Writing a Novel

Luce Launch Book Party at Denver Deep Dish Pizza

10389967_10100294746847076_7815068059528618322_nAttending a party thrown in your honor is a little awkward. I remember my high school graduation party—lots of great cake, punch, and friends and family congratulating me. On the one hand, I felt a lot of pride at my accomplishments. On the other, a “why is everyone looking at me?” discomfort. That’s a bit how I felt during the launch of Luce as well! I’m lucky to have Tami Milbrandt, a friend and expert marketer, helping me with the marketing for my books. She planned every detail of the party, from the surprise champagne toast to the arrangement of the book-signing table and much, much more. IMG_1287She arranged for the party to be held at Denver Deep Dish, a new, hip deep-dish pizza establishment in the super-cool Highlands neighborhood of Denver. Many attendees commented to me that they hadn’t heard of Denver Deep Dish, but would certainly be coming again soon!

Luce MenuFirst of all, let me say that the food was amazing. Tami orchestrated a Dynam-and-Luce themed menu that really hit the spot. The pepperoni pizza is quite literally award-winning, and you can tell! “The Calista,” my drink of choice for the evening was also a favorite with cucumber vodka, a champagne float, and you guessed it—a little Saint Germaine.

One of the most surreal moments of the night was when someone came up to the book signing table and earnestly asked, "Why did you change from 'Samantha Peterson' to 'S. M. Peterson'? Is that what the fans wanted?" I laughed. Fans? Do I have fans? No... I just know some really cool people who happen to spend some of their precious time reading my books. Those aren't fans... Are they?

I was so incredibly touched at the number of people who came by—members of my book club , friends from hours away, and fans I hadn’t met yet. A few notable guests were my aunt, uncle and cousin, who surprised me by driving all the way from Iowa to join us. What an amazing family I have! I also had the chance to catch up with my cover designer, Christopher Cover, who traveled from New Hampshire to attend and explore Denver. Thank you to everyone for helping me celebrate!luce ladies

If you didn’t make it to the event, you missed a great party! You can check out all the photos from the event on the Dynam Facebook Page.

If you haven't purchased your copies of Dynam and Luce, now is your chance! Grab them on Amazon today:



Thank you for your incredible support!


S. M. Peterson

Acknowledgements in the Novel - Dynam

Hey all! My publishing date is moved back due to a VERY long flu that attacked me this week. But I did get a chance to achieve a small win -- acknowledgements in the novel. Here they are!




I would like to express my appreciation for those individuals who helped me take a vague idea and turn it into my first novel. I couldn’t have done it without you!


To those who suffered through my first draft, good karma will certainly find you. Julianne Brasher, Joelle Carlson, Brittany Conrad, Melissa Gangl, Raissa Johnson, Barb Peterson, Katie Ryan-Anderson, Sarah Vergara.


To those friends who helped me bring the cover art and the website to fruition, thank you so much. It’s always awesome to have friends who are more talented than I am. Julianne Brasher of Julianne Brasher Photography, Jaime Palmucci of Debutante Media, Taylor Trask of Strategic Blend.


To those people who love me so much they never let me give up. You are my family. I love you. Barb Peterson, Rick Peterson, Justin Peterson, Tania (Juarez) Peterson, Chris Depew, Julianne Brasher, Joelle Carlson, Brittany Conrad, Katie Ryan-Anderson.


I found it easy to write the acknowledgements section.

If you've ever written acknowledgements in novels, what challenges did you encounter?



Marketing a Novel! - I've Written Something. What now?

So you've written your novel. Someone edited it. It looks all perfect and shiny on your screen. What now?

It's time to learn about marketing a novel! If you've ever considered how to do this, you might have been completely overwhelmed by all of the opportunity for great exposure! As someone with a background in marketing, I enjoy reviewing and analyzing all of the various choices in an attempt to figure out what type of ROI you may get from each one. You would think that someone with a creative brain wouldn't be interested in the nitty-gritty of numbers-based decisions. But I'm a weirdo.

