Thank You Brewster High School for an Absolutely Awesome Visit!

BHS - Class of 2003!I just got back from an INCREDIBLE visit to my alma mater, Brewster High School in Brewster, NY, and I was SO thrilled… until I realized I’m a turd and completely forgot to take any photos. :’-(  It was an awesome, awesome time and I wish I could show you all, but I guess you guys will just have to make do with a nice stock photo of the school and our bear mascot (sorry).  –>

Anyway, I got to meet with the Humanities club which is run by two of my favorite teachers, Ms. McLeod and Mrs. Fine (shout out also to Mr. Stack for organizing!), and 20+ AMAZING students showed up for the discussion.  I was SO blown away by these kids, seriously – they ranged from freshmen to seniors and were just so incredibly thoughtful and bright and well-read, and had so much to say about a great variety of topics.

We touched on everything from my inspiration for Stitch (particularly the twist), to the merits of 1st vs. 3rd person point-of-view, the pressures of writing a trilogy, what it means to be an indie author, our favorite dystopian reads, how to market a book (including a great suggestion to try a Reddit AMA which I’m totally looking into!), what the students like to read and write, thoughts on book-to-movie adaptations, and more!

Brewster High School also got an exclusive sneak peek at an excerpt from Shudder (Chapter 8) which I’m very excited to share since literally no one up to this point has seen that except my beta readers.  (Hope you guys enjoy!)  Ch8’s not even going to be in the sample chapters, so the only way to get your hands on that is to track down someone from the BHS Humanities club… or wait until the book comes out on June 15th and buy a copy, wink wink!  :-D

I’ll likely be making a return visit in the fall, and I’m looking forward to it already!  In the meantime, BHS definitely keep in touch – please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions/comments and I’d LOVE to hear what you guys have to say about Shudder!  And if you *really* miss me, you can find my photo hanging in front of the auditorium…seriously (perks of being a valedictorian, haha).

Thanks again to Brewster for letting me invade for an afternoon!  It was super fun to be back.  :-)

PS – Go Bears.

Reminder – Shudder ARC Giveaway Ends Saturday!

Shudder by Samantha Durante

It’s almost here! Squeeee!!  (Okay, I’m really not a squee-er, but you get the point.)

So I know my blogging has been a little slow lately (sorry!), and that’s because I’ve been working diligently on finishing up the revisions to Shudder and getting this publishing/promotion train MOOOVIN’!

I’ve now got an almost-final ARC manuscript ready to send to the printer (and to myself for e-book formatting, ughhhh), 80+ bloggers signed up for the tour (and more on the way!), and a looooong list of fun guest post ideas for once the tour begins on June 15th!  So we’re making progress, people!

Excited yet??  I know I am!

What can you do to make sure you don’t miss the boat?  Here’s a short list of ideas:

Oh, and don’t forget…  Doing any of the above will earn you entries into the GIVEAWAY for a SIGNED ARC of SHUDDER!!!  I’m not gonna lie – there are already over 4,300 entries into the giveaway and only ONE prize up for grabs, so your chances aren’t exactly great… but miracles happen, right??  Someone’s gotta win this baby!  Who says it won’t be you?

Anyway, be sure to enter below if you haven’t already.  The winner will be selected this weekend, so hold your breath until then (or maybe not – I definitely don’t need any lawsuits…)  I wish you all the best of luck!  :-D

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Interview @ Shut Up and Read

Shut Up and ReadHappy Memorial Day Weekend to those of you in the US!  Hope you’re enjoying the three-day weekend and that the weather is cooperating wherever you are.  :-)

I wanted to give a big thanks to Sheri and all the mods over at Shut Up and Read for hosting me for an interview today!  Lots of great questions touching on my favorite scenes,  the writing process, and even hidden talents (or, rather, my lack thereof) – check it out:

Q:  Do you have any hidden talents?

