Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Blog Tour: A CONTENTED MIND by Samantha Hoffman: Q&A

I found the explanation in the book regarding this beautiful cover: 

"Moving her eyes over the painting, she noticed the simple beauty of the giant white open petals of the rose flowing outward from the right side of the canvas.  When painting it, the artist made a conscious effort to leave a large open space of black canvas on the left, and beyond the midpoint of the painting, giving it perfect balance.  Not confined, the rose was allowed to expand into its full splendor, even if its ability to do so was only within the mind of the one viewing it." (A Contented Mind, p. 293)

WOW!  Isn't that something!

Author Bio: Samantha started writing books as a child. Although those roughly hewed works 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. On May 18th, 2012 Samantha will be featured in Art & Entertainment section of The Traverse City Record Eagle newspaper.
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. 



Q.  What inspires your writing?

A.  For the most part music inspires my writing. It was a verse within one song in particular, as well as my battle with depression, that brought about A Contented Mind. The words within that song worked like lighter fluid on a fire that was on its last ember. To this day  when I want to bring my characters to life, I turn on the music.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A.  I take the movie that is in my mind, with its almost tangible words, palpable emotions and scenes, transcribe it, then give it to others to enjoy. And within those mental movies, people are given the chance to feel things they may never feel otherwise.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A. Having the courage and resolve to write what I want to write in the way and style that I want to write.

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?

A.I used to teach yoga. Like the conductor in an orchestra standing in front of the class, I loved gently yet firmly leading the movements of the room - harnessing everyone's energy into a more balanced, peaceful state. I enjoyed that. I enjoyed bringing relaxation and peace to those that needed it the most. I would probably do that again.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. 50 Shades of Grey...NO I'm just kidding. Sorry, I couldn't resist.  That would be wild though, wouldn't it? No, my life story would be named... 'She Dances. The story of the little girl that danced in the rain.'

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A. I love so many, that is a very tough question. Perhaps Crime and  Punishment. I appreciate and respect the way in which Fyodor  Dostoevsky captured the struggles of one's mind.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A. In many ways I can relate to Martin Eden, as far as identifying the  lunacy of what is considered 'genius' writing within the literary elite. In my opinion all writing has profound value. But the system chews writers up and spits them out, in the process spitting out many 'genius writers' along the way. Within that one thing I have a strong resonance with Martin. For the most part however, I have much in common with Jane Eyre. She trusted her mind and her abilities. I have been through a great deal and yet, I have emerged whole, and hopefullyduring the walk I do so with the grace of Jane.

Q.  What character from all of your book(s) are you most like?

A. From a mental and emotional stand point I am very much like Meg
and Madelyne, Meg's mother, in A Contented Mind.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A.  When I was young it used to be autumn. But now that I am older, autumn, although beautiful, is now seen as the precursor of winter; and I don't like being cold. So now, my favorite season would be Spring. It's the Friday of the seasons. It kicks off the weekend of Summerand Fall.

 Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or  while promoting your book(s).

A. So far I haven't had much of anything. I will say there is something to be said for timing. Just as I was set to visit a couple bookstores and do a radio interview I came down with a cold that robbed me of my voice. Which I have to say, didn't help the situation.

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A. I'm just now putting the finishing touches on my children's chapter book, the first in the five book Dainty Delaney series. I'm also going back through the sequel to A Contented Mind which is entitled Chasing Nirvana. There may very well be a third book within that group as the characters aren't quite done with me yet... Lastly, I look forward to getting back to writing Safe People which is actually the novel mentioned in A Contented Mind.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  For one I would like to say thank you for stopping by. I cherish my reader's. I mean that. There has never been one kind word that's been extended to me that I have not absorbed and valued. In closing I would like to say that my books, all of them, will always have an underlying theme. It seems to be the undercurrent behind my writing. And that is, to believe in oneself. Believe in all that you offer. I lived with depression for many years, and in many ways still do. I felt that part of myself was unworthy, dark and ugly. It took writing A Contented Mind for me to take a hard look at myself and come to terms with who I am. My darkness only adds to my light. I am the sum of all my parts and I would like to think that's what makes me a better person. The world needs all of us, as different as we may be, weare all internally and externally beautiful.
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