Today the Author Spotlight is shining on S.A Gensch! Welcome, Samantha! Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself.
My name is S.A. Gensch, I’m a wife and mother from Colorado. Before I became a published indie author, I spent a lot of time writing fanfiction to get my creativity (or craziness) out in the world.
What genre(s) do you write in?
You know, I used to think my main genre would be mystery/thriller (my current WIP), but my most recent book is a coming-of-age with a slight touch of romance. I NEVER thought I’d enter that genre, but I am very proud of how that book came out!
It’s funny how you always swear you’ll never write romance and then somehow it just sneaks up on you in your work. I can relate! Are you traditionally published, independently published, or both?
What made you choose the publishing path you’re on?
Control. I simply want control over everything that happens. It’s like my own little business, little project I get to run…which is totally how I am in real life.
I can DEFINITELY relate to that. I want to design my own covers, interior, and everything. I had a traditional publisher for my first book and we had to end up splitting up amicably because she did not share my vision at all and wanted to change everything. I believe her line was “I’m making a cover that represents my publishing company, not your book.” What? Anyway, Why did you choose to write in the genre(s) you’re in?
I’ve always been a big fan of mystery books. When I was little, I was always reading Nancy Drew. I also love mystery/thriller movies. My recent book (The Glass Letters), though, it was honestly part of a fanfiction I wrote years ago. It was a huge hit and I felt I couldn’t at least try to write it as my own original story. Will there be others in that genre? I have no idea.
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
So, my English class read The Outsiders in 7th grade and I knew then I wanted to write my own stories. I think my family knew even earlier than that, because I was always in my own little world. I would go around the house acting stories out, my own characters (or imaginary friends). When I was 14 years old, I had the opportunity to publish. I almost went for it, had the book ready, cover ready, etc. But then I backed out, because I didn’t know if I’d want to be contracted down so young in life. I didn’t want it to ruin my passion for writing by the time I graduated high school. Looking back, I am very glad I made that choice.
That’s amazing that at such a young age you had already made it! I bet that inspired you to keep going for sure. Tell us a little about your writing processes and your writing space.
My writing space is my coffee table: laptop sits on coffee table, keyboard via USB on my lap. As for a process, it’s all over the place. I am 100% a pantser writer. I have very little planned. I keep small details/notes in notebooks as they come along so I don’t forget, but prior planning is nearly zero.
I am always amazed by authors with a zero planning processes but it is nice when you’re not creatively boxed in to what you planned previously. I do a general outline and then kind of stick to that but change as I go if I want to. Sometimes my characters do not do what I want them to (haha).What are your favorite books to read?
Mystery, sometimes coming-of-age type. My all time favorite series was the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. Honestly, I don’t get the chance to read as much as I’d like.
Trust me, none of us do. That’s something that as an adult you have to snatch up ten minutes here and there when you can between doing other stuff. What does marketing look like for you? Are you an avid believer in social media or do you like paid advertisement more? Do you DIY or do you have someone else or a company handle it?
I love using social media and I love doing it myself. Control, remember? However, I think it’s very important to go into it with no expectations. You don’t know who will be interested, or who will interact, etc. Just post, post, post. Don’t worry about how many hits it’s getting or likes. Just like writing, it’s not going to be an overnight success. It’s like my biggest writing advice, just do it for you!
That’s great advice and one I have to remind myself about constantly. I find myself thinking “this post is great! I’m going to wake up tomorrow with so many more sales,” but that’s just not how marketing works. If you have to do any research for your books, how do you like to accomplish this? What is your organization of research like? How long do you usually spend on research?
My research is mainly the internet. I will say I haven’t had to research anything deeply. Not serious organization for it. I typically have to get an answer to one question or one scene and that’s it. I will say my current WIP has had me doing a lot more research to questions!
Which of your books is your bestseller and why do you think it is? What do readers say they like about it?
The Glass Letters. Because it’s a difficult read (for good reasons!), it’s making them think and be uncomfortable with the reality of the story. Those types of reviews make me feel so accomplished with the story.
That sounds so interesting! I’m not a huge mystery reader, but I am going to have to check this out. I love books that make me think and take me out of my little box of life. That’s what reading is all about! Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.
My WIP is a psychological thriller/mystery. The working title is ‘Death on a Lake, Maybe.’ I have no idea on release, I am still in the “messy, sloppy, first rough draft” stage.
Of all the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite? (I know, it’s like choosing a favorite between kids)
Jack from The Glass Letters. I never had an older brother, and he is 100% the older brother figure. I love him so much.
That’s so interesting that you made him into the person you never had but always wanted. I love that! I never had an older brother either but found myself in my childhood wondering what it would be like to have one. Would he be a pain or a protector? I’ll have to check that out.
If you’d like to learn more about S.A. Gensch I have included her author website and social media! Check out her books and who knows? Maybe you’ll find your new favorite author!