Samantha Young’s sexy, funny, sweet and occasionally heartwrenching novel, “On Dublin Street” stole our hearts almost a year ago.
An American in Scotland meets hunky, super-wealthy alpha male, but it’s got a different feel. This story encompasses so much of that “family and friends” connection… an interesting twist on the “dominating billionaires” that we love so much. It was more… laid back (even with all of his “alpha-ness”).
And I’m delighted to know we’ve got more of her “crew” coming our way, including Jo and Cam in her latest release, “Down London Road“.
And guess what? Samantha has stopped by to share a bit of her romance world with us!
Congratulations on your wonderful series and it’s huge success, Samantha!! You have written characters that feel like friends, to me, and I’m thrilled to find out there will be more.
Samantha: Thank you so much, Maryse, that means the world to me. 😀 And thank you for having me on the blog today.
Maryse: I was absolutely hooked on Joss and Braden after reading On Dublin Street and after a bit of research, realized that you wrote mostly YA paranormals. What inspired Joss and Braden’s story?
Samantha: Having decided almost a year before On Dublin Street’s release to write an adult contemporary romance, I found myself hitting my head off the wall for a few months as every story and every character that came to me just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t until I was driving home one late afternoon and I had the Scottish countryside around me that I was inspired to write about an American heroine finding love in Scotland. Since my setting was so personal to me it felt right to give Joss a little bit of me—really her history is an amalgamation of the experiences of me and those around me. Braden was inspired by Joss. I really wanted him to be a hero that was almost created from the fractures in her. He had to be persistent and thick-skinned to get past her defenses, he had to be smart to take her on, and he had to be perceptive to look beyond the surface of her to understand what was going on underneath.
Maryse: I love that little look into how Braden came to be. And I especially love that Joss is “Samantha-infused”. 😉 This book is HUGE in our reading group!! These characters were so real and so human (and I couldn’t help but giggle like crazy with the “tickle” scene. Nice realistic touch!) Were you surprised at the amazing reader response to On Dublin Street?
Samantha: Lol! Thank you! Glad you liked the “tickle” scene. Even silly, real stuff can add intimacy to the characters relationship, and I think we’ve all been in that mortifying situation before, haha.
I was absolutely overwhelmed by the response to the book. As On Dublin Street was my first foray into adult fiction I was really nervous about its reception, so to have it be so positively received was phenomenal. It really blew me away, and it gave me that little push of confidence I needed to continue writing in the genre.
Maryse: Since you mentioned that the characters and experiences were infused by your own personal reality, it completely makes sense that it had that realism that we could all connect to. I’m so glad you’ve decided to continue!
Such an emotional book at times, that I couldn’t help but tear up like crazy. My heart broke. Any writing surprises a long the way as you told their story?
Samantha: Yes, it was the first time I cried (and I mean cuuhrrriied) while writing a scene. I’ve teared up before when writing but I had full on mascara streaks while writing On Dublin Street and Down London Road. I become so fully immersed in the characters that to write the emotion I really have to feel it. I’m totally drained at the end of those scenes.
Maryse: I think it’s a great sign when the author “lives” her characters. Means we will, too! Did you intend on turning their lives (and that of their entourage) into a series? What else do you have in store for us?
Samantha: Initially On Dublin Street was going to be a standalone novel because I had no idea how readers would respond to me as an adult contemporary romance writer. However, when those first positive reviews started coming in, I began to think about the other characters in the book and whether there was a story there for them. Jo from Down London Road definitely stood out as a character that had a story to tell. As to more… I’m working on book three in the series—Nate and Olivia’s story. And I have a wee secret project to reveal very soon…
Maryse: Secrets!! Ohhhh I wish you’d spill. 😉 Tell me a bit about Down London Road. I hear Joss and Braden are in it a lot (YAY!!). Who is the focus in this book, and how do they relate to the first installment?
Samantha: 🙂 Yes, Joss and Braden feature often in Down London Road and readers get a chance to catch up on them and their developing relationship. However, the focus of this book is Johanna “Jo” Walker and Cameron “Cam” MacCabe. Jo is Joss’s colleague at Club 39. Down London Road starts up a year after Joss and Braden visit Virginia together and Joss and Jo are now really good friends. Jo is a very misunderstood character. People perceive her to be a gold digger but in actuality she’s just a young woman trying to find ways to give her younger brother a safe home and financial security. She’s a quietly strong character but has very little self-belief. Enter Cam, a sexy bartender who teaches her to start believing in herself and to start letting the people in her life—her brother Cole, Joss, Braden, Ellie, Adam and all the Nichols—help carry the burdens of her ugly family history and weighty responsibilities.
Maryse: Do you have any memories that you’d like to share in regards to your own writing experience? Anything that happened to you (that inspired a scene, or a funny anecdote), or just something that sticks out in your head when you think back to Joss and Braden’s story? Or what about Jo and Cam’s story?
Samantha: I may have lived through Jo’s spider scenes more times than I’d like to count!
Maryse: LOL!! Ahhhh good ol’ spiders. 😉
Do you have a dream cast of characters? If you could choose any famous star (actor, sports star or model) who looks (to you) the most like your characters?
Samantha: It’s difficult because I have such a clear idea of them in my head but the actors who I think resemble my idea of them (whether looks or just something about them) the closest is Jennifer Lawrence for Joss, Chris Hemsworth for Braden, Rosamund Pike for Ellie, James McAvoy for Adam, Jamie Dornan for Cam and Alexis Knapp for Jo.
Maryse: Oh that totally helps! And that was exactly how I imagined Ellie. If I recall correctly, On Dublin Street was initially an indie release and it didn’t take long for it to get picked up by a big publisher. How did you celebrate your “indie to traditionally published” news?
Samantha: It was such a crazy time but in a good way! I celebrated with my family and then later with all my friends.
Maryse: Tell me about your writing start. Have you always wanted to be a writer? What started you on your first story?
Samantha: I’ve been writing since I was about seven after I picked up The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Short stories, poems, diaries. I was always writing. My first full length story that I completed was my YA paranormal Romance Moon Spell (The Tale of Lunarmorte #1) and I started writing that in university after being inspired by some of the Greek mythology I was learning about in a classics lecture.
Maryse: Any favorite books that you’d like to recommend?
Samantha: I could recommend books until I’m blue in the face lol. I like an eclectic mix of books and my favourites are The Knife of Never Letting Go Go by Patrick Ness, Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor, On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves, Slammed by Colleen Hoover, Unholy Ghostst by Stacia Kane, The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, No Turning Back by Tiffany Snow…
Maryse: Oh soooooo many of my favorites are on your list. I *heart* Terrible!!! 😉 Thank you so much for coming, Samantha. 😀
New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young is a 27 year old book addict who graduated from the University of Edinburgh. She lives in Scotland. Visit her online at:
Great behind the scenes look. I thought DLR was a really good read. I loved how Braden and Joss were incorporated a lot into this one as well. I can’t wait to read more from Ms. Young.
Thank you Samantha and Maryse! I loved both books and especially loved having Braden and Joss (they are my favorites) in DLR. Looking forward to the continuing stories!
Just finished Down London Road and I love it. I could not put it down. Samantha is a excellent writer and I have enjoyed her series from the beginning. I am so excited that there will be more books. It is a fantastic series. I loved that Braden and Joss were in this book as much as they were. Cam and Johanna were a great couple. I loved how their love and trust built over time. It was touching watching them fall in love.
Great interview Maryse. I really enjoyed On Dublin Street and as soon as I finish Sweet Thing I will read DLR.
I cant believe how young Samantha is, she is so talent!