Pixies and Dragons and Vamps, Oh MY!: An Interview with Samantha Warren

samantha warren
And, to continue my new focus on women speculative writers, I’m pleased to have Samantha Warren as my next interviewee. Samantha, in her own words, “…is a fantasy/sci-fi author who spends her days immersed in dragons, spaceships, and vampires. She milks cows for fun and collects zombie gnomes.”

RLM: How did you first come to writing? Specifically what drew you to speculative fiction?
SW: I’ve always been a fan of speculative fiction for as long as I can remember. One of the first books I can remember loving was The Riddle of Penncroft Farm, about a ghost. The love of writing came much, much later, in my late 20s when I realized I actually had a talent for storytelling.
RLM: You are an indie author/publisher. What led you to indie publishing rather than traditional publishing?
SW: At first I tried the traditional route. I sent out about a dozen queries and got back 3 (yes, only 3) rejections. They all said something along the lines of “It’s good, but we don’t think we can sell it.” I was learning about self-publishing then and decided to give it a try since I HATED querying with a passion. I love it and wouldn’t change my decision if I had the option to go back and do it again.

iron locket the risen king
RLM: So, your Quick and Dirty Guide series provides guidance to other indie author/publishers. What was the impetus behind creating such a series?
SW: I’ve made so many mistakes during my journey, mistakes that I wouldn’t have made had I found a mentor of sorts. There’s a lot to self-publishing, but the very basics of it are super simple and it shouldn’t be so hard to find them. So I created the Quick & Dirty series to help alleviate the pain I went through for those who read them. 🙂

RLM: You are attempting to crowdfund the first volume of your Steam War series. This is something I’ve toyed with as an indie author, but lack the courage to attempt. Tell me how it’s going and what you’ve learned about crowdfunding for authors.
SW: It’s tough, there’s no doubt about it. It requires a whole lotta work and a lot of setup. And those you think will support you won’t. Crowdfunding is becoming very big in the music and movie industries, and I am absolutely positive that one day it will be the same for the publishing industry, but right now, it’s still seen as begging. (Hint: it’s not begging and it’s not a donation. The readers/supporters get as much out of it as the author. It’s basically a preorder with other cool stuff thrown in that you wouldn’t get otherwise.) Check it out at http://steamwars.pubslush.com. The next 7 people to support at $50 or over get a batch of homemade scones (made by me!).
steam wars

RLM: And speaking of the Steam War series, it veers from your fantasy/urban fantasy emphasis. What’s prompted your dive into steampunk?
SW: I love reading steampunk, and I have a sci-fi/fantasy/steampunk serial series out, Space Grease & Pixie Dust. This will be my first attempt at true steampunk, though.

RLM: You also write poetry. Have you or have you ever considered putting out a poetry collection?
SW: I’ve toyed with the idea, but I don’t write enough of it to really call it a collection. Maybe someday when I feel the urge to branch out a bit more. 🙂

vampire assassinRLM: You’re a very prolific author. Is writing your only job now, or are you a night-timer? If the latter, how do you structure your time/life to allow you time to write so much?
SW: Writing isn’t my only job. I used to think I wanted it to be, but then I realized if I was a full-time writer, I’d never leave the house and I’d be such a hermit it would be awful. I like to say that writing is my day job and I moonlight at my other job. I know I’m more productive in the morning, so I make sure I don’t have to go into the other job until the afternoon. That way I get the important stuff done first (aka: the writing).

RLM: Which of your main protagonists is your favorite? Why that one?
SW: Hmm, that’s a tough one. They all have unique qualities that make them awesome, but I’d have to go with Zuzy & Flinch, my pixies from Space Grease & Pixie Dust. They’re fun little magical beings who are always in a heap of trouble no matter what they do.

RLM: If someone completely unfamiliar with your writing asked you which of your books they should read first, which would you suggest? Why that one?
SW: Since I write such a variety of stuff, it would depend on what they’re interested in. If they like sci-fi, I’d say Space Grease & Pixie Dust. Horror would be Massacre at Lonesome Ridge, romance is The Iron Locket. Vampire Assassin is an easy, quick read and leads into a good series. It’s also free, so that’s often how people find me.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????queen of heartsRLM: What one piece of advice, that you wish someone had given you at the start of your writing/publishing journey, would give to newbie authors today?
SW: Everyone’s journey is different. No two people come to success the same way. You are the only you and no one else has to walk in your shoes, so find what works for you and do it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to do something a specific way. The only thing all writers have in common is that they write.

Visit Samantha’s website to learn more about her and her books. You can also catch up with her Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Twitter. Plus, don’t forget to swing by her Publush campaign to check out all the awesome incentives up for  grabs.

One thought on “Pixies and Dragons and Vamps, Oh MY!: An Interview with Samantha Warren

  1. I was looking around the net for anything relating to my book, THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM, and found the comment by Samantha saying that she loved it. That made my day! I have a new historical novel for kids coming out in a couple of weeks, A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE, a mere 27 years after RIDDLE. Sometimes I wish I wrote sci-fi so it wouldn’t take me to long to do research and fit a fictional story into a nonfiction framework! (Unfortunately, I’m afraid I lack the kind of free-ranging imagination to write sci-fi, however.)

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