An Interview with Samantha Bryant
My long-time imaginary friend Samantha Bryant stopped by to chat this week! Her menopausal superhero series (Going Through the Change, Change of Life, and Face the Change) is hilarious and a lot of fun. You should definitely give them a read. Enjoy!
AW: Which author wasn’t your greatest inspiration, but did make you think, “Maybe I could be an author”?
SB: I blame Louisa May Alcott because she invented Jo March and thereby planted the idea that a stubborn and imaginative young woman could find an outlet and a possible career in writing.
As I grew older and began second-guessing myself, it was actually some of the bad writing out there that convinced me I could do this. After all, my work was better than that! (Or at least I thought so). Since I just said it was bad, though, I’d rather not name who those authors are.
AW: Tell me about the first time you thought, “Wow. I’m a real author!”
SB: There were a lot of milestones and landmark moments along the way, but it felt the most real the day I received a box of my own debut novel. Fifty copies all with my name on them, all with my words inside. Being able to hold the book and flip through the pages brought the reality home in a whole new way.
AW: What’s the oddest part about your routine that you simply must do in order to sit down and write?
SB: Blow my nose and put on chapstick. Once I get in the zone, there’s a lot of distraction I can ignore, but if my nose is dripping or my lips are dry, that’s ALL I can think about, so I deal with it preemptively.
AW: What is your biggest writing obstacle?
While I’m making good progress on building a writing career, it doesn’t yet bring enough moolah home to allow me to quit my other money-making endeavors. So, I am managing a full time job (sometimes more than full time: I teach) and a family as well as trying to write new books and market the ones I’ve already written. Often, there just are not enough hours in the day to get it all done and still get a little rest. I deal with it by thinking big picture and planning to have big writing days and small writing days, but still make sure that every day is some kind of writing day.
AW: How do you prefer to network, and what impact do you think those avenues have had on your sales?
SB: My best networking experiences have been at conventions. When you are part of a discussion panel, you have a unique opportunity to make an impression on the other panelists as well as the audience. I’ve had more than one discussion that began as a panel continue into the hallway and out to dinner or to the bar and eventually lead to a contact and a friend.
The impact on my sales is hard to measure because it happens slowly over time, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to have someone with a larger following than I have think well of me and my work and be willing to say so! I can measure direct effects a little more easily in terms of opportunities: invitations to participate in other author events or contribute to anthologies have risen directly from conversations at conventions more than a few times.
AW: What is one mistake you’ve made in your publishing career that you’d like to warn other authors off of?
SB: Don’t be afraid to spend a little money on presentation. I was cautious about spending money on anything at all before I was making any, but having posters, business cards, bookmarks, and some promotional art can be invaluable for taking proper advantage of marketing opportunities. Yes, it will take a little while to see the return on that investment, but it will take longer if you make no investment.
AW: Is there any advice you’d like to give to a new writer?
SB: Take yourself seriously and behave professionally, just as you would in other fields of endeavor. Writers who go through proper channels and follow directions will find publishers, bloggers, reviewers, editors, artists, and all the other people you need to work with much more receptive than those who impose at the wrong time or in the wrong way.
AW: What are you currently reading?
SB: I’m always reading several things at the same time, in different mediums in different areas of my life. On audiobook, I’m listening to War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Fourteen hours to go as of this morning! In print, bedside, I’m reading a comic book series, Elsewhere, which is a fantasy treatment of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance. On my kindle app on my phone, I’m reading January Redemption, the long awaited debut from one of my best writer-friends, R. Leanda. With my younger daughter, I am reading the Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley and with my eldest, the poetry of Walt Whitman.
AW: Have any super fans found you yet, and if so, what sort of things have they done that seem surreal to you!
SB: Thank goodness, no! I’d be very happy to have people read my books but remain uninterested in me as a person, thanks.
AW: When people read your books, what do you want their greatest take-away to be?
SB: Heroism is not one-size-fits-all. It comes in a variety of forms and packages.
Samantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day and a mom and novelist by night. That makes her a superhero all the time. Her secret superpower is finding lost things. She writes The Menopausal Superhero series, and other feminist leaning speculative fiction. Her novels are all available on Amazon or by request at your favorite bookseller. You can find her on Twitter @mirymom1 or at her blog/website: http://samanthabryant.com
You can find Samantha:
Continuity Editor & Virtual Assistant
Hello! I’m Adriel Wiggins, wife, mother of three, fur mom, bibliophile, art geek, and all around student. I’ve been on a quest all of my life to learn as much as I possibly can about everything I possibly can. This has helped me tremendously in what eventually became my life’s purpose: to help other people become the best version of themselves. It is in that line that I became an assistant.