Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight. I have another returning author this week, Samantha Bryant, with her novel, Going Through the Change. Welcome back, Samantha!
Samantha Bryant believes in love, magic, and unexplainable connections between people. Her favorite things are lonely beaches, untamed cliff tops, sunlight through the leaves of trees, summer rains, and children’s laughter. She has lived in many places, including rural Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky, Vermont, England and Spain. She is fierce at heart, though she doesn’t look it.
She’s a fan of Charlotte Brontë, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Neil Gaiman, Nicole Perlman, and Joss Whedon, among many others. She would like to be Amy Tan when she grows up, but so far it doesn’t look like she’ll be growing up any time soon.
Samantha writes blogs, poems, essays, and novels. Mostly she writes about things that scare or worry her. It’s cheaper than therapy. Someday, she hopes to make her living solely as a writer. In the meantime, she also teaches middle school Spanish, which, admittedly, is an odd choice for money-earning, especially in North Carolina.
When she’s not writing or teaching, Samantha enjoys time with her family, watching old movies, baking, reading, and going places. Her favorite gift is tickets (to just about anything).
Her debut novel, Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel is now for sale by Curiosity Quills.
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About the Book
Going through “the change” isn’t easy on any woman. Mood swings, hot flashes, hormonal imbalances, and itchy skin are par for the course. But for these four seemingly unrelated women, menopause brought changes none of them had ever anticipated—super-heroic changes.
Helen discovers a spark within that reignites her fire. Jessica finds that her mood is lighter, and so is her body. Patricia always had a tough hide, but now even bullets bounce off her. Linda doesn’t have trouble opening the pickle jar anymore… now that she’s a man.
When events throw the women together, they find out that they have more in common than they knew—one person has touched all their lives. The hunt for answers is on.
Get it today on Amazon!
Samantha has been gracious enough to share a guest post with us this week on writing a series. Enjoy!
To Be Continued…Writing a Sequel or Series
When I began writing Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel, I didn’t know it wasn’t going to be a stand-alone book. I’m a pantser, so I just sat down, started writing, and waited to see where it was going to go. It was a wonderful ride that I really enjoyed. When I got there, the story ended in a very comic book sort of way (no spoilers from me!), with the next adventure clearly beckoning. So, sequel time, obviously.
That’s where I hit my first snag.
You see, when writing, you make stuff up. Lots of stuff. Big things, like entire characters or cities, but also small, seemingly insignificant things. You name a character’s dog. You mention how many grandchildren she has and how old they are. You explain the layout of her kitchen. It might come up in dialogue that her cousin Monique runs a boutique.
When you’re in that first draft mode, these details seem really throw-away. They matter, in that they help your characters feel real, and make them “walk and talk” for the reader, but they aren’t the details that seemed really important as you were creating them.
Then, you go to continue the story and realize that, if you want continuity and flow, you need to remember all that stuff! I wrote it, so you would think I’d know it, but, no, the brain only holds onto so much detail (at least my brain does).
So, even though I’m not a writer who usually makes character biography pages, that’s exactly what I had to do. I had to go back and read my own first book and record timelines details, family context, personal history that was covered in the book, etc. In a way, I had to study my own book, outlining and note-taking after the fact. It reminded me of studying novels in college. But it was my own book I was studying.
As I’ve continued to write in this universe (there’s a side story that comes with a newsletter subscription, a short story, a novella, and the sequel all due out in the next few months, and I’m writing the three-quel for NaNoWriMo), these documents have gotten more complex and wide ranging. More a bible than a quick reference. Maybe this is why so many writers seem to prefer characters in their twenties. Less history to concern yourself with. Whew!
But I wouldn’t give my Menopausal Heroes for the world. They are fascinating imaginary friends and I’m looking forward to learning more about them as I continue to write their lives.