Hi Sexxy folks...thank good gravy its Friday, right?! The heat has been unbearable, but I'm so happy I had some good reads this week. I'm was really happy that Samantha asked me to be part of her tour for Shudder, book 2 in her Stitch Trilogy. I have a interview with Samantha and then I'll let you know what I thought of Shudder.
Hi Samantha! And welcome back to Salacious Reads :)
Thanks so much for hosting me, Sharonda! Very excited to be here for the Shudder tour. :-)
1. What was your inspiration for this story Arc?
The Stitch Trilogy came out of an effort to combine elements I loved from different stories and genres into one, to make something fresh and new. Initially I started with the idea of a ghost romance set in a college, but I kept running into trouble getting my main characters (one of which had been dead for 100 years) in the same time and place for a happy ending. Then I remembered my love of dystopian fiction, and a completely out-of-the-box solution occurred to me, and the idea for Stitch was born.
2. Can you tell us if there are any actors/actresses that gave you inspiration for Alessa & Isaac?
The characters initially came from pictures in my head that didn't perfectly correspond to any one real-life person, but since then I’ve done a pretty good job of finding some actors/actresses that I think could play them. Check out the full cast here: Stitch Trilogy Movie Dream Cast.
3. New Adult is becoming a very popular Genre. Did you always want to write for young adults? And what is it about this age group that inspired this trilogy?
I’m SO thrilled to see the success of the New Adult genre! When I was first coming up with the idea for Stitch, the genre was in its infancy, and still the prevailing industry attitude was that no one wanted to read about people in their 20s. As someone in my 20s, I found that quite insulting! It’s a very formative time in a person’s life, with so many changes going on and huge life experiences (college, first job, first serious relationships with the possibility of marriage, etc.) – who wouldn't want to read about that? I’d always loved young adult books since they’re also about coming of age, but with slightly older characters, you have the opportunity to bring in more depth and maturity in the characters, and also more real-life grittiness. I think it’s an awesome genre and am really happy it’s finally getting its due!
4. Being that this world is also set in Sci-fi Genre, I’m assuming you love it as well. Are there any sci-fi shows you like/love?
I DO love science fiction! I love to read it, love to watch it, I even like science fiction sounding music (Muse, anyone??). :-D Some of my all-time favorite sci-fi shows are Battlestar Galactica, Lost, Buffy (does that count? It gets a little more sci-fi-ish in later seasons once Riley comes in…), and pretty much anything else by Joss Whedon (Dollhouse, Firefly, etc.). I also like strong female characters in sci-fi settings, in case that’s not totally obvious from these selections, lol.
5. What do you love most about writing? What do you dislike (if any) about it?
The absolute best thing about writing is creating this crazy storyline in my head and seeing readers get really excited about it. There’s really nothing else like it in the world – it’s SO gratifying to share my books with readers. :-) Dislike?? Hmm, I guess the hardest part about writing is just putting yourself out there. You open yourself up to so much criticism, and it’s just impossible to make everyone happy since people have different (and conflicting) preferences. Getting the occasional bad (or brutal!) review hurts, but you just have to stay positive and remember all those people out there who loved what you did, then learn from it and move on.
6. What inspires you to write your stories?
My love of reading, of course. I've always been an avid reader and I love books that can take me away to another world. I wanted to write a trilogy to try to repay some of the debt I owe to the many, many great authors that have brought that magic to my life over the years with their own series.
7. I know you can’t give much away, but what can we expect with this trilogy? Do we get a HEA for folks in & out of Paragon?
I’m a sucker for a happy ending. :-) So yes, things will work out, eventually. But there are still some major bumps and bruises in store for Alessa, unfortunately, and she’ll have to fight through plenty of battles – both external and internal – before she can achieve the positive outcomes she’s striving for. And of course, there will collateral damage along the way…
8. Lastly, we talked about inspiration. Do you expect inspiration from your readers once they’ve finished reading your books or for that matter any books out there?
I get TONS of inspiration from readers! It’s always such a pleasure hearing what readers had to say about the story, and I make sure to take their feedback into account (otherwise, who am I writing for?). I’m actually dying to get started on writing Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3), but I’m holding out until the end of the Shudder tour so I can get a better feel for where readers want the story to go before I plan it all out. And I hope that readers are similarly inspired by the books they read – inspired to share their love of reading with others, to support the authors they enjoy, and even – like me! – to perhaps become authors themselves one day. :-)
okay...her answers are rocking right? I totally enjoyed that. Haven’t read the first book in the series? Check it out on Amazon and Goodreads. Just $0.99!
Samantha Durante (Self-Published)
Sexual Content: PG - Little to not Sexual Content
Available: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords
Also available ($2.99 e-book) in the iTunes store, Kobo, and wherever e-books are sold
-- Book 2 in the Stitch Trilogy --
It's only been three days, and already everything is different.
Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa's life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she'd counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she'd thought she'd tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she's discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.
And then there are the visions.
The memory-altering "stitch" unlocked something in Alessa's mind, and now she can't shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers - and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world's sorry history - will soon leave Alessa reeling...
The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante's shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.
I gotta say that I love this world that Samantha created. It's scary, futuristic and unknown...exactly what a sci-fi story should be. Shudder picks up where Stitch has left off. Alessa and Isaac are now outside of Paragon and are trying to find a better life for the citizens that are unbeknownst to them being held hostage by the higher powers that be in the city of Paragon.
Stitch, the first book was a bit slow moving for me; but I thought that Samantha picked the story up in Shudder. Here, there was more of a faster pace and I was able to connect with her character more. Alessa never annoyed me and she gained my respect in this 2nd story. She was more fierce and brave, I enjoyed Isaac's character too. I thought he complemented Alessa quite well.
I absolutely loved the leaps and bounds THIS story took. Shudder had a different feel than Stitch and its a feel that I like. Samantha gave me complex characters with a complex world and it really wasn't that hard to catch up to what was going on. It makes you wonder that if this could really be done...what was done in Paragon? It's scary I tell you.
Shudder is a unique Sci-fi story...set in a future that is unsure and tested by its characters. I loved it...I really did. And that is saying much because I will tell you that I am not a fan of "younger" characters. But this author gave me characters that are new adults, BUT they have very adult thoughts and feelings.
Grab Shudder and Stitch as well. If you are a fan of the new adult genre and like it with a twist of Sci-fi romance, then this series is for you.
Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. The Stitch Trilogy is her debut series. Learn more about Samantha at www.samanthadurante.com.