Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Interview with Sam Thomas

Yesterday I reviewed Sam Thomas' The Harlot's Tale, the second novel featuring 17th century midwife Bridget Hodgson.  She's a fascinating heroine, and this is an intriguing, appealing series.  I'm thrilled to share an interview with the author, so read on to learn more about him, his books, and what he does when he's not writing.

What was the plot of your very first piece of fiction?

That's a tough one! In high school I think I wrote some short stories, but have no memory of what the plot was. So my first piece of fiction - that I remember - was my first book, The Midwife's Tale!

Do you have any writing rituals or routines?

I have to, or I'd get nothing done. This time of year it is: Get up at 5:00, and brew a pot of coffee. While the coffee brews, empty the dishwasher, and peel and separate two (not one, but two!) Cutie oranges. (I eat the cuties with a fork so my fingers don't get sticky.) Then I write.

I wrote my first three books on the computer, but the last two (both in progress) I'm writing by hand and then typing. That might be a little insane, but I find it to be much more enjoyable!

Was The Harlot’s Tale the original title of your book?

Yes. (Sorry! Boring answer there.)

As you were writing The Harlot’s Tale, was there a particular scene or character that surprised you?

There is a scene near the end of the book that totally took me by surprise. As I started writing, I realized that a character whom I thought was going to be back for the third book in the series was about to die. I kept writing, an sure enough, s/he was dead as a doornail.

Until that morning, I had no idea that it was going to happen, but it worked out for the best for everyone. Except that character.

Had you intended for Bridget Hodgson's story to be a series?

Absolutely, and four a few reasons. First, I loved the characters and wanted to get to know them better. Second, Bridget lived in such a remarkable time that it seemed logical to follow her through such a turbulent period. You've got civil war, revolution, the execution of King Charles I - why would I stop at one?

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

Read, of course. I also teach full-time and love doing that. Oh, and I meet with book clubs both in person and via Skype, so if anyone is interested in a visit, let me know!

Read any good books recently?

I've been working on a stand-alone novel, and that's had me reading some US history. I read John Demos's The Unredeemed Captive, which is pretty amazing, and I'm part way through Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace. I recommend both!

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My thanks to Mr. Thomas for his time and thoughtful answers. You can learn more about him and his books at his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


I'm thrilled to offer a copy of The Harlot's Tale to one lucky reader. To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US/Canadian readers only, ends 1/24.

Only one entry per person; please do not enter multiple aliases. Be sure to come back tomorrow for my interview with the author and another chance to enter!

1 comment :

  1. I find these interviews so interesting. It seems rare that original title of the book ends up being the one it is published with.