Wednesday, 21 June 2017

AJ Adams interview with Samantha MacLeod, author of Death And Beauty

Death and Beauty
by Samantha MacLeod
98 pages

Samantha MacLeod began publishing in September 2016. Since then, she has produced one novel, two novellas, and one short story.

AJ & Storm: What tags best describe your genre?
Samantha: Erotic fantasy romance inspired by Norse mythology.

AJ & Storm: What did you love most about your most recent story? 
Samantha: My first novel, The Trickster's Lover, takes place mostly in the real, modern world (Hyde Park, Chicago, to be exact). One of the things I loved about writing Death and Beauty was the opportunity to create an entirely fantastical world, although it was a bit of a challenge to make sure the world stayed consistent!

I also got the chance to re-connect with some characters at different points in their timelines. Loki, the Norse god and romantic interest in The Trickster's Lover, shows up in Death and Beauty. It was really interesting to visit him again, at a much earlier time in his life.

And I fell in love with my characters! Hel, the half-living and half-dead queen of the realm of inglorious dead, was an absolute blast to write. She's such an intriguing combination of bad ass and vulnerable; she might be my new favorite.

AJ & Storm: What do you hope to achieve in terms of your writing career?
Samantha: Fame and fortune, right? ;)

Honestly, I know it's crazy, but I'd love to reach the point where my writing career is self-sustaining. Ideally, I'd like to be able to drop a few of the part-time jobs I'm doing right now.

Of course, you're crazy if you get into writing for the money! I've always wanted to be a writer, and it's so rewarding to put effort into a story and then share it with the world. Emails and reviews from readers who enjoyed my work are what truly motivates me.

AJ & Storm: What's the most challenging thing about writing? How do you cope?
Samantha: I'm sure every writer has moments when they wonder if they're wasting their time, or if anyone is actually going to like what they're creating, or even if literature has the power to convey truths about human existence.

For me, it's often liberating to remind myself that writing is a choice. I can choose to pick it up and keep working, or I can choose to walk away. Once I give myself that level of control, it's usually easier to put my shoulder to the wheel.

It's also really helpful to take breaks. I tend to push myself pretty hard, and I have a serious perfectionist streak (in my writing that is - my house is a freaking mess). When I start to question the value of literature, it's usually time to have a glass of wine and take a day or two off.

AJ & Storm: Tell us your best marketing tip!
Samantha: Marketing is such a challenge!

The only marketing advice I've found particularly helpful (and I've read a LOT of marketing advice) is that personal relationships matter. So I try to be accessible on all the social media, and I stay in touch with my readers. I try to post to my blog at least twice a week, and I send out at least one newsletter a month, usually with a giveaway or contest for my readers.

But I'll be honest - if there's a secret to marketing out there, I haven't discovered it yet…

AJ & Storm: Give us a tip about finding, managing and connecting with reviewers!
Samantha: Great question!

My reviewers all come from different places. I have a reviewer who liked a Tweet of mine about a year ago, and I have a reviewer who won a free paperback in one of my contests. Several of my Death and Beauty reviewers came from a form I posted to Facebook, and I met one of reviewers at toddler story time at the local library!

So I'm always open to meeting new reviewers, and I'll offer an ARC to anyone who expresses an interest! :)

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