period of time.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I prefer paperback. I have a lot of Kindle books but have struggled to get into any recently so I’ve gone back to paperbacks for a while.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
Not usually though I loved the BBC version of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and also the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Hobbit was fun too. I can’t think of a bad one but there’s plenty out there.
Having studied archaeology, Samantha likes to blend her love of the past with her passion for romance to create thrilling and passionate tales set to medieval backdrops. She thinks there's nothing sexier than a rugged warrior and a feisty maiden falling head over heels for each other.
STALKER LINKS -
Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008FKHIXY
Website/Blog – www.samanthaholt.org.uk
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/romanticfiction
Twitter – https://twitter.com/SamanthaHAuthor