Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Author Interview by A.J. Llewellyn

1. Hi Samantha, you are one of my favorite pipples at eXtasy Books – and also one of my favorite authors. I bought and enjoyed Alliance of Passion, the second book in your Forestal series. Can you tell me a little about the genesis of the series and what we can expect from future installments?

Hello AJ! Thank you for inviting me and for your precious compliments! It really is an honor when a fellow author enjoys your work. BTW, congratulations on all the well-deserved awards you've been winning!

AJ says: Thank you!

The genesis of the Forestal series is a fusion of my two favorite genres; romance and science fiction, along with a heaping dose of Star Trek and Stargate. It just blossomed from things I adore and I've always loved science fiction/fantasy. When I was a kid, I read a book (complete with colorful pictures) predicting what life on Earth might be like in the year 2000.
That book really sparked my imagination and struck a chord with me that's never left. In fact, I'm still massively disappointed that my car doesn't fly!

2. AJ: Your car doesn’t fly? Mine does…kidding obviously. Let me ask you, what other things predicted for the year 2000 have not materialized?

HA! Is your car some new hybrid I haven't heard about? Fess up...I want one!
Gosh, you're really making me use my long term memory:) Well, the other striking thing I remember is that the moon was going to be an outpost, a colony that those of us on Earth could visit, like another wonderful vacation destination.

I'm working on Amanda's Glory right now. It's the third story in the series and re-introduces a couple of the characters from Alliance of Passion. Amanda Saurgin has been given command of a massive new warship - Glory. She is working feverishly to get her up and running. She's also fighting a lusty attraction to the Engineering Chief, a man she once despised. I don't want to spoil the ending, but I will tell you that the invading alien force is getting very close and United Sentients is running out of time. Amanda and her crew aboard Glory will be making first contact.

3. Am I correct in thinking you live in Alaska? What is that like? Please tell me a little of your life there.

We live on Prince of Wales Island in southeast Alaska. Prior to that, we were in Dutch Harbor (on the Aleutian chain) and in Barrow (northernmost city in the United States).
Prince of Wales is the third largest island in the United States and is part of the massive Tongass National Forest. It is also home to several Tlingit and Haida native villages. It is very rural, and YES we've got all the amenities, like indoor plumbing and hot-and-cold running water. It just takes some planning to get here.
Your options are a 3 hour ferry ride, a 40 minute float plane flight, or taking one of the small commuter planes that fly the "milk run" from Sitka or Ketchikan.
The island is absolutely gorgeous and home to abundant wildlife. You can fish for salmon or halibut, kayak some fabulous waterways, hike and camp, explore caves. If you don't like outdoor sports, you'd probably hate it here. There's no shopping mall, no movie theater and very limited restaurants.

4. Er...thank God for email, eh? Ahem...may I ask what possessed you to move there? And what kind of restaurants? Do
you and your husband frequent any of them?

In the early 90's, I did some contract work at a hospital in Soldotna, Alaska. It left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling, and a deep desire to return and do some exploring. My husband is a thrill-seeker kind of man, always up for anything. When he retired from the Albany Fire Department, we decided it was time for some major life changes. We sold the house, bought an RV and took off for the Oregon coast. We cruised around for a year and got the wild idea that we should live as far north as we could, and then as far south. We haven't made it to McMurdo and the Antarctic yet, but we will:)
On the subject of restaurants...I wish I'd taken a picture of B&T's for you. If you're ever in Klawock and want the best hamburger on the island, that's where to go. Of course, the looks of the place will scare you to death. Rest assured, the food is safe and wonderful.
Ruth Ann's is also great and open year-round. Any of the lodges that are open for business during the summer have extraordinary seafood. They bring chefs in for the season and the meals are fabulous. Fireweed Lodge is my favorite.

5. Do you have a hangout in Alaska? I mean…my dog and I hang out at the Aroma Café, take walks, etc. Is there any place like that for you?

Not on Prince of Wales. Dutch Harbor had some great hang-out places...fond memories of the Deadliest Catch crews:) When we're in Anchorage, we always stay at the Hotel Captain Cook. I loiter in their beautiful lobby and watch people. They also have a fantastic wine bar!

6. The Deadliest Catch crews? Do you mean the guys on TV who catch crabs and big fish and often die on the job?
Yep, those are the guys, and the crabs are huge and taste great! Captain Johnathan Hillstrand and his adorable brother Andy, Captain Sig and Phil Harris, et al. Dutch Harbor is their safe haven and stomping grounds before they brave the Bering Sea. Wanna picture?

7. I dunno…are any of them single? LOL…What is your writing routine like? I know you have a day job – or should I call that a night job? And how do you balance this with a husband and a very active life of travel and skydiving etc?

