Friday, September 6, 2019

guest Author Day with Samantha Gentry

Welcome to the Reading Nook blog author Samantha Gentry today as we chat about their latest book, Rekindling an Old Flame and more.

Thanks for stopping by to talk a little about your writing! Let's jump right in. When did you begin writing and why?
My writing is actually a by-product of my photography. I wanted to be a photographer specializing in nature and landscape. I found it was easier to market my photographs if they were attached to magazine articles. So, I started writing and sold several articles featuring my photographs. I lived in Los Angeles and my 'day job' for twenty years was television production. Friends told me I should take advantage of my producer and director contacts and write scripts. I enrolled in a screen writing class at UCLA. I discovered two things—I did not want to write scripts and I did want to try my hand at novels.

Do you have a favorite genre? Is it the same genre you prefer to write?
I think my favorite is mystery and romantic suspense. I enjoy figuring out what clues to give and determining the twists and turns of the storyline. Romantic suspense vs. mystery—by introducing a romance into the story, it ups what is at stake for both the hero and heroine. I write adult romance, romance, romantic suspense, mystery.

Do certain themes and ideas tend to capture your writer’s imagination and fascinate you?
I love trivia, so anything that lends itself to lots of little tidbits of information is of instant interest to me. I also like history so trivia related to history is of particular interest. I do not, however, write historical novels. I find real life unsolved mysteries to be fascinating, too.

How do you balance long-term thinking vs. being nimble in today's market?
This is one of the difficulties (at least for me) of trying to maintain a writing career in today's market. I've always considered long-term as relating to producing an on-going supply of manuscripts for publication, having product available for purchase, and being aware of the current trends in type of story/book that's selling well. Being nimble in today's market seems to come down to always being on top of the latest development in social media as a marketing tool.

How do you find readers in today's market?
That is 'the' question of the day/week/month/year—how and where does an author find new readers. The market has changed so much from the time I was first published. Back then (wow…does that sound as old as I think it does?) there weren't any ebooks and being self-published meant the costly path of a vanity press and the author's need to find outlets for all those print books. In today's market, that seems to come down to an aggressive self-promotion and marketing campaign. Unfortunately (in my humble opinion), writers are now forced by circumstances to spend more and more time doing promotion and marketing and less and less time being able to actually indulge the creative side of writing. I find it a frustrating situation but a necessity of the business side of writing in today's market.

Do you come up with the hook first, or do you create characters first and then dig through until you find a hook?
With mysteries, I tend to think story concept first then character. My mysteries are story/action driven. What happened that set the story in motion, the event that sparked a series of events. Who are the people caught up in these events and why. With romances, it's the other way. Those stories are character driven. Who are these people, how/where/why did they originally meet, what brought them together, what obstacles do they need to conquer during the course of the book before they can find their ultimate happiness.

How do you create your characters?I start with the basics of who needs to be in that place at that time then expand my cast of characters as I need to add them. My primary characters are given a background including their marital status, education, family and friends, career. Then I add their hopes/dreams, fears, and major existing problem that fuels the story while creating the friction between hero and heroine that needs to be resolved.

What's on the top of your TBR pile right now?
On my fiction pile is James Patterson's MURDER GAMES. On my non-fiction pile is OUR ENDANGERED VALUES by Jimmy Carter.

Tell me a little about the characters in REKINDLING AN OLD FLAME.
Main character backstory: Skylar Rogers and Cameron Amory attended the same university, Cameron two years ahead of Skylar. They were inseparable during Cameron's senior year. Skylar had assumed that would be forever. To her shock, a couple of weeks before graduation Cameron told her he was taking off for a year to travel around the U.S. while working on his novel. He had several short stories published, but this would be his great novel. He left after graduation and that was the last contact they had with each other.

