This month, romance readers are being treated to a brand new voice. Samantha Grace’s Regency debut, Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel, is full of funny, quirky characters as well as a dash of suspense.
I’m really looking forward to watching her career grow, and I’m delighted to say she’s here today so we can find out more about her. She’s also giving away a copy of Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel to someone who leaves a comment.
Thank you. I’m so happy to be here today and to have a chance to chat with readers.
1. I love hearing about debut authors’ publishing journeys. What made you decide to write a romance novel in the first place?
I knew I wanted to be a writer at the age of nine, but it was one of those things that went on my “one of these days” list. I played around with writing stories for my kids when they were little, and I began a couple of women’s fiction stories, but I never seemed to have the time to really devote myself to writing. Then about four years ago I think I had a midlife crisis and came out on the other side with a tattoo and a burning desire to write romance.
In one of my restless moments before I realized which way I needed to go, I was browsing the shelves in the library and ran across an old love, Johanna Lindsey. I devoured the only two books of hers I hadn’t read from my younger days and instead of thinking, “I should see what other regency authors I might like, I thought, ‘I should write my own regency romance.’” My restlessness went away almost immediately.
2. Gosh – that sounds so much like my own writing journey, except for me it was a Julie Garwood novel. 🙂 So tell us, what were you doing when you found out Sourcebooks wanted to publish Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel, and how did you celebrate?
I really wish I had a romantic tale to share, but the truth is I was in the ladies room. It had been a hectic day and I had just stepped inside for a minute of quiet when my son knocked on the door and said someone was on the phone. I thought it was another telemarketer. I can’t remember if I said, “Tell them I’ll call back” or “Who is it now”, but I was miffed. I heard him speaking to the person on the other line then he said, “It’s a lady from Sourcebooks. She said she’ll wait.”
The minute I hung up with Deb Werksman, now my editor, I called my husband and my best friends to share my good news, then I danced around the house with my kids. One of my dear friends brought flowers by within an hour and my wonderful Aussie friend had flowers delivered the next day. I can honestly say it has been months of celebrating. I have the best support system ever, and they share in the joy and excitement of each new experience. I’m very lucky.
3. In Miss Hillary, your hero and heroine have wonderfully realistic relationships with their siblings – teasing each other, using each other, and worrying about each other. Can you tell us about the book’s dedication, and how that relates to your characters’ family relationships?
In part, the book is dedicated to my kids, and they were my inspiration for the brother-sister relationship between Drew and Gabby. Their interactions often make me laugh.
The relationship between Drew and his brother, Richard, reminds me a lot of my husband and his brother. They have given each other a hard time all their lives, making up songs about the other having buck teeth, etc. It’s all in good fun.
When my brother-in-law was in Iraq, they would send letters back and forth with goofy pictures of buck-teethed characters they drew and other silly things. (By the way, neither of them have buck teeth as adults, so they must have grown into them.) It’s cool to see how they express their love for one another. It’s like they have their own secret code.
4. Happily, you have two more books coming out in 2012, focusing on Miss Hillary’s two brothers Jake and Daniel. How exciting is that??
It’s very exciting for me. Every time I finish writing a book, I think that hero is my favorite. Well, I just did a final read through on Jake’s story, and I sent in revisions of Daniel’s story last week. Now I honestly can’t pick which one I like best. They are different personalities, but yet they both have a strong sense of loyalty and a desire to protect the ones they love. I hope readers love the Hillary men as much as I do.
5. As well as being an author, you also work with aging adults. How has that work shaped you as an author and the stories you tell?
The people I work with are very sick and often they are being cared for by a spouse at home. I’m so inspired by the devotion and tenderness I witness every day. I especially love working with WWII veterans. When a gentleman calls his wife of 60 years his bride or his sweetheart, my heart melts.
A couple in their nineties used to sit beside each other on the couch and hold hands a large part of their day. No television on or anything. They just enjoyed being together. And when the gentleman looked at his wife, he didn’t see that her lipstick was outside of her lip line or that her shirt was smudged. He saw a beautiful woman who was his dearest friend, and I was able to see her through his eyes. What a gift for me as a writer and just as a person.
Physical attraction is great, but it can be fleeting. These happy couples I meet genuinely like each other, care about what is important to the other person, and they see the beauty inside. I think having access to these amazing examples of true love has shaped me as person and in turn, it has given me direction as an author. I would love my stories to embody the spirit of these couples.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but that last answer brought tears to my eyes.
Samantha is giving away a copy of Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel to one person who leaves a comment. I’ll randomly select the winner on Tuesday March 6th.
Commenters will also be included in my $25 gift certificate giveaway.
Samantha has worked several years as a clinical social worker with a background in behavioral health and geriatrics. It is her belief that everyone has a story worth remembering, and she cherishes her work with aging adults, immersing herself in their stories of eras gone by.
She is married to her best friend, strives to stay one step ahead of their two precocious offspring, and lives in Wisconsin. She distracts herself during the bone-chilling winter months with pilates classes and learning to belly dance.
Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was named in the PW Top 10 Romances for Spring 2012. To learn more about Samantha’s bachelors, visit www.samanthagraceauthor.com.
