Like her on Facebook, check out her mom, and watch her amazing book trailer! Okay, are you done with all of that?! Great. Let's get to chatting with Samantha!
Tell us about yourself!
I am a mother, a writer, a minister, and a yoga teacher. I live in Western Massachusetts with my three young children, all born in just over four years, and my husband, a professor of chemical engineering. The substance of my days is probably remarkably similar to that of so many other at-home mothers, in ways both humorous and tedious. Right now, in the midst of a flurry of work to support my book launch, I have neglected almost every household chore, including laundry. My husband, who does not have laundry as one of his household tasks, said to me this morning: “Luckily, I found a hidden supply of underwear.” That is lucky right about now!
I love my babies, my children, being a mother, writing stories, being with my friends, taking long walks, talking to my husband about ideas, practicing yoga, being outside, playing with my children, eating chocolate, talking to old friends on the phone, dancing, hiking, and reading, reading, reading.
Tell us a bit about your path to becoming a writer.
I can’t remember a time I didn’t write. I grew up the daughter of novelist, Nancy Thayer, in a house filled to overflowing with books. It always seemed perfectly reasonable to want to become a writer—despite the fact that it’s actually quite challenging—because my mother, who never wanted to do anything else, made such a tremendous career for herself as a novelist. I have written everything, except for plays. I have at least twenty full journals, dozens of short stories, hundreds of poems, the beginnings of at least ten novels, a few other finished novels, unpublished memoirs, and now two published novels. After my first son’s birth I wrote my first book during his nap-times. This became This Little Mommy Stayed Home. I think having my son helped me find my voice as a comic novelist. Motherhood has certainly given me the best material for my books.
Tell us about your latest release in 25 words or less
Best friends wrestle with the green-eyed monster uncovering the truth about imperfect friendships, mixed up families, messy motherhood, and myth of the greenest grass. (Whew! I’m long winded. That was hard.)
What's your favorite part of writing? Least?
I love the actual writing, being inside of the story, putting the words down, following the characters where they go. I don’t love the plotting. Characters come more easily to me. I still don’t know how to write a great synopsis or outline my books. I am also learning how to navigate the world of marketing. I am happy to say that some parts have proven fun—a relief because publicity challenges me. I want a bumper sticker that reads: “I’d rather be writing!”
If you weren't a writer, what would you be?
I often think, well, if I could only do one thing, what would it be, because I do express myself creatively in a variety of different ways. My answer is always: mother. I have wanted to be a mother since I was a little girl and I love it more than anything else I do (not that I find it easy!). As far as vocation goes, once my children grow older, if I could make a living teaching yoga, what a dream that would be. I have such a heart for teaching and practicing. I had an amazing teacher during graduate school. She truly changed the course of my life. She would walk into this room packed with students (only forty were allowed to enroll, she never turned anyone away), and I knew with a gut certainty that I wanted what she had, but instead of the superficial kind of wanting (clothes or hair or money), I wanted that thing that made her glow, made her alive. And that thing was yoga. I became a teacher so that I could do for others what she did for me—what she gave me doesn’t belong to her or a classroom or a moment in time or a class. I take it with me wherever I go; that’s pretty powerful.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth, A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie (a re-read), Bossypants by Tina Fey and the original Winnie-the-Pooh to my children.