Undoubtedly, every one of us has had the thought that we could create a better plot than major motion companies do in some of their films. However, not everyone can say that they followed up this concern by emailing a $4 billion company at ten years old. “… I pitched an idea to Marvel Comics about Magneto because I thought I had a storyline better than what Marvel was doing with him,” says author Samantha Kroese. “That editor replied back kindly with their submission guidelines… It was probably that editor that inspired me as a ten-year-old to chase publication.”
Samantha Kroese was born creative. Growing up with three brothers, Kroese found herself into a lot of male-marketed toys, such as G.I Joe and comic books, but writing has been her true calling since the age of eight. She spun ideas into her own point of view from a young age and has carried this belief into her writing even today, challenging stereotypes and ideals. Her first two novels were written at eight years old.
However, Kroese shares that her early life was no cakewalk. “I struggled a lot with severe anxiety and manic depression when I was a teenager… But mostly it's knowing the darkness personally and the strength it takes to persevere. I know when you're down in the depths of the dark pit of depression and other dark emotions reading something happy and fluffy is not what you want or need. A lot of times you need the comfort of reading something worse happening to someone else and them surviving to get through yourself. Or at least that's what happened with me.”
We find inspiration for our stories in the strangest places. However, we’re not the only ones. A writer’s group is one of the best resources for an author at any stage in their career, as it presents the opportunity to bounce ideas off individuals struggling with the same journey. “I was actually part of Holly Lisle’s Forward Motion for Writer’s site and forums.” Holly Lisle, an American novelist of ‘Diplomacy of Wolves’, ‘Ruby Key,’ and other works, has a website where she continues to host this forum today. “I think I got a good appreciation of how other writers work and the inspiration in their original work… It also taught me the hard way how to take criticism and to stay true to my vision.”
Self-publishing is no easy feat, and this is something Samantha Kroese is well aware of. It’s a leading reason behind sharing one self-published novel a day for the month of October. “Marketing is hard,” says Kroese. “But I firmly believe it only takes getting your book into the right hands of the right audience… I think for the most part it’s really just about finding the right readers. If you aren’t selling like crazy you haven’t found your audience.”
An audience may be inclined to favour Kroese’s novels if they’re fond of dark fantasy and unique characters, two extremely irresistible parts of fiction. When asked how she comes up with the names for her characters, Kroese explains, “Usually, I try to choose unique ones on purpose so I find obscure name generators… I like to choose names that mean something as well if I can. For instance, Durriken's name is a Romany name meaning Fortune-Telling which was appropriate for that book… I think it's a fun challenge to find something different that stands out when I'm naming a character.”
From challenging Marvel’s plotlines, finding her niche in writing groups which eventually to lead hosting her own, and circling back to advertise other self-published authors. Kroese’s novels can be published here, and you can find her on social media through the links below.