Monday, June 1, 2015

Secret Worlds Author Spotlight: Samantha LaFantasie

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Welcome, Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie to my spotlight series.

Samantha spends her free time with her spouse and three kids. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession, even though she often finds herself arguing with her characters through much of the process. She’s primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others.

Samantha became a bestselling author with the Pandora Boxed Set (which includes Made to Forget: Nepherium Novella series--Part One) on both Amazon and USA Today.

Samantha loves to take time to enjoy other activities such as photography and playing her favorite game of all time, Guild Wars 2.

JET: Can you tell us about your most recent book?
The book that is included in the boxset is called Heart Song which was recently revisited with a fresh new edit and cover. It’s a paranormal romance that also features shifters and my debut novel originally published in 2012. The re-release was March 17th. The story covers what it really means to have unconditional love and fighting for that love while touching base on some real world issues like slavery, human trafficking, and rape.

JET: What drew you to the fantasy/paranormal genre?
I fell in love with the genre when I was much younger. I started out reading Goosebumps and once I was in high school I was completely blown away by Dragonlance Chronicles. From that moment on, I’ve never looked back. Though I do enjoy some other genres, speculative fiction has my heart and soul.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?
I want to say overcoming self-doubt and learning what works and what doesn’t work. There is a right way and wrong way when it comes to publishing and if I’m not confident in my stories, readers won’t be either. So that was an intense lesson to learn, and one that I’m still learning.

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?
Oh there have been several. Validation from readers, the moment I pushed publish, that second where I realize I made my dreams come true despite the naysayers.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Bar none. Those two gave me a bigger passion for the written word than I thought was possible.

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?
I dabbled in it all my life from writing poetry, to songs, and even fan fiction (before I knew what that was), and mild attempts at novels since. But it wasn’t until I was a mom helping a friend with her writing that my drive kicked in for the story and even more during tough times. Writing became my therapy and very much still is.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?
I think the most interesting thing I’ve done so far was uncover a pentagram in a very small town for a project I’m currently planning and half-way writing. It played so well into my story that I knew the town was perfect for the setting.

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?
That’s a hard one. Just like I couldn’t tell you who my favorite child is, I don’t think I could tell you my favorite story. Each one holds my heart for similar reasons and some for very different reasons.

JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?
There’s only so much research you can do before you run into conflicting information. Take what fits you and your dream and go with it. Don’t overthink everything. Write, write, write, revise, then write some more. Keep working until that project is finished and don’t let something like writer’s block deter you from achieving your goals. Find beta readers, critique groups, writing organization, and good editors for your work. No matter what you think or how good of an editor you are (believe me as I am an editor too), you will need an editor. Take the time to perfect a cover before you publish. That’s the first thing that a reader will see and it will make or break a sell regardless of the adage.

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with Paper or Plastic?
Plastic. I reuse and recycle them. Plus, it saves trees.

JET: Steak or Tofu?
Steak! The bloodier, the better!

JET: Beach or Mountains?

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

JET: Leather or Lace?
Ooh! Hard one! Depends on the occasion.

JET: Angels or Demons?
I’d like to say both!

JET: Paper or Digital?
Digital! Save some trees!

JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?
Always horror.

JET: Twilight or True Blood
Haven’t seen True Blood (don’t berate me!). It’s on my list though.

JET: Coffee or Tea?
Both! Seriously. At the same time. Try a Dirty Chai. You’ll understand.

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?
Currently making final adjustments to Forced to Remember, which is part three (and final) of my Nepherium series. Part of that also includes going through and combining all three books for a paperback. Then I have some final edits to do on my dark paranormal romance called The Dark Ones, which will be out Halloween (2015).

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about USA Today Bestselling author, Samantha LaFantasie, and her work at the following places:

Swing in tomorrow for our next Author Spotlight!
Until then,

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