Today Samantha Durante, author of Stitch (click to buy on Amazon) is here to answer some questions and promote her book. Read on for an interview and a review!
Stitch, by Samantha Durante, is a truly unique story that will keep you guessing and wanting more. Alessa is a college freshman who lost her parents in a tragic car accident nearly a year before the story begins. She is still struggling with her grief and feelings of displacement as she begins college, so the adjustment is harder for her than it is for most freshmen. She joins a sorority, hoping that it will feel like a home. It doesn’t, but something interesting does happen.
It turns out the sorority house has a history, and part of that history includes a ghost named Isaac. At first Isaac only shows up for seconds at a time. Alessa can see him but he can’t see her. She is drawn to him, and she experiences powerful emotions every time he is near. In addition, Alessa is having strange dreams. Is Isaac involved? What’s their connection? Is Alessa simply processing her grief over her parents, or is this real? Is Isaac even is a ghost, or is everything the reader has assumed so far actually wrong?
All of these questions and more are answered in Stitch, which I definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys YA lit, especially tales like The Hunger Games or Divergent. Unlike these books, Stitch is written in third person rather than first. I tend to prefer first person because I like a close connection to main character. However, if that connection is lacking in the first few chapters, it becomes more developed later on, and Durante’s attention to mood and setting are very well done.
At only $2.99 you can’t go wrong. I definitely recommend giving Stitch a try.
1.) I like to do ten-word posts on my blog. Can you describe the story of your book in exactly ten words?
Alessa sees a ghost, but not really! Sci-fi twists abound…
2.) What is the theme or the message of your novel, and how did you incorporate it into your writing?
Though Stitch starts out as a paranormal romance, at its core it’s really a dystopian story. However, this first book was mainly about world-building and getting to know the characters, so the dystopian themes will be explored in more depth throughout the later books in the series (it’s planned to be a trilogy).
In this first book, I’d say the main themes were about people being who they are, regardless of circumstances, and (this sounds so cheesy but I can’t think of another way to say it) the power of love and how your feelings for another person – romantic or just love for a family member or friend – can enable you to do things you never thought possible.
I can’t give too much detail about how I worked these in without giving away spoilers, but in vague terms, I established who each of the characters were – and the depth of their relationships to each other – before writing any of the story, and I tried to stay true to those definitions before and after the twist. No matter where you find this character, you’ll see that some things about them will never change, and their motivations are usually clear because they’re mostly driven by the need to protect their loved ones in a dangerous world.
3.) What did you enjoy most about writing this particular book?
Revealing the twist! I shared a few chapters a week with my beta readers as I wrote the story and it was so much fun to see their predictions each week of what was going to happen as the direction of the story changed. I could not WAIT to get to the chapters where I finally revealed the twist, and they were just totally knocked over the head with it - no one saw it coming! And the best part was that they all totally bought into it and loved the way the story changed and took on a new urgency once they knew what was really happening. Now that the book is published, most readers are having the same reaction and it’s been so much fun to talk to people about their experience reading Stitch and what they thought of it. It’s definitely a different kind of book and I’ve been so thrilled to see so many people reacting so positively to it. :-)
4.) If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?
I actually did a guest post on this topic a little earlier in the tour, and I’m SO excited about the actors I chose! Emmy Rossum for Alessa, Alex Pettyfer for Isaac, Willa Holland for Janie and Robbie Amell for Joe – check out the photos over at Kindred Dreamhart!
5.) What inspired you to become a writer? Are there any favorite authors or books you can name?
I just absolutely love to read, and I especially loved to read trilogies or long series where you’re just sucked into this epic journey in an amazing new world and can stay there for hours and hours at a time. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Twilight, Eragon, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones are some of my favorite series and definitely inspired me to try to create something immersive and fun that readers could really get into. Stitch is my very first novel and my main goal was to write something that I (as a reader) would love, so that’s what I set out to do! Hopefully other readers will feel the same!
Thanks so much, Laurel, for hosting the Stitch Blog Tour!! Anyone who’s interested in following along can find the full schedule here and I’m also posting daily updates to my author and Stitch Facebook pages! So excited to share Stitch with readers!