Name – Samantha Lucas
Age – 49
Where are you from – Los Angeles, California, but now I call Orlando, Florida home.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I was born and raised in Southern California, where I developed a lifelong obsession with Disney theme parks. I have one sister who is a nurse. I attended community college where I was told I would never be a writer because I couldn’t punctuate a sentence to save my life. I was quite directionless when I was younger, a hopeless romantic. All I cared about was Disneyland and Prince Charming. I married in my early twenties, someone I met while I was working at Disneyland. We had a lot of love and raised two boys together before splitting up after nearly twenty years of marriage, mostly due to his then undiagnosed Aspberger’s Syndrome, which our oldest also has. I’m now living in Orlando with my adult kids, very happily single, chasing dreams, enjoying Disney World, writing my stories, and making new friends. It’s an incredibly satisfying and blissful life.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Four years ago I made one of my lifelong dreams come true. I moved to Orlando and now have an annual pass to Disney World! I spend much of my life there, to be honest, and one day I was riding the monorail back from Epcot, looking out over the forested landscape, and thought – what if there was a small town hidden in the trees? And what if the residents of this town had secrets… say along the lines of not being human? And what if an immortal, who’d been a part of Walt’s inner circle, had built his own theme park, but that act had cost him the friendship and now the guilt was threatening to consume him? And what if, at the end of the day, those parks were key pieces in the battle between light and dark, and humanity needed them now more than ever?
My imagination took over from there and Tales of Elethiya was born.
Elethiya is a culmination of my own life journey. It takes my all-consuming love for Disney theme parks, my experience with a phenomena called the twin flame, (think supersized soul mates with a ton of pain) and my own unique spirituality, and wraps it up into a handful of heroes trying to save Earth from a very dark battle.
I’ve been a writer all my life, but I’ve never written anything so vulnerable and close to my heart. The journey to this story has been indescribable and I know god led me each step of the way. This story is my honor to tell and share. I pray every day that it finds amazing people who’ll love it like I do, with passion, enthusiasm, and dedication.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I actually fell in love with the idea of storytelling at eight years old when my parents enacted a very short lived Sunday tradition of writing stories and then sharing them. I can’t remember what any of my stories from back then were, but my father wrote every Sunday about a little skunk and I remember not being able to wait to hear the latest adventure. I look back now and realize that’s when I started creating stories, and I just never stopped.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think we often think of “writer” as this lofty position, and for me growing up, it was always my sister who said she wanted to be a writer, so I think I ticked that box off as “taken.” But then one day I just sort of realized, I wake up every day and write, some days until the wee hours of the morning. I live and breathe to write, to share my experiences and my stories. There is an insatiable hunger in me to have my stories read and loved. Then to top that all off, I also write a ton of short articles and blog posts on spiritual topics and on Disney World. So now, being a writer, it’s who and what I am to the core of my being and I simply accept that.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve written stories all my life. I used to write out of my own loneliness as a child and teen. Then when I had my kids, I homeschooled them and wrote so many stories to be part of the curriculum. It wasn’t until I went through a series of five miscarriages, though, when I needed something else to focus on, that I decided to pursue being published. That college professor that shamed me by telling me I’d never be a writer had silenced me long enough, and even though I never in a million years thought I would get published, I decided to research the world of publishing and give it a try. That was ten years and twenty six publishing contracts ago now.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I write character stories. At the heart of anything I write, it’s always a journey of growth and discovery for my characters. I write heavy on relationships, often romantic ones, but also deeply connected friendships. As my family life is quite disjointed and I’m disconnected from most of my family, I find I tend to write about the people we meet along the way who become family.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The English name Elethea means healer. As I was coming up with a reason for the divide between my main hero and Walt Disney, I thought what if my immortal had a magical waterfall to protect, and that its waters healed? To name the falls Elethiya made sense, and I just love the idea that these falls have been here eternally and have some level of sentience. I knew my plan was to write multiple series and stand-alone books within the same world, so naming the world after the falls, to me, was perfection and Tales of Elethiya was born.
