I am excited to have Samantha Henthorn with me here today. She is a kind soul who has written an entertaining series of books and more. Let’s learn about her.
Sue: Have you always been a writer?
Samantha: No, I haven’t always been a writer. I was a nurse for twenty years, but in 2014 I accepted early retirement due to having MS. I joined a creative writing course which was at my local library and not too taxing and I’ve been writing ever since. After some of my short stories and poems were published in magazines I decided to have a go at self-publishing and my first book Piccalilly: A Remembrance Day Story was released in 2016. I have written short stories, one standalone novella and now my 5 (soon to be 6) part series Curmudgeon Avenue.
Sue: Tell us about your wonderful series and what inspired its creation.
Samantha: : Curmudgeon Avenue is my series. It is a social satire about a house that doesn’t like its inhabitants. It is preposterous to think that a house would have a (critical) view of people, but they do say that walls have ears. I do sometimes wonder what my house would say about me. Because I am often satirising social situations in the storyline (romances, quarrels and dramas) some of the characters are not very likeable. They are, however, all amusing and entertaining in their own way. What inspired me to write the series is a combination of things. Firstly, during the latter part of my career, I was a community nurse. I always used to get stuck in traffic in the town of Whitefield, five miles south of my house. I remember looking at the houses at the side of the road with their lights on, people inside had already arrived home, but I had a while to go yet. Secondly, when I started the creative writing course I mentioned earlier, we were tasked with writing a short story titled ‘Winter’ I drove home on that sunny October day, with autumn leaves landing on my windshield wondering what I could write. A few days later, my husband and I went shopping, I was still getting to grips with mobility problems at the time. We parked up in a disabled space – now maybe we had taken the last parking space. A man pulled up at the side of us and started shouting abuse. Maybe he was having a bad day, or maybe it was the last space, but we got there first we didn’t take it from him. I thought ‘what a curmudgeon!’ And so, Curmudgeon Avenue was born. Other than that, the characters have taken over and it more or less writes itself now!
Sue: Do you follow any writing rituals? What’s your writing process like?
Samantha: I am perhaps a bit too strict with myself with my routine. I do a few physiotherapy exercises in the morning (I have physiotherapy appointments regularly with a trained clinician). Then I make sure my house is free from clutter and distractions. Then I have a rest. Then I write. It sounds a bit boring, but it works for me. The only thing I do in between is write little notes if I have any ideas.
Sue: Strict routines are good!
So, in your opinion, what is the best part of being a writer? And the most challenging part – especially when you’re writing a series?
Samantha: The best part of being a writer is the feeling that I’m doing what I am meant to be doing with my life. The most challenging is probably getting it finished. I have a silly fear that I will start forgetting things before I have written everything I want to write.
Sue: Time for a quick fire round.
Your current read…
Samantha: Bleak House by Charles Dickens (for my creative writing degree)
Sue: Your favourite fictional hero/heroine…
Samantha: I don’t really have favourite heroes because I usually immerse myself in whichever book I am reading – they are all heroes.
Sue: Your favourite holiday…
Samantha: My favourite holiday was to Cuba two years ago.
Sue: Paperback or e-book or audio book…
Samantha: I always read books on my Kindle, but I do love a paperback – usually left lying around the house to pick up anytime. Audiobooks are awesome too – especially since Curmudgeon Avenue‘s audio has been released – it’s like a whole new book!
Sue: What do you do when you’re not writing?
Samantha: When I’m not writing I am reading, spending time with my husband, daughter, cat and dog. Usually, I have friends that I see at the weekend but it is tricky at the moment, I have been video calling my parents even though they live around the corner. I’m constantly on social media (or appear to be!) Other than that, I like to put on a bit of heavy metal and weather permitting, spend a bit of time in my garden.
Sue: What should your readers expect from you next?
Samantha: What you can expect from me next is the final instalment of Curmudgeon Avenue – A Curmudgeonly Christmas. I have a short story collection coming out soon, half written by me, half written by my friend Maggie Magee. This will be called The Grit and The Wit. I also plan to write a standalone women’s fiction novel next year.
Sue: Wow! Good luck 🙂
Get your copy of Samantha’s latest book here: