Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Q&A with Samantha Young


Photo by Mark Archibald



Samantha Young is the author of the new novel The Love Plot. Her many other books include the novel A Cosmic Kind of Love. She lives in Scotland.


Q: In The Love Plots acknowledgments, you write, “Star and Rafe came to me from a desire to write one of my favorite tropes: grumpy meets sunshine.” Can you say more about that, and about how you created these specific characters?


A: One of my favorite tropes to read is grumpy meets sunshine and I had a real desire to bring it to life in a rom-com. I’d watched a marathon of old 1950s and ‘60s rom-com movies over the holidays, and they inspired me to write a modern twist on a classic rom-com in a way I could incorporate that grumpy meets sunshine trope.


I knew one of the best ways to explore that trope was to do opposites attract too and create a character who is so optimistic and non-judgmental, despite her upbringing and lack of wealth, and match her with a hero who is a little world-weary, perhaps a bit cynical, because of his advantages, wealth, and familial pressure.


Star and Rafe’s personalities and situations allowed me to play with tension and banter and have them peel each other’s layers back—all the things I love about Grumpy x Sunshine.


Q: What do you think the novel says about family dynamics?


A: The Love Plot explores different kinds of family dynamics. It explores parental neglect, it explores parental pressure, and it also dives into the safety of familial support. Moreover, the way we’re molded by our family and our upbringings, and how it’s okay to let go of toxic family members and create found family elsewhere.


Ultimately, The Love Plot says that family is complicated, but I think a necessary support system for most people, whether your chosen support system is blood-related or not.

Q: Did you need to do any research to write the novel, and if so, did you learn anything surprising?


A: When I was dreaming up unique and commitment-less jobs for Star, I thought of line sitting and wondered if it was a real job. Lo and behold, when I researched professional line sitting, I was so surprised by the successful companies people have created out of it.  


I was also shocked by the lengths in which line sitters go to wait in line for products for clients, including waiting in line in little tents for many days in all weather.


Readers have asked if Line Sitting is really a thing, and it most definitely is. If you want the latest phone or sneakers before they’re sold out, but you don’t have time to wait in line for them, you can absolutely pay someone else to do it for you. Who knew?!


Q: In our previous Q&A, you said of your novel A Cosmic Kind of Love, “I hope readers will take away the idea that before you can truly take care of another person in a relationship, you first have to learn how to take care of and be true to yourself." Would you say this applies to The Love Plot as well?


A: I’d definitely say this applies to The Love Plot. My romances are all about passionate, emotional connections between the hero and heroine, about characters that fall madly in love… but along the way they also learn to love themselves.


Star is the perfect example of staying true to yourself, even if it means losing someone you love. Because ultimately you wouldn’t lose that person if they love you for who you truly are. Thankfully, Rafe adores every bit of who Star truly is.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’m working on Through the Glen, the third book in my Highlands Series. It’s another opposites attract but this time my characters fall in love by a wintry loch in the Scottish Highlands.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Samantha Young.

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