The first arc is The Seven Kingdoms, which is really just self-explanatory within the world. There are seven kingdoms within the realm of The Great Marrow that have all gone dark. Their princesses have been seeking refuge here on earth, and the series begins the night they are all attacked and most have gone missing.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
These stories, to me, are about discovering what it is to be human. What it is to love, to grieve, to indulge in pleasure. They are stories about right and wrong, and the grey areas that lie in between. I hope in reading them, people are entertained, but more, that the work gives them moments to think and to contemplate their own life and how fully they’re living it. I’ve been through such darkness in my life and this series, for me, is a celebration of coming through that darkness into what’s on the other side. My hope is that it finds readers who need to know to never give up because there is light and love on the other side.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
As I’m writing paranormal fantasy at the moment, that’s a tough question. I’ve had a good deal of experience, though, with the supernatural and the spiritual, and that is a heavy influence in this series. There are two of the female characters that I find myself pouring a lot of my own personal experiences into. One from when I was younger, and the other, the lessons and growth experienced in the past five years or so. I think, as writers, we write to help process the world and our experiences, at least I know I do. So much of the story is born out of my own questions about life and the experiences I’ve had.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
There is a book called Blue Skies by Catherine Anderson, and when I was toying with the idea of trying to get published, I really had no idea what I wanted to write, so I was reading everything. I came across that book and it made me cry, and in that moment I knew that’s what I wanted to write because I wanted to make people feel something that deep. That book is what had me writing romance for all these years, and every time I get a review or an email from a reader who says I made them cry… I smile a little and think, I’ve accomplished what I set out to do!
On a personal level, one of the books I hold most dear is a book called Hind’s Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It’s written from a Christian perspective, but truly is a story of life’s journey whenever we feel called to walk a higher path, or a harder one perhaps. That story has given me great comfort and encouragement over the course of my life and is the one book my personal library always contains.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Again, I’m going to go back to Catherine Anderson. Her stories have such depth of love and such a strong cord of family. They stir my emotions and remind me of my own humanness in a way and I love that. Gaelen Foley is another of my absolute favorites where I’ll read anything she writes and love it!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have a very deep faith without which I will promise you, I would not be here today. I live by that faith and I follow my heart. I’m a dreamer and I grew up in a family that discouraged dreaming for practicality. It’s been a very hard life journey for me to shake off that programming, and re-find my true heart and that which I recognize as god. Without that, I know I’d most likely be dead by now. With that, I have such a wonderful life and am deeply grateful every single day.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely! More so now than ever really, because I’ve been through my own dark night, and have found stability and can now dedicate myself to this gift I have to tell a story. I cannot wait to see where the next ten years take me.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I actually did release the first two books earlier this year and just wasn’t happy with them. So I did take them back. What I’m writing is magical. It’s so different for me from anything I’ve ever written or read, and the first attempt, I was too much in my head about what was “allowed” and what wasn’t.
I took them down and completely re-worked them, lengthened them, allowed myself to follow multiple stories at once, go wherever the story led, and now the first two books are back out, and this time I wouldn’t change a single word. I’m so proud of them.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Honestly, it feels like such a natural extension of who I am. It’s always been there, I’ve only made real peace with it in the past five years or so.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Yes! I would love to!
Here’s one of our promotional photos and back cover blurb for my latest series, The Seven Kingdoms.
Hidden in the forests surrounding Walt Disney World, Elethiya is a magical place, steeped in mystery, that serves as a gateway to other realms. It is a legendary waterfall, a small town, and a theme park that rivals Disney World itself. The Tales of Elethiya are the stories birthed from her people, her land, her memories.
In The Seven Kingdoms an immortal struggles with his ties to Walt Disney, the friendship and legacy they shared, and the betrayal that ended it all. Meanwhile, the seven high royal princesses of The Great Marrow, who have sought sanctuary in our realm ever since their world went dark, have been attacked by the black angels, the roahn-ami.
The two events seem to be entirely unrelated until an isolated incident rapidly unwinds into something much bigger. Then Wraithe’s complicated relationship with Walt begins to appear as much more than he ever imagined.
Now it’s up to that immortal protector and his trusted allies, not only to rescue the missing princesses, but to fulfill the prophecies, before Earth is drawn into a never-ending darkness.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Authenticity to each character is so important to me. Making sure each character has its own unique voice is paramount. The challenge is that I come from a romance background where you have one, or two at most, point-of-view character. But with this series, I have at least five view-point characters in any given scene. Learning to navigate that has been quite challenging, but wholly enjoyable as well.
Also with this series, I’m reimagining the classic Disney Princesses in each story. To keep the essence that makes the princesses who they are, but while telling an original story ─almost a deconstruction of each one─ that has been challenging me to the depths of my soul and back, but I’m loving it!
