I’m so glad to introduce you to Samantha Sotto, who is all set to launch her first novel: Before Ever After. You can take a virtual tour of her novel here and visit her blog ‘The Slight Detour’.


It’s always exciting to meet writers and I love to pick up little tips and wisdom from them.  I was happy to connect with Samantha on a writing network and found her a very warm and friendly person.  She was very willing to share one of her posts with the readers of Everyday Gyaan.

Samantha,  I wish you luck with the ‘Before Ever After’ – I’m sure it’s going to be a hit! And that won’t be a surprise! 😉


May you be inspired – everyday!

*waves to everyone and passes around brownies*
Thanks for the warm welcome, Corinne! I’m thrilled to be here! Um, okay. I lied. I’m actually TERRIFIED. Why? Come a little closer and I’ll tell you. Closer. A little more. Perfect. *whispers* I’m here to tell you a little secret which may result in one or all of the following:

a. You will think I’m strange
b. You will think I’m very strange

Okay. Here it goes. *takes a deep breath*

I HATE surprises – even “good” ones. They give me hives. I like to see what’s coming from a mile away. Two, if possible. Surprise parties, mystery gifts, unexpected visitors – they are the quickest way to give me a heart attack.

At least, that’s how I felt about surprises until I wrote Before Ever After.



BEFORE EVER AFTER follows the story of Shelley, a young widow who discovers that her dead husband may in fact be very much alive—which would be wonderful if the bearer of this news wasn’t her thirty-two-year-old husband’s thirty-two-year-old grandson. Shelley’s search for answers takes her from revolutionary Paris to medieval Prussia to ancient Venice, and finally to a place where she discovers whether love is truly everlasting.

Writing this novel taught me the value of surprise on the page and off. The post Corinne has selected to share with you explains why. It’s a short post I wrote in the early days of my blog, a month into the decision to chronicle my journey to publication. Now, three months away from releasing Before Ever After into the wild, I can tell you that if there’s one post that I continue to reflect on, it is this:

One of the first rules my first boss ever taught me was to have no surprises. I took it to heart and made a career out of making plans and contingencies for contingencies. When my path veered towards writing, I quickly realized that it was the first rule I needed to break.

Whether we’re sitting through Inception, watching an episode of Fringe or reading a novel, we want one thing: To be presented with something so unexpected that it makes us throw our heads back, gasp, and wonder what’s going to happen next.

@ We Heart It

As a writer, I want – need – the experience of writing a book to be the same way. This is not something that comes naturally to me. I prefer my life to be curve ball free. I’m uncomfortable with every shade of out of the blue. I realize though, that if I knew exactly what my characters were going to do or where each turn of the story would go, I wouldn’t have the will to finish the novel – and neither would the reader.


Writing has taught me to be more tolerant, if not more appreciative of the unexpected in real life. Like plot twists, I suppose the universe throws them at us to keep things interesting and to keep us from skimming through our life’s pages. Surprises, good or bad, send a tremble though the normal, making us pay attention to the moment we’re standing in. They unsettle us, forcing us to regain our balance by taking a step forward.

What surprised you today?


~ Samantha Sotto