Samantha Downing joined us in our Behind the Pages Goodreads group to discuss My Lovely Wife with us and we are very excited to share some the Q & A with you all here today.
The paperback version of My Lovely Wife is now available!!! Amazon Studios and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films have partnered to produce a feature film based on the novel.
Brenda Welcome, Samantha! Thank you so much for joining us! I loved My Lovely Wife and I am excited about the paperback release because I think it is one everyone needs to read. We read My Lovely Wife in two different reading groups and we all loved it! It made for an exciting discussion. Tell us a little bit about how this journey has been like for you
Samantha Hello everyone! Thank you for having me!
This journey has been really exciting. I can’t explain how thrilling it is to have people read something that you’ve been working on for so long! Publishing is a long process, but to be able to see your book on the shelves makes it all worth it. I’m grateful to be a published author!
Norma Hi Samantha and welcome! Thank you so much for joining us! I absolutely LOVED My Lovely Wife! It was a favourite and I always recommend it first to anyone who asks me what my favourite thriller is. How much time do you spend promoting? It must be fun seeing all the positive feedback. Tell us how that feels.
Samantha I try to spend as much time as I can promoting my book! I’m on social media every day, interacting with people as much as possible. And I have signings whenever I can. I also go to writer’s conferences, which are really fun.
The positive feedback is really incredible, especially for this book. It’s dark, so I didn’t know how many people would really enjoy it. I’ve been both surprised and happy that so many people like it!
Lindsay Hi Samantha! Thank you for being here with us! I LOVED My Lovely Wife! Such a brilliant and unique storyline! How did you come up with that storyline? Did something spark your initial idea for the storyline?
Samantha Thank you so much for having me! The original idea for My Lovely Wife came from a documentary about a couple who kidnapped a woman. In that case, the man was the instigator and he pretty much forced his wife to go along with it. I started wondering about it the other way around. What if the woman was the instigator? What would she look like?
So I answered my own question and came up with Millicent.
Mary Beth Yay, For Q&A with one of my favorite authors! Welcome Samantha! I loved My Lovely Wife and He Started It. I would like to know where is your favorite writing place?
Samantha Thank you so much! Oddly, I love to write in airports and on airplanes. First, because the noise is like white noise…I just filter it out. Also because I never connect to the internet in airports so it’s easy to keep focus!
Paulette Samantha welcome! My Lovely Wife what a stunning debut, it lived up to the hype hands down…. congratulations on your success. I would love to know where the inspiration for this book came from? did you find any of these characters personally relatable to you
Samantha Thank you! The original inspiration was a documentary…and then it took on a life of it’s own! I think there’s a bit of me in every character, that’s unavoidable. For example, Millicent is a control freak and so am I! Rory is very sarcastic, and I am the same way.
Also, I come from the California suburbs so that suburban life is something I know a lot about.
Terry Hi Samantha, I just wanted to tell you I loved what a smart and twisted book that was! No spoilers, but I totally was fooled and yelled “What?!?” at the ending – very entertaining!
Did you actually figure out the ending, then write the rest of the book to lead into it? It makes me want to read it over again to find clues….
Samantha I did not know that would be the ending! Because I don’t plot my books, I don’t know how they are going to turn out at first. Usually by the middle, I figure out where I want to go…but sometimes I change my mind :)Then I have to go through edits and revisions, of course!
Brenda I loved that My Lovely Wife was narrated from the husband’s perspective, rather than the wife. Why did you decide to his POV over Millicent’s?
Samantha This was very deliberate. I wanted Millicent to be seen only through her husband’s eyes, so we only see what he sees and hear what he hears. After all, this is how we know people in real life. We make judgments based on our interactions with them…we can’t ever know what is in their heads. That’s how I wanted to present Millicent, through the eyes of someone who loved her.
Brenda What I loved about My Lovely Wife is how you created a multi-dimensional couple and family. I found it fascinating to see the different sides to them as a couple, parents and the disturbing couple they were. The children brought some fascinating dynamics to the story as well.
How did you go about creating this? Did you start with the idea of them and the different sides to them, mapping it out or did they come together as you were writing?
Samantha I didn’t really map it out, because I don’t plot my books. But what I wanted to show was a very normal couple with a normal life. Because if they didn’t have a normal “front” they would get caught very quickly. People had to believe they would never do such a thing in order for them to get away with murder.
And they are very normal…until they aren’t!
Brenda I recently finished He Start It and loved it!! Can you give us a sneak-peek into it?
Samantha Thank you very much, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! He Started It is about three siblings (and two spouses) who have to go a on a road trip in order to get their grandfather’s inheritance. Along the way they have to deal with family secrets, old grudges, and a lot of scores to settle.
I loved writing this book, it was so much fun, and I hope you all enjoy it as well!
Brenda I found both Millicent and Beth snarky fun and entertaining. In their voice can you tell us a little bit about each?
Samantha This is such a great question! I will give it a shot in their voices:
Millicent: I don’t know what you want me to say. I’m a wife, a career woman, and above all else, I’m a mother. That’s all you need to know. Thank you.
Beth: Look, I’m not saying I’m a bad person, per say, I’m just saying I’m not perfect. Really, who is? I don’t know. Never met anyone perfect, so don’t expect me to be
Brenda What would you like readers to get from your books?
Samantha My goal is to write the kind of book you can’t put down. I’m a reader, like everyone here, and to me there’s nothing more enjoyable than a book you can’t stand to put down. The kind of book you think about until you can pick it up again.
For me, that kind of book is usually a thriller, as that’s my favorite genre. And that’s the kind of book I hope to write. A page-turner, so to speak!
For more of our Q & A with Samantha Downing can be found here
Our Traveling Sisters reviews can be found here