Samy Ann will be giving away a free copy of her debut novel to a random commenter. Question: If you were reincarnated, what time period would you want to come from?
In modern day Chicago, deja vu draws together a handsome mounted policeman and the beautiful young woman who saves his life. A tender love story pulls the reader back to previous lives and a time richly elegant. Yesterday is also a harrowing tale of escape through the American Civil War and The Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In this historical romance, Mark fights through Amanda’s rejection to prove that she will love again as she once loved – Yesterday.
Yellow ringlets of flypaper dotted with black specks hung from thumbtacks pushed into the ceiling. A dim lightbulb dangled over the bed, trailing a knotted string. A hot, moist breeze from an open window lifted threadbare curtains and caused the string to sway. In the yard outside, a dog barked. On the pillow beside him lay a worn teddy bear, stuffing peeping from where its eye should be. House slippers slapped on the wooden floor.
“There, baby. Mama’s here.” She smiled wearily. Uncomprehending, Mark raised his eyes to the woman leaning over him. Loose blonde curls clung to her tear-streaked cheeks. His face was burning, breath coming in gulping gasps, and the rag she pressed to his forehead felt damp and cool.
The floorboards creaked under a heavy step. A man moved behind Mama and wrapped his arms around her. He whispered, “Honey, Calvin is gone.”
She closed her eyes, leaned her head back against his shoulder. “Calvin. Dear God.”
“Mrs. Gunderson is still in the other room.” The man wiped a red bandana across his brow. “She thinks Sissy might make it, but there’s not much hope for Joey.”
Joey? Is he talking about me?
Mama crushed the rag to her mouth, tears leaking from tightly closed eyes.
The soft glow from the bulb above him bloomed…bloomed and flooded the room with pure white light.
Dense blue fog swirled gently around him. Doors were dimly visible, but the numbers were wrong. 1732… 1751… 1764. Mark started to move to his left, then stopped, uncertain. I think—I think I died. But that was 1922. How the hell did I wind up here? He turned the knob.
About The Author
Samyann is a Chicago native. A lifelong fascination with the rich history of her city, coupled with an abiding curiosity about the intersection of past, present, and future, have led to the creation of a speculative masterpiece, Yesterday.
Aubrey: I am happy to introduce Samy Ann and her debut novel, Yesterday. What inspired you to write your current novel?
Samyann: After retirement from a busy life involving a great deal of travel, I found myself with a bit of time on my hands. As an avid reader, I wondered, like most people, if I had it within me to create—not ‘The Great American Novel’–but a story that had been in my mind for years. Inspiration was already there, in the simmering idea of a character fascinated with an antique clock and somehow involving a previous life. While researching the sounds and origins of clock chimes, I stumbled upon the story of St. Michael’s chimes and Yesterday, A Novel of Reincarnation, was born.
Aubrey: Isn’t amazing how an object and an idea in teh back of your head can turn into a novel? What inspired you to become an author?
Samyann: Quite frankly, I respect the whole concept of the profession and the idea of considering myself in that category is a little daunting. After all, throughout the history of writing, there are those that truly deserve the moniker ‘author’, i.e., Mark Twain, Tolkien, Shakespeare, etc., and I’m not so sure that esteemed group should include me. If I can bring pleasure to one person, let them escape, get lost, through my words to a different world, I’ve told a good story for that one person. Good enough for me.
Aubrey: And good enough for most of us. Is your novel part of a series? Can you tell me a little about the world you’ve created?
Samyann: No, Yesterday is not a series. It is the story of a young woman who has experienced tragedy and loss in her life and fears loving anyone again as a result. Via an amazing act of courage, she saves the life of a policeman. As Yesterday unfolds, we learn that the heroine and hero of the story have led previous lives. The historical aspects bring forth the terrors of escape from American Civil War through The Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Aubrey: Is there a hidden message in your story and if so what is it?
Samyann: I believe the hidden message would be to never give up hope, that love is a part of life that is there for the taking. You just have to open your heart and let it happen.
Aubrey: What an inspirational theme. What do you think reader will enjoy most about your novel?
Samyann: From the reviews I’ve received to date, I believe the reader will enjoy the 1800 period the most.
Aubrey: That would be me. So historical romance fans will also enjoy this. Did you use a critique partner or group to help with revisions and editing?
Samyann: Yes. I believe Yesterday, Chapter One was critiqued by close to eighty members of Scribophile.com. It had a great deal of input. The reason I kept the story open for critique was not only to polish the story, but also to listen to the input of my potential audience. People who write books also read them J.
Aubrey: Reader input can be invaluable to an author. What makes your novel unique? Why should I buy it?
Samyann: There aren’t very many good stories of reincarnation out there, plus there is a great deal of accurate historical detail. So, if you are interested in either topic, this story will be interesting.
Aubrey: What was the hardest part about writing this novel?
Samyann: Weaving accurate history into a love story.
Aubrey: The balance of research and plot is always a challenge. How long did it take you to write the novel versus revising it?
Samyann: It took 20 plus years of thinking about this story, about 2 years to write Yesterday, and about eight months of editing.
Aubrey: So this has been a labor of love. Which two mainstream authors would you say your work most closely resembles and why?
Samyann: Probably Jude Devereaux and possibly Nora Roberts, primarily because they are both authors of love stories and Jude Devereaux does a bit of time-travel.
Aubrey: I admire both of those authors. One Jude Devereaux book hooked me on a good romance. What piece of advice would you give a new author?
Samyann: Edit, polish, and edit again. When you are satisfied with the work, get it professionally edited.
Aubrey: Using an X meets Y approach, for example Lord of the Rings meets 50 Shades of Grey, how would you describe your novel?
Samyann: Wow. Yesterday isn’t like either of those books. It’s not YA and it’s not erotic … so … it’s a fairly wholesome love story historical in nature.
Aubrey: Is being an author your primary career?
Samyann: Given that I’m retired, I don’t really have a career. Writing is a wonderful hobby, however.
Aubrey: What is your favorite quote?
Samy Ann: “When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” -Neil Gaiman
Aubrey: What is your greatest writing strength? Weakness?
Samyann: Focus, in answer to both.
Aubrey: Ha! I know what you mean. What is the strangest thing currently housed in your refrigerator?
Samyann: Well, a character in Yesterday defined it as either bad lunchmeat or good cheese.
Aubrey: We’ll go with the cheese. What is the one thing about a book that will make you close the cover and not finish it?
Samyann: Misspellings or failure on the part of the author to edit. If I have the feeling that the author didn’t take the time required to correct minor issues, I don’t have the time to read the work.
Aubrey: What do you see as your next project and when can we expect it?
Samyann: Another exploration of romance and reincarnation involving Early 19th century during WWII. An elegant and simple time.
Aubrey: I love the WWII era. I can’t wait for the next one. It’s been wonderful having you here today. Good luck with Yesterday and your future novels. Are you having any giveaways today?
Samyann: I’d love to give away a copy of Yesterday to a random commenter. And I always appreciate another review. So far I have about 50 on Amazon, Goodreads and Audible.com. An author can never have too many reviews.
Connect with Samyann: