Samantha Sotto on Her Debut Novel Before Ever After

Blogs, Twitter, and Things That Go Bump in the Night
By Samantha Sotto

Forget the Boogie Man and the monster under the bed that likes to eat my right slipper. As a certified cave-dwelling, pajama-wearing writer, there are other things that I find far more terrifying.

Blog posts. Twitter. Facebook. Decaf Coffee.

After spending more than a year working on my debut novel, Before Ever After, emerging from the safety and solitude of my little writer’s cave was daunting. Remaining holed up in it, however, was not an option. If I wanted readers and reviewers to discover this book, then I needed to buckle down and treat social media the same way I had treated school. In short, it was time to brush my hair, change out of my pajamas, and start interacting. First stop, the Blogosphere.

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I used to think the most anxiety-filled time of my life was when my novel was out on submission to publishers was. I was wrong. Pressing the “Publish” button for my first blog post was. A million questions zipped through my mind as I sent my first post out into the world. Will anyone read it? Will it make friends? Will I go crazy stalking my “comment box?”

The answer to all of those questions turned out to be a resounding “yes.” Blogging evolved from something that pushed me to the brink of panic attacks into something that I actually began to enjoy. I’ve made real connections with people I otherwise would never have met, and have discovered that virtual hugs from friends thousands of miles away are as warm as real ones.

Having conquered my blogging fears, I was ready for more torture, er, Twitter.

Twitter was 140 characters of panic. There were no rewrites to make me sound smarter than I really was. I needed to find some wit. Fast.

(And yes, that last paragraph was officially a “Tweet.” Go ahead. Count. I know you want to. One hundred forty characters exactly. I may not be part of the Twitterati, but I’ve brushed up on my Twitter Speak. #iamnotadinosaur)

Tweeting has proven to be rather fun and I’ve enjoyed the updates and exchanges with my Tweeps. It also makes me feel a whole lot closer to Neil Gaiman. (Only 1,584,415 other followers know that he wasn’t listening to 80s dance music while running on the beach yesterday.)

And as if I wasn’t twitterpated enough, I ventured into Facebook. For the record, setting up my author page was the most nerve-wracking experience to-date. (Did I mention I am a sucker for punishment?) Why on earth would people “like” a page of an author whose book isn’t even out yet? Were they just supposed to take my word for it? Worse, was I asking them to “like” me? This was like throwing a party and then holding your breath while waiting for people to show up. Luckily, the canapés helped, and every now and then, I pass around brownies. (“Like” me and I’ll email you the recipe.) I’ve also been known to do a happy dance on the page to keep things interesting.

I would never have imagined that I could make peace with the monsters in my closet. My blog, tweet deck and facebook page weren’t so different from my cave after all. They were just much larger rooms where I could have more friends over for pizza without bumping into a stalactite.

Decaf coffee, however, is another story.

samantha-sottoSAMANTHA SOTTO fell in love with Europe’s cobbled streets and damp castles when she moved to the Netherlands as a teenager. Since then, she has spent nights huddled next to her backpack on a Greek beach, honeymooned in Paris, and attended business meetings in Dusseldorf in the pleasant company of a corporate credit card. Before Ever After was inspired by her experiences living, studying, and traveling through Europe. This is her first novel.

Visit Samantha Sotto online at and on Facebook and Twitter @samanthasotto.

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

  • Tiffany D.

    I am so happy to see this book as a read it first giveaway. I have been wanting to read this so badly. I hope I am chosen! Thanks RIF!

  • Julie Fossum

    This sounds like a must read for me.

  • Ruth Cotto

    I would love to win this freebie 🙂

  • Jenn

    Definately a book I wanna check out ! 🙂

  • Patricia

    Cannot wait to read this book. All places that I would like to visit.

  • Becky

    Can’t wait to read this one!

  • Tiffany

    I love read it forward and how the site is dedicated to letting you know a little about the author and then their book Samantha Sotto sounds like an amazing woman who has experienced a lot in her travels around the world and draws motivation I also liked the video and the plot for the book i cant wait to read it it sounds very interesting.

  • Alicia W.

    This book sounds right up my alley … I love debut novels!

  • Lauren

    Thanks for the oppurtunity!!! Looking forward to a good read!!

  • Laura Bolin

    would love to read this book

  • Paola

    I want one! 🙂

  • Susan Bennett

    Would love to have some end of the summer reading

  • Sunnymay

    The back and forth angst one goes through when creating a novel is like growing a plant from seed. There’s a lot of nurturing and steps to go through for it to bloom into something that has roots. Love the blog.

  • Crystal Blotsky

    Sounds like a very intriguing story! Would love to read this.

  • Brookie Hofmann

    Wow, this book is so amazing and I would love to receive a cop of it. This is definitely one of my favorites. It is amazing what this author does with words and paper. Thank you so much for this opportunity I will tell my friends and hope that they too receive a FREE BOOK! Once again…thanks. : )
    Brookie Hofmann

  • cynthia Goldberg

    I read what the book is about and it sounds very intriguing. I do not usually read a lot of books. I find late since I got sick i have a hard time focusing which sometimes can make it hard to read and get get something from it. I find it easier when I have a book I’m extremely excited to read. From what I read about your book it seems like something that can keep my attention. I sincerely thank you for your time.

  • Erin

    Can’t wait to read the whole book!

  • Connie Porter Broeffle

    I LOVE IT….

  • Molly

    Love the honesty from the author. I can’t wait to read her book.


    This book sounds very interesting I like to read books that talk about far away places.

  • Eileen Murphy-LePine

    Im hoping I get the opprotunity to get this book through the Read It Forward program….could always use a GOOD book for summer relaxation!

  • Janet

    Congrats on your publication! I actually started out blogging, which led me to learn more about publishing and found other writers to bond with. I love Twitter for the community, information and fun. I am not quite ready to break out on the Facebook (yet!) but agree that social media is an important part of the writing process these days. While I complete my first novel, I am learning about revision, querying and, yes, dealing with rejection. It should be a lot easier to face when I am ready to publish!

  • Kallie Edge

    I would love to win a copy of this novel! I am a new stay at home mommy of twin baby boys who are my universe…I have been reading to them ever since they were in the belly. I love reading & when they nap I take a half hour to read then again at night before bed…reading is zen for me.

  • Madaline

    So excited to read this

  • Jessica Boyle

    before ever after

  • Miranda

    I cannot wait to read this novel. It sounds like something I could get absolutely lost in!

  • Helen

    i only just ventured onto Facebook and just with my toe first…i guess i must give Twitter a try. And no decaf..what a crime to do that to coffee


    Loved watching the preview, would enjoy reading the story in it’s entirety.

  • Rachel Yant

    like to read this book i usually dont read

  • Stephanie

    I teach literacy and love to share books I am reading with my students! It is always nice to share a new title and then enter into a discussion with my students after they have read it.

  • Jody

    pick me, pick me!!!! 🙂

  • Nancye Davis

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • April

    I’m definitely intrigued & looking forward to reading this one. Would love to win this this book, if not it’s still going on my list of books to check read.

  • Carol Miles

    Would like to read this so I am hoping for a win!!!

  • Carol Miles

    I would like to read this.

  • marcia Hardell

    I have never been to Europe but would love to read this story………..from marcia in CT

  • Susan

    Sounds like a great book

  • Judy Woodruff

    I would love tp win Thank you. Sounds like a terrific read.

  • Courtney

    I would love to read this!

  • susan quenzer

    Looks like a great read!

  • maria lueck

    I hope you pick me!

  • Lucy

    I would love to win this one! 🙂

  • Valerie Strawmier

    Sounds like an amazing story–can’t wait to read it! Pick me, pick me, lol! 🙂

  • Michaela Gibbs

    I look forward to reading it 🙂

  • LuAnn Morgan

    I’m also looking forward to reading this one!

  • Leslie Asher

    I really can’t wait to read this book.

  • Diana Cahalane

    I am so happy that I will be receiving a copy of Before
    Ever After. I love to read, and am looking forward to reading this book. It sounds just like my type of book to read.

  • Keri

    I would love to enjoy this book.

  • Vickie Marshall

    Sounds like a good read!

  • Renae

    Looks like a great read! Looking forward to it.

  • Dorina

    I would love to read this book that has an interesting story line written by an author that I’ve never read!

  • Gayle Lin

    I would love to read this. It’s on my list whether or not I win.

  • Leona Olson

    I read this book and need to do a review. It is a very good read.

  • kim johnston

    Samantha Sotto sounds like me… boggiemen, friendship, and a storyteller. Yes, I’ll try this book!

  • Karen

    Finally something for mommy to read!

  • ann

    sounds interesting! :]

  • Paula

    Have been seeing very good things about this book on some bookblogs.

  • stephanie polonyfis

    hope this book is as good as it sounds.. looking forward to it..

  • Suzie

    I would love to read this book.

  • Diane Dicke

    This looks good!!

  • Tina

    I would love to read this book.

  • autumn

    cant wait!:)

  • Helena

    A frank account from a debut novelist. Lovely read.

  • Summer Grinstead

    This sounds like a gread read!

  • Norma Vieweg

    I would love to read this book, it sounds so interesting.

  • Beth Kisiel

    I absolutely loved this novel. Shelly’s story and her journey will keep you mesmerized. I could not put this novel down. I read the entire book on a Saturday afternoon, the day I received my copy. I can’t wait to read more from Ms. Sotto.

    Thank You!!!


  • Ronna High

    What a great novel! I just received this book and enjoyed every bit of it. You can’t put it down until you are finished. I am looking forward to reading more from Ms. Sotto!

    Thank you!

  • Melissa Nassraway

    Thank you so much for this book! It was wonderful! Read it in two days and enjoyed every bit of it!

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