About Samantha Bryant:
Samantha Bryant believes in love, magic, and unexplainable connections between people. Her favorite things are lonely beaches, untamed cliff tops, sunlight through the leaves of trees, summer rains, and children’s laughter. She has lived in many places, including rural Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky, Vermont, England and Spain. She is fierce at heart, though she doesn’t look it.
She’s a fan of Charlotte Brontë, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Neil Gaiman, Nicole Perlman, and Joss Whedon, among many others. She would like to be Amy Tan when she grows up, but so far it doesn’t look like she’ll be growing up any time soon.
Samantha writes blogs, poems, essays, and novels. Mostly she writes about things that scare or worry her. It’s cheaper than therapy. Someday, she hopes to make her living solely as a writer. In the meantime, she also teaches middle school Spanish, which, admittedly, is an odd choice for money-earning, especially in North Carolina.
When she’s not writing or teaching, Samantha enjoys time with her family, watching old movies, baking, reading, and going places. Her favorite gift is tickets (to just about anything).
What inspires you to write?
I write about the things that get under my skin–fears, worries, passions, those ideas that just won’t let me go.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write in Scrivener exclusively for long works, and use Word and Google docs for shorter pieces. I’m a pantser, at least in the first draft. I call it “discovery writing”–meaning that I write to find out what my story is about and where it’s going. Once I’ve made it through a draft, I make a sort of descriptive outline of what I have, usually with some kind of graphic organizer to map timelines, character arcs and plot threads. I make character sheets as I go to help me keep track of all the details I’ve made up on the fly. In rewrites, I loop a lot, going back and following one thread all the way through, then going back and picking up another.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I feel like I role-play my characters. At least during the time I am writing a particular character, I’m in her skin. I am her and myself at the same time. It varies which of us is in charge.
What advice would you give other writers?
The only way forward is through. You have to put words on the page or in the document before you can sculpt them into what they need to be. Don’t agonize over first drafts–they’re supposed to be a mess.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’m working with a small, independent publisher. I’m comfortable with the familial feel of the company, and feel like I get good support in my promotional endeavors. I considered self publishing, but was worried by the financial costs of a good cover and professional editing, and concerned about putting out a shoddy product if I didn’t invest in these things. Working with a small publisher has given me support for the things I feel I lack expertise in myself.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There are so many ways to get your work out there these days! The hard part is going to be finding audience when so many voices are crying to be heard.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: superhero, fantasy, science fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, weird tales
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print