Samantha Young Talks Switching Genres, On Dublin Street And More
Author Samantha Young has made her mark writing several paranormal YA tales, but she's switching gears with her latest release. On Dublin Street is the author's first adult tale, and you won't find a trace of magic in this contemporary romance! Heroine Jocelyn Butler relocates from the U.S. to Scotland in an attempt to hide from her past. Although she's hesitant to begin a new relationship with anyone, Braden Carmichael is determined to change her mind. Interested to learn more about the story, we asked the author to tell us about her change in genres and what readers can expect from this fresh read.
You are a very well known young adult author. What made you decide to transition into contemporary romance written for adults?
I always intended to transition into adult fiction at some point but contemporary fiction was something I considered doing in a few years’ time. Alas, the characters of On Dublin Street were persistent and decided they were too impatient to wait for me, so at the beginning of this year I started to tell their story, going back to it whenever I could, until during the summer when I realized it was ready to be heard.
What were some of the challenges and joys you have found with this new genre?
Writing contemporary fiction is very different from urban fantasy because the story rests heavily on your character development. The challenge for me was making the characters so interesting and relatable that I wouldn’t miss the elaborate worldbuilding and neither would the reader. And I definitely didn’t. I don’t think I’ve ever been so consumed by characters and that really was an amazing experience. Moreover, writing adult fiction in itself was brilliant. There are limits to adhere to as a responsible author when writing young adult fiction, but with adult fiction all those limits disappear and in a way you can put more of yourself into your writing than you ever could before.
In your first adult book, On Dublin Street, which is currently available as an e-book and releases in trade paperback on December 31, your heroine, Jocelyn, has a very difficult time dealing with her past. In fact, she suffers from panic attacks. What made you want to go to such extremes with her character?
I wanted to write a character I really understood and knew other people would understand. Jocelyn and I share similar experiences—loss at a young age, panic attacks—and she’s an amalgamation of my personal experiences as well as some of my loved ones’ experiences. Understanding Jocelyn made her so much easier to write, and hopefully made her relatable to a lot of people.
Jocelyn has a past that involves drugs and alcohol. Do you feel that her move to Scotland is for personal growth or is she running away from her past?
It was both for Jocelyn. Subconsciously, she is running away from her loss, her mistakes, her grief, but at that time she didn’t even realize that’s what she was doing. In her mind, her move to Scotland was about living in the present and taking an opportunity to discover somewhere new and fresh. It’s not until much later that Jocelyn comes to understand that there was more to her move to Scotland.
At the beginning of the book, hero Braden only dates models (and quite a few of them). As a rich playboy with a past full of women who betray and use him why did you choose to have him be the one that pushes his and Jocelyn’s relationship forward?
Well, Braden doesn’t just date models—he just dates women whose legs go on forever, haha. That’s his ‘type’ until Jocelyn comes into the picture. He is a monogamist but after being bitten once he spends time with women who aren’t going to ask too much of him. However, despite being betrayed in the past, Braden never actually swears off a meaningful relationship and when he meets Jocelyn, and she’s not like any woman he’s ever met before, his pursuit of her is relentless. This is a smart man who knows a good thing when he sees it—that’s partly why he’s a successful businessman—and is prepared to do what it takes to make sure he gets it. As for being the right man to push Jocelyn forward into a relationship? Well, Joss is incredibly independent, stubborn, quick-witted and no-nonsense. She needed a man who didn’t scare easily and also one who was intuitive enough to see through all her bulls**t. There was no one more capable of chasing Joss down than Braden.
Braden is a thoroughly Scottish man. What exactly does this entail? In your opinion, is a burly Scotsman the best kind of hero?
Braden is a true Scotsman—persistent, straightforward, straight-talking, and blunt. Not to mention his roguish humor and charm. Whether or not a burly Scotsman is the best kind of hero comes down to personal taste I guess, but I think a hero should be a slight Alpha-male with the ability to compromise. He should be able to make our heroine tingle in all the right places and afterwards make her laugh until she almost pees her pants. Whether he’s Scottish or not just comes down to geography. I personally like a good cowboy too ;)
With such different pasts, what makes the relationship between Jocelyn and Braden work? Were you ever worried that perhaps you made the characters too dissimilar to come together?
Never for a minute was I worried about their different pasts. Braden had enough sadness in his past to be able to empathize with Joss and understand where she was coming from, but he had such a beautiful family unit around him with Ellie and the Nichols’, and he believed so deeply in the importance of family, that his determination to bring Joss into their fold was actually a form of therapy for her. It was exactly what she needed, whether she wanted to admit to it or not.
You have frequently blogged about self-publishing versus traditional publishing. Why have you decided to make the switch to a traditional publisher? What does this mean for your books in the future?
On Dublin Street has changed my path in publishing. After successfully self-publishing, I had finally come to the decision that switching to traditional publishing no longer made sense for me. However, I didn’t expect On Dublin Street to touch so many readers, and honestly I couldn’t keep up with its potential. Deciding to sign with NAL was about receiving an offer than made sense for me and for this series. I will continue to self-publish—for example, I’m still in the middle of a few of my young adult fiction projects. Really, it’s about publishing in a way that makes sense. Mostly, self-publishing will make sense for me in the future, but the world of ODS and its characters are reaching for a readership that I can’t provide them as an indie author.
We understand that On Dublin Street was purchased by your publisher, NAL, as a two book deal. Can you give us any details about the second book?
This is true. There is a second book in the works from the characters of the world of On Dublin Street. However, I’m keeping pretty quiet at the moment about the details, teasing readers mercilessly. I can tell you it’s going to be just as emotional and hot as book one.
You can downaload On Dublin Street today, currently available as an e-book (Amazon: here, B&N: here). The book releases in trade paperback on December 31. For more romance visit our Everything Romance Page.