Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa's body screams at her to run... but yet she's powerless to move.
Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees - and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell - Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.
Because what Alessa hasn't figured out yet is that she's not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university's idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface...
The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.
Meet The Author:
Samantha Durante lives in New York City with her fiancé, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. Stitch is her first novel. Learn more about Samantha at www.samanthadurante.com.
Here's the interview!
P: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
S: Well, at some level, I always wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t start considering it as a serious career option until about two years ago, when I turned 25. I’d always loved to write as a kid – it was how I spent all my free time – and I had some great teachers in high school who really pushed me to hone my skills, but then in college (and post-college) I decided to pursue engineering and business since I saw it as a more lucrative career move. After all, writing is well-known as a difficult field to succeed in, and after my parents paid $200k+ for me to go to a prestigious private college, I felt like I should at least try to make that money back so that the investment would pay off!
After a few years in the corporate world, though, I realized that even though I had fabulous job and worked with people I liked and was doing very well in my position, I just wasn’t fulfilled. When it comes down to it, I’m just not cut out for a typical 9-5 commitment – I always hated feeling like I didn’t have control over my own time – so I wanted a more flexible job doing something that I really enjoyed. When I took stock of what I loved to do to try to figure out what that new job should be, I realized that it was writing, and I decided to give it a shot as a career.
I started my company doing business writing – which is better paid than most creative or journalistic writing – and then this January I started writing Stitch on weekends as a fun side project to pass the time until my wedding in the fall. At first I didn’t even know if I would publish the book, since I was doing it mainly for my own enjoyment and not with any intentions of profiting from the endeavor, but my beta readers were so enthusiastic that it gave me confidence that other people would enjoy it as well, and, well, here we are!
P: Where did you get the idea for Stitch?
S: I really wanted to write something different than what people had seen before, and since it’s pretty much impossible to come up with any idea that’s truly original, instead I decided to think about what aspects I enjoyed from different stories and how I could combine them all into one to make something new and unique. The things on my list were dystopian worlds, something paranormal, strong female characters, coming-of-age stories, romance, and a big mind-blowing twist. I also didn’t understand why I’d read so few books starring college-age or twenty-something characters, so I decided to make my characters that age since I thought they would appeal to both teenage and adult readers.
Then as I tried to figure out how to weave these things together and was tossing around different ideas, I found myself getting really excited about the storyline that would eventually become Stitch, and I knew I’d found the right one! I just kept thinking, “Why hasn’t someone written this story yet? I would love to read this story!” And so I wrote it. The most exciting part is that I didn’t even reveal some of the most key aspects of the plot in the first book, so I’m dying to get to the second one so that I can finally talk to other people about them!
P: What advice would you give other aspiring writers?
S: Just do it! Writing is free. It’s something you can do anytime, anywhere, no matter what your situation in life is, so just make the time and let yourself go.
And also, PLAN. If you’re daunted by the idea of writing a whole book, break it down into manageable pieces. For me, I started with tons of notes and an extremely detailed outline. I did the world-building, figured out the major plot points, then filled in all the gaps in the timeline until I had a cohesive history of the place my characters live in and what had happened in their lifetimes. And then before I wrote a single word, I outlined what would happen in every chapter of the book. That way, when I sat down to write, there was no room for writer’s block and no excuse not to fill the page. All I had to do was follow my plan and let the words come, and before I knew it, I had a finished manuscript.
P: Who was your favorite character to write in Stitch?
S: Ooohh that’s a good question. As much as I love Alessa and the other protagonists, I have to say, it really fun to write the bad guys in the sneak preview of the sequel, Shudder. My main characters are all pretty normal, based on myself and my friends and family, so I knew them really well and it wasn’t much of stretch to make them believable and real. But the Engineers are something altogether different. For Book 1 of the series, it was necessary to write pretty much entirely from the point of view of the good guys, since they’re all still figuring out what’s going on, and it was difficult to show the antagonists’ side without either giving away the twists or making the story really confusing. But I’m looking forward to exploring the perspective of the Engineers more in Book 2 and 3, because they’re some really interesting and complex characters.
P: Where is your favorite place to write?
S: Home! I usually sit on the couch or in bed with my laptop on my lap, or more likely, my laptop off to the side and my cat in my lap. (I’m going to get back problems one of these days!) I’m actually really excited to move in to my new house – we’re closing on it right after we get back from our honeymoon in early October – because it has this cozy little office with a ton of sunlight and massive closets (for filling with shoes!), and I’m planning to put in a big bow window with pillows in the window seat and an outrageous purple chaise lounge. So that’s where I’ll be writing the next book!
1. Chicken or Tacos? Tacos! I heart Mexican food. (P: OMG I love authors that pick tacos!)
2. Flip Flops or Sneakers? Neither! I’m a boots and ballet flats kinda girl.
3. Physical books or e-books? As much as I appreciate the convenience of my Kindle, there’s just nothing in the world like that new book smell. Mmmmmmmm.
4. Night or morning? Morning. In addition to being my most productive time, most mornings I also wake up with my cat cradled in the crook of my shoulder and it’s just adorable.
5. Country or Rock? Rock. I’m from New York – you’ll be hard-pressed to find me listening to country, though Shania Twain’s “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” will get me out on the dance floor anytime, anywhere! (P: Is it weird that I was listening to that song while writing up these questions? I love that song too!)
Thanks so much for being here on Comfort Books today Samantha! I hope to have you back again in the future maybe for future books? Now for my followers before you leave click on the links below to find the book!