Samantha A. Cole Interview Published on: 23, Aug 2017

What was it like growing up in the Suburbs of New York? If you didn't live in New York, where would you wanna live?

Growing up 1/2 hour from the city was awesome. We have the best of both worlds. As kids we had plenty of room to run around the neighborhood without worrying about traffic, but then mom and dad would take us into the city for events and Broadway shows.

Do you remember the first romance novel you ever read? What was it about?

I honestly don't remember, but when I was 15, my grandmother gave me a stack of her Harlequin and Silhouette romances. (My mother wasn't happy about that lol)

What do you think makes a good romance? And what is it that makes a good, strong, likable, and relatable protagonist?

A good romance needs to pull a reader in with characters and situations they can relate to and get lost in. For me, I also need a suspense portion to the story in addition to the romance. Life has it's ups and downs so a story can't be all rainbows and roses. A good protagonist needs to have faults in addition to his/her assets. They need to worry about things and wonder if they're not good enough for their love interest.

What are some of your goals or intentions with your latest book "The Friar"? Who or what inspired the characters in this book?

The Friar came out of nowhere and sort of shocked me since it was a large deviation from my usual stories and characters. The idea actually came to me as I was driving to the campground my friends and I spend the summers at. It's about an hour north of me in New York. I had passed by the exit for the Brotherhood Winery, where we've gone for wine tasting, and boom Brother Adam Westfield popped into my head. Unlike most of my books, I had Adam and Sage simmer for a while and added chapters here and there between my other books. When I finally figured out where they were going, I wrote the rest of their story.

What's more relaxing to you: An empty beach with a packed picnic or a day at the spa?

That's a hard one! I love sitting on the beach late at night when no one is around and listening to the ocean, but a day at the spa can be heaven too!

When did you start writing the Malone Series and what gave you the idea for them?

The Malone Brothers series was my first attempt at writing back in 2011. I had been a long-time reader of over a dozen books a month, and while recovering from a knee surgery, stuck on the couch, I decided to try writing one of the many story lines I had bouncing around in my head. While I loved the plot of Take the Money and Run, my writing was awful. Halfway through the second book, The Devil's Spare Change, I gave up. Four years later, I had the Trident Security series bouncing around my head and decided to give it a try. This time, I was able to hook up with several Indie authors who helped me figure out what I was doing wrong and how to fix it. Once the Trident Security series began getting a following, I knew I had to go back to the books that started it all and rewrite them.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Many readers have written me to say my books had them on roller coaster rides of laughing, crying, cheering, and gaping with astonishment. I love that they experience a wide variety of emotions with my stories.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

In the beginning, I couldn't afford an editor or proofreader, and relied on myself and a handful of beta readers. After my fourth book, I was able to hire an editor.

What's the longest you've left a book to "stew" before you went back to it?

It took me four years to go back and write the 2nd half of The Devil's Spare Change.

Kristen Anders, the protagonist in "Leather & Lace", the first book in the Trident Security series, is also a romance writer. Do you find yourself relating to her or shaping her character after your own?

Yes and no. Since Kristin was in the first book of the series, I didn't have the experience I have now when it comes to being an author. I had to research a few things and some parts were changed after I let a few more experienced authors read it.

What is one common misconception that a lot of people have about the romance/suspense genre?

That's it's for women only and it's all fluff stories. I recently had a male reader post a review of The Friar, saying he didn't know why he'd avoided the romance genre up until now and during the book, there were times he forgot he was reading a romance since the suspense was so captivating.

Who are some of your favourite authors and how have they influenced your work?

Oh, so many, This list is in random order and far from complete - Lexi Blake, Cherise Sinclair, Jerrie Alexander, Suzanne Brockmann, Nicole Edwards, Angel Payne, Kennedy Layne, Cristin Harber, Heather Graham, James Patterson, JA Jance, Vince Flynn, Boyd Morrison, Iris Johanssen, and many, many more. However, if it wasn't for the first eight on this list, I don't think the Trident Security series would have ever come about. They broaden my love for romance/suspense and got me so swept up in their series that I found I wanted to have a series where my readers felt connected with all the sub-characters and couldn't wait for this one or that one to get their story.

What is one writing cliche that you secretly love? One that you hate?

I honestly can't think of either. I try to avoid cliches.

What is one thing about being a writer you never thought about before you became one yourself?

That it's beyond a full time job. Especially as an Indie author. I spend about 12-16 hours a day on my computer between writing, researching, networking, advertising, and just talking to my readers.

What are some of your promotion strategies? Has AllAuthor been able to help in this front and would you recommend this website to your other author friends?

AllAuthor went beyond my expectations. I'd been surprised when I started getting Twitter notifications about my books being promoted. I have already recommended the site to several other authors. As for my promotion strategies, they've mainly been focused on Facebook and Twitter as I'm still learning the ins and outs of advertising. Some things I've tried have worked while others were a waste of time and money.

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