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Samara Black was born and raised in Oregon. She started writing short stories and weird poems at age nine. She continued writing as a hobby in college, typing out silly stories with her roommate and came up with the idea for her first book series when she should have been studying for an economics test. After several dysfunctional friendships, toxic relationships, and family entanglements she had enough source material to write stories about characters with messy lives and even messier problems that come their way.
Samara currently lives in Seattle with her family, including several pets who think they’re in charge. In her free time, her hobbies include reading, photography, chasing pests out of her garden, and annoying her teenaged children.
Facebook: Author Samara Black
Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Wars! I’ve loved the series since the giant space snake (?) that ate the Millenium Falcon scared the ever loving out of me when we saw Empire Strikes Back at the drive through when I was a kid. Also, my former roommates’ parents were RABID Trekkies and part of me still feels the need to rebel.
DCU or MCU? The DCEU got me excited about “what was to come”, only to break my heart too many times. So, I’ll say MCU even if their stuff hasn’t been that great as of late.
Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity? It depends, but lately it feels like a lack of creativity. Some are absolutely fantastic (Brendan Fraser’s Mummy) while some just leave you scratching your head (Jackie Chan’s Karate Kid)
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? I have a daily alert on my phone that allows me to carve out time to at least try to wite every day. Between a full time job and 2 teenagers, do I stick to that 100%? No. But just because I didn’t type out a story doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t a writing day. Sometimes I just put ideas for stories into the notes app on my phone. That counts as writing to me.
When did you write your first book and how old were you? My first book was a short story about a magical cello that went trick or treating with me when I was 8 years old.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Reading, photography, and the occasional video game.
Is there a trope you find yourself going back to in multiple works? Or one you avoid? I love romantic suspense – reading it, writing it. I’m also a sucker for romances on the darker side, with the exception of stalking. I’ve dealt with stalking and that’s just a trope I will not touch.
Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they? DO NOT WRITE TO HATE YOUR WORK. There are millions of memes about how much writers hate their work, dread editing, etc. I used to do this… “Ugh, this is terrible. Why did I write it?” This mindset helps no one, especially the writer. Give yourself the grace to write your first draft horribly. Because that’s what it is…a FIRST draft. You WILL edit this writing. It WILL get better. That’s why we edit. Many times. If you keep telling yourself over and over how “bad” it is, you’ll start to believe it.
Do you like to create books for adults? I do! I can’t fathom writing for kids or even young adults.
What is the first book that made you cry? Charlotte’s Web. That book tore me up when we read it in second grade.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? I’m using one now. Between several “judgy” relatives and dealing with stalking in the past, I feel more comfortable writing behind a layer of anonymity.
Who shot first, Han or Greedo? HAN. Period. I will gladly die on this hill.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? As of today, 3 unpublished books. Nothing half-finished, but I do have two separate series still in the planning phase
What is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything? 42
What does literary success look like to you? For me, it was overcoming the anxiety to step WAYYYYY out of my comort zone and publish my first book. My first book is the prequel to my romantic suspense series, and I consider the fact that people paid money to buy it and liked it enough to leave positive reviews a success.
What do you have coming next? The Asset, the first book in my romantic suspense series, will be released on January 30th. After that I’ll start editing the second book in the series and hopefully will release it by the fall. (I have a specific date in mind, but no idea if I’ll be able to make it happen.) By summer I want to FINALLY start writing my next series, which is more of a thriller. I call it my “creepy cult series” and I’ve been prepping/planning it for almost 2 years.
Prague, Czech Republic
God bless the IT Department of the CIA.
Jamie Sayers was hired right out of college. Within a few months she’d developed several apps to help simplify the often tedious bureaucracy for field officers. During a team lunch, I realized her sense of humor was nearly as twisted as mine and we’d joked about the app that was now helping me solve the curious question before me. Well, it technically sat in the front seat two rows away. From my seat in the cargo van, I swiped my finger back and forth between the two screens, unable to decide.
