To help announce our latest competition, Samantha Young tells us how she ended up writing the incredible bestseller "On Dublin Street".
Sitting in the back of a classics lecture at university listening to the wonders of Greek mythology, a girl came to my mind, and with her a whole manner of supernatural beasties all sprouted from the myths of the ancient Greeks. From there, I went on to write a trilogy about this girl, The Tale of Lunarmorte, and in February 2011 I self-published it. I spent the next eighteen months writing seven more young adult books and promoting them online. Self-publishing for me was a 24/7 gig, but with it came success. By success I mean…? Well, it all depends on how you measure it. For me, success was being able to declare myself self-employed and write full time. Surreal success came in September 2012 after I branched out of young adult urban fantasy fiction to Adult contemporary romance.
From the beginning, I knew I would make the transition to adult fiction—I wanted to test this world where there were lesser limitations and fewer boundaries. After discovering a love for contemporary romance in 2011, I started scribbling down ideas for an adult romance. It wasn’t until the end of the year I finally imagined Jocelyn Butler and Braden Carmichael from my novel On Dublin Street. However, I was still working on my young adult series, so I pushed them aside in the hopes of getting to them in 2013.
That patience to delve into their story was tested when Fifty Shades of Grey and the Crossfire novels exploded the genre. It would have been a missed opportunity to not release the book in the height of the genre’s appeal, so I put my other projects to one side in the spring/summer of 2012 and began writing On Dublin Street. It was a challenge finding my adult voice and depending solely upon two characters to drive the plot, but a challenge I reveled in, immersing myself completely in the world of ODS. I also enjoyed pushing my own boundaries, for example in writing the sex scenes. That was new ground for me, and it took a few edits until I found a place I was comfortable with, a place that wasn’t gratuitous but furthered the plot and stayed true to the characters.
I self-published On Dublin Street on August 31st 2012 and spent September watching it climb the U.S. Kindle Chart to #1 and hit the New York Times bestseller list. The response was mind-blowing, and readers seemed to enjoy my ‘adult voice’. After finding myself inundated with emails, I signed with my awesome agent Lauren Abramo of Dystel & Goderich, and discovered my publisher’s amazing enthusiasm for the novel. I signed a deal with NAL (Penguin Group), putting me in the position of having the best of both worlds— being traditionally published and self-published.
In the end I’d say it is my love for writing, my many man hours and an awareness of popular fiction and reader expectation that got me here.