A:  I actually always joke that if I was going to be in a talent show, I have no idea what I’d do. I haven’t played an instrument (the baritone horn) since middle school, my singing is mediocre at best (I have the same range as a boy band, so I can do that well but not much else!), I’ve played a lot of sports (basketball, rugby, lacrosse, field hockey, roller derby) but I’m not exactly a star in any of them, I can’t juggle or do magic tricks or anything. I’m book smart, but that’s boring, and my biggest talents are my organization/time-management skills – which are legendary – and my writing – which many of my friends actually considered a “hidden” talent since I went to school for business/engineering did nothing relating to writing – but how can you show those off at a talent show?? I’m hopeless in the hidden talent department, lol.

Haha, I’m so lame, sorry.  Catch the rest over at Shut Up and Read today!  And if you’re interested in more interviews like this and some great opportunities to read free books in exchange for your review, check out their Goodreads group.  Thanks again to Shut Up and Read for hosting me!!

More Giveaway Opportunities! Sitting With A Book’s 1-Year Blogiversary

There’s another copy of Stitch up for grabs as part of the AMAZING prize packs over at Sitting With A Book’s 1-Year Blogiversary!  Stitch is part of Prize Pack 4, which includes 10 other awesome titles.  Don’t miss your chance to enter!

And don’t forget about Elle Casey’s Springtime Indie Book Giveaway which ends in 2 days!!  This is just a small subset of the 1554 copies of 190 titles you could win!

Elle Casey's Big Giveaway

Click here for the full tapestry of books up for grabs and links to their Amazon pages – you choose which book(s) to enter for.  Good luck in all these great contests!!

MASSIVE Book Giveaway (1554 Winners!!!) via Elle Casey’s Springtime Indie Book Giveaway

If you’re looking for some great (and FREE) springtime reads, look no further: fellow indie author Elle Casey is hosting a MASSIVE giveaway of 1,554 copies of 190 different indie books (and yes, of course Stitch is one of them!).  Best part is that you can choose which books you’d like to enter for, and you can enter for as many books as you’d like!  Genres run the gamut from fantasy/paranormal to sci-fi, romance, horror, mystery – so there’s something there for everyone!

Definitely swing by today to enter!  Here’s the link: Elle Casey’s Springtime Indie Book Giveaway.  And here’s an awesome view of all the covers of the books up for grabs, with links to their Amazon pages so you can get a better idea of what you want to enter for.

I can’t seem to find it anymore, but I’m *pretty* sure I saw something that said the giveaway would likely only be open for about a week, so don’t delay in getting your entries in there!  Update: Open until May 15th!  (Thanks Elle!)  Good luck!!

Pre-Release Jitters – Guest Post @ Reutreads

ReutreadsEver wonder what goes through an author’s mind leading up to the release of his/her book?  Well, it’s not pretty – basic a chaotic jumble of anxiety, stress, self-doubt, and of course the ever-present hopeful glimmer of excitement that drive an author to put him/herself through this process, again and again.

In a new guest post up today at Reutreads, I’m offering a glimpse into the handful of things that are keeping me awake in these nights leading up to Shudder’s release.  Here’s a quick preview:

1. How do I make my book NOT SUCK?

Okay, I’ll be straight with you – I don’t think the current draft of my next book sucks. I actually think it’s pretty good. But I thought that about my last book, too, up until the day I released it, and then almost immediately after I realized that I hated it. And then I loved it again, and then I hated it, and so on and so forth, until one day I finally saw it for what it actually was: a book – and a pretty decent book at that – but one that, like most books, has its flaws.

So what I learned after my experience with Stitch is that it’s really not for many months after the book has been released that I can actually see it clearly. The problem is that in order to make the book the best it can be, I need to know what’s wrong with it before I publish it.

I’m still not quite sure how to accomplish this, but I can promise you one thing – I’m TRYING. Really, really hard. I’m thinking about my book constantly, before I fall asleep at night and first thing when I wake up in the morning, in the shower, while I’m cooking, when I’m supposed to be doing my day job… it’s always on my mind. Where are the problems and how do I fix them?

LOTS more neuroses where that came from!!  Lol.  Check out the rest of the post over at Reutreads today for more.  :-)

Big thanks to Reut for making time in her busy school schedule to host me!