Author — and now publisher — Samaire Wynne is known for writing compelling fantasy novels, particularly those in her Mad World series, Romanov series, Titania Academy series, The Paladin Princess series, and others, via her own imprint, Black Raven Books. A few years back, I discovered, much to my surprise, that she had moved, not only to my old hometown, but very near my house! So for this Graveside Chat, we’ll talk about what Samaire is currently up to and what’s coming down the pike.
GC: Tell us a bit about you — where you come from, where you're going, and what inspires you as both a reader and writer.
SW: I come from a California Marine Corps family based in San Diego. I am currently an east coast resident and I write fantasy and horror. What inspires me as a reader is an exciting story. If that story can make me squirm, all the better.
What excites me as a writer is exploring new corners of favorite genres. I love delving into the modern unknown areas of old fables. Remarkably, I have had some success at this, mainly in exploring the present day explorations of ancient faerie myths.
GC: You've written quite a few fantasy novels, particularly series novels. Are you drawn more to writing series than stand-alone novels?SW: Yes, I prefer to write in series format. Mainly because I create long stories and there would be no other way to present them to the reading public. Each book is 80k-120k words. Each series has 8-15 books planned. These are long, involved stories full of magic and adventure. It takes a lot of storytelling to explore each corner of these worlds, and do them justice. I leave no stone unturned, my readers demand this and I am happy to oblige.
GC: Who are your favorite authors? How have they influenced your work?
SW: My favorite authors are the fantasy authors that like to make their readers at least mildly uncomfortable. The pinnacle of these is Neil Gaiman, who has honed his art to perfection. He and his stories have heavily influenced my work. His stories give examples of the kind of books I love to both read and write, and he himself, as a person, has strongly influenced both me and my writing. Neil has on numerous occasions encouraged me and uplifted me, sometimes through incredibly terrible times in my life. His advice — to write, keep writing, and pour myself onto the page — has helped me more than any other. His personal touch and how he cares have meant more to me than most other things, and he has never let me down nor given me bad advice.
GC: You've written for young adults as well as for us old folks. Do you find writing for a younger audience appreciably different than writing for... shall we say... more seasoned readers? In your YA work, do you tackle controversial topics or imagery? Do you plan to write more books for your YA readers?
SW: I tackle tough subjects in all my books. Bravery and courageous action are what propel my stories forward. I tackle life and death threats, environmental threats, threats to nations and threats to small beings. And in my last series, I tackle a threat to the entire planet. I find writing for a young adult audience very satisfying, because this audience can handle huge dangers and momentous journeys.
When I write for adults, I concentrate more on immediate perils to the characters, and their interactions with each other. Adult stories pull you in, and focus you on the people going through the experiences. They are a more personal experience.
GC: Insert your own question here. Whatever topic, have your say. Anything you want — or have wanted — to share, go for it!
SW: My question for readers: How do you support your favorite writers?
My answer is: Support your favorite writers by buying their books, reviewing their books, and following their recommendations to other books and authors. Expand your horizons to other genres, it can lead to fantastic discoveries.
GC: Thank you, Samaire!
Coming Soon: Graveside Chats with Brian M. Sammons, Maurice Broaddus, and more