1. Thanks for stopping by my blog today, Samantha! Why don't you start out by telling us a bit about yourself?
Thanks so much for hosting me, Sandra! I’m a young adult author, though I’m still getting used to this whole “author” thing as Stitch was my very first book! It’s been a really amazing adventure sharing my story with readers and getting to know the book blogging community, and I feel very lucky to have become part of such a supportive and welcoming group of people!
2. What inspired you to leave Microsoft and get writing?
Writing was what I always loved to do, so when I decided to leave Microsoft and move back to New York, I knew I had to give it a shot professionally. I started my own company doing freelance business writing, and once I got established, I found I had enough flexibility in my schedule to try my hand at fiction. That’s when I started working on the Stitch Trilogy!
3. What's your writing process like?
I’m a big planner when it comes to anything, and writing is no different. With Stitch, I started by planning out the history of the world and the characters so that I had a deep understanding of where everything was at when the book started. Then I plotted out the major points of the story, and next I broke it down further into a detailed chapter outline. That way, when it came time to actually write the story, I could focus *just* on the writing. I did a few chapters a weekend for about three months, then I took couple weeks off before I revised, and once I had the final draft I turned my focus to all the formatting and marketing. That process seemed to work well for me, so I’m doing the same thing now with the second book, though on a slightly more compressed timeline since I know readers are waiting for the sequel!
4. The time travel/wormhole aspect of Stitch was fascinating. How much research did you have to do for Stitch?
The thing that’s most amazing about that stuff is that it’s actually true – or at least, those are the most accepted current scientific theories. I actually didn’t have to do a ton of additional research, because I find that stuff fascinating too, so I’ve done a good amount of Stephen Hawking reading and that sort of stuff in the past. When it came time for Stitch, I just drew on what I knew and used articles online to refresh my memory and make sure I was explaining things as accurately as possible. In terms of new research for this series, I actually did a lot more about viral epidemics and how easy it would be for a biological outbreak to really decimate our planet – let me tell you, it’s scary!!
5. What can you tell us about the rest of the series? Do you already know how the trilogy is going to end?
I’m working on the second book now, so I know exactly where that one is going, and I’m really excited about it. This one is more dystopian-focused now that the characters (and readers) know what’s going on, and I was able to jump right in to the action and romance, basically picking up right where we left off in Stitch. I’m also introducing some new paranormal elements and some frightening, mysterious creatures, both of which will play a bigger role in the final book. As for the third one, I have an idea of where it’s going, but I’m trying to give the story an opportunity to evolve organically before I lock it down. So we’ll see!
6. What do you like to do in your free time?
In my *abundant* free time (not! lol) I like to read and keep up with the million TV shows I like to watch (my DVR is my friend!), and generally just spend time with friends and family. I also just moved into my first house, so I’ve been learning how to be a homeowner and trying to keep up with the maintenance – it’s a lot more work than I thought it would be! But it’s also been a lot of fun. :-)
7. Anything else you want to add?
Anyone who’s interested can keep up with my progress on Book 2, Shudder, on my website here. I’ve been keeping the “Shudder-o-Meter” up-to-date with my percent complete, along with teaser comments from the beta readers. I’m aiming to release the second part of the trilogy this summer, so there won’t be too much more of a wait, promise!
Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. Stitch is her first novel. Learn more about Samantha at www.samanthadurante.com.