“Write every day. It’s that simple and it’s that hard!” – Samantha Goodwin

author Samantha Goodwin interview

Samantha Goodwin has written professionally for her business career as a Chartered Marketing Manager for over a decade before turning her hand to fiction. 

As an avid crime fiction fan, she regularly participates in the renowned Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate and completed her prestigious Crime Writing Creative Workshop. Samantha Goodwin also relishes attending literature festivals across the country as well as engaging in numerous online writing communities.

Keen to support upcoming authors, Samantha Goodwin recently launched the #IndieWritingWisdom initiative on Instagram to collate and share inspiring, original writing quotes and does a weekly #IndieBookSpotlight to showcase indie books.

Read on as author Samantha Goodwin talks about her book, life as a writer, awards, icons, and much more.

1. Let’s begin with a brief introduction of yours and an overview of your book— Murder at Macbeth.

I’m a crime author from Leeds, England. In my day job, I’m a Marketing Manager for a national charity. I’m married, with a two-year-old son who likes to keep me on my toes.

Murder at Macbeth is my debut crime novel. It’s a classic whodunnit that centres around a talented young actress who unwittingly stabs herself live onstage after a prop knife is tampered with. Suspicion soon falls on her eclectic castmates, but who had the motive to kill the leading lady…

A lot of reviewers have likened it to a modern-day Poirot (high praise indeed!) and said it reads like a really good episode of a prime-time crime series, like CSI or Person of Interest.

Related reading: “Luck is great and will get you some places, but hard work will get you everywhere” —Nicole Knapp

2. Any particular reason behind choosing the murder mystery? Where do you get the idea for the story from? Are they influenced by real-life incidents or from your own imagination?

I was actually inspired by a newspaper article about a London West End actor who was accidentally stabbed live on stage. That got me thinking; what if that had been intentional? What a dramatic way to murder someone and believe you could get away with it.

I’ve always been fascinated by the superstitions surrounding Macbeth about it being cursed and the fact the play itself is about corruption and deception provided an interesting parallel to the murder mystery. Plus, I found the concept of interviewing suspects who are also actors really interesting; they could so easily be playing a part to hide the truth. 

3. Tell us about the difficulties you had to face during writing the Murder at Macbeth book and getting it published.

I wrote the book when I was working full-time and pregnant. It was certainly a challenge. I finished the first draft the day before my son was born! 

The main difficulty I faced was in the form of a tiny newborn baby. I did most of the editing process typing one-handed while holding a sleeping baby. That’s why I decided to pursue Indie Publishing, so I could be in complete control of the timescale regarding the publishing, so it could be coordinated around my life.

4. Your book was recently awarded with the Literary Titan Gold Award. How does it feel and motivate you for the journey ahead?

I find achieving literary awards like that hugely motivating. As an author, ultimately my main hope is that people enjoy reading my books. To receive such an accolade and a glowing five-star review goes a long way to assure me that I’m creating novels that are of a great quality, which is really satisfying to know.

5. What do you love the most about being an author?

For me, the most amazing thing about being an author is hearing from readers who enjoyed my book. There is nothing I love more than getting messages from people who stayed up all night because they couldn’t put my book down. 

Suggested reading: “Poetry provides emotional release and lets people know they’re not alone in their thoughts”— Robert A Cozzi

6. Whom do you consider your icons when it comes to writing? Any favourite authors?

I adore Paula Hawkins (the author of The Girl on The Train and Into The Water). Her writing style really influenced my own novel. Malorie Blackman, author of Noughts and Crosses, is another firm favourite. I think her Young Adult novels are exceptional. 

When it comes to Indie authors, I think Bethany Atazadeh, author of the Numbers series and The Stolen Kingdom, does a fantastic job of marketing her books and building a loyal following of readers.

7. You are donating all the Murder at Macbeth proceeds to a local charity. That’s a great step. Would you like to share a bit about this?

It’s part of a global initiative called Indie Authors Against Hunger, which was created by author Jessica Monahan. A group of authors from across the world come together twice a year to support a number of food-based charities by donating all of our book profits for a month each time. It’s a great initiative to be part of, as collectively we can make a huge difference to those in need.

I’m supporting a local charity called Holbeck Food Bank that supports people in Leeds, England, who would otherwise go hungry. 

8. What do you do to connect with new readers?

I love connecting with readers and have lots of interactions with them on social media. One of my favourite campaigns is my Instagram World Book Tour, which I started when I launched my book and encourages readers to share photos and reviews of my book online.

In the first year my book travelled to 51 countries and 34 US states, which I’m absolutely thrilled about. It’s really cool to think that something I wrote has been read by people all over the world. 

9. A quick-fire round:

Three life lessons that poetry taught you?

1. To always keep writing (coincidentally I started with poetry, which eventually led to my debut novel).

2. To always pay close attention to the world around you.

3. To never underestimate the power of words. 

Luck or Hard Work, what do you think weighs more in defining a successful person?

Definitely hard work. It is more long-lasting than luck ever can be, and ultimately you feel like you deserve your success more.

What are your other passions in life?

I love walking outdoors, musical theatre and movies.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Write every day. It’s that simple and it’s that hard!

10. What’s next in the roadmap for Samantha Goodwin?

This year I’ve been working on a collaborative non-fiction book called Indie Writing Wisdom, which will be released on 1st December 2020 (and you can pre-order now!). 

With the aim to inspire the next generation of writers, this book was written by eleven well-respected indie authors who all came together to share our expertise about our own self-publishing experiences and the useful approaches we took to ensure our books stood out effectively in a marketplace that has millions of books vying for attention.

It includes lots of practical advice on different elements of the publishing process from crafting interesting characters, writing motivation and plotting to editing, formatting, book marketing and much more. 

Our hope is to encourage fellow writers and answer the question we all get asked most frequently, which is, “How did you write and release a book?” And the best thing is that all the profits will be going to the Encephalitis Society (the brain inflammation charity).

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