"Q&A With Samantha Goodwin"
Book: Murder At Macbeth
Author: Samantha Goodwin
1. What’s the best book you have read in 2019 thus far?
I absolutely loved reading Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (the author of The Girl On The Train). It was such a great mystery novel, full of twists and turns so it was completely unpredictable. I was hooked straight away and it was a lot of fun trying to work out what had happened.
2. What inspired you to write your book and what do you hope readers get from it?
Murder at Macbeth centers around a talented, young actress who unwittingly stabs herself live onstage after a prop knife is tampered with. I was inspired by a newspaper article about a London West End actor who was accidentally stabbed live on stage. That got me thinking; what if that had been intentional? What a dramatic way to murder someone and believe you could get away with it.
I’m also a huge fan of the theatre and found the concept of interviewing a bunch of murder suspects who are also actors really fascinating - they could so easily be playing a part to hide the truth.
I hope readers get to enjoy an intriguing whodunnit where they are genuinely captivated by the mystery which keeps them guessing right until the end.
3. What’s your best advice for getting over writer’s block?
For me, the best cure for writer’s block is to read, read, read! Especially books outside of the genre I’m writing in. I find those tend to spark ideas and get me motivated to pick up the pen again.
4. Overall, what was your writing process like?
I actually handwrote my entire novel as I found that helped my ideas flow better! I typed everything up gradually as I went along. I had a one-page outline which provided oversight of the whole story arc, so I could easily pick up writing from where I left off.
That was really useful as inevitably I usually ended up with very short writing sessions, either 30 minutes in the morning or one hour during my lunch break. Writing my novel was certainly challenging, not least because I was working full time and pregnant!
Although I actually found the balance of doing my editing and looking after a newborn much more difficult. I did a lot of one-handed typing while holding a sleeping baby!
Research was also really important for the police procedural element of my book. Happily, I do actually have two friends who are police officers so I set up interviews with them in order to pick their brains on how everything would work. Plus, I definitely think all crime writers must be on an FBI watchlist somewhere given all the things that we end up researching online!
5. Do you plan on writing more books in the future?
Hopefully, yes! I’ve specifically left it open so that the series can indeed continue. I think there would be a lot of scopes to develop detective characters further. I do have a few other projects in mind to work on next, but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out more!
6. Do you write every day? - @christinajhannan
I do always try and carve out time to write every day to work on my writing projects. Even if it’s only for 30 minutes it still helps to push things forward and makes sure things don’t stall.
7. What does an average day look like for you? Do you schedule writing time? - @leitchsara
Currently, I’m actually on maternity leave so my day is largely dictated by a very energetic 11-month-old! So I grab writing time when I can during naptimes. I’m ecstatic now he will sleep in a cot as before then I did a lot of one-handed typing while holding a sleeping baby!
8. What advice can you give someone who is considering writing? - @akshi_ah
Believe in yourself, and surround yourself with positive people who will spur you on. Writing groups and online communities are great for when you need advice. It’s good to make those connections early on so you don’t feel isolated and are motivated to keep going.
9. What was the biggest struggle you faced when just starting out? - @rubyvalentineauthor
Changing my mindset so that I could make the most of being productive during short writing sessions, rather than thinking I could only write if I had 3 solid hours to spend on it. I was gobsmacked that I wrote my entire novel in 30mins-1hr sessions in a year!
10. Do you plan your first drafts or make it up as you go along? - @christinajhannan
I have a rough one-page outline for the whole story arc, so I have 2-3 lines explaining each chapter. Then I make it up as I went along in terms of fleshing out more detail and the nuances of how the story progresses.
11. How many books did you write before deciding to finally publish one? - @author_samanthalauren
Murder at Macbeth is my first full-length novel that I’ve written. Before then I mainly worked on unpublished short stories and poems and I had a few novel ideas but nothing that gripped me enough to keep writing about.
12. As an author, what do you recommend for increasing your audience reach? @edmundlloydfletcher
In terms of social media, I focus on creating quality content that gives people a reason to follow me. Plus, I put a lot of effort into using different hashtags; people can’t follow you if they can’t see your posts!
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