Thursday, 26 July 2012

Author Interview: Samantha Summers

Samantha Summers has written Firstlight, the first book in the Project Five Fifteen series.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
Sam Summers, currently my home is in Sydney, Australia, but underneath the tan I'm a London girl.

2. Do you have a pen name?
No. It crossed my mind, but no.

3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
First Light. It's about assassins, but more than that, it's about two very opposite teenagers helping each other through their darkest times.

4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, First Light is part of the Project Five Fifteen series. The second, As You Were, is nearly ready :)

5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
Since I can remember I've loved writing, but it wasn't until I lost someone very close to me when I was seventeen that I realised just how much I loved it. I kept a (very secret) diary where I wrote down – among other things – my ideas on what I would write a book about one day. It took ten years for me to be brave enough to go for it.

6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Yes :) I love hearing what people think of my story, my characters and my writing. That in itself is a gift to me!

7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
I'm a graphic designer as well as a writer. So that would be me!

8. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
I had a lot of covers mocked-up for First Light before I decided on this one – it's in my top three. 

9. Is there anything you would change about your book covers?
So far I'm happy with it. I change my mind all the time though… about everything.

10. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
Probably not if I could help it. 

11. How did you come up with the title for your book?
Because the boys in my books have been trained military style, I wanted each book title to have some links to that. First Light rang true for me, because not only is it a term they would use in the army, but it marks the moment where Kalen's life begins to change. 

12. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
I could have changed little things endlessly, but that's just what I'm like with everything. You get to a point where you have to make a call. My editor helped a lot with that. External perspective is great! Right now, I'm happy with it and where it takes the story.

13. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
Yep I have one. I think if done right, they are great. They can be fantastic at stirring the emotion you want people to feel in a very short amount of time.

14. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I like my kindle. Like. I LOVE paperbacks. Love the feel of one in my hands, love the smell – everything! Not a fan of hardcovers, they are just too clunky and I have never listened to an audiobook so not sure on that one.

15. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes. I am very impatient.

16. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Many! The book I've read the most though is The Beach, by Alex Garland. I must have read it about five times. It's amazing.

17. Have you ever bought a specific edition of a book because of it’s cover? (For example a UK, US or Canadian version)
Harry Potter. I have the newest cover designs, which drew me to them instantly in-store. They are great.

18. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
Shameful to say, but yes. I was quite young at the time and I wouldn't do it again, some of the best books have very average covers. 

19. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
I hope not.

20. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater in eBook format. I love her writing, it's beautiful.

21. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Best advice I was given was, 'If you want to be a writer – write.' I know it sounds like a no brainer, but the truth is, we can spend an eternity dreaming about something we want to do and never actually doing it. Once you start writing, if it's meant for you, it will feel as natural as breathing. Do it every day, even if it's just for half an hour, write whatever you feel. At some point the story you were meant to tell will come together. I'm not saying this is the key to success, but for me it's about doing what makes me happy.

22. Where can your readers follow you?

Twitter: @5fifteen

Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

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