When I began writing, A Contented Mind, I had no clue I was about to write a novel. I was merely trying to release what was inside of me - knowing whatever it was, intended to suffocate me if not set free. Four weeks later, the book was written. Depression is a profoundly creative force, and yet a force that can also kick one easily and quickly over a dark edge. I find no shame in admitting that I have all too often found myself hanging emotionally, with only a finger hold around a cliffside branch. Oddly enough, thus far, I've always managed to swing myself back onto solid ground. And so it goes, the mutual journey of many a writer ...
There were only a few times when I paused briefly while writing. I hadn't a clue what Meg was doing in California and about half way through I was panic stricken as to the ending. Once I let go of my thoughts, the story flowed. As for the ending, after writing it, I thought how nice it would be to meet a man one day that would ask the same of me. That surely hasn't happened, and I can't say it ever will!
As for how I write, long gone are the romantic images of writers sitting in dark rooms with only a ray of light streaming through a window, a typewriter before them and a snifter of brandy to their side. Or are those just my romantic images ...? My writing is fueled by music, and Pepperidge Farms Goldfish crackers, and lots of coffee.
My books mirror life. It would be nice if life fell into place easily. Mine hasn't. Perhaps that's why ACM feels so real, as Meg's road is not an easy one. I think most of us haven't had an easy road. Roads are rough and people are raw, complex beings. I believe in fallible people. I'm enormously fallible, and my characters will always be as well. I don't believe in Prince Charming. And happily ever after can and does exist but within a world peppered with hardship and some rather unpleasant surprises. If your lucky or blessed, you experience more happiness than disappointment. But while alive, both are ever present.
Devon Hathaway was by far the most enjoyable character to write. He was just plain delicious. I also enjoyed Stu, as he wears his heart blatantly on his very crude yet sincere sleeve. After finishing the sequel. a certain sadness came over me. A feeling of loss. In many ways, these characters are like close friends. I'd hate to see them go.
Writing is one of the most isolated careers one can pursue - with that said, things can get a bit dicey at times! But it is a career that suits me well. I tend to never be the one elbowing my way to the front of the line or straining my neck so that the spotlight falls on me; this hurts me a bit when it comes to self promotion. I often look at the boisterous, gregarious individuals and wish I were a bit more like them. But I never do well when trying to be something I'm not. But I will say this, and its the subtle message imbued within my novel - we are who we are - claim it, own it and feel good about it. Who I am is a quiet and contemplative person - always have been, always will be. And that's okay.
Thank you for asking me to do this guest blog. I enjoy every chance given to me to babble about my books.
About The Author:
Samantha Hoffman started writing books as a child. Although those roughly hewed books are kept under lock and key, they possess the same need to understand life as her current novels. In the past, Samantha has written numerous columns on health and spirituality for a local newspaper. Currently, she writes the popular blog: Insanity - A Writer's Commentary On All Things, as well as two novels: A Contented Mind, it's sequel, Chasing Nirvana, and the children's chapter book series: Dainty Delaney. Currently she is at work on her third novel.
Life can get rough at times, loving oneself shouldn't be. That, in a nutshell, is the message that is imbued within the books Samantha writes.
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Book Description: A Contented Mind
Sometimes it takes seeing the dream before we find the courage to face the nightmare.
When young, our greatest fears are of the shadow figures that live within our sleeping mind. As we age, we discover what's most frightening is a life not fully lived, desires left unfulfilled and a past that keeps us tethered in darkness.
Without realizing it, bestselling author Meg Scott, stepped into the life of her dreams. A new beachfront home on the West Coast; a far cry from her secluded home shared only with her faithful Irish setter on Martha's Vineyard. A gig playing violin with a world renowned rock band about to depart on a European acoustic tour; friends that easily became the family she lost when young. And upon shaking hands with the band's drummer, Jadon Hastings, love and desire she'd never known beyond the stories she wrote.
All too often, shadow figures arrive camouflaged as friends, and those who profess love are worse than those that once haunted our childhood nights.
Under a hazy California sun, Meg's dream sits in clear view. To make it her own, she'll have to confront not only her past, but her future. In doing so, she discovers - those you trust - can't always be trusted.