Growing up to be Jo March

I’m delighted to have a guest on my blog today. Author Samantha Dunaway Bryant has been kind enough to visit and introduce herself and her upcoming book to us. The page is yours, Samantha.


Growing up to be Jo March


I was always going to be a writer. You know, when I grew up. I had romantic visions of what that meant–mostly drawn from Louisa May Alcott’s Jo March in Little Women. I imagined it involving a lot of time spent alone in a lovely room (preferably a turret with a fireplace) making things up. It may sound solitary, but that was fine with me; I was a solitary child, preferring reading and writing to more raucous types of fun.

Still, I still thought I’d be famous in my own way. Somehow I thought that, if you were a writer, that automatically meant that people would read your work.

There was a lot I didn’t know.

I didn’t know that “growing up” is a relative process and that it was entirely possible to be over forty and still feel as if you’re waiting to be a real grown up.

I didn’t know that making a living solely as a writer was a rarity, and that writing a good story didn’t guarantee anyone would buy it or read it.

I didn’t know that living a writing life would turn out to be so social!

When I was about to turn forty-two, I realized it was time to commit and be a writer, rather than just talking about it. Like one of my characters, Helen describes, “Sometimes, Helen felt like she had spent her whole life waiting to be “old enough” and then had crossed over into “too old” without finding out what is was that she had been waiting for.”

That was me and I didn’t know what I was waiting for. It was time to take myself and my work seriously and give it a real shot. I committed to writing every day and began to finish the things I’d been playing with for years. Then, I started submitting them.

Happily, that means I can tell you that, just before my forty-fourth birthday, my debut novel, Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel will be published by Curiosity Quills Press (on April 23, 2015). You can preorder the Kindle version already!


So, now is the social part because I would like to make my living from my writing, like my role model Jo March, and in this day and age, that means finding ways to get readers to notice my book among the many available to their eyes.

It’s been hard for an introvert like me, but I’ve been reaching out to people, making blogger friends, and connecting with other writers. I’ll be holding a launch party for my book at a local independent bookstore (Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill). That makes it all feel very real!

So, now I’m living that childhood dream of being a writer. A published one even! I don’t yet have a writing room in a turret, though I do have a fireplace. I’m managing this with a day job (I teach middle school Spanish) and a family (my children are 15 and 7), so you can bet it’s not easy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I may be a little older than Jo March was now, but I’m still a woman of words, just like I always wanted to be.


Samantha’s book is available to preorder now



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mirymom
    Feb 20, 2015 @ 22:36:55

    Thanks so much for hosting me, Christine!



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