Posted On December 5, 2014 by Print This Post

Keep the Spirit! by Samanthya Wyatt

Keeping the spirit isn’t always easy, especially when the journey of an author is often strewn with landmines. For not-yet-published writers, rejection and self doubt give Imposter Syndrome the power to bring us down. For published authors, it’s everything from plagiarism to pirating to reviewers who are less than gentle. Please welcome debut author Samanthya Wyatt, in her first post for RU. 

(This is a change from our Weekly Lecture Schedule. Our weapons expert, Adam Firestone, has a very demanding day job which made it impossible for him to join us today.)

Life is an interesting journey. We never know what is in store for us. As a child I had many desires, be a singer, be a movie star, but the one thing that seemed to come natural was write. I wrote poems, short stories, and then tucked them away. I always signed them unknown author. I guess the fear of rejection was in me even then.

I enjoyed making up stories. But there was always a thread of insecurity and self-doubt—wondering if I could be a writer, questioning if I could be good enough. My fellow classmates seemed to like them. One day I finally gathered the courage to show some of my poems to my sister. When I told her I’d written them, she did not believe me. After all, they were signed – Unknown Author. I see now my writing was good enough for her to assume someone else wrote them. But at the time, I was intimidated and never exposed myself to that kind of heart ache again.

When I graduated, my life changed. I married a military man, traveled across the US and abroad, then settled in the Shenandoah Valley. Having a full time job and taking care of a family, my outlet was reading a good romance. Once I found historical romance novels, I couldn’t put a book down. I fell in love with the characters and needed to know their happy ending. I discovered Harlequin romances and often had a contemporary in my hand while fixing dinner.

About fifteen years ago, I wrote to Catherine Coulter and was amazed that she wrote back. I couldn’t believe it. She was very encouraging and told me to join RWA. She said to write everyday even if it was only one sentence. This was before internet and home computers. I researched and found a listing for information on a group of Romance Authors. When I called, the woman was not at all helpful. I could hear screaming children in the background. Being a member of RWA was the only thing I could get out of her. Nothing official about a group of romance writers. So I had no faith in RWA and did not know what it was. I dropped the idea immediately. The story I’d been working on found a home on a shelf in the back of my closet.

Many years later, I’m in a book store looking at the covers wanting to try a new author. I see the face of a hunk on a book cover and immediately bought that book. Yep, a book cover can make a difference. I’m reading Anna Campbell and – I was hooked!  I went back and bought her other two books (which was all she’d written at that time). I contacted her. She’s so nice, and again I was advised to join RWA.

Yea for the Internet. I researched RWA, and found to my surprise, the organization had been around for years. Now I am a RWA member and I’ve joined several chapters where I’ve met so many interesting and helpful people. So many other authors who have had the same struggle, the same questions, and are willing to help each other. Just chatting with others gave me a boost of confidence and the will to pursue my dream.

I started writing again. I entered a lot of contests and took every workshop I could to improve my writing. I met friends through workshops, chapter groups, and learned vital information. I’ve come into contact with interesting men who write romance, and I love getting a male opinion. Feedback from contests is important and the judges’ comments made me more determined and work harder. I finally finished my historical romance and I completed a contemporary romance. In 2013 I was a finalist in The Golden Rose Contest and The Right One, the first of a trilogy, went on to be awarded Second Place.

My first submission to an editor resulted in a rejection. Being a beginner, I was not surprised. And I didn’t let it get me down. I contacted more publishers, sent my MS to editors, and continued to hope.

Savvy Authors offered a pitch contest with several editors, agents and publishers. Coming up with a pitch—25 words or less—is extremely difficult when you’re in a group with thousands of other authors. But I got the attention of 3 editors and two different publishing companies. My dream paid off. I signed my first contract with Soul Mate Publishing. Not only for one book, but two. I was over the moon.

What am I most proud of about my writing? That I never stopped. I get a lot of joy from creating new characters and bringing them together in a romantic tale. It took years of putting words on paper, joining RWA, joining other chapters, entering contests, submissions, rejections. Every one of these things created the author I am today. Keeping my spirit and turning criticism into drive.

“If you see someone without a smile, give them yours.”

I heard this when I was a child and I have never forgotten it. Every day is a new day, why not greet it with a smile?

