The Quirky Ladies are excited to interview our own fellow Quirk, Samantha Wayland. Samantha's first novel, WITH GRACE, is due to be released this Friday, June 4th by Ellora's Cave. A hot menage story, Samantha's three protagonist are so beautifully drawn that the reader falls in love with them almost as quickly as they fall in love with each other. Added to the hot romance is suspense, sizzling sex, and a tear-jerker of an ending. To entice you further, let's get Samantha to answer a few questions about her story, her writing and herself.
Victoria Morgan (VM): So can you give us a quick blurb about your book?
Samantha Wayland (SM): Of course!
Grace loves her boyfriend, Philip, she loves her job, and she might just love her boss, but she can ignore that. She and Philip are building a life together and it's almost perfect. So what if their sex life is less than spectacular?
Philip loves Grace absolutely. She's the only woman for him. But the more he gets to know Mark...well, he can ignore that. After all, he's well practiced at suppressing his real desires.
Mark lives for his restaurant, Valentine's, but he can't resist flirting with Grace, his hostess, any chance he gets. And he can't remember ever being more attracted to a man than Philip. Not that it matters, as Grace and Philip are committed to each other and Mark respects that.
A lawyer yearning to shed his inhibitions but afraid to turn up the heat, a brilliant PhD candidate with the secret desire for more spice, and the chef who craves them both. When three passionate people dare to fulfill their appetites, they find the perfect recipe for love.
(VM): Told you it was a hot one!
So where did you come up with this story idea?
Same place all my stories come from -- the wilds of my imagination. I'd like to tell you that this story, a menage with one seriously happy woman, Grace, in love with two smart, interesting, gorgeous men, comes from some kind of personal experience, but it's not the case. Sadly. Not that I don't have smart, interesting and gorgeous man in my life, but I don't think he's going to let me add another like him.
(VM): Well said. Wouldn't we all love to be the heroine in our own romances.... Grace is a really endearing character, sexy, sassy and sensual.
What do you admire most in your characters?
(SM): Wow. That is an interesting question. I think in With Grace, the thing I love most about these characters is how honest they are with each other and themselves. It takes a lot for Philip, a man who has to this point always been in straight relationships, to even consider being with Mark. But he does, and he doesn't try to tell himself it's anything but what it is -- the hopeful beginnings of a new love.
(VM): Very true. Philip's character arc is really poignant as his love story takes him on a whole new journey, and I love how you have him embrace it with such honesty. I loved your characters, their humor, the strength of the emotions, and how you seamlessly join them together so the reader knows that only with each other can they find their HEA.
There is a suspense subplot in your story which pulls in the police to investigate matters. Did you have to do any research for this story?
(SM): Uh, golly. That's a kind of a funny question given the genre. See note above about my own smart and gorgeous man. Safe to say, some of my research is all about the imagination! And some is thanks to very patient friends answering some questions while we all pretended our faces weren't bright red. And then some credit does have to go to my darling man -- but he'll be embarrassed if I admit it, so we'll leave it there.
As far as the suspense plot, there is a wealth of information out there on how something like the Boston PD works, so I started from the internet and went from there. Also, I relished the opportunity to dream up a great restaurant in a neighborhood of Boston that is a foodie's dream come true. If you haven't explored Boston's South End, start saving up your points and get ready for a treat!
(VM): And you get to avoid using the etymology.com dictionary which really bogs down those of us who write historicals! I think I like your research better....
So what are you working on next? What do we get to look forward to?
(SM): I've got a couple things going right now which I'm really excited about. In With Grace, you'll meet Detective Patrick Brown, whose got a story all his own I'm eager to share. You won't believe the mischief, he, his best friend and fellow police officer Brandon and their old friend Destiny get into. I'm also working on a trilogy of shorter stories involving Garrick, a professional hockey player who falls in love with two people (one of whom is his team mate!) and has to make it work!
(VM): Having critiqued some of the chapters in these WIPs, I want to say that Patrick's story has one of the hottest first kiss scenes that I have ever read. Not only does it rock the charts with its intensity, but the setup leading up to it is a riot! It's smoldering and hysterical if at all possible. And I'm not the only fan of this scene --it was a finalist in our own NEC Chapter's 2009 First Kiss Contest. Congrats, Samantha! Now we're really waiting for these HEAs....
On another note, when did you first fall in love with the romance genre?
(SM): Well, it would gall her no end to hear of this now, particularly given the genre I'm publishing in, but my stepmother is entirely responsible for my life-long addiction to reading and writing romance. I used to be bored stupid on weekends at my father's house and my stepmother had an absolute trove of Harlequin romance novels. And I'm talking the old-school white cover, little drawing in the circle Harlequins. The ones where the dramatic conclusion included a kiss and a marriage proposal? LOL.
I tried to read one of those recently and, with all due respect to the many fine authors that create these books, it made me want to poke my eyes out. Now, HQ has some good lines I enjoy sometimes -- like Intrigue and Blaze - but the originals? No longer for me. My stepmother, on the other hand, still adores them. Which, goes to show that one of the greatest things about romance novels is that there is so much variety in the genre, there really is something for everyone.
(VM): That is definitely one of the assets of romance writing. If one line doesn't work for you, there are so many others that can take you on a completely different romantic journey.
In regard to your craft, do you have a writing schedule? Are you a plotter or a panzer?
(SM): Well, as far as a schedule, I work full time and have a bunch of other commitments. In spite of all that, I try to set aside a certain number of nights per week and one day on the weekend to write. Of course, that gets blown to hell on a regular basis, but I think it's important to try.
And I'm definitely a plotter. In fact, I'm kind of a nutty plotter, sometimes writing a third of the book in outline form before going back and fleshing it out. Sometimes I think I love outlining way too much. I mean, this method works pretty well for me about 80% of the time, but on those occasions that I realize I've gone wrong in my story, it can be torture because I've already fallen in love with Plan A. Not that I won't eventually love Plan B, but the transition is tough.
(VM): One day your plotting will inspire me rather than scare me... It is impressive.
On to more important matters, do you have a secret indulgence?
(SM): So You Think You Can Dance. There. I admitted it. I just can't stop watching that damn show!
(VM): I'll have to check it out!
I know you've traveled extensively (I say that with total jealousy). Do you have a favorite city or country? What's the best romantic getaway abroad?
(SM): I've been all over, but I think if I was told I could only go one place for the next five years, I would choose London. I lived there for a time and while it's not necessarily the prettiest, the most romantic and sure-as-shooting doesn't have the best food, it's got so many wonderful people I love in and around it, I couldn't possibly choose anywhere else. Now, that being said, it is pretty, it can be very romantic and and the food has come a long way (baby) in the almost 20 (gasp) years since I started traveling there on a regular basis. Also, it's not possible to ever ever ever run out of things to do and see in that city. It's incredible -- art, history, fabulous jewelry! What more could a girl want?
And it's a quick train ride (through a very long tunnel which is way better than that damn ferry used to be) to Paris-- one of the top three most romantic places on Earth. And can we talk about the food there? Ymmmmm....
(VM): I went to school in London for a semester, and I'd have to agree with you. Add in the fabulous West End Theatre and Colin Firth and who could ask for anything more?
(SM): Colin Firth....ymmm.....
(VM): Yes, well, we digress. Then again, Colin Firth is always worth a detour....
Samantha, thanks so much for sharing insights on your new release, your writing craft, and tidbits about yourself!
We're looking forward to the release THIS FRIDAY, JUNE 4TH of your first book, With Grace. It is the perfect kick-off for the weekend! Grab a glass of wine, download this sexy romance, sit-back and enjoy! I did!
We wish you the best of luck!