WELCOME to my Authors and Interviews!
Today I have the honour of interviewing the author of Expectations: A Continuation of Pride and Prejudice®, Subgirl® and others…
Ladies and Gentlemen, Please Welcome:
Meet Samantha Jayne Adkins!
Tell us a little about yourself Samantha?
I am thirty-four. I have two children, a daughter who is in grade one and a son who is three and mostly home with me. I live in Alberta with my husband and I substitute teach when I can. I have always enjoyed reading and writing. I studied journalism and professional writing at Mount Royal College before getting my Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan.
WOW! How do you balance being a teacher, mother and a writer?
I don’t know that I always balance things correctly. When I get a lot of teaching calls, I usually have to put my writing aside for a while. I try to keep reading and thinking about my writing projects. When I don’t teach, I write when my kids are watching t.v. or are playing nicely. I aim to write at least thirty minutes a day, though I take Sunday’s off.
Your first published work was Expectations-The Continuation of Pride and Prejudice–did you grow up a Janeite?
I first knew Jane Austen’s work through the movie adaptations that were made – Emma with Gwenyth Paltrow, Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson and then Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth. I eventually read P&P for a University class, and actually wasn’t all that impressed. I was used to more modern novels that moved quickly.
I began to formulate ideas and decided I needed to read the book again. I was astounded by Austen’s brilliance in wit, character and language. I decided my continuation would need to be a novel so I read her other five novels, researched the life and times of Jane Austen and watched any movie adaptation I could find. I couldn’t get enough.
I finished writing my continuation in about eight months, which was faster than I had ever written anything before. I printed off the book for my sister and began sending it around to publishers.
How did that go–sending it around to the publishers?
We then moved from Saskatchewan to Alberta and I continued searching for publishers. I found an on-line novel-writing contest offered through publishingroom.com. The contest was already closed, but I discovered their company would publish books on-demand. I was so excited to find a way to self-publish with very little cost to myself. I sent in my book and was thrilled to receive my first copy a few weeks later.
I later published my children’s book, What’s it Like to Grow up in Banff? and found a publishing room would not publish books with colour illustrations. I did another search and found createspace.com. I later published Expectations through create space because I wanted to do some editing and because the book would be offered on amazon.com.
Good work! Now, tell us about your recent novel Subgirl? I’m interested only because you wrote
a middle-grade novel after a Jane Austen sequel.
I actually wrote Subgirl before Expectations. It is a middle grade, fictional novel about a twelve-year-old genius named Jordana Simkins. She finishes university and decides to become a substitute teacher. The book focuses on her first day of subbing in a Kindergarten classroom.
I had been reading Lemony Snickett’s Series of Unfortunate Events, which I loved, and wanted to try writing a book for a similar audience. I wanted it to be funny, like Snickett’s, and I wanted to have the young girl free to work in an adult world. I based many of the events of the book on my own subbing experiences and especially my internship in Kindergarten. I had also been working with writer, Jeannette Lynes, who was Writer-in-Residence at the Saskatoon Public Library. She had suggested my subbing stories might make a good book.
Again, I tried to find a publisher or agent the traditional way, but after the success of Expectations, I decided to publish the book through createspace.com and Kindle.
Do you have a favorite quote from any of your novels?
Not so much favorite quotes as favourite scenes. I am especially proud of several scenes in Expectations; when Phillip is teasing Georgiana at dinner about horses (Phillip means a lover of horses. Phillip is also my husband’s name.) I also love most scenes involving Lydia. Whenever she arrives at Pemberley, she refuses to share any information until they have fed her. She eats pretty much non-stop during her pregnancy, which comes from my own experience with being pregnant!
In Subgirl, I love pretty much any scene involving Jordana’s parents. Her dad is a rocket scientist who loves making puns and her mom is a secret agent who loves to bake cakes, but is always interrupted by secret phone calls and emails so that everything she bakes is somehow ruined. I really love the scene near the end when Jordana gets the hiccups.
I love it! Thanks, Samantha! One final question, what advice can you give to up and coming writers?
I write best when I write consistently. My goal is always half an hour a day. This may not seem like much, but if you do it everyday, it soon adds up. When you can’t write, read! I’m always inspired by other writers and the stories they tell. Don’t be discouraged by rejection. I had always thought self-publishing was an expensive act of vanity, but with companies like createspace.com and publishingroom.com, you can self-publish without a lot of expense and your writing becomes a book that people can read and buy. Ultimately, I think writers want people to read their work. If you can make a little money, that’s a bonus!
Thank you Samantha! We all look forward to reading your novels and your future literary works!
@Austengurl on TWITTER
On her Austengurl BLOG page: http://austengurl.blogspot.com/
Purchase: Expectations: A Continuation of Pride and Prejudice http://t.co/FkrDHaL via @Amazon
Subgirl http://t.co/JzScB0f via @Amazon
What’s it Like to Grow up in Banff? http://t.co/A3t36Er via @Amazon