thank you for popping in to tell us about your story writing for People’s Friend. Glad you agreed to this interview, and look forward to learning more about you and your writing.
Thank you very much for having me!
Sue/ Can you remember the first story you sold to People’s Friend?
Sam/ Yes, I think it was a Christmas one I called Good Times, about a mother reflecting on how times change. For the first time she wasn’t hosting Christmas Day and found it difficult.
Sue/ Did you send in many stories before getting an acceptance?
Sam/ Not too many – but then I had spent years writing novels beforehand, to hone my skills. Also, I belonged to an online writing group with other magazine writers, who were so helpful at giving me a few pointers. Then, somehow I just clicked with the People’s Friend and really enjoy writing for them.
Sue/ You’ve written more than one story lately about Goth teenagers in love. Do you have one in your family?
Sam/ Very perceptive! Not a Goth, as such, but one of my teenagers loves wearing black and used to sometimes look similar to the Goth style. I went through a similar stage myself, at university! My father used to despair of the lack of colour in my wardrobe (he is a very colourful golfer.)
Sue/ I’ve read more than one of your stories in People’s Friend about Grandchild/Grandparent relationships. Did these have to be altered at all for publication, or were they accepted exactly how you submitted them?
Sam/ They were mostly accepted as I submitted them. I love writing about that kind of relationship, across the generations – I think both age-groups can learn something from the other.
Sue/ Your cowboy stories are lovely, with great atmosphere and descriptions. How do you know the details are correct when writing about the 1800’s?
Sam/ Thank you! Well, I do Google an awful lot! And I had already done some research for a cowboy novel I thought I might write, at one stage.
Sue/ I noticed you’d written a children’s story in an issue some time ago as well. Is this something you’d like to do more of, or was it a ‘one off?’
Sam/ It’s a matter of time now, what with the novels – but I do LOVE writing for children, it is huge fun and lovely to think of youngsters enjoying the story at bedtime.
Sue/ I can’t let you go without asking about the new book release. Without giving too much away, can you tell us anything else besides that it’s set in Paris?
Sam/ It is the standalone sequel to my debut, Doubting Abbey. Lord Edward has just proposed to fun-loving Gemma, but she is not sure whether to settle down. Their trip to the City of Love unexpectedly complicates matters, as do her new friendships with a mysterious spy called Joe and a very appealing rockstar, Blade!
Thanks Samantha for popping in and for giving us a bit more insight to your writing.
For tips on writing for The People’s Friend, why not visit this page on my website? http://samanthatonge.co.uk/page7.php
The most important piece of advice I can give is not to stereotype The People’s Friend as a magazine for inactive, old people. I’ve sold stories about characters of all ages, and the older ones go speed-dating, go-karting, use the internet and have mobile phones…
You can find out more from the links below.