The first time I ever remember writing would be in my preschool to kindergarten days and it grew. The teacher would have to give me an extra notebook for story time because I would use up most of the pages before the other kids. Even throughout high school, especially in my French class, I was given extra paper for the Collin’s writing. In five minutes I had three or four pages written back-to-back with a story inspired by what was on the board.
Do you write in multiple genres or stick to only one?
I tend to write in multiple. Currently I'm working on children’s books, however I also like to write supernatural/horror genres.
What and who inspires you?
Life inspires me. It’s the greatest teacher that you’ll ever have. As for who inspires me? That would be, hands down, my mother. It’s not a known fact about us, however, we've been through a lot in a few short years – most of which would break somebody. Throughout all of the things we have faced, she never gave up and never backed down. She’s my rock. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be sitting here, answering interview questions about my upcoming children’s book. It would have never seen the light of day, but because she believed in me, she gave me the courage go ahead and do what I've always wanted to do – write.
Do you read the same genre(s) that you write in? What sort of books intrigue you?
Yes and no. I do enjoy, still, reading some of my favorite Dr. Seuss books, however I mainly read supernatural/horror and dystopian fiction. When I was younger, I was terrified of horror movies. In fact, I was mainly a comedy person. To even pick up a horror novel was unthinkable for me. However, as the years passed by I grew to appreciate being scared silly. Now, that’s all I mainly read.
Favorite author and/or book?
Ah, a tough question indeed. I would have to say that I have a myriad of favorite authors and books. It changes as often as the weather (and being from New England, the weather is extremely unpredictable). However, I would have to say currently my favorite author is Stephen King and my favorite book would be either The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.
Tell us about your novel and where the idea came from. Is this part of a series or a standalone?
Originally this started out as a project for school. For our senior project in Creative Writing class, we were asked to write a children’s book. At that point all I knew was that I wanted to write about one of my favorite animals – a monkey. I asked my mom, as I often do when stuck with that dreaded writer’s block, and she mentioned something about going on an adventure. After that, Mason Monkey and the Golden Banana became a reality. Mason Monkey and the Golden Banana is about Mason Monkey who is tired of doing the same thing every day. He gets up for school, eats breakfast, leaves, and goes home to do homework. One day, after finding out his grandfather is sick in the hospital, he learns of an adventure that he can partake in – the quest for the Golden Banana! Hoping this will break his monotonous routine – and to help his grandfather get better – he goes on the adventure of a lifetime.
To answer your question about whether or not this is part of a series or a standalone, I will say that I am currently working on yet another Mason Monkey title, with hopefully more to come!
Is this your first professional publication?
Yes, this is my first professional publication.
What's your one piece of advice to those that want to be published one day?
Never give up. I know that sounds horribly cliché, however it is true. I was lucky to have the support from my mother, however, not everyone can be as lucky as I was. If you get turned down by one publisher, keep trying. I heard that J.K. Rowling got turned down numerous times for Harry Potter, and yet she’s one of the best authors around. I can't reiterate this enough: Never. Give. Up.
What was the hardest part about writing and publishing your first book? The easiest?
The hardest part about writing and publishing my first book would have to be myself. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to writing – it’s like an O.C.D. with me. I am an avid reader, so I’m constantly looking at my work from an audience’s view. I will rewrite a page more than necessary just to make sure everything lines up neatly. I guess you could say I’m a perfectionist. About publishing? So far, the process hasn’t been stressful. Everyone at KCL is extremely welcoming and if I ever had a problem, they would always be there to help me.
Where can your audience keep up-to-date with you and your writing projects?
Currently I am running an author Facebook page as well as a Twitter. The links are:
Facebook: Samantha Dempsey Author Page