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Mini Interview with Samantha Sotto, And A Giveaway

After I finished Samantha Sotto’s Before Ever After (the link goes to my review), I had a few questions. Questions that I wondered if Samantha could answer, questions that I thought you guys, my readers, might be interested in hearing about. Samantha agreed to my posting them on the blog and when I read the answers she’d given, I knew that my idea had been a good one. So, for your reading pleasure, here is a mini-interview with Sotto on her debut novel.

Author photograph

Where did your idea for Max stem from? I found him to be rather different than many male characters around and I wondered how you had come to form his personality.

I’m a rabid Doctor Who fan and I thought that if I couldn’t hop on the Tardis and be the Doctor’s companion, I could create my very own version of him through Max. I’m still holding on to the dream that David Tennant will appear at my doorstep, though.

Your personal experience and knowledge of the places you write about is apparent throughout the book. Was there a particular place that had the most impact on you in terms of creating the plot?

The Herculaneum excavation in Naples is a haunting place. Every stone whispers stories that just have to be told.

The book is diverse in terms of age, sexuality, and race. It also deals with morality. Did these factors have a special importance for you in the overall story?

Yes. I knew I was asking the reader to take a huge leap of faith with the fantasy premise of the book and so I wanted to populate the story with a range of characters that were as real as possible in terms of their life experiences, emotions, and beliefs.

Thank you Samantha, for the chance to get those questions answered, I found the last one especially interesting as the inclusion of so many factors and elements came across as very natural.

Book cover

And now comes the fun part, Crown Publishing Group is providing The Worm Hole with a copy of Before Ever After to one reader from the US (it is a hard copy). If you would like to receive it, and believe me this book is well worth reading, please leave a comment with your email address below. The giveaway is open to for entries until Friday 6th July, BST, after which names will be put in a hat and a winner announced.

Tomorrow Pamplona Blog Tour 2011: Gig 5

When Meike of Peirene Press sent an email to the reviewers of Tomorrow Pamplona, asking if we had any questions about the novel that could be used for a blog tour, I jumped at the chance. As you may have gathered from my review of the book, I found Robert a very interesting character for everything he keeps hidden. Naturally my question to the author, Jan Van Mersbergen, addressed this.

I asked who Robert is, and what was in the author’s mind when he wrote him. The following is Van Mersbergen’s response.

“Robert is an interesting character, and now (in 2011) more interesting than in 2005 and 2006, when I wrote the book. At that time I was mostly interested in Danny, the boxer. I was a middleweight back than. Now I am almost a heavyweight, when I don’t look out I will definitely be a heavyweight in a year or so. And with two kids growing up, I’m more a family man myself now. So 5 years ago I was Danny, now I am Robert. Without working in insurance. The feeling of being in a family is great but also can be a bit overwhelming. Robert wants to escape, Pamplona is his goal. My new novel (will be published this November in Holland) is about a man who drowns in his family. The care for his children and wife is simply too much. That book is about a Robert, in a way… The Robert in Pamplona is the man he is, and because I wrote the novel from the perspective of Danny, Robert is a character I gave less information. I hope he is interesting enough. I guess your question proves that.”

I love the extra information and background that Van Mersbergen has shared. Thanks to Meike and Jan for the opportunity to find out more about a book a very much enjoyed.


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