Delighted to be joined by author Samantha Wood today…
Hi, Samantha! Tell us a little about yourself and your book/ kind of books you write?
I live by the beach in Victoria, Australia. I have a great love of the sea so it is probably no accident that my first novel The Bay of Shadows is set in a sleepy coastal town. It tells the story of the recently divorced Elena Jameson, who takes in a six-year-old foster child, Daniel, and the bond that develops between them. Essentially it is a story of love against the odds, and how love can make you really powerful.
This is my first novel, but my first book was published back in 2003. It was a memoir called Culua: My Other Life in Mexico, and was essentially a love letter to my mother’s country. Part search for identity, part travel tale, it was my first foray into writing, and I’ve never been the same since. Actually, my love affair with words started long before that. Ever since I read Jack London’s White Fang in primary school I have been utterly captivated by storytelling, and the way it can take a you to another world.
What has been the hardest lesson you’ve learned on your writing journey? Probably the rejection from many publishers has been the toughest part. I think the lesson in that, though, was to never give up. If you have a story that readers want to read, you will succeed. So I probably owe the publishers a thanks after all.
What has been the most pleasant surprise? The engagement and support from other authors. I think before I published this novel I was under the assumption that we would all be in competition but the opposite has been true. The level of support, advice, and encouragement has been overwhelming.
How do you keep going when things are tough – what keeps you motivated? Thankfully I’m really stubborn – and now that I’ve been writing for so long, probably unemployable in the real world – so I just keep going. The thing that keeps me motivated is the connection with my readers. I might get a message on Facebook, an email, or a review from someone saying how much they enjoyed the book. That kind of feedback could sustain me for a lifetime.
What would be your advice for other writers? The same advice that was given to me very early on: never give up.
What are you working on right now? I am working on the manuscript for my next novel Under Ten Thousand Stars; it is a love triangle set in a country town so there is a lot of deception, tears and slamming doors!
Name your current favourite:
TV show: David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II, although I’m also watching the first one on repeat. It is just sublime and, also, you never get sick of watching penguins push each other over. [Me too! – Tracey]
Holiday destination: So many to choose from, but at the moment tropical north Queensland.
Food: Chocolate cupcakes!
Pastime: Riding my bike in the national park near my home. It has been a bit windy lately and the tyres are a little flat so it is quite a workout.
What book are you reading right now? The Third Note by mystery author, and fellow Aussie, Virginia King. It is part of the Selkie Moon Mysteries and the third in the trilogy – a real page turner.
Thanks, Samantha! You can find more on Samantha – including how to buy her books or follow her on social media – below.
Samantha Wood was born in Victoria in 1971. Her first book, the memoir, Culua: My Other Life in Mexico was published in 2003 after extended visits to Mexico, and was essentially a love letter to her mother’s country.
Samantha graduated from Monash University in 2005 with a Master’s degree in Translation Studies (Spanish) focusing on the translations of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s little-known children’s stories where angels crash landed in chicken coops and the world’s handsomest man washed ashore. It was this love of the magic of language and words that inspired the story for her first novel, The Bay of Shadows.
In 2007, she joined Ai-Media, a world-leading broadcast captioning service that provides access for the Deaf and hard of hearing. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.
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