The book opens fourteen years later when Skylar's car breaks down in Willow Springs, Vermont—the home of world famous best-selling author Cameron Amory. The shock of seeing each other after all those years stirs up deep emotions in each of them. Skylar never stopped loving Cameron but is afraid he will hurt her again. Does she dare let him back into her heart? Cameron deeply regrets his foolish decision from all those years ago. In retrospect, he knows it was a fear of commitment that drove the decision. Now, fate has given him a chance to repair the past and have her as a permanent part of his life. How can he convince her that Rekindling An Old Flame is the path they need to take?

Where’s the story set? How much influence did the setting have on the atmosphere/characters/development of the story?
REKINDLING AN OLD FLAME by Samantha Gentry is an adult romance, part of The Deerbourne Inn series from The Wild Rose Press. All the stories in this series (each from a different author) are set in Willow Springs, Vermont, a small town of three thousand people. The Deerbourne Inn is a charming bed and breakfast in Willow Springs. There are characters living in the town who appear in various stories in the series, some merely as background characters and others with a more prominent place in a story. My story in this series takes place the first week of October, the time of Willow Springs annual Fall Foliage Celebration which is an arts and crafts event celebrating the changing of color of the autumn leaves.

Skylar lives in Chicago and earns her living as an interior decorator. As such, she maintains a small inventory of specialty items to use in her business. She has come to Vermont searching for some much desired and popular antique items. She's also an avid landscape and nature photographer. The turning of the autumn leaves gives her many opportunities to indulge her hobby with beautiful scenery.

Cameron was born in Willow Springs. After achieving international success as an author, he moved back to his home town in an attempt to fill that unsettled place inside him that said something very important was missing from his life. The move provided a since of belonging, but there was still something missing.

When Skylar has car trouble and is stranded in Willow Springs for a few days, Cameron instantly knows exactly what is missing from his life and it's not a 'what.' It's a very specific who. But how to win her back?

How often does your muse distract you from day to day minutiae?
It seems to happen every time I know I should be doing household chores. Empty the dishwasher? That will need to wait until I've gotten this great idea into my computer. Take the trash out to the curb for pickup? They don't come down my street until about 8:00 in the morning. I can take it out when I get up. Right now I need to get this marvelous exchange of dialogue into my computer before I forget it.

What do readers have to look forward to in the future from you?
Right now I'm writing another of my Encounter novellas to submit to The Wild Rose Press for my Encounter series. I'm also finishing up two mystery/romantic suspense novels targeted for other publishers.

REKINDLING AN OLD FLAME by Samantha Gentry is an adult romance scheduled for release September 9, 2019

When interior decorator Skylar Rogers' car breaks down in the small town of Willow Springs, she's unprepared for a reunion with the man who once stole her heart and ripped it to shreds. That doesn't stop the erotic desires he ignites. She'll only be in town a few days, though. What could it hurt to take a little tumble down memory lane?

World famous bestselling author Cameron Amory is shocked to discover his college lover in his hometown. He never stopped loving her and has always regretted leaving her behind. Now, he'll do whatever it takes to win back her trust and her love. Has too much time gone by, or can he rekindle an old flame?

The female voice reached Cameron Amory's ears. He quickly shifted his gaze from the book in his hand to the woman engaged in conversation with the shop owner. A tiny ripple of excitement rapidly grew until it totally engulfed his senses. Could it possibly be?

It had been a long time since he last heard her voice, one he had never forgotten, a woman very special to him, someone he had dated for over a year when they were in college—several years ago. Someone who had consistently entered his thoughts over the ensuing years. The woman had her back to him. He listened to her conversation as he moved to a spot where he could see her face.

Crandall Barrett grabbed a pen and began filling out an order form. "Shipping will be no problem at all."

Skylar offered a grateful smile. "That's terrific. The two pieces I'm considering are that Hoosier cabinet—" She gestured toward the items in the corner. "—and the oak bonnet dresser with attached mirror. Is the mirror original or has it been resilvered?"

"It's original, in perfect condition."

