Author Spotlight – Sam Valentine

In Guest Articles, Interview by RWA Blog CoordinatorLeave a Comment

Author Sam Valentine

How did you discover you wanted to be a writer?

I think the desire to write has been there since I was very young because I loved fiction so much. Books were a big part of my childhood, so I developed an appreciation of story very early. I wrote a few stories when I was a kid, but the urge to write a novel came many years later. I didn’t really know how to get started or what to do, but I wanted to start by understanding the science of language more, so I undertook an undergraduate degree in English Language and Linguistics. This is when I began jotting down fiction ideas but still couldn’t quite progress anything. I then did a master’s in writing, editing and publishing, which is where I wrote my first piece of fiction for an assignment – a 4000 short story. The storyteller urge in me grew stronger and finally towards the end of 2019, I began writing my first novel, which I’ve since published, and I’ve been writing fiction since.  

What did you do to actively pursue writing? (Joining RWAus, Mentorship etc)

Apart from the degrees mentioned above, I’ve undertaken a lot of courses, workshops and seminars through the Australian Writers Centre, the Australian Society of Authors and state-based writers centres. I’ve built up writing connections, joined RWA, take advantage of their resources, and attended my first RWA conference in Sydney in 2023.

What do you find are the advantages of being part of RWAus?

Being part of a writing community, connecting with other authors, access to courses, competitions, conferences, writing resources – so many advantages!

What is your favourite genre and why?

My favourite genre is women’s fiction, usually with romantic elements. I like that women’s fiction ranges in points of view, contains additional storylines outside of romance, but that I still get plots about relationships and connections, and I never can be sure how the story will end, although there is generally a happy or satisfying ending, which leaves me with a good feeling.

Share a little about your writing process?

It usually starts with a simple idea, either a character or a simple plot event. Then I’ll brainstorm to flesh out that idea, write a brief story outline and some character profiles, then start writing. It’s a long process of rough first draft, reviewing, rewriting, reworking and so forth until the story is finished, sometimes ten drafts later. There’s spreadsheets and notes and large pieces of brown paper with scribbles and terrible writing, until it all finally comes together.

Tell us about your current work in progress…

I’m currently working on a short novella that I’m aiming to release for September, this is a fish out of water romance. Once that is complete, I’ll be returning to a draft novel I wrote last year, which is an opposites attract romance. Both stories are set in my home city of Brisbane.

And your latest book…

My second novel, Meet Me in Berlin, was released on 15 May 2024. This is a second-chance contemporary sapphic romance set in Melbourne, London and Berlin. I also just republished my first novel, Normal Functioning Adult, on 30 April 2024. This is contemporary sapphic fiction with romantic elements.

Meet Me in Berlin

‘If we lose each other, then we’ll come back to this spot, on this day, at this time, every year until we find each other.’

Casey Miller-James works hard, plays hard and loves hard. She has her dream job in a London art gallery and is busy planning a wedding to her influencer girlfriend who’s determined to have the best lesbian wedding anyone has ever seen. Life is good. So why does Casey feel like her heart belongs to that woman from Melbourne she met in Berlin eleven years ago and never saw again?

Holly Craddock feels like life is passing her by. Her career is going nowhere, and her spare time is spent running around after her unappreciative partner and worrying about her mum’s illness. She longs to rediscover her passion for photography, and she dreams of finding that woman from London who broke her heart in Berlin so long ago. She doesn’t care how brief their romance was, if she’s ever going to move on, she needs closure.

When a work opportunity gives Casey time alone and an unexpected event gives Holly the chance to shape her future, they both find themselves asking, ‘what if?’ After all, the intense chemistry they once shared must mean something. But how do you find someone from the other side of the world when you only know their first name, and the only plan to reunite was to meet in a Berlin park in late August at 6 pm, eleven years ago? Even if they do manage to find each other, can they make something work in the real world?

Meet Me in Berlin is a second-chance sapphic romance with heart, humour and heat.

Normal Functioning Adult

The only way to find herself is to lose herself

A year ago, Amy Campbell’s life was perfect. She had a beautiful wife, her career was on an upward trajectory, and her friendship circle was uncomplicated. Now she’s a thirty-five-year-old widow who relies on wine and a dysfunctional situationship to cope.

Aware her life is hanging together by a thread, Amy reluctantly returns to therapy. As she works through her grief and opens up to others in her group therapy program, she forms an unexpected bond that gives her life renewed purpose. But as she strives to become a normal functioning adult again, strains on her new relationship, conflict with her best friend, and the pressures of everyday life throw her into turmoil.

The more Amy tries to redefine herself, the more her old self surfaces until the two collide and she’s forced to confront her reality and make a decision about her future.

Can Amy find the courage to say goodbye to her late wife and allow herself to love again? Or is the risk too great?

Normal Functioning Adult is a story of grief, friendship and love told with heart and humour.

Buy on:

Meet Me in Berlin

Normal Functioning Adult

Author bio:

Samantha L. Valentine is an author of contemporary sapphic fiction, both life lit and romance. She is passionate about diversity in fiction and would love the world to read more diverse Australian stories. She graduated with first class honours in English Language and Linguistics from the University of Westminster (London) and holds a Masters in Writing, Editing and Publishing from The University of Queensland (Brisbane). In her early twenties, Samantha went to the UK for a one-year working holiday that turned into twelve years living in London and Oxford. She now lives in Brisbane with her wife and their two Boston terriers. She is the author of two published novels, one published short story and many unpublished drafts.

Connect on the web:

I have a monthly newsletter, sign up is through my website

Readers can also follow me on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.

Leave a Comment