Growing up in Joliet,
Illinois, Samantha James had many childhood
aspirations--being a writer was never
one of them. When she was ten, she
was certain she was destined to be
an astronomer. That soon changed (happened
a lot during those pre-teen years!)
when she decided archaeology was in
her future. Detective work was her
next goal, thanks to the Trixie Belden
mysteries she was reading, and before
long, nursing beckoned (courtesy of
the Cherry Ames series). In college,
she set her sights on teaching history,
then briefly entertained the notion
of becoming a flight attendant, only
to discover she did not like
been raised in a family of avid readers,
she was rarely without a book in hand.
Her tastes were rather eclectic. She
got hooked on the Doc Savage series
and Edgar Rice Burroughs after her
older brother finished them, in her
teen years, moved on to Agatha Christie,
Daphne DuMaurier, and Phyllis A. Whitney.
meantime, the right guy came along.
They met on a semi-blind date at an
office Christmas party. She was told
he wanted to go out with her, and he
was told she wanted to go out with
him. Six months later, the U.S. Army
shipped him off to Germany--and she
wrote faithfully at least three times
a week--she often jokes this was the
start of her writing career!
followed, as well as three daughters.
Samantha left the detective work to
her husband and turned her attention
to raising their girls. When her youngest
was six months old, two things happened:
1) she read Moonstruck Madness by Laurie
McBain and scrambled to find every
historical romance she could lay her
hands on; 2) her older brother revealed
he was writing and submitting his short
stories to big-name magazines. As he
put it, "I've been rejected by the
best of 'em."
seed was planted. Rejection was a dreaded
word, but Samantha figured, "Well,
if he can take it, so can I."
summer, she wrote not one book, but
three--longhand, in a notebook, during
naptime. Bedtime. Any time she could.
The burning desire to write was a long
time in coming--she was nearing thirty
by then--but she discovered that once
she set pen to paper, she couldn't
three manuscripts did get the dreaded
rejection letter (they're still languishing
somewhere in her attic), but she finally
hit pay dirt with her fourth. Samantha's
brother promptly proposed collaborating
on a fantasy together--alas, still
unwritten... Nowadays, she's firmly
convinced she's the queen of rejected
titles for her books. She's only managed
to retain two original titles thus
far, but writing is indeed a dream
her books have been published in numerous
foreign countries (her daughters' number
one choice for show-and-tell were always
the foreign editions of Mom's books).
Known for her heartfelt, emotionally
charged "three-hanky reads", her books
have been nominated for numerous awards,
and have consistently hit the bestseller
someday she'll do that fantasy-romance
collaboration with her brother. For
now, she's having a great time spinning
dramatic, passionate tales of old...