Today we're excited to chat with Samantha Mabry, author of All the Wind in the World. Read on for more about Samantha and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Samantha Mabry!
Samantha Mabry grew up in Texas playing bass guitar along to vinyl records, writing fan letters to rock stars, and reading big, big books, and credits her tendency toward magical thinking to her Grandmother Garcia, who would wash money in the kitchen sink to rinse off any bad spirits. She teaches writing and Latino literature at a community college in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband, a historian, and her pets, including a cat named Mouse. She is the author of the novels A Fierce and Subtle Poison and All the Wind in the World. Visit her online atsamanthamabry.com or on Twitter: @samanthamabry.
Sarah Jac Crow and James Holt have fallen in love working in the endless fields that span a bone-dry Southwest in the near-future—a land that’s a little bit magical, deeply dangerous, and bursting with secrets. To protect themselves, they’ve learned to work hard and—above all—keep their love hidden from the people who might use it against them. Then, just when Sarah Jac and James have settled in and begun saving money for the home they dream of near the coast, a horrible accident sends them on the run. With no choice but to start over on a new, possibly cursed ranch, the delicate balance of their lives begins to give way—and they may have to pay a frighteningly high price for their love.
1. Which came first, the title or the novel?
The finished novel came well before the title All the Wind in the World. But the novel had a working title long before it was ever even finished. It used to be called The Real Marvelous, which is the name of the maguey ranch where the characters live and work.
2. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
It’s a scene about a swarm of bees. It’s sort of a culminating moment in the novel –several aspects are about to come to a head –and this scene is dramatic, and eerie, and violent, and ultimately the main character Sarah Jac is left to determine if the bee swarm is a kind of profound sign or just a cruel moment of nature.
3. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Patience! I wanted things to come very quickly: an awesome finished book, an agent, a book deal, critical acclaim, good sales numbers. But the process of writing –not just the actual writing, but the waiting for feedback and revising and waiting for your book to release and then waiting to hear how it’s received –takes a very, very long time. It makes me very impatient, but then I try to channel that impatience into the characters I’m writing because impatient characters can do some interesting things.
4. What do you like most about the cover of the book?
When I saw the first draft of the cover, the two figures at the bottom were facing each other, like almost about to kiss. I made the gentle suggestion that maybe there could be an added layer of tension –or maybe a sense of mystery –if they were facing away from each other. You don’t see that very often on covers of books that are romances at heart, and I think it ended up cool and cryptic. I also like the birds.
5. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2018?
I absolutely can’t wait to read The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan.
6. What was your favorite book in 2017?
My favorite book of 2017 was probably The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater. It’s nonfiction –which you don’t see a lot in YA –and the story of a hate crime told from both sides. It was really moving and wonderful.
7. What’s up next for you?
I’m working on a couple of things: a ghost story involving three sisters in San Antonio and a sort of big epic about bandits. That said, they both mostly consist of straps tied loosely together. They are quite far from being proper novels.
8. Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
There’s this scene near the end of the novel when the main character, Sarah Jacqueline reunites with her boyfriend, James. It’s obvious to the reader that James is changed –that his and Sarah Jac’s relationship has fundamentally changed –but Sarah Jac refuses to
believe it. She’s experiencing this weird mix of anger and denial, and it was tricky to get that right –to make her proud and heartsick at the same time.
9. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or revising?
I most enjoy early, early drafting. Usually, I don’t even start writing until I can hold a story in my head for a while and see it take shape there. After that, I write out various sections in a rush in a composition notebook, and then I start to type it out. Those early parts of the process are when I feel the most creative and excited about the project. After that, it starts to feel like a bit of a grind –like work work, you know?
All the Wind in the World
By: Samantha Mabry
Release Date: October 10, 2017