Q&A with Samantha Durante
1. Please tell us a little bit about Stitch.
Stitch is a book which is nothing like it first seems. It’s initially a story about a college girl who finds herself obsessed with the handsome ghost that’s stalking her sorority house, but the deeper she looks, the more she realizes that nothing around her is quite as it seems. In fact, he’s not really a ghost, she’s not really a student, and they’re both in much more peril than they could ever have imagined. So Stitch is the story of how the main character, Alessa, realizes how she got there and figures out what she’s going to do about it.
2. What made you decide to write in this genre?
The young adult genre (or I guess it’s really “New Adult” since the main characters are college-age/20’s) has always appealed to me even once I “grew out” of that age group. To me, the “young adult” title is really a misnomer, since I don’t think young adult books have to exclusively be about young adults (and what’s the definition of “young” anyway?) or even for young adults – I think they just have to always include coming-of-age and self-discovery elements, which are of course relevant to readers at any stage of life since we’re always growing and changing. Plus, I noticed that there didn’t seem to be a lot of books about college-age people, which I thought was weird since it’s a stage that both younger (high school age) and older (post-college) readers can relate to and enjoy. In addition, I also incorporated dystopian science fiction and paranormal romance since those are genres I love to read! I don’t think I’ve ever read a spin on a dystopian world or paranormal romance or straight-up ghost story that I didn’t enjoy, so I wanted to try to bring in all those elements into one book and see what I could do with them.
3. Who is your favorite character in Stitch? Why?
Haha, that’s like asking who your favorite child is! I can’t pick just one! But seriously, I love elements of all the characters, and even more so since they’re based on parts of my family and friends that I admire. I love Alessa’s doggedness and her fierce protectiveness towards her loved ones. I love Janie’s wit and her ability to do what’s necessary to get things done, even if it means making a personal sacrifice. And I especially love Isaac’s tenderness towards Alessa, and the way he respects her as his partner and his equal – she’s not just some girl he needs to protect, but a vital part of his own livelihood as well, and he needs her as much as she needs him. I think they have a special relationship which is different than the norm and I’m looking forward to exploring it more in Book 2 of the series.
4. If you were a ghost, who would you haunt and why?
I would haunt my family and friends (but in a nice way!) just to see what they were up to and make sure they were okay. That is, unless there was someone I needed to take vengeance on, in which case they’d better find a very good hiding spot, because I’d plan to use my powers for evil instead of good!
5. If Stitch were made into a movie, who would you want to play Alessa?
I actually just did a post about my dream cast over at Kindred Dreamhart – check it out! My pick for Alessa was up-and-coming actress Emmy Rossum.
6. What do you do when you're not writing?
Reading mostly (…or watching TV!). I also do a lot of cooking, so I’m making runs to my local farmers market at least once a week, and I enjoy playing sports (basketball mostly these days, though I need to find a new league to join since I’m moving soon!) or going for hikes or just walks in the park.
7. What projects do you have planned for the future?
The rest of the Stitch trilogy! I’m planning to write Book 2, Shudder, over the winter/spring and publish it in Summer 2013, and Book 3 will come after that. My husband and I also just bought our first home and we’re about to start renovating, so that’s not a writing thing but it’s definitely going to be quite a project for the next couple months!
8. What do you hope to say to people with your writing?
I just hope people enjoy it! I read pretty much exclusively for fun, and I wanted to write something that would be fun to read and keep people wanting more. So if you find yourself not wanting to put the book down or sneaking in extra time to read, I will be very very happy!
9. What's on your bedside table?
A lamp, a picture of my husband, and my Kindle. I used to have my cell phone there, but my cat kept knocking it off the nightstand to wake me up when he was bored, so I had to put that in the other room!
10. What book are you currently reading?
I actually just finished a huge reading binge on my honeymoon – the Fifty Shades series by EL James, Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, Insurgent by Veronica Roth, The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, Here (On the Otherside) by Denise Grover Swank, and Frost and its sequel Thorns by Kate Avery Ellison. All were very entertaining and highly recommended! Next up I’ve got Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Pure by Julianna Baggott, Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park, and a stack of classic Michael Crichton paperbacks. :-)
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