Today’s interview is with Samantha Graff. I hope you enjoy it!
1. Please tell us a little bit about you as a person.
I’m an only child, so I guess I was a bit spoiled. The difference is I know how lucky I was. I was able to try as many hobbies as I wanted as I didn’t have a sibling, so I discovered my interests. I did girl scouts, swim team, and scuba diving.
I feel that I’m artistically inclined. I did drama throughout high school and a little bit in college. I have also played the piano since I was 9 (I’m 23 now, so more than half of my life).
I’ve always loved to learn. While most kids had to be forced to do their homework, I enjoyed it. I always came right home and did it, without even being asked. If I could, I would be a professional student. That costs too much money, unfortunately.
I studied Mathematics in school and I’m still unemployed. Right now, I’m working on getting a teaching certificate. I don’t want to be a teacher, but I’m doing it out of desperation.
I love dogs. In fact, I have 6 of them right now: 4 golden retrievers, a yellow lab, and a black lab. My house is very crowded, but they’re my babies.
I also love going to the gym. I don’t care for the machines. I feel they are too boring. I enjoy zumba, kickboxing, and step aerobics.
2. Tell us about you as a writer.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a very active imagination. I would hold whole conversations with imaginary friends. I’m not just saying I talked to them; they’d actually answer me back.
Also, like a lot of little girls, I loved playing with Barbie dolls. I had a huge collection of like over 50 dolls. A lot of them had their hair chopped off from when I went through my “want to be a hair stylist” phase, but they were there. Anyways, I’d act out all of these stories with them. My Ken doll was in heavy circulation because most of them were romance, but there would be a whole plot, conflict, everything.
The first time I actually put words to paper was when I was in the third grade. I guess I would have been 8 or 9. My teacher was very enthusiastic about writing and got me enthusiastic about it, too. She would play all of these games about characters and setting, and I started to play them on my own.
One day, I decided to write down one of my Barbie Doll stories. It was awful. (I was only 9!) But that was my very first story.
In high school I participated in district writing competitions. One of my English teachers knew I was a writer, so she always told me when there was something coming up. I wrote for a short story competition every year and participated in the literary fair. I actually won second place in the poetry category one year. I also did playwriting in district drama competition. I never continued playwriting after high school, but it had been something new to try out.
As for being published, I don’t actually write mainstream stuff, but I do have a short story published by a small company whose internet based. I’m working on a novel to submit to them. I’m hoping my Nanowrimo novel this year will be a good enough idea to submit to them as well.
3. What types of writing have you written? Which is your favorite to write and why?
I’ve done fantasy, mystery, romance, general (friendship and family stories), and even fanfiction, although that’s not a genre.
My favorite would be romance. Even as a little girl playing with Barbie dolls, I enjoyed romance. I like to believe there’s someone out there for everyone, so I guess I’m a romantic at heart.
4. What are the three things you need at your side as you write? Why?
One thing I need is a computer as I tend to research as I write.
A second thing I need is Diet Mountain Dew. While many people drink coffee as they write, I can’t stand the taste. Diet Mountain Dew is to me as coffee is to other people.
The third thing I need is something that plays music. It could be Pandora on the computer or my mp3 player. As long as it plays music, I’m good. Although I can’t listen to music the whole time I write, listening to it once in a while as I’m writing helps relax me, especially if I’m getting frustrated with a scene that’s just not working.
5. If you were to give other writers one piece of advice, what would it be?
If you have spent two hours on the same scene and you still can’t get it right, and it’s
to the point where you have tears of frustration running down your cheeks, walk away from it. You can go outside, play with a pet, listen to some music, or even go on to another scene if you want to keep writing.
Chances are, when you go back to the trouble scene after taking a breather from it, you’ll see something that you missed before, and you’ll be able to work your way through it.
6. Where can we find out more about you? (Facebook, twitter, etc)
Facebook (Samantha Graff)