Monday 15 February 2016

Q&A with Samantha Tonge, author of How to Get Hitched in Ten Days

Hi, Sam! Can you tell us a bit about your new book, How to Get Hitched in Ten Days?

It is the story of a terrible Valentine’s Day proposal and how Jasmine’s flatmate Mikey helps mend her broken heart in the aftermath. He owns a 50s diner and is every girl’s best friend with his knock-out cheesecakes, Pinot sleepovers and romance advice.

Did you have any particular inspiration for the lovely character of Mikey?

Yes, I have a couple of gay friends in real life and their personalities and challenges inspired me – particularly one who looks similar to Mikey and has a great sense of fun along with a strong shoulder to lean on.

Do you have any nice plans for publication day?

On the day itself I shall enjoy nothing better than chatting about my book on Facebook and Twitter and probably getting very over-excited! I do love Social Media. The book launches just before Valentine’s Day and my birthday, so I am sure I will find plenty of excuses to raise a glass to the book and wish it success!

How did writing a novella compare to writing your longer novels?

It was a breath of fresh air! It only took me a few weeks to write as with a novella there is no room, really, for a subplot or many characters. The story literally flew onto the page because I found the setting and story huge fun.

Did you do any research before or during writing your novella? Any diner visits, salsa dancing…

Yes, I watched some Salsa dancing teaching videos on youtube – I am a massive fan of Strictly Come Dancing anyway. And last summer I was down in Cornwall where there are loads of 50s diners. I did, of course, have to eat my way through them, in the name of research!

Your cover for How to Get Hitched in Ten Days is very different to the style of your other books – personally, I love it. How did you feel when you saw it for the first time?

I adored it, Sophie! I think my words were “as cute as a button”. I think it is simple but effective.

How much attention do you pay to your reviews? Do you ignore the negative ones or have a certain way of dealing with them? (Wine?)

I do follow my reviews with interest and appreciate any review, any star rating, as long as the points made are polite and constructive. And sometimes the worse ones are illuminating and I have taken different viewpoints on board. I think it is naive to expect everyone to like your books and I appreciate anyone who has read my work and then taken the time to write down their thoughts about it. Of course fab reviews can make you feel ten feet high and make all the stresses of being a published author worth it, but that doesn’t mean a pertinent bad review doesn’t have value. And yes, Mr Pinot Grigio does help :)

Being digitally published first and foremost, how much time do you spend on self-promotion and social media? How important do you think it is?

Gosh. I probably spend almost as much time promoting as I do writing. I need to make my books visible online as they aren’t in all the bookshops. And when I haven’t a new book to promote, ones from my back-catalogue are being put into promotions and need advertising, so that side of the job is never finished. I am lucky – for the most part I really enjoy it. It must be very difficult for authors who don’t.

What’s the proudest moment of your writing career so far?

It has to be winning the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category, last year, for Game of Scones. I just wasn’t expecting to win. The book meant so much to me I was thrilled for the characters. And it was some kind of validation, that maybe, just maybe I can write romance. I couldn’t take the smile off my face.

If you met all your book characters in real life, which one do you think you’d get along with most?

It would have to be Gemma from Doubting Abbey. Like her, I do have a deeply ingrained ditzy streak and with each birthday expect to wake up, suddenly feeling sensible and grown up. Despite the fact I am married with two teenage kids, I don’t. I still make mistakes, put my foot in it, make a fool of myself. But like Gemma, I like to think my heart and loyalties are in the right place, and because of that people can – I hope - forgive the craziness.

What do you do to relax when you’re not writing?

Um, I don’t often not write, apart from when I am looking after my family. However, I do cycle ride for twenty minutes most days, to balance the enormous amount of sweet writing snacks I consume. I like to bake. I love trashy magazines and telly. And given the chance, I like nothing more than a hike, out in the wilds, to get away from everything. I live near the Peak District.

If you could wake up to a message from any author saying they’d read and loved your latest book, who would you want that author to be?

Jane Austen. I have immense respect for an author whose work is still relatable so long after their death. I think we would get on and have a good giggle and chat about the enigma that is the opposite sex!

What’s coming up next for you?

My summer book is out in May, hopefully – a full-length novel. It stars two brooding heroes, a rather offbeat heroine and is set in beautiful Cornwall.


How to Get Hitched in Ten Days is out now.


  1. Great interview, you asked some really good questions. Nice to know that Sam enjoys the social media part of being an Author. I really enjoy chatting with Authors online, its a really great part of social media.

    1. Thanks so much Amanda. I love that we get chance to chat to authors online - it's why I love social media so much!

    2. Thanks Amanda! Yes, social media is a great place to get to meet lovely authors, readers and writers, it seems to be a really warm community x

    3. Thanks Amanda! Yes, social media is a great place to get to meet lovely authors, readers and writers, it seems to be a really warm community x


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...