This seem such a good book. i’m happy you got to celebrate the news so much i don’t know how i will react if something like that happened to me ( but seeing how happy i ‘m when i win a book a really wanted, i’m sure the neighbour will become daft^^;;)
I would be delighted to win your book and discover your universe, i’m interested in the brothers relationship^^
thanks you a lot for this giveaway ( international i hope)
all the best
Thank so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I hope you get to celebrate something wonderful soon. I’m sure the neighbors won’t mind. 😀
I’m happy to have this be an international giveway.
WOW!! great interview. Samantha Grace was new author for me, but i hear from my friend this book was good. I want try to read it, i alwasy love to read book from new author. This book was in my tbr list and i love cover to, especially cover book #2. I LOVE PAULL !! LOL!
Thank you for this giveaway ( international i hope)
Thanks! I hope you enjoy my book. I’m quickly finding out EVERYONE loves Paul. LOL.
I just wanted to let you know I’ll be at work today, but I’ll be stopping back by in a few hours to respond to comments. 🙂
Congratulations on your new release. I’ve read some amazing reviews about this and I would love to read “Miss Hillary Schools A Scoundrel”.
I was happy to read that you work with the elderly and sick. I think that people like you are simply amazing. I have a friend in England who manages a Nursing Home, and I know that the people are well taken care of as my friend is such a caring person. I only hope that if or when I need help, that I will have a loving partner and nurse by my side.
I’m also a huge Paul Marron fan. He’s gorgeous.!!! 🙂
Thank you for this opportunity.
So good to see you here today, and thank you for your kind words. Your friend in England has my respect. Managing anything in health care is a huge challenge and requires a great deal of patience and a caring heart. Working with the elderly and sick has been the greatest opportunity for personal growth in my life. I receive much more than I ever give. 🙂
As far as Paul goes, he definitely has that special quality that makes him stand out. I’m not surprised he is a favorite.
This sounds like my kind of book! Thank you for the interview and the giveaway.
Thank you, Suz Glo! Good luck!
I already picked up your book, so it’s definitely on my read list, but I have to say I’m so much more excited to read it after reading your interview. The way all the characters (not just the hero and heroine) interact with each other has always fascinated me and it sounds like you put a lot of effort into those dynamics as well.
Aw, thanks JT.
I hope you enjoy it. The dynamics are always interesting to me, too. I think that’s why I can read just about any genre, because the human experience is universal. As long as that part is covered, I’m a happy reader.
Samantha ~ I am sooo excited for you and for your release. I’ve been a big fan for a long time. 🙂
You are the best. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your endless support. You set the bar high for me. I remember reading one of your stories when I first started writing and thinking, “I’ll never be that good.” And you kept me up way too late that night, but I’ve forgiven you. 😉
Thank you, Ella.
I hope your trip is going well. I’m glad you had time to stop in to say hello. 🙂
Samantha, congratulations on your release! You are a new to me author *Thank you for the introduction, Kat!), and I’m just thrilled to put your book on my wishlist – it sounds simply delightful and delicious!
Thank you for the giveaway chance!
You’re welcome, Gena! Pleased I could do it. 🙂
Thank you, Gena. It’s a pleasure to be Kat’s guest today. 🙂
I love your Lady Amelia’s Mess and A half’s cover!
Paul Marron is great!
I’ve already pre-ordered it! 😀
Wish your story is beyond the great cover… I’me a big fan of HR! 😀
LOL. Thank you, Ladymilano!
Poor Lord Andrew is feeling a little neglected with all of this adoration going toward Paul, but he’ll just have to get used to being second best. 😉
Good luck with your new release! It’s a great book! I can’t wait to see the next one on the shelves.
Thanks! I’m really excited for the next book to hit the shelves, too.
I love finding new-to-me authors! These books sound scrumptious!!
I had so much fun writing it, and I hope others have fun reading it. 🙂
congrats, Samantha. Here’s to a long career of making readers happy.
Thank you! Today I’m feeling pretty optimistic about a long career. My revisions were accepted on book 3. That’s always a great feeling! 🙂
I would love to win a copy of this book. I have enjoyed everything I have read about it, and it has been getting some really good reviews. I love that she ends up leaving him, and he can’t take it that she takes off from him. And I love that you have the next two books coming out so soon (I hate waiting, lol). Congrats on the release!!!
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com (it is a J after the _)
Thank you, June! Good luck in the drawing!
Ugh! I hate to wait, too, so I better get in gear this week and get some writing done. 🙂
Hi Samantha! Great interview! You are an amazing person. I have heard some really nice things about Miss Hillary Schools A Scoundrel, and want to read it.
Thank you for the kind words. You are so sweet. 🙂
You’ve really inspired me today and reminded me of what’s important in my relationship. I hope when we’ve been married for 20 more years that I’ll still look at my husband like that. Best wishes on the release of your book.
Thank you, JenM.
You just brought a smile to my face. I wish you and your husband many years of happiness and moments of appreciating each other. 🙂
I have been hearing a lot of good things about this book.
Thanks, Quilt Lady! 🙂
Wow…so excited about reading your new book…….hopefully soon
Congratulations to Samantha on her new book!