As soon as Cameron came around the end of the aisle in the book section of the store, his gaze landed on her face. Skylar McGuire. His breath caught in his throat at the mere sight of her. Thousands of memories bombarded his consciousness, quickly resurrecting all the passion they once shared. The joy from years gone by suffused him with renewed desire.

It had been several years since he last saw her, fourteen years ago to be exact. He was two years ahead of her in college and had just graduated. He had planned to spend a year traveling around the country while working on his first novel, a decision he had shared with Skylar a few weeks before graduation.

Even though she hadn't said anything and had wished him good luck and a safe trip when he left, he had never forgotten the look of disappointment and hurt on her face. A look that had returned to haunt him many times. And every time he questioned whether he had made that decision because of his burning desire to be a writer or if it was his cowardly response to the idea of making a permanent commitment to her.

He closed his eyes as visions from their college days played across the screen of his mind. Seeing her now…she was even more beautiful than the image he had carried in his mind all these years. He had often thought about her, wondered where she was, what her life was like. What course had her life taken? Was she happy? What incredible quirk of fate had brought her to Willow Springs—and possibly back into his life? He returned his attention to her conversation with Crandall Barrett.

"I can put the two items on hold for a couple of days. If you decide to add them to your order, I can ship everything next week." Crandall poised his pen above the order form. "Your name?"

"Skylar Rogers." She handed him one of her business cards. "Here's the shipping information. I can always be reached at this phone number. It's my cell phone."

Cameron's momentary exhilaration crashed around him. Rogers? Not McGuire? She's married? Why is she here? Is she with her husband?

He shoved aside his instant regret over what might have been and headed toward her. "Sky? Skylar McGuire? Is that really you?"

Skylar turned at the sound of her name and found herself staring into the familiar turquoise blue eyes of Cameron Amory, the love of her life from her college days. Stunned silence filled the distance between them. For a moment, she felt as if all the oxygen had been sucked from the room. She finally managed to force out one whispered word. "Cam?"

REKINDLING AN OLD FLAME is an adult romance, part of the Deerbourne Inn series from The Wild Rose Press, available in ebook from
And other online vendors

About the author—Samantha Gentry's typical day:
As soon as I wake up, Harrison (my houseboy) draws my scented bath. By the time I've finished bathing and am dressed he has prepared a champagne brunch which he serves on the terrace next to the swimming pool. I spend the next two hours reading the morning newspaper and working on my tan.

Promptly at the stroke of noon I adjourn to my home office and begin writing. I spend a grueling four hours slaving away over my computer keyboard creating brilliant prose filled with exciting characters, entertaining plots and highly sensual encounters. I emerge from seclusion at four o'clock having written the next chapter of my current work-in-progress.

Harrison's talented touch soothes my tight shoulder muscles with an expert massage. He pours me a glass of wine before going to prepare a gourmet dinner. And the rest of the evening is better left to your imagination.

Oops…I just lost my hold on reality for a moment. Sorry.

I'm a morning person and am usually at my computer by six o'clock with a cup of hot coffee which I keep at a safe distance from my keyboard (been through the spilled coffee on the keyboard before, don't need to do it again). The first thing I do is go through my email. Then I get to work-either writing or revising on my current work in progress, or doing the edits on my next release. I usually run errands in the early afternoon.

Hmm…I think I like the first version of what my typical day consists of better than the reality.  :)

Excerpts and additional book information on my website
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Karen Hulene Bartell said...

Have to agree with you about finding readers in today's market. Wishing you success with REKINDLING AN OLD FLAME!

C.Becker said...

Rekindling an Old Flame sounds like another great addition to the Deerbourne Inn series. Well done and congratulations in your writing successes!


I'm always in awe of people who can write mysteries. My brain just doesn't work that way. Good luck with the book!

Emily Heebner said...

Love the first morning routine (:

Mary Morgan said...

Enjoyed the interview. Wishing you all the best with your upcoming release!

Anna Taylor Sweringen said...

Neat story. Thanks for sharing.

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