Name Samantha Livingston
Where are you from Schererville, Indiana USA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have been a self-published author with Lulu.com since April of 2013 and I have a total of five books published. I am an avid animal lover! I completed a couple of online Creative Writing classes at Gotham Writer’s Workshop and loved it! Aside from writing, I enjoy photography and working with animals and children.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
As of November 2015, I released the first book in what will be the Ladybird trilogy. Ladybird is a medieval fantasy trilogy that I am very excited to watch grow and I hope that my readers will enjoy it as much as I am enjoying writing it.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
As early as Elementary School, I realized that I loved to write, but it was not until taking a Creative Writing class in high school that I realized that I could do it for a living and may even be good at it. Besides what I was assigned in school, I did a lot of Fan Fiction writing, which I still enjoy to this day.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I believe the very first time that it really sunk in to me that I was a writer was when I was able to publish my first book and get it out there for people to read. There’s nothing that compares with being able to share your talents and passions with the world.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
When I was ten-years-old, my parents got me into the Western classic “Bonanza” and I have been in love with it, and the Western Genre, ever since! It was natural for me to have my first novel be a Western!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I suppose everyone has their own style to an extent. A lot of times, writers are given the advice that they absolutely must write every single day no matter what. Well, I can say from experience that no one really has time to write every single day. Things come up in real life. It takes me a year to write one book. I only allow myself to write when I feel the mood hit me. I never force it because I know I won’t like what comes out. Once the book is done, I like to let it “rest” for at least a week before I go back in to make any changes. I read my own work several times before sending it to my Beta Readers. I like to have to it as clean as I can before they go in and make their suggestions.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Some titles come to me before the details of the book even do. Others don’t come to me until the book is almost done. I try to be as creative as possible with my titles without it being too far away from the plot of the book.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. I try to add subtle messages in each of my books I want the reader to come out of reading one of my books thinking about something in such a way that they had not before.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
All of my books are fiction, but I try to make the characters as relatable as possible and to have as many realistic traits as possible.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I believe some of the experiences that my characters go through are affected by things that I have gone through myself. They may not go through exactly the same things or visa versa, but there is definitely a lot of symbolism there.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Even though I write fiction, I am influenced the most by autobiographical pieces. People who have had rough starts in life and grow up to be successful and fight to make their dreams come true inspire me!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I have recently started reading, “A Song Of Ice And Fire” series by George R. R. Martin. I became hooked on the “Game of Thrones” TV series last summer, so I wanted to see if I would like the books as much. I really do!
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
George R. R. Martin has been around a while, but he is new to me so, I suppose it would be him.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am working on my first series and it is also my first time writing the Fantasy genre.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My best friend has always given me immeasurable support and encouragement in my writing and it my life in general. She is always the first one to read my work and it makes me feel really good when she gets excited about what she read!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Oh, absolutely! I have been doing it all of my life, so why stop now? I may never be rich, but that is not my reason for doing it anyway. I love what I do. I would rather have people reading and telling me their thoughts than make a lot of money.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
More so in my older books than the new one because I like to believe that my writing has gotten better as time has gone on and more books have been released, but I’m sure there are things that I might change in this one as well.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I can remember being the only one in my grade school classes who did not complain when a writing assignment was handed out!
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here is an excerpt from the first book in the Ladybird trilogy which was just released:
Leon admired the way she seemed not to fear the consequence of speaking her mind to someone of power. It was also refreshing to him to find a like-minded person with what appeared to be the ability to implement those views into causing change.
“You know, I like you, Miss….”
“Vera and I’m flattered, but you needn’t trouble yourself with liking me. I’m just a peasant with a big mouth and the daughter of a peasant with a small mind.”
“Vera. That is quite a name. It is one that I can certainly say that I have never heard before. I like it. It suits you. You are brave, Vera. You stand up for yourself and for what you believe in. I can assure you, if you ever take the time to get to know me, you will see that I am not at all like the royals that you have mentioned. In fact, we may just find that we agree on more than you might think.”
“What I can’t seem to figure out is what interest you have in whether or not I might like you. You’re a royal. Even if you truly aren’t like the others, you are still of royal blood.
What I think has no bearing on anything in your life. You probably will never see me again.”
“I sincerely hope that you are wrong about that, Miss Vera.” He grinned.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I think my greatest challenge is knowing when to try to make the book as long as it “should” be vs. when it is as long as it can be as an individual.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have several authors who I feel are fantastic! I can’t say I have one that I love over the others, I’m afraid.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I have not, but I have always loved the idea of traveling for my work! I would love to see certain places for myself that are going to be featured in my books. Maybe even just to have a beautiful new place to write in!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
One of the wonderful things about self-publishing is that the author has control over everything and they are able to design their own covers if they would like. I have designed all of mine except for one. The cover for “As The World Falls Down” was designed by my best friend who is an amazing photographer!
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I think the hardest part of writing my books has been my own self-doubt getting in my way. My own work is never good enough for me!
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Each book teaches me things about myself as a person that I didn’t realize before. There are times that I will write a sentence and have to stop and re-read it several times because it has caused me to discover something that I hadn’t thought about.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up! Even if you don’t publish your first book until later in life, it is never too late! Never be ashamed of your own unique writing style. Most importantly, never be too proud to take advice from others, but know that at the end of the day, the choice is yours.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Your support means everything to me! Your feedback, good or bad, is so helpful to me!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
When I was very small, I used to love reading Disney books because I already loved the movies!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Oh, Gosh, everything! I am an extremely sappy person! I love to laugh and I love people who make me laugh! I cry very easily mostly at something another person/animal is going through either in real life or in a movie/book.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
The late Michael Landon has always been my hero and I would love to have had the chance to meet him!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
“She gave her best to everyone she loved.”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Reading, crafts, and spending time with children and animals.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Bonanza and anything with Michael Landon, Game of Thrones, The Golden Girls, just to name a few shows.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I am a Vegetarian and I love Italian Food! My favorite color is blue. I love all kinds of music, but my main pick is Country.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would be either teaching or working with animals.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Amazon Authors page http://www.amazon.com/Samantha-Livingston/e/B00CSZ3OB2