Samantha Stone Shares Her Journey to Publication

I’m excited to host, Samantha Stone, a graduate student in speech-language pathology who has recently published the first two books in her Crescent City Creatures series. Her main motivation for getting her debut published? Dirty Johnny. I’m going to leave it at that…read on if you’re curious (and how could you not be?!).

I can completely relate to Samantha’s experience, particularly her admission that she is the “I-don’t-have-time-to-brush-my-hair busy” and her preference for “a mix of organization and complete literary chaos.” How does Samantha’s experience resonate with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

How long have you wanted to be a romance writer? When did you decide to write a book?

 I wanted to be a romance writer since I was sixteen, and read Kiss of the Highlander. By then I already knew I wanted to be a novelist, but reading romance finally opened the door to love stories and the idea of Happily Ever After. I was smitten!

What inspired you to write this story?

Honestly, it happened at the worst time. I was studying for finals…the last finals I would take before graduating college. The story popped into my head, I wrote a chapter and an outline, and then told myself, enough until after the finals were over and I was free to write a bit.

Describe your process for writing this particular book.

 In the beginning I wrote and created an outline… which I quickly discarded. Then, about ¾ of the way through the book I wrote a new outline, which I actually stuck to. I like a mix of organization and complete literary chaos.

Was this the first book you had written?

 When I was 15, I started to write an urban fantasy, which I finished when I was 17. It was called The Lore Reader, and, of course, the hero in it was a werewolf.

How did you fit your writing into the rest of your life?

I’m a speech-language pathology graduate student now, and ridiculously busy. Like, I-don’t-have-time-to-brush-my-hair busy. So writing is my escape. I go to my favorite coffee shop twice a week, and I hunker down and write there. I also write two more days a week. Tuesday through Thursday I don’t pressure myself to write, what with my classes and clients.

Who gave you feedback as you worked through writing the book?

My mother! Before I sent Punished out to any publishers, I e-mailed it to her and asked for her help. I needed it. Thanks, Mom!

What kept you going through the process?

Dirty Johnny. Let’s just say, he’ll be acknowledged in every book I ever write.

Hmmm…I can’t leave that one alone. Who’s Dirty Johnny?

When I first started writing and said I wanted it to be a big part of my life, my father took out a napkin, scrawled a sentence about a man named Dirty Johnny, looked up, and said, “Here. This is my novel, and it’s made just as much money as yours. It’s just as successful as what you’ve written.”
I was so mad! After all the hours I spent slaving over my laptop, here my dad is, saying his sentence on a napkin is just as good as my work. So now that I’ve found a publisher and am getting paid for my stories, I have to always acknowledge Dirty Johnny. Maybe it wasn’t the most tactful way for my dad to motivate me, but it worked! It’s also a bit of good-hearted cheek…
Did you have a market in mind when you started writing the book?

I did! There is such a strong market for paranormal romance out there—I love to read it, and I know so many loyal readers to the genre, all of whom I feel would like Punished.

How many submissions did you send out?

About a dozen.

What happened between hearing your yes and getting the book to print?

First, I received my cover art and marketing forms from my publisher. Then I was paired with a wonderful content editor, followed by a fantastic line editor. Can you tell I love my editors?

What has surprised you most about this process?

That it was happening to me! I’d always dreamed about it, and it felt surreal to finally be happening to me.

Another surprise was how much detail went into the cover. My artist went above and beyond to take what I said into account…I was so, so lucky with my cover art!

 punished

Raphael Saar is an exiled werewolf, a convict on the direct path to a death sentence—for a crime he didn’t commit. He doesn’t care, so long as he can end the human trafficking ring kidnapping women across New Orleans.

Recovering from a horrific tragedy, one particularly bad day for Mary Newman has stretched into months. A nanny for a wealthy family in New Orleans, she can’t understand why she’s being constantly humiliated by her boss until the night she learns that he’s not human—and neither is she.

Only Raphael can save her from the monster feeding from her misery, but will Mary be able to stop his execution?

Punished teams up werewolves, banshees, a wompus cat and a haint in order to rid New Orleans of a group of immortals determined to hurt the city’s women and kill Raphael’s pack.

samantha stone

Samantha Stone is a twenty-something graduate student studying speech-language pathology in Alabama. She’s proficient in French and Signing Exact English, and considers New Orleans the home of her heart. Most days you can find her doing speech- related research, chasing her creatures around New Orleans (in her head), or curled up with a good book. She drinks hot chocolate year-round. 

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