At the sound of Vasil Lesky’s voice, the lead officer for our mission, my jaw tensed and my finger stopped moving. Based on the faces of those around him, everyone else had long stopped listening to his incessant droning as well. After he summarized everyone’s job for the third time, my mind was made up and I swiped to the next screen. Pressing my lips together to hide the smile at the image, I was more than happy with the size of bullet I’d chosen for the middle of his forehead.
A 38. Definitely.
“I cannot stress this enough,” he said for what seemed like the fiftieth time. “It is imperative that Becek comes to no harm during this operation.”
Closing my eyes, I tried to block him out. Two minutes. That was all I got before his grating voice broke through and with it the name “Becek” repeated at least three more damn times.
I bolted upright, causing several agents to jump. “Can you please turn the radio on?”
Six pairs of eyes looked as if I’d asked to light them on fire. Hell, I would’ve done so it if it meant the pompous pain in the ass in the driver’s seat would shut the hell up long enough so I could clear my head. After several tense moments and a few awkward stares, I leveled my gaze at Lesky.
His eyes narrowed. “Officer Fallon, I’m sorry if we’re cutting into your leisure time, but we need to focus on this mission.”
“With all due respect, I’m here to keep the professor, as well as your team members, safe. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s pitch-black outside with a light breeze. When I get up there, those conditions must be considered. If I’m off by so much as a millisecond, it could be the difference between this mission being a success or having to explain to the State Department why we’re bringing their missing scholar home in a box.”
I leaned forward, silencing his muttered irritation. “I’m guessing Mr. Lynch didn’t tell you I have certain requirements for all my jobs. One thing I need is fifteen minutes of quiet time to mentally prepare. Being a sniper might seem easy. Just point the gun and shoot, right? Yeah, I get that a lot. However, I assure you that’s not the case. I could bore you with all the details, but I’d rather focus on the mission you’ve spent all this time talking about.”
“He mentioned something about certain requirements, yes.” He jerked his chin toward the door, and the team exited the van. As I grabbed the handle, he brought his enraged face within inches of mine. “You’d better be worth all these little… eccentricities of yours, or I’ll see to it you never work another mission again.”
He stomped away, and I nodded at the other two snipers, who returned the gesture and left. We’d spent hours poring through the pictures and walking through the operation, holding one last meeting an hour before leaving the hotel. Our tasks were engrained in our heads with no detail left uncovered.
I blew out a relaxing breath. Sweet, sweet silence at last. I closed my eyes and imagined the view from the roof, my worksite for the night. Prague wasn’t known for many flat rooftops, but we’d lucked out and the target next to a newer building in the financial district that meet all our needs. That didn’t mean it would be easy, however. Ten guards were stationed on several floors, and that was plenty to keep us busy.
My next thoughts were of Professor Anton Becek, the elderly man with tired eyes, a warm smile, and an astonishing level of knowledge about weapons of mass destruction. His file detailed the sad story of a nuclear physicist who sought asylum in the U.S. after the Czech government tried to kidnap his grandson. When that didn’t work, they grabbed Anton from his hotel and brought him back to Prague. His work with the government made him an asset, one the Czechs couldn’t afford to slip through their fingers.
The look on his grandson’s face as he moved from the pediatric cancer unit in Baltimore to a safe house was a rare bright spot in their story. His large brown eyes filled with hope at my vow to bring his grandfather home. I rarely made such a promise, but the family had seen more than its fair share of heartache. Reuniting that little boy with Anton was imperative. The family needed at least one small sliver of joy as he battled a disease that threatened to suck every drop of it from his family.
I sat up and the clock on the dashboard showed six minutes until show time. My hands wove sections of my black shoulder length hair into a quick braid. Lesky was jabbering at the team yet again when I approached the command center. Ignoring him, I grabbed a headset and busied myself with adjusting the cables and earpiece. By the time our eyes met, it surprised me his teeth hadn’t ground to dust.
With a saccharine smile, I pressed my palms together in front of me and bowed. “Shall we begin?”