So I got an email about a week ago from the lovely Katie Sheldrake at Penguin UK inviting me to ask Samantha Young some questions. Seeing as I love Samantha and her books and because I have never interviewed an author yet, and to be invited to interview one, well I jumped at the chance.
I’ m not going to take credit for all the questions, my friend and fellow author Karli Perrin chipped in with some questions of her own, so in the run-up to the release of Down London Road, here are the Q&A’s with the lovely Samantha Young.
Look out for my review of Down London Road coming tomorrow on my blog too!
Questions for Samantha Young
1. I know you probably get asked this question a lot, but what made you start writing? Did you always want to be a writer?
When I was little I read the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and it sparked my imagination so much. From then on I always had a pen and paper in hand, whether I was writing worlds or drawing them.
2. You write both Young Adult and Adult/Contemporary Romance, which do you prefer?
I love writing young adult because I get to create these young heroines that teens can relate to and throughout the book or series I develop them into young woman who readers hopefully can look up to and admire. Writing adult fiction is wonderful too because there are less limitations, and with contemporary romance it really is all about characterisation which is my favourite part of writing. Hmm… I don’t think I can choose a genre. I love both!
3. How do you come up with the plot of your books? Do the storylines just come to you?
My inspiration is usually sparked from something—whether real events, a setting, or even song lyrics. Once I get that first little ember of an idea I sit down with pen and paper in hand, music on in the background, and the plot for a new book usually builds quite quickly from there.
4. How do you pick the names of your characters? And do you spend time thinking of the ‘right’ names for your characters?
I do spend time thinking about the right names for my characters. Their name has to fit their personality and often, not always, have some kind of significance, whether major or minor. Sometimes I scroll through baby name websites to help me out, but most of the time the name comes to me quite organically as I write character profiles.
5. Do the names come to you before or after you plot out the storylines? And what about the names of the novels? I know they are the streets in which the characters live on, but what made you pick those streets?
The names come to me after I work out character histories and plot. Usually. The titles for this series are street names because it’s the place setting that has an important role in the turning point in the main character’s lives. A series also needs continuity in the titles so the street names are all Edinburgh street names of cities or countries in other parts of the world.
6. With On Dublin Street and Down London Road, did you have a process of how you wrote them? For example, did you start at chapter 1 and work through or did you write random scenes then bring them all together?
I wish I could write out of chronology but I need to write from beginning to end. Piecing scenes in here and there like a puzzle would probably confuse me. I need to let the development of the characters and the plot unfold naturally in order to catch any mistakes or tweak scenes that aren’t working toward the overall development.
7. As someone who cannot pick a favourite character, from both the guys and girls, can you? Who is your favourite guy and girl? And who was your favourite character to write about?
I don’t know if I can pick a favourite guy and girl because as couples I love both their dynamics, but I think Jo was definitely my favourite character to write. She was the most challenging heroine I’ve ever written and by the end of the story I absolutely adored her. I think she’s an incredibly relatable and likeable heroine.
8. Out of the three books – On Dublin Street, Until Fountain Bridge and Down London Road, what were your favourite scenes to write from all of them?
On Dublin Street – my favourite scene to write was a scene at the end when Joss and Braden are clearing up their misunderstandings. After having gone through so much it was such a passionate and heartfelt encounter. I loved writing it. For Until Fountain Bridge I loved the scene when Ellie’s going on her first date and Adam and Braden are overbearing but really funny. And for Down London Road my favourite scene to write was the “kitchen spider” scene. It’s a pivotal moment between Cam and Jo and I loved building their chemistry to sizzling.
9. When I read On Dublin street, I was impartial to Johanna, but when I read Down London Road I became to admire her strength and determination. What made you write a book about Johanna? I know many fans were hoping for a sequel for Joss and Braden.
I love that readers wanted more from Joss and Braden but a sequel from them would have been about throwing angst and drama at them for the sake of plot and I try to make my novels more natural than that. The important element of their story had been told and I really felt I needed to move onto someone else’s story. However, that didn’t mean I wouldn’t keep Joss and Braden around so readers could still catch up with them. Choosing Johanna seemed like the natural next step. When she was introduced in On Dublin Street readers were introduced to her in a way that most people in her life are — completely misunderstanding her. This is partly Jo’s fault of course, but that made her interesting. I loved the idea of taking a character that appeared to be one thing on the outside but was in fact so much more on the inside. The challenge was getting who she really is across to the reader and I hope I definitely did that.
10. Have you thought about who you would like to play each character if your books were made into movies?
I have thought about most of the characters. For Joss – Jennifer Lawrence. For Braden – Chris Hemsworth. For Ellie – Rosamund Pike. For Jo – Alexis Knapp. For Cam- Jamie Dornan. I’m still stuck on Adam. I like James McAvoy for Adam but many of my readers prefer Henry Cavill.
11. Are the streets in your book close together? This is for *street stalkers* such as myself who is planning a trip to Scotland to visit these streets.
The title streets Dublin Street and London Road are about a ten minute walk from one another. However, London Road is a very long road and Johanna lives at the lower end so it’s probably a twenty minute walk.
12. And lastly, is there a deep, dark secret that you would like to share with the rest of us 😉
I may be working on a new project…
So there you have it! Many thanks to Samantha Young for answering my questions and I hope you all love Down London Road as much as I did. And hands up who is excited for this new project *Hands up*..Hmm i wonder what it is?!
Samantha Young is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She’s been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestseller ON DUBLIN STREET.