Confessions of a Born Storyteller

Hey gang! First, I want to give a big shout out to everyone at Last Chance Press. They are an awesome group of folks to work with and have made my debut novel, “Restless Natives,” shine. I am so thrilled to be here, doing what I love to do best – telling stories.
Author Nan SampsonI’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember – even as a young child, inventing tales to entertain my friends and aggravate my mother just seemed to come naturally to me. My very first novel (all twenty pages of it) was called “The Mystery of the Old House,” illustrated by my friend Kathy Davis. We were ten and it was atrocious. But I still have it!
Now, I write in a variety of genres including cozy mystery, fantasy, space opera, even steam punk, and I will typically have more than one project going at any given moment. Can we say ADD? My least favorite thing (contrary to what so many other writers say) is revision. I’m much happier drafting – that’s where the real magic lives for me. I probably spend three times as much time revising a novel as drafting it because, while it isn’t as much fun, that’s where the real work of craft lies. It’s tough but the payoff is worth it.

I have a passion for history, science, psychology, archaeology, space exploration… um… yeah, there’s the whole ADD thing again. I just love to learn – the world is such a fascinating place. And naturally, I try to take bits and pieces of what I’ve learned and use them in my writing. So you’re bound to learn something new reading one of my books.
I’m thrilled to announce that Book 2 in the Ellie Gooden series is due to be released later this month! Squee! (Am I allowed to squee on the interweb?) In Book 2, Ellie is forced to return to Chicago to help an old college friend and is embroiled in her friend’s murder. We also get to learn a little more about Ellie’s past, and best of all, get to spend a little more time with my favorite character in the series – but no spoilers. I’ll make you guess who my favorite character is.
The third book in the Ellie Gooden series is in the detailed outline stage, so hoping to have a first draft done in the spring. I’m so excited to work on these books – and I can’t wait for the readers to start to get a sense for the overarching series arc!
I’m also in the final stages of draft on a steam punk mystery which I hope to have in decent enough shape to put into the hands of my tough-as-nails editor by the end of October. It should be a really fun romp through an alternate history world where Napoleon won the Battle of Waterloo, the Spanish retained their empire and North America never became the United States. Can’t wait to debut it!  World-building is one of my favorite hobbies and that, coupled with my love of history, made the creation of the world that characters Jonathon Cole and his man Coggs live in a real joy.
I love hearing from readers, so don’t hesitate to write me and let me know what you’re thinking! And, as always, Illegitimi noncarborundum!

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