Samaya Young [samayayoung]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I'm not entirely sure what the author's name was, or even the title. I do remember that it was a Mills&Boon historical romance and it had me totally hooked. I had no idea that such stories even existed.
I started writing in '91 after dreaming about a sequel to "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. I know, odd choice, but I loved that movie.
I was keeping a diary at the time, and suddenly found that I was scribbling the entire thing full with this very vivid dream that kept playing through my head. So, I asked to use a friend’s old computer...one of those horrid things where you had to store your data one music cassette tape...and started typing. I was at it for weeks, hacking my way through twelve pages with my limited skills on the keyboard, only to find out that I'd stored it all wrong and that I'd basically lost everything.
I was so very disappointed that for weeks I furiously dismissed the idea of trying EVER again.
The characters kept playing through my head however, and in the end after several months they became too strong to ignore. And so my first novel, “Memories of the Future” was born. The rest is, as they say, history.
My first readers were my family, or course, along with an old school teacher who has been, and still is, a close family friend. She called my writing style a tad old-fashioned, but very good for my age, which thrilled me, of course.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genre definitely leans towards thrillers and romances with an occasional pinch of sci-fi fantasy to keep things interesting. Some of my favorite authors are Linda Howard, Amanda Quick, Steve Perry, Dean Koontz, Anne McCaffrey, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Nora Roberts. I’m definitely a mainstream fiction buff, and this shows in my writing.
There are free samples of my work available at my storefront, of course: http://stores.lulu.com/wiinvestigations, but you can also look me up on my Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/samayayoungbooks where some teasers are posted in the blog.
To read about more daily events, the occasional rants and raves, you can visit my blogspot, where I do expand about my writing and everything else that comes to mind: http://samayayoungsworld.blogspot.com/
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
Anything can set me off. It can be a newspaper article, a good book, a movie, and/or life in general. It doesn’t matter: inspiration comes where it will, whether I want it to or not.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Like answered before, anything can inspire me to write.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
A good story, of course. Something intriguing, and out of the ordinary, or something so completely average that it has a special twist that is so utterly unexpected that it makes me go “Oooooh, so that’s why…”
Natural and interesting characters that are different and yet make me want to know how they think, why they act in a particular way, and do things that make me admire, or wonder about, them.
Also dialogue: I can’t read a book without it possessing interesting dialogue that will make me read out loud, just to hear how the conversation is progressing. Those are the good ones.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
Though I’ve read my share of 1st person stories, my personal preference certainly goes toward 3rd person. It makes a story feel more like watching a movie, while 1st person tends to be a tad too intimate. It has a certain charm, but 3rd person draws me in and that is what I want and need.
What well known writers do you admire most?
I enjoy and admire most writers I've read, and those I've mentioned before have been tremendous sources of inspiration for me.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Any character can be believable if he/she fits in the story, so it definitely depends on how it is done.
On the most part my stories start with the character. I get the idea of a certain personality the way he/she thinks, acts and views life, and the rest evolves around that first idea in a natural way. The actions and reactions of this/these person(s) depict how the plot develops, and that appears to work best for me.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Not really. I tend to get excited when I tell my stories and through that it can become a little chaotic. One story will remind me of another, so while I’m trying to explain what happens throughout the book in question, I wander off on different tangents ending up telling about at least six stories, rather than sticking to one.
No, my talents definitely lie in the written word. I’m far more organized that way.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I really want others to enjoy my stories, of course, but basically I write them for myself. Stories that played through my head over and over again, until I finally gave in and wrote them down for no other reason than to get room in my cluttered brain. Tales of people I created, know intimately and love to read about. They can be extreme or charmingly average; either way they are loved in every way imaginable. This is what made me write in the first place, and deep down it stayed that way throughout the years.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
I might not use writing as an outlet for internal conflict, I do resolve a lot of personal issues while going through the process of writing a book.
When I’m angry, often it will result in an argument in the story.
When I’m sad, something horrid tends to happen on the monitor as well, and when I’m happy something terribly romantic will be added to the plot.
It is inevitable, I guess.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Of course. Feedback is a vital part of writing, and positive feedback makes me giddy.
I might not be enthusiastic about criticism when I first receive it, (especially parts of my story that I slaved over) but I do consider everything that is pointed out and incorporate that in my writing projects to the best of my ability.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
It is very hard to find good competitions. Besides, to me they feel a little like buying a lottery ticket. Most of the time I just don’t bother with them, if for no other reason that they gobble up many hours that I’d much rather invest in new stories.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Certainly. Basically my entire family is my most critical test audience and can be more than a little hard on my oftentimes-fragile self-confidence.
By the time the editing process begins everyone is pitching in their two cents, driving me insane with a variety of input that sometimes require a complete rewrite of a scene.
It’s a messy procedure, chaotic, loud and frustrating, but also invaluable.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
Though I certainly have my own “voice” in writing, I’ve found that it changes with every novel. It is like life, I suppose. You evolve and the person you were yesterday is a matter of the past. It keeps things interesting.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
The only discipline I’ve held onto throughout the past decade or two is to do “something” with writing every day, come hell or high water. It can be a sentence, a paragraph, or a full chapter. It doesn’t matter as long as a step forward is made.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Chaos! Complete and utter chaos gives me the best results, I’ve found.
TV, radio, conversation and actively participating in any, or all, created some of my best pieces. When I do three or four things at the same time inspiration flows unhampered and gets out without nitpicky thoughts getting in the way. So the messier the better.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I started out with pen and paper, back in the day. The image of slaving over the papers was just so romantic. Then, during my first real novel I learned to write on a computer, improving on the process a lot. For a while I alternated between printing and reading from a monitor, but by now everything gets done on the computer, first and foremost. In the end it's a lot more economic and less time consuming.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I’ve got two Myspace pages, one for personal use and one for publicity purposes. I rant, rave and jabber on Blogger. Bring out useless little tidbits on Twitter, which is fun. I’m also a member of a couple of book boards that keep me up to date with my favorite authors, and for basic fun I roam the Amazon discussion forums, where I've met a multitude of wonderful new authors with whom I can share experiences.
What has been your experience with publishers?
They’re a tricky lot to say the least. I’ve found that it is difficult to make a place for yourself in their somewhat elitist circles. They can be frustrating, time consuming and demanding, but like all things there are downsides to every career choice, writing included.
In the end they’re just people, however. You’ve got good individuals and bad ones. The trick is to find those that “click” with you and your work.
What are you working on now?
Oh, don’t get me started…well, okay; you’ve twisted my arm. Here it comes:
At the moment I’m in the midst of doing a full-blown edit for two of my completed novels, preparing them for prospective buyers. They’re part of a series of suspense thrillers, always containing a healthy dose of romance, of course. It is a most exciting process, considering that I already loved the stories when I first finished them. But now that they’re being fine-tuned, so to speak, I love them even more.
On the side, I’m working on a variety of manuscripts that are either halfway through, or in the latest stages of completion. And even though my plate is pretty much full, the muses will not let me rest. They’re constantly bringing new ideas to the fore, setting in motion the beginnings of future projects.
It’s chaotic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Pick someone you trust and like, close your eyes and take the plunge. What have you got to lose? Worst-case scenario is that this person says it isn’t good. I can say from personal experience that even though it might feel that way, (and believe me, it does FEEL that way) it really is not the end of the world by any means. Any other feedback than that…well, you can take it from there and just enjoy the process.