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but it’s certainly on the dream list!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I do my own covers at this time. Sort of born out of necessity, but I do enjoy the artistic expression and challenge of it as well.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Being vulnerable enough to write it the way I really wanted to write it and know that even if no one liked it, I’d created what I was meant to create, and that I couldn’t have done it better. To get to that level of honesty with myself, that, I think, was the hardest part.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
This world of stories has been about four years in the making. It’s been a journey to become the person able to write this. I’ve learned to truly trust god on the journey, to be true to who you are, to not let fear stop you, and to take leaps of faith whenever they present themselves. The same past five years that was changing me into who I am today, has been creating this series. It’s one of the reasons I treasure it so much and am so proud of it.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Right now I have Tom Mison in mind for Wraithe and Margot Robbie for Kris. I love Lana Parrilla as Ivin, Odette Annable for Faline with Ian Somerhalder for Luxe. It’s fun to “cast” the story as you go, so I have photos of all the actors I’d have playing the parts on a cork board that I can look at as I write.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write true to your heart and your story. You won’t find the fulfillment you’re looking for in success or book sales. You’ll find it in genuine exchange with your readers, and that only happens when you allow yourself to be vulnerable and lay yourself naked across that page. It’s a daunting task and a journey that will change you. But when you risk yourself and you take the journey to your own authenticity and strip away all the layers that aren’t really you, you’ll become someone you’re so proud of and happy to be, and that makes everything along the way worth it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love my readers. I can’t express that strongly enough. Because what I write is different, and it’s not entirely mainstream, when you find those people who get you and love what you’re doing, it’s beyond words. It emboldens me and allows me to reach farther. The writer/reader relationship is entirely symbiotic. There’s no fulfillment of the work until there is completion in the love from the reader. I can’t express enough how much I love and appreciate the people who read my work, and who get it. It’s my tribe, we are the freaks, the misfits, the outcasts, the poets, writers, dreamers, we get one another and I love you.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. The movie inspired me to be more free with my writing, so I’ve finally come around to reading the original material.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes actually, it was in third grade, our teacher read a book to us over the course of a few weeks called The Mouse and The Motorcycle, and I loved it so much I asked my parents to buy it for me. We were not a book family. I don’t have memories of growing up surrounded by books, but I’ve always had a love of stories, and The Mouse and The Motorcycle still has a very special place in my heart.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I adore silliness. That makes me laugh with wild abandon. Crying, often I find myself crying when I see true goodness in the world. And when people write me to tell me that I’ve touched their lives in some way. That truly moves me.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
This question is always so hard for me. I’d like to meet Walt Disney, if for no other reason than to say thank you for what he’s given me, for being an example of never giving up on your dreams. But I’m also a spiritual sojourner so I think of truly wise, compassionate teachers who I’d adore to sit and listen to… picking one person is just never going to work for me! 😉
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Beloved Beautiful Soul.
I live every day of my life now with great intention to do good in this world, and to make a difference, but at the end of my life, I simply want to know that I was seen and that I was loved, for my flaws and weaknesses as much for my strength and accomplishments.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
At the risk of being one note… Disney World. Lol I go as often as humanly possible and am obsessed with finding and trying new things there, and then writing about them. I also play games, I particularly love The Sims 3 and Sim City. I cook. I’m an avid gardener, but sadly at the moment have no outdoor space in which to play. And I love swimming, yoga, dancing, and going to movies as often as I can.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Once Upon A Time is a huge favorite show. I also really loved Forever, but that got canceled after one season. Love sci-fi, Andromeda and all the variations of Star Trek were much loved as well. I will watch just about any movie. The theater going experience really ignites my story telling flame and I leave every movie with a million new ideas and thoughts about what worked and what didn’t, and how to better tell a story overall. At the end of the day though, still a hopeless romantic and I love a love story. One Day is one of my favorites and any variation of Cinderella, but I also love the Marvel series of movies and the X-Men.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Mexican food has my heart, but I’m a total foodie. I live to try new things, cook, and oh my god being at Disney World is like a paradise! I feel like Templeton the rat in Charlotte’s Web when he’s at the fair. Lol
Purple and blue are my favorite colors, and my music tastes are entirely eclectic. I listen to everything from classical and opera, to Rick Springfield, to Halestorm, to the indie musicians who play out at Disney. Music is in my blood. I adore musicians and love music.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
In a perfect world, I’d be running the Disney Company right now. 😉
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
And you can find me most days on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/SamsMagicalWorld
Twitter – www.twitter.com/Samantha_Lucas
And of course, my Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Darkness-Deluxe-Failsafe-Prophecies-ebook/dp/B01GQTS10Y?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc
The first two books in The Seven Kingdoms are available now, with the third available for pre-order.
The Failsafe Prophecies –
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/629877
A Coming Darkness –
Soul Fire –
Pre Order on Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/soul-fire-samantha-lucas/1123892465?ean=2940153061214
Or visit my website to sign up to be notified when it’s available
Thank you so much Fiona for your time and interest in my story world. I hope your readers will also enjoy my stories.