Thursday, March 19, 2015

RI Author Feature: Interview with Sammie Grace

I have been lucky enough to have the busy Sammie Grace stop by today for an interview.  If you have been following my blog you will have seen my review of the first two books in her Cozy Harbor Series, Fish Perfume and Toe to Toe.
Ang: Thank you so much for joining us today Sammie. How about we just jump right into this interview since we are both a little nervous.  The setting for Fish Perfume and Toe to Toe seems to be mostly at a Marina, do you live or work near a marina for inspiration?
Sammie: I live near several marinas and my husband has a fishing boat.  I’ve been experiencing the marina life for years and it’s been a boatload of fun.

Ang: What was your first job? Did you always want to be an author?

Sammie: One of my first jobs was as a receptionist at a marina/yacht brokerage in Southern California.  It was a fun job and I met a lot of colorful characters.  That’s where I discovered I have great sea legs.  Good thing too, since I married a sailor.

I’ve always been a big reader and like a lot of people, I would dream about becoming an author myself one day.  I would write short stories for fun, but I found the thought of writing a full-length novel overwhelming.  I’m so glad I finally pushed myself to do it.

We are sure glad that you did push yourself because now we have 2 great books in the Cozy Harbor series so far!

Ang: What is your favorite time or place to work on your writing?
Sammie: I have an office in my  home and I usually write in the afternoon, mainly because that's the time of day that I have a good chunk of time to focus on it.
 Ang: I see that you have an adorable black lab named Lucy.  Is she an inspiration for your writing, or is she more of a distraction (especially on those sunny days when chasing a ball is more fun than sitting at a desk)?
Sammie: My dog Lucy is a hot mess but she’s a good distraction from my writing.  She’s always available to go for a long walk when I need to clear my head and organize my thoughts.  It’s also wonderful to stretch my muscles after sitting at the computer for too long.  Lucy also acts as a sounding board.  She thinks whatever I say is fascinating.  Dogs are the best.

Dogs do seem to make good writing companions, you can bounce ideas off of them and they don't tell you any of them are crazy, they just smile with that tongue and wag those tails (or stumps in my dog's case).
Ang: I know a lot of writers have a special food that they devour during crunch time, what is your favorite writing zone food?
Sammie: For most authors I know, their favorite writing zone food is chocolate.  For me, it’s all about pretzels.  I grew up in Philly eating soft pretzels on a daily basis.  I have to say, I’ve never met a pretzel I didn’t like.

Oh gosh, I have such a weakness for soft pretzels, something about that soft warm inside the salty crust, dipped in some ranch dressing or warm cheese sauce yum.
Ang: And since we are focusing on local authors, I thought we could talk a little about Rhode Island itself.
Sammie: Rhode Island is a quirky place.  I feel the quirkiness adds to its charm.  When I first moved here I was trying to get my bearings and found myself very confused.  I asked my husband, “There’s a whole alphabet, why does every other town name start with a W?”  To say that Rhode Politics are amusing is an understatement and I can’t tell you how many times when I didn’t understand something, people would just tell me, “It’s a Rhode Island thing.”  I also learned early on that every knows everyone in Rhode Island.  If you are at the hairdresser’s and you’re talking about someone, there’s a pretty good chance that the woman in the next chair getting highlights is the cousin of the person you’re talking about.  Overall though, I feel very fortunate to live in Rhode Island.  It’s a beautiful state with so many scenic places to visit and enjoy.  
Ang: Can you describe the perfect Rhode Island day?
Sammie: A perfect day in summer in my opinion would start out with a walk along the Cliff Walk in Newport in the early morning.  Next, stop in Jamestown for a cup of coffee and watch the boats come and go in the bay.  Pack a lunch and spend the afternoon at one of the beautiful South County beaches.  Go to dinner at one of the great restaurants in the area.  After dinner, I recommend taking a walk along the seawall in Narragansett.
In winter, a perfect day for me would start with a ride to the airport so I could hop on a plane going south.

That summer day does sound so relaxing and pleasant! After this winter I can't say that I blame you for plans to head south hahaha!

Ang: What site should visitors make a point to visit on a trip to RI?
Sammie: When a person visits Rhode Island, they should put a visit to Newport on the top of their lists of things to do.  To me, Newport is the crown jewel of Rhode Island.  It has it all, mansions, majestic views, great restaurants and let’s not forget the shopping.

Ang: What is your favorite restaurant and dish to order?
Sammie: My favorite restaurant is the Matunuck Oyster Bar.  I usually order the Oyster Sampler and the Seared Scallops.  YUM!
Thank you so much for joining us today and sharing a little bit about yourself and the state of Rhode Island!
To learn more about Sammie Grace and her books please stop by her Goodreads Page, Website or follow her on Twitter.
Sammie Grace lives in Rhode Island with her husband and her diva dog Lucy. She grew up in Philadelphia in a large Irish family. Sammie got her love of reading from her mother, who always encouraged all her kids to pick up a book and get out of her hair. When Sammie is not writing, you can find her on the golf course, working in the garden or walking the dog.

Sammie likes to write books that make people laugh and feel good about life and love.


  1. Great interview! You guys are totally making me want to go to RI... in the summer. Definitely the summer.

    1. Haha come on over but definitely wait for summer!