Having lived a truly cosmopolitan lifestyle, it is hardly surprising that Samantha Ford didn’t settle for life in the humdrum environment of English suburbia. No instead she lives and works in Africa, in the Safari industry to be precise, and spends her life mingling with the rich and famous. She has become an author who writes about contemporary romance in the 21st century and she does it very well.
It was with great anticipation that I looked forward to reading her answers to the questions posed about the aspect of her life spent as an English female author, but one who gets her inspiration from the deepest parts of Safari Africa. A lifestyle that is far from conventional and that not too many people will be privy to.
For Samantha the answers to her questions will no doubt feel like an honest appraisal of what, for her, is normal everyday life but for most of the rest of us will be a description of an exciting life in a far away place. I love the fact, for example, that one of her biggest problems she has as a writer comes in the form of noisy monkeys.
So without further ado, have a look at her answers to the questions posed about how she came to write her first book and what life is like as a published author living in Africa.
Q) How did you come up with the story for your book, what sparked it off?
A) I was looking after Giraffe Manor (a hotel) in Nairobi and decided, because of my unusual childhood in the Far East, Middle East and Africa, to write a series of letters to my daughter describing my life. Then out of the blue someone I had not seen for 35 years tracked me down in Kenya. This was when I decided to turn my “letters” into a novel.
Q) Did you need to do any research for your book?
A) No, I did no research because much of the book is based on my own experiences, although, I hasten to point out, it is a work of fiction!
Q) How many hours a day did you have to dedicate to writing to get your book finished?
A) I spent six hours a day writing and it took me four years to finish, I wrote most of the story whilst I was living in the South of France.
Q) Is romance the only genre you are interested in or do you think you will write for a different genre sometime?
A) I write mostly romantic fiction although I am currently in negotiations to ghost write a story about a couple who brought up two white lions.
Q) Are you working on a new book and if so what genre is it?
A) I have finished my second book which is set in Kenya and London, and I have started my third which is set in Cape Town and Tanzania. The genre? Sophisticated romantic fiction.
A) The hardest thing for me is to find somewhere peaceful and quiet to write. In Africa that is not easy with monkeys leaping all over the roof…!
Q) What is the best thing about being a writer?
A) The best thing about being a writer is that I can create any world I choose to live in – its a bit like going into fantasy land every day. I can create people and characters based on what I admire in human beings. No-one in any of my stories can ever be accused of being boring – unlike real life….
Q) Have you got any advice for aspiring writers?
A) Yes. Work out exactly what you want to do with your finished book, if you think you will make a fortune out of it, you will be disappointed. The chances of getting published by a traditional publisher are very slim indeed. In fact, you have more of a chance of winning the lottery than getting published. However I would encourage anyone who wants to write a book to do so. The satisfaction of finishing a story is fantastic. Even if you have to self publish, the moment you feel the finished book in your hand is very defining, I felt hugely proud of myself when I saw my story in print.
A) My question would be this. Why are you writing a book? My answer would be – because I need to.