I write because I enjoy it. My dream was to one day see my book sitting on a shelf in a book store. If your dream is to write and publish that first book, go for it. It is a long, hard process. Don’t expect success overnight. If you are determined, keep trying. Don’t give up.

 

I’m thrilled to talk about my current book “The True One” the sequel, book 2 in the One and Only Series.

TheTrueOne_850HIGH (1)

His ship in splinters and his men captured, Stephen is a broken man. Yet the torture he received by his enemies is nothing compared to the torment he bears from an angel with lavender eyes.

Jennifer left England full of a young girl’s fantasies of romance and adventure. When she cares for a near death captain, memories emerge of the family she left behind. Will the passion they share be enough? He must choose – her or revenge.

 

In the first book of the series, “The Right One”, Katherine’s brother is missing. Book Two is Stephen’s story—why he was gone for two years, what happened to him, and a love story all his own.

Is there a Book Three? Of course. The third book in the series is about Giles. He was introduced in the first book as Morgan’s best friend—the duke. In the second book, he is asked to rescue Stephen.

With eBooks, my books are available all over the world. I’ve accomplished my dream. I’ve kept my spirit. And I’m still writing.

I’m just enjoying life.

***

What makes “keeping the spirit” an uphill battle for you? How do you overcome these challenges?

Join us Saturday for Amy Alessio’s regular column!

***

Bio:

Samanthya_Wyatt

Saman­thya lives with her hus­band in the Shenan­doah Val­ley in Vir­ginia. She grew up in the city and enjoyed retreat­ing to the 300 acre farm of her grand­fa­ther in the moun­tains. She left her account­ing career and mar­ried a mil­i­tary man trav­el­ing and mak­ing her home in the United States and abroad.

Even now she and her hus­band rel­ish a drive on the Blue Ridge Park­way in their 1969 Mus­tang con­vert­ible with the top down enjoy­ing the countryside.

Prior to becom­ing a writer, she worked in finance and raised a fam­ily. After set­tling down in Vir­ginia, Saman­thya still loves to travel with her hus­band.  He likes Ari­zona and they go to Las Vegas every other year – not for the city life, but to drive the long stretch of dessert and savor the beauty of places like The Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam.

A book is a con­stant com­pan­ion – she rel­ishes a good book while sit­ting in the sun.  She also enjoys long walks on the beach, and adores her grandchildren.

Samanthya loves to hear from readers. Please visit her website here:  www.samanthyawyatt.com

You can also find Samanthya Wyatt on Soul Mate Publishing, Hearts Through History, Facebook, Goodreads and Amazon.

 

Buy links:

The True One          available December 17, 2014

The Right One          http:amzn.to/1lEk2Qy

Something More     http:amzn.to/1mhTqw4

 

 

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Discussion

10 Responses to “Keep the Spirit! by Samanthya Wyatt”

  1. What an inspiring story. Congratulations on your dream.
    I struggle every day with the “why am I doing this” kicker, but my friends I met through my local RWA group support me (as I do them) and we get through it. And we keep writing. Good luck to you on your stories – they sound really good and are now added to my TBR piles. 🙂

    Posted by Vicky Burkholder | December 5, 2014, 7:29 am
  2. Samanthya – Thanks so much for joining us today! There are often so many things pulling us down, it’s easy to forget how important it is to keep our spirits up. I appreciate the cheerleading! And huge congratulations on selling two of your books!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | December 5, 2014, 9:32 am
  3. I’m heartbroken because, due to changes in the RWA bylaws, my “home” chapter has to dissolve after more than 25 years. They can’t meet the requirements to form a new board. 🙁

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | December 5, 2014, 12:27 pm
  4. A huge shout-out to Samanthya for stepping in at the last minute. Keep the spirit, and please keep in touch. Let us know when the series continues!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | December 5, 2014, 10:42 pm
  5. You’re welcome. Glad to help. The first book of the series is available at amazon, the second on Dec 17th and hopefully the third one next summer. Enjoy!! And please visit my website for updates.

    Posted by Samanthya Wyatt | December 6, 2014, 10:06 am
  6. Congrats on achieving your dream, Samantha. It’s a great feeling.

    Posted by Maria Michaels | December 8, 2014, 12:24 pm

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