December 4, 2013

12 days of writers - no. 3: samantha stroh bailey

Blogger's Note: Welcome to the 12 Days of Writing, Change the Word's annual December celebration. After two years of sharing writing tips, this year, I'm sharing 12 writers with you. For the first three weeks of December, you'll have a chance to meet 12 wonderful women and learn about their favorite holiday traditions.

Samantha Stroh Bailey is probably one of the sweetest, most encouraging people I've come to know on this writing journey of mine. She's a talented author, editor and blogger who has a can-do attitude she's willing to share with others. In addition to eagerly awaiting the release of her next novel, I hope to one day participate in one of Sam's Book Buzz events so I can finally have the chance to meet her.

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
Chanukah is such a special time of year for me because it’s about family, delicious food and giving my kids the gifts they’ve been clamoring for so long. Because Chanukah is eight days, a tradition is to give gifts every night after lighting the candles. I love shopping for the big gifts for my kids, usually given on the first and last nights, and the fun small gifts that the kids aren’t expecting. I’m not great at passing a toy store without going in and leaving with too many things so Chanukah gives me an excuse to finally say yes to everything my little ones want. I’ll never forget the gleeful looks on their faces when they got the Furby Boom and personalized necklace this year. Though that Furby is really creepy.

What is a must-have eat or treat this time of year?
Is there anything better than potatoes soaked in oil? Maybe not great for the heart or waistline, latkes are crispy, greasy and so delicious that I can eat an entire panful.

What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
This is a hard question because I’m very easy to please so all someone has to do is hand me a wrapped box with something in it, and I’m happy. But I’d have to say my laptop, which was a present from me to me. I’d opened my freelance writing/editing business, and until then, I wrote my novels in notebooks, on my PC and any scraps of paper that were lying around. I’ll never forget when I booted that baby up and started working.

What is your favorite holiday read and watch?

My absolute favorite holiday watch is Love, Actually. The humor and poignancy behind all of the different relationships, the setting, the little boy—oh, just talking about it makes me want to watch it again. I think I’ve seen it a hundred times. And my favorite read? I don’t actually read a lot of holiday stories, but this year I bought Merry Chick Lit, which is an anthology of short stories. Not only are the stories funny, heartwarming and very well-written, but all of the proceeds from sales of the book go to Rocking the Road for a Cure, a charity that helps women suffering from breast cancer. Also, I have Merry & Bright on my Kindle, which is the anthology featuring your story, Twelve Drummers Drumming, and I’m excited to read that.

What’s one New Year’s resolution you’re making for 2014?
It’s the same resolution I make every year and manage to do it for about a month. Stop worrying. I worry about everything, and though I try so hard to live in the moment, inevitably my mind wanders to all of the things I have to do and haven’t, everyone’s health, my writing and business…it’s endless. So, every year, I promise myself that when I start thinking too much, I’ll tell myself, “It’s all good.” This year my resolution is to keep that zen-like feeling for two months. At least.

About the Author
Samantha Stroh Bailey is a mom, author, journalist and professional writer/editor with her business, Perfect Pen Communications. She was a Kobo Writing Life writer-in-residence at BEA 2013 and is the co-founder of “Book Buzz,” an interactive author/reader event held in New York City and Toronto. She has a Master of Education that looks great on her wall (okay, in a box in her basement), and when not writing, she can be found curled up on her couch reading until the wee hours. Finding Lucas is her first novel.

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  1. Thank you, Laura! I think you're amazing, and I was very honored to be included in your 12 Days of Writers.

  2. Sam has been one of the most encouraging and positive people I've met online. Great post and wonderful feature of a beautiful person!

    1. She really is wonderful. Thank you for following the series, Martha.

    2. Oh, Martha, I'm so touched. I think you are one of the most supportive and kind authors I know. Thank you!

    3. Sam is AMAZING!! (So is Laura. So is Martha! Man what an amazing group of gals you are!)

  3. I agree with Martha! Sam, you are one of the most supportive and kind writers I've met online. I can't thank you enough for all your encouragement. And Finding Lucas is one of my all-time favorite books! Great post - it was fun to read about your holiday traditions. I especially love your resolution. I'm going to join you in trying to stop worrying!

    1. Thank you, Patricia! We can stop worrying together. :) Oy, I owe you an email!

  4. I've never had a latke but, after reading this, I am craving one! It sounds so delicious!! Love that resolution, Sam! I'm going to try to stop worrying as well! 'It's all good' will be my new mantra! :) And I have to echo Martha and Patricia's comments about how awesome you are!! Connecting with (and meeting!) one of my favourite authors has been nothing short of amazing!! You rock!

    1. You're one of my favorite authors, too, Cat, and I miss you. Thank you!

  5. I adore you Sam! I agree that the Furby is creepy and that latkes are DELICIOUS. I also agree that you worry too much and that you are extremely encouraging and loveable. XOXO.

  6. What else can be said except I love you very much and you always delight me! Happy Holidays, ladies! xox

  7. You had me at crispy and greasy.

    Sam's the best! So glad to have "met" her online, and like you, Laura, I'm hoping to some day make it to Book Buzz so I can meet her for reals!

    Great resolution. Damn, everyone's got such good resolutions. I'm going to have a long list of them to make by the end of this series!

  8. Aw, Sam, I see your sweetness is in full force during the holidays - loving every gift you get (your husband must be thrilled about this!) ;), getting so much joy out of making the holidays special for your kids, reading all of your friends' books. You definitely embody the holiday spirit!

    And the fact that you can maintain a "zen" attitude for even a month is an accomplishment, kudos to you for that. I can't even do it for a 24-hour period! I wonder if this worrying thing is a writerly trait, or just a curse of our gender? I think we all need to save up our money and go to a peaceful spa in Tahiti where hot guys in sarongs can wait on us, give us foot rubs, etc. ;)

    Thank you for being your lovely self all year-long! I'm looking forward to the release of your second book some time in 2014! ;)