Interview with Samantha Young

4 min read

Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series, Hero, and this month’s Girly Book Club book of the month, Fight or Flight. Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

Visit her at or on Twitter @AuthorSamYoung.

Girly Book Club: How did you get into writing and what inspired you to write your first book?

Samantha Young:  When I was around seven, eight years old, I read C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It was the first book I’d read that truly transported me to somewhere magical and I loved that wonder and escapism even as I child. So I began writing my own short stories to recreate that feeling. As a teenager I started a lot of first novels and never finished them. It wasn’t until my final year at university I decided to take what I’d been learning as part of my degree and incorporate it into a YA urban fantasy series. I finished the first book just after I graduated.

GBC: What makes a book great, in your opinion? What elements does a great story possess?

SY: A great story possesses a character or characters that I’m fully invested in and rooting for. It has a warm, fluid storytelling that draws me in and a balanced pace. I want to get to know the characters, but I also want the plot to move forward at an entertaining pace. I don’t put as much importance on the plot as I do on the characters and a storyteller’s voice.  A great story will make me laugh and make my chest ache with emotion, and only an investment in the characters will evoke those reactions.


GBC: What are you doing if you’re not writing?

SY: If I’m not writing, I’m usually reading. And if I’m not reading, I’m usually hanging out with friends and family. Also, I have dogs, so I take them on long walks which gives me plenty of time to plot my books. My interests outside of books? Music. Interior design. Shoes. Pilates. Traveling. 


GBC: Name your favourite bookshop in the world.

SY: Barter Books in Alnwick, England. It’s a second-hand bookstore housed inside an old Victorian Railway Station. There are crackling fireplaces and comfy armchairs! It’s also the home of the WWII ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster that went onto create the merchandise craze.   


GBC: Physical book, e-book, or audiobook? – and why.

SY: I’m really stuck between physical and e-book. I love having thousands of books on my e-reader and being able to open up a book wherever I am, whether it’s on my e-reader or on my e-reader App. The convenience of it is fantastic. However, I love my paperbacks because they’re pretty and they’re tangible. If I read an e-book and it becomes a favourite, I have to buy it in paperback.  What if we end up in a real-life dystopian novel with no electricity or technology? If I didn’t buy my favourite books in paperback, I’d be living in a crappy dystopian world without any decent reading material. Um. No. Just… no.


GBC: What was your favourite book as a child?

SY: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Closely followed by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.


GBC: We’re always on the hunt for our next great read. Recommend us a book to add to our TBR pile!

SY: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. It is the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy and has an unconventional narrative style which makes for a fast, entertaining read. Most importantly, however, is the strength of its young hero Todd who is multi-faceted, compelling and incredibly likeable. Filled with action and adventure, TKONLG is an extraordinary and unique middle grade read that appeals to readers of all ages. I’ve convinced a number of adults in my life to read it and every single one of them loved this trilogy.


GBC: What is one movie, TV series, or podcast that you’re loving right now?

SY: Our Planet which is a Netflix original series narrated by David Attenborough. It’s a documentary series about the species currently affected by climate change. It’s fascinating, mind-blowing and heartbreaking. And everyone should watch it.

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