And of course, the best marketing is FREE marketing!

I set up my author profile on Goodreads last week. Why is it that when you start marketing something, it feels more "real" than it did before the marketing? Here is my new Author Profile on Goodreads! And here is Dynam's Book Listing! Yowza! Look at that! I'm a real girl (not to be confused with Lars and the Real Girl).

I absolutely adore Goodreads, though I am curious to see what happens to the site with the recent acquisition by Amazon. As an author, it is extremely easy to set up your author profile and learn to use the site for marketing purposes.

I also got Dynam's Facebook page set up this week!  Success!

I'm so excited to get the word out there! I can hardly wait to put my marketing budget to good use.

What things have you learned about marketing a novel?




Writing a Novel! From Childhood Poems to a Novel

For as long as I can remember, I've loved reading and writing. As a girl, I used to stretch out like a cat in front of our wood burning stove on a rug and read for hours on end. My dad commanded the remote control at all times, so rather than watch sports or documentaries-which I was not particularly interested in-I would consume books. We lived just one mile outside of our small town in Nebraska, and I would often ride my bike into town and pick out some books from the library. The librarian always looked upon me kindly as I nervously asked if I could take home more and more books at a time. Why was I nervous to ask to take MORE books home than was usual? No idea. But at the time, it seemed pretty damn scary.

We had writing classes in elementary school, which meant even more exercise in stories and creativity. I loved making up stories and poems. The exhilarating freedom of creating a world or person from thin air and writing it down as truth was tantalizing. But I never dreamed of writing a novel.

One day last year, I found a poem I wrote in fourth or fifth grade I thought I would share. It’s pretty weird.  But hey, most creative people are a little strange.



The Thing

By Samantha Peterson (Year: 1995)

The Thing came from beneath the sink, It was slimy and oily and boy, did it stink. I’ve always tried to avoid that place, With that slimy green thing and it’s purplish face.
But one day Mom said, “I really should think,” “That’ you’d notice what a mess is that porcelain sink,” “Please help me clean it I don’t have the time,” “If you clean it well I will give you a dime.”
“And now,” said my mom, “I am off to my job,” “Don’t spend all day playing with your friend Bob,” So I picked up the phone and called Bob, my friend, “I can’t play till two,” he said, “I have clothes I must mend.”
“Well bye,” I said and hung up the phone, And that is when I heard the loud groan. I walked to the sink and thought it must be the thing, It gave out noises and grunts and even a ping.
Then all was quiet and I knew that I must, Clean the sink well before it started to rust. So I got out the scrubbers and started to scrub, And then on my leg, I felt a strange rub.
It was tiny at first, and ever so small. I refused to go, and I reached for the wall. But the thing pulled me into the sink’s dark place, I saw that slimy green thing with its purplish face.
I shrieked and I screamed, I raised quite a fuss. But I was no match for that slimy muss. And then that green thing, just pulled off my face. And smoothed it on him with his own embrace.
Then he took all my clothes and got all dressedup. He looked at my things, even my plate and cup. Then he called my friend Bob, and said, “Come and play,” And that thing and Bob played all the rest of the day.
Then Mom came home and said, “Here is your dime,” “Thanks for cleaning the sink, I did not have the time,” And so now I’m the thing beneath the sink. I am slimy and oily and boy, do I stink.
Everyone tries to avoid this place, Cause I’m a slimy green thing with a purplish face. And OH! How I’m looking for a child to take, too. Are you absolutely sure that it is not you?

Like I said, I was a creepy little kid. But hey, my mom liked it. And that's good enough for me.

In any case, reading through poems and short stories I constructed as a child helped me gain the courage to begin writing a novel, my first! After all, if I was that unabashedly weird at such a tender age, why should I change now?

And so, in late November 2012 I sent out on a journey to write my first novel.