Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Before & After: Jeff Sampson

Jeff Sampson started writing professionally at eighteen, working on packaged series fiction—notably, the series Remnants by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant. Several years later, at twenty-two, he had his first book published as part of the Dragonlance series of fantasy novels. He wrote four more novels for that sequence, as well as the fantasy novel Monster Slayers under the pen name Lukas Ritter, before striking off with his YA debut: Vesper: A Deviants Novel, forthcoming from Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins in February 2011. Learn more at

Vesper comes out in two weeks, which is very soon but also very far away. I wake up each day in sort of a weird holding pattern, not entirely sure what I should be doing with myself. As is my way, my brain starts to run on hyperspeed and as a result I have a lot of conflicting emotions constantly playing havoc with my brain. There's excitement and satisfaction at knowing my book will finally in stores everywhere after four long years. But there's also nervousness and a tiny sense of dread -- what will happen when my book is out in the wild? Will readers connect with it? Will it get lost among all the other releases?

At the end of the day, I'm trying not to stress too much. It helps that at the moment I'm knee deep in revising Vesper's follow up, the second book in the Deviants series. Mostly I'm avoiding Googling myself, since less than stellar reviews tend to get me down and makes it hard to work. Occasionally, though, I'll succumb and I'll find just one really enthusiastic review. That helps me remember that while Vesper won't be for everyone, it will be for some people, and those people will be entertained and satisfied. And that's all I ever really wanted to accomplish.

So, basically: Emotions are ping ponging back and forth, but work keeps me as busy as ever. I have no idea where my thoughts will be at a few weeks after release. But I hope somewhere good!

It's been two weeks since Vesper hit the shelves and I'm actually, finally, pretty chill! I've gotten some very nice feedback from readers discovering the book for the first time. One email in particular, from a young woman who coincidentally shares the same name and personality as my main character, was especially cool.

Now that the big launch day has passed, I'm looking ahead. The second book in the Deviants series is finished and making its way through copy edits, and I'm setting in place all my plans for book #3, to make it as big and awesome as it can possibly be. I have other series I'm working on, too, including a potential new YA action series that I think will be rockin'.

Mostly I'm just glad that Vesper is now available to anyone who wants it. I hope anyone who takes the time to read it has a good time!

To read my review of Jeff's debut novel, Vesper, please click here.

Other Reviews for Vesper
Books With Bite
Good Books and Good Wine
The Unread Reader


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