I've been writing for as long as I can remember. The first story that I still have record of was about a young girl who lived in a magical library. She finds a hidden door that leads under the library and into a mysterious woods. I wrote this when I was around nine and it's pretty awful, but it's fascinating to read what my older self wrote. Maybe, someday, I can rewrite that story and do it justice.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I love the control involved in self publishing. I'm a creative person and, admittedly, a control freak. I knew what I wanted in a cover, I knew how I wanted the layout to look and I had plans for how I wanted everything to be done. Being an indie author was the only route that would allow me to be in charge and I've enjoyed it so far!
Who are your favorite authors?
James Patterson has to be on the top of my list because I've read every teen series he's ever published. I'm a Maximum Ride fan all the way! But I love the writing of Christopher Paolini and, of course, Bruce Coville. All three of these men created amazing characters and daring adventures that I am addicted to. They are my heroes.
How do you approach cover design?
Readers truly do judge a book by its cover, even if they won't admit it. As a reviewer, I know how vital a good cover is to a book's success. That's why I made the decision to hire a professional to make my book shine. Najla Qambar, a fantastic lady, did a wonderful job and I am in love with Blood Oath's cover!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Bible - It's the guide to life and my biggest connection to my Lord and Savior. A must read for anyone and everyone. The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley - I have read this book seven times so far. It's my guilty pleasure and I can't help but fall in love every time I read it. A dashing stranger, a beautiful seniorita, an evil man of the law, sword fights and romance! What more could you ask for in a novel? The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch - I never cry while reading. Never. Well, except for this memoir. It was so touching, personal and holds a special place in my heart. Pausch is a hero and a role model and I can only dream of making the same impact on others as he has made on me. Maximum Ride by James Patterson - This isn't a classic like my other choices, but it's a favorite nonetheless! Max is a strong, female character that's easy to relate to and Fang makes me blush every time. Sometimes my teenage self just has to come out. To Selena, With Love by Chris Perez - Selena has always been an inspiration and I am a huge fan. To be able to learn more about her from such a personal, in depth point of view was amazing. Best Christmas present ever!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The characters in my book and in my short stories are my children. I created them and gave them life. The best part of writing is letting those characters build themselves and become their own distinct beings. Half of the time I have no clue what will happen once I start writing. For The Secret of the Halflings, I had a clear plan about what would happen to Raya in the course of the four books. As I wrote book one, Blood Oath, she rebelled against my ideas and created an outline that blew my mind.
What are you working on next?
Can my answer be "a million things"? I've always started writing Blood Island, book two in The Secret of the Halflings. And, while I am thoroughly enjoying myself, I also have a bunch of other projects written out and ready to go. I just need to find a way to add twenty four more hours to my days. I have an idea for a prequel set in medieval times that I think would rock and I also have a sci-fi story idea that has been fleshing itself out over the past couple months. I can picture it now: "Hi, I'm Sammy and I'm a writing addict."
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.