It sounds like a lot to balance, but Rob and I actually have a great deal of spare time. We're in the medical field and work part-time on the weekends. He's a day shifter and I'm the vampire:) It leaves us the rest of the week to play!
My writing routine has always been consistently erratic, unless I'm on a deadline. I tend to jot down a plethora of notes, then set aside dedicated time (dawn to dusk) to spin those notes into a few chapters. Rob usually runs away to visit his friends or coerce one of the pilots into letting him jump out of their perfectly good airplane:)

8. In Guarding the Coast, your heroine Moriarty has two rules: Never shag your coworkers and #2 NO PRETTY BOYS! Gage makes her break them both. What kind of guy would make Samantha Gail break her own rules?

A randy Scotsman (or Irishman)...preferably one who looks exactly like Gerard Butler! I am an absolute sucker for a good looking man with a thick brogue.

9. He is yummy...focus AJ, focus...I believe from an author chat we did together (so I am not telling tales out of school!!) that you did a lot of research for Guarding the Coast. Can you tell me what that entailed and what intrigued you the most?

Guarding the Coast was the most work AND most fun I've ever had in researching information for a book. I needed plenty of technical assistance and spent many hours interviewing Coasties, helicopter pilots and smokejumpers. I'd expected some resistance because of the genre of my story. It didn't happen. They were all incredibly forthcoming with their stories. I could have filled several books with their tales.
I've seen first-hand how the Coast Guard in Alaska operates...the lives they have saved. The terrifying weather conditions and situations they routinely fly in just boggles my mind. They have earned their reputation as heroes here in Alaska.

10. She Who Dares, Wins, your sequel to Guarding the Coast is set in Australia. Have you been there? Do you see any similarities between Australia and Alaska?

I have never been to Australia but it's on the go-and-see list. From what I've seen on television and read, much of Australia is remote enough to resemble Alaska...only warmer!
She Who Dares, Wins is set in a country similar to Brunei in location and culture; an island in southeast Asia that is ruled by a sultan.

11. I am quite familiar with Brunei. The sultan is the richest man in the world, isn’t he? Sorry…go on…

Yes, I think he is. In She Who Dares, Wins, the country of Muldahar is in a bad way. Its oil reserves are dwindling and the sultan is forced to do some unscrupulous things to fill his coffers. The hero, Quinton Herriman, is an Aussie who is doing VIP bodyguard duty for a young prince. Isabelle is a spy for the NSA. Both are characters from Guarding the Coast. They were so hot, I decided to give them their own story:) Our favorite editor is working on it and the story should be released at eXtasy books soon.

12. Here is a really tough question, cookie, brace yourself. What was your favorite toy growing up?

My collection of Barbie dolls!
13. Have you ever stole anything?

Absolutely! I have two brothers and we were little hellions growing up. Mostly we stole from one another.

14. Really? Did you know our friend and fellow eXtasy author Stephani Hecht stole a sock monkey when she was five? We eXtasy authors are a rather villainous lot. Go ahead, please tell me what you stole…I won’t tell anybody…well…maybe one or two people…

Ooops, I was afraid you'd ask me for specifics! But first, what is a sock monkey? I know, I know, that was a lame diversion tactic:) As I recall, our thieving career ended with one of the neighbor's chickens.

15. You’re a chicken thief? Dang woman…that beats sock monkeys! What genre do you like to read in your private time?

Any romance or erotica, mysteries and science fiction.

16. Do you watch much sci-fi? I know you mentioned Stargate etc…ever watch Torchwood? I am a man obsessed!

OMG! I've watched both seasons and am salivating in anticipation of a third. Cross your fingers! I have this naughty fantasy about John Barrowman. If he and Scott Gill were up for it, I'd LOVE to be in a triad with them!

17. Woman, it would be a er…fivesome! DJ Manly and I both LOVE John Barrowman…and I wouldn’t make Scott Gill wait out in the car! I know you are dedicated to your work with Kiva. Can you tell me a little about the organization? It provides loans for women, doesn’t it?

Sure, I'd be glad to! Kiva is a grassroots organization that allows you to lend directly to entrepreneurs in the developing world, ie: real individuals in need of funding. I tend to favor the women in need, but there are plenty of needy men, as well:)
The Kiva staff travels to different areas of the globe, assesses the communities for outstanding entrepreneurs and then facilitates the loaning process. They have no hidden administrative costs. Kiva will ask you up-front if you want to donate 10% to them, and you've got the option of saying "no". Loan amounts are $25 and up. When the loan is repaid, you can re-loan it to someone else in need, or not. It's your choice.
I've done my homework and Kiva is for real. I get tremendous satisfaction from helping these people.

AJ says: What a wonderful thing you're doing Samantha!
On behalf of Dark Diva Reviews. I’d like to thank Samantha Gail for coming by today and being such a good sport. To learn more about this fantastic author, please visit her links:



Anonymous said...

Great interview, Samantha & AJ. Oh, and could you add me to that Barrowman/Gill list.

Anonymous said...

Great Interview.. I love this author.. She has what it takes to keep me coming back for more.. Keep the books coming.. and I will keep the coffee hot..

Unknown said...

Wow. For someoen who lives in the sticks, she sure has a lot going on!. Great interview, AJ, as usual. :)