Happy Wednesday and welcome to my stop on The Last Word blog tour!! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Samantha Hastings! Read on to find out what her current favorite book is and how she chooses the names for her characters, plus follow the rest of the tour and enter a giveaway for a print copy of The Last Word!!!The Last Word by Samantha Hastings
Published on July 9, 2019 by Swoon Reads
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance
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1861. Miss Lucinda Leavitt is shocked when she learns the author of her favorite serialized novel has died before completing the story. Determined to learn how it ends, Lucinda reluctantly enlists the help of her father’s young business partner, Mr. David Randall, to track down the reclusive author’s former whereabouts.
David is a successful young businessman, but is overwhelmed by his workload. He wants to prove himself to his late father, as well as to himself. He doesn’t have the time, nor the interest, for this endeavor, but Lucinda is not the type to take no for an answer.
Their search for the elusive Mrs. Smith and the rightful ending to her novel leads Lucinda and David around the country, but the truths they discover about themselves—and each other—are anything but fictional.
What’s your current favorite book?
I read several books a week, but my current favorite is Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen. It’s like a Jane Austen romance but with more action and mystery. I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of it, so add it to you To Be Read list. It comes out December 3, 2019.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
When a Victorian young woman got married, they would tie a pair of her slippers to the back of the carriage to signify she was no longer her father’s responsibility. It’s kind of a weird Victorian pre-cursor to our modern tradition of decorating the bride/groom’s car.
How did you choose the names for your characters?
To find period appropriate names, I use names from my family history. Both last names and first names. Lucinda Leavitt is my fifth-great-grandmother. But I’m also guilty writing and yelling to my family: “I need a character. Give me a name.” And then typing in whatever name they call out.
What are some readalikes for your book?
The Last Word is like Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, with all the banter but no body parts. If you like strong female historic heroines like in The Lady’s Guide to Piracy and Petticoats by Mackenzi Lee, you’ll love Lucinda Leavitt who is a feminist and stem girl. If you like historical romances by Jane Austen and Cindy Anstey, The Last Word is a read-a-like.
If Lucinda were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
I think both Lucinda and David would have a great time bantering with Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell from Kerri Maniscalco’s Stalking Jack the Ripper series.
Lucinda would definitely be drawn to friendships with other strong female characters like: Donatella Dragna from Stephanie Garber’s Caraval series, Everly Donovan from Emily R. King’s The Evermore Chronicles, and Mary Quinn from Y. S. Lee’s The Agency series.
What would you do if you spent the day with Lucinda? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
I would take her to the mall and buy her a pair of jeans. I think they would be life changing for her. Then we’d go to a bookstore and spend too much money buying all our favorite books. Next, I’d introduce her to Café Rio for some really good Mexican food. Then we’d go see a chick-flick at the movie theatre and get lots and lots of popcorn.
Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. The Last Word is her debut novel.