Featured Interview With Samantha Bryant
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was raised in Bellevue, Kentucky, which, then, was a small town of 10,000 or so people just outside Cincinnati, Ohio. Now, it doesn’t seem the same place at all, having fallen victim to condos and gentrification. At least gentrification makes it easier to find a good restaurant when I visit.
As an adult, I’ve lived in Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky, Vermont, Madrid, Spain and Oxford, England. I now live in North Carolina with my husband, two daughters, and rescue dog (a lovely Australian shepherd named O’Neill). I prefer small places to large and worry that Hillsborough is growing too fast for me.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I’ve always been a reader, even before I could read. My mother could bribe me into behaving well at the grocery store with the promise of buying me a new Little Golden Book and the library was my favorite place. I memorized my book of Mother Goose nursery rhymes when I was three and convinced many relatives that I could already read.
I began writing in first grade. Mrs. Alsdorf gave us a handwriting assignment where we had to neatly copy poetry and make a portfolio for it out of a wallpaper sample. My handwriting is still atrocious, but I credit that assignment with helping me fall in love with words. When Mrs. Alsdorf told me that I could write poetry myself if I wanted to, I did. I still have a poem I wrote around then. It’s called “Beauty” and is a set of rhymed couplets. The lines I remember are “Beauty is in the big, tall trees/bending over in the breeze.”
These days, I don’t write as much poetry, but a day with no new words in it seems a thin and sad thing indeed.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Neil Gaiman is the only author I will preorder every book from, but I enjoy a wide variety of authors from classics like Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson to speculative fiction writers like Nancy Kress and Larry Correia to literary fiction writers like Anne Tyler and Margaret Atwood. I don’t have one favorite genre, although I’ve been reading more speculative fiction since that is what I’m writing now. I’m inspired by beautiful writing about interesting characters in interesting situations, regardless of genre.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel is, as the title suggests, a superhero novel about menopausal women. I enjoyed writing a superhero novel for women like me: over forty, with families and jobs. The idea sprang from reading a lot of comic books and getting tired of too many stories about angsty underdressed teenagers. To me, the interesting part isn’t just the powers, though that is fun–it’s about ordinary people dealing with extraordinary situations and what their actions reveal about them as people.
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