A Peek Into Your Life- Samantha Sotto

A peek into your life, is a segment spotlighting authors, specialists, and friends who brave my countless questions day in and day out. It's the best way I can share with you all, the many people who taught me the bizarre things I know, who satisfy my thirst for knowledge and adventure, and who keep me motivated.

Actually, Samantha stumbled on my blog before she was all famous and she left a real impact on my writing. Here's why-- I was at that time searching magazines and history books looking for a picture to inspire me. anything. I was stuck. And then......... hey! Samantha shows up and got me out of a funk and back writing about a goddess who whispers to water. lol! The character she inspired has evolved a little since then, but, still. There's a peek into my life for ya! ;)

Regardless, as her book promises, life tends to have magical moments like that, and one can't escape them but should really take advantage of them.

Samantha runs her own fun blog, HERE. She always has a great assortment of photos to go with her adventures that make me chuckle.

When her book came out, I ORDERED IT the day it was released because I loved the idea. Here's my review:

Having to continue to breathe after her husband dies is almost impossible, yet somehow, Shelly does. One little gasp at a time, until those breaths open the door and standing there is her husband. Well, not really, just a man his age who looks too much like him. This stranger claims to be her husband’s grandson. How could he have a grandson the same age as him? As she journeys to find the truth, she discovers that her answers are in the magical stories he’s shared.
Intriguing enough, yet it’s the characters that had me hooked. Shelly is too much like me and her husband is the person I thrive to be. He knows the secret to life, and he enjoys it with every breath he earned. Fantastic story that left me guessing right to the last word and gave me this weird craving for eggs with a couple drops of...

Anyway, this is one I recommend to everyone. You’ll find a touch of yourself in these pages and a touch of who you want to be. 
Magical tale that begins at the end, after a slight detour.
I laughed, I cried, I sat tense, and I never wanted someone to find a moment of happiness so desperately. Honestly, the title didn't make sense to me until the last word. And then I went, "oh. gee. cool. Let's do that again!"

Cool idea right? Was this woman's husband immortal? Why would he leave her if they loved each other so much? I just had to find out.

I never read it until my holidays because I've been so busy editing my own little pieces. I'm sorry I waited so long. I've been complaining for weeks that I can't find a decent book to drown myself in, and here I had it by my bed all this time. INCREDIBLE. This book is everything I love; magical, daring, breaks the rules, and brought up my cholesterol just reading it.

But I'm blabbering when I know you just all want to peek into her life. But! Let me say that if there is one book to read this year, this it. I loved it. It took me away on the best adventure I've ever had and gave me this huge appreciation for life and for those little moments with my loved ones.

Without further ramblings, let me introduce my guest, Samantha Sotto and let you peek into her life. 

So Samantha, what are you currently working on?
I'm busy wrestling, er, writing my new book. It has me in a headlock.

I have to admit, I'm a little excited to know more magic is on the way. In your debut novel, I was sold at the idea of her husband being dead but his grandson showing up at her door the same age as him. It really had me curious, so curious I had to read it.  
Where did the idea come from?
I wish I had a clever story about how I got the idea for the book. Max's story literally just popped into my head while I was stuck in traffic. Can I squeeze in a couple of chain-smoking leprechauns to make my answer more interesting?

Actually, the stuck in traffic idea beats how I got one of my ideas (staring up my dentist's nose), so go with that. 
This story held some great messages. It's these messages that make me recommend your book to every soul I meet. As if they might find answers in your magic. 
Live and love in the now really stuck with me, but as the writer, what was one of the messages you wanted to pass on? Did you feel this message emerge on its on or did you plan it?
I started out writing a comedy but Max and the gang had other ideas. Full credit for all the life lessons in the book goes to them. I just wrote them down.

Ah magic like that could be what makes it so great to me. I'm tired of reading plots I know the answer to, or that the love feels fixed. Ah love. Yes, the other reason I was entranced by your book was the incredible love story. There is never a doubt in my mind that they belong together in the ever after, even through all the conflict and trials they face. 
The best scene for me to read was the chicken soup one. I felt Max's desperation, his eternal struggle. I could feel how he really wanted to grow old. And this warmed me inside and made me want his love for Shelley to work even more. Yet it gave me a sense of sadness for him, because he was essentially doomed. It was so powerful.
Having said all that, what was your favorite scene to write and why?
The entire flashback in Herculaneum was my favorite because it had been living in my head for a very long time. It felt great to finally get it down on paper. It was like giving birth - without needing an epidural.
I hear ya. I can only let scenes like that build up for so long and then they explode onto the world.

So, what did you learn about life while writing this book that you'd like to pass on to others?
The biggest lesson I learned in the book is summed up in the dedication I wrote for my children:

While you may only see one name on the cover of this book, this is a gift from Mom and Dad to both of you - so that you will always believe that you can hold your dreams in your hands.
Yes. I love that message. It's the one my dad tried so hard to drill into me. Plus, I love how you throw in the part about it taking a team to make this dream real. I might not have a book to hold yet, but I'm living that dream, and it's magical just the same.

Well, enough about writing, tell us seven random things that prove how awesome you really are.
Seven random things that will either make me look cool or very, very strange:
1. I got engaged after jumping out of an airplane.
2. I can do a sideways belly roll.
3. When I grow up, I want to be Neil Gaiman.
4. Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham is my favorite book.
5. If I could surf EVERY.SINGLE.DAY, I would.
6. One of my most treasured possessions is a numbered Doctor Who Tardis bobble head.
7. I'm taking my kids to the different European settings in the book at the end of the month. It will be a family friendly version of "The Slight Detour."

Hahahaha. Water goddess indeed! Maybe you'll take me surfing one day since that is a dream of mine, and well, here in Saskatchewan we really don't have oceans to practice on. Actually, I've only ever seen the ocean twice, and both times I stood there in awe, unable to walk in, forget surf it. It's so powerful, so enormous, the idea of surfing it is like a challenge that screams to me.

Thank you so much for stopping by and be sure to enjoy that surf for me between wrestling sessions.

How about y'all? Any questions for Samantha? Any comments on her book? Honestly, if you haven't read it, don't miss out, I'm still dreaming out it.


Victoria Lindstrom said...

Thanks for the wonderful interview with author, Samantha Sotto. Her book, Before Ever After, sounds like one I need to read!

Shallee said...

I've heard about this book, and it sounds like fun! Thanks for the interview, ladies!

Critique Sisters said...

Both Samantha and her book sound wonderful. We'll have to pick it up! Thank you for this introduction to her.

Richard said...

Interesting interview. I'll put her book on my TBR list.

Angela Brown said...

First, thanks for the book share and for the wonderful interview.

Secondly, I was intrigued the moment I saw the title. We're so programmed to happily ever afters that seeing the title, Before Ever After really sparking my interest. Sounds like the magic involved in this story is much deeper than a simple chant or cast spell.

Samantha Sotto said...

*waves to everyone in the comment box*

Thanks for having me over, Tanya! Had a blast! :D

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

What a great review. Do I ever want to read that book!and it was a cool interview, really helped me get an idea of the author. I love it that one of her best scenes popped into her head while stuck in traffic!

Vicki Tremper said...

Sounds like this was the perfect book for you at just the right time. I'm definitely intrigued by all the little hints the two of you have given.

Teresa Cypher aka T K CypherBuss said...

I am intrigued. Nice interview. Adding the book to my "must read" list. :-)

cherie said...

Wonderful interview! And the book sounds great! I'll have to add this to my TBR list.