On November 24, the Friends of the Orange County Public Library will host its first ever Hillsborough Local Author Book Fair! You can read more about the event here. Leading up, we’ll be posting short interviews with some of our author guests. Today we’ll hear from Samantha Bryant!
Who did you dedicate your first book to and why?
Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel was dedicated: For any woman who has ever felt betrayed by her own body.
Part of why I write is to process life. As E.M. Forster famously said, “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” So, I end up, at least at some level, writing about things that worry, upset, or scare me. In that way, writing is my therapy: the safe space where I figure out how I feel.
I went through a medical scare in my thirties that really threw me, leaving me feeling absolutely betrayed by the body that had always served me well up until then. The women in my superhero novels aren’t having medical emergencies, but dealing with unexpected new abilities and new limitations can feel surprisingly similar. Even ordinary aging can be upsetting, as things that were once easy become more difficult to manage. Writing the Menopausal Superhero series has been about having fun with superpowers, but it has also been a way to process what it means to move from “young woman” to a “woman of a certain age.”
If we were to tweet one sentence from one of your books, which sentence would you choose?
It’s a little long for a tweet maybe, but I still love this bit from my first published novel:
“Sometimes, Helen felt like she had spent her whole life waiting to be “old enough” and then had crossed over into “too old” without finding out what it was she had been waiting for. It was only now, with the tingle of fire still on her fingertips and the smell of sulphur on her skin, that she felt she knew what she wanted.”
There’s a lot of the heart of the entire Menopausal Superhero series packed into those few words.
What was the hardest part of the writing process for you to master?
For years, I wrote “when inspiration struck” or “when I had time,” which was not nearly often enough to lead to finished, polished work ready for publication. I had a hard drive full of false starts and promising ideas, and a generally dissatisfied feeling to show for decades of writing.
When I turned 42 (which Douglas Adams tells us is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything), I decided it was time to either make a real go of writing, or let it go. I committed to myself that I would write every day, come hell or high water.