Today we get to meet T.G Sampson – author of Reilly After the Storm.

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When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?
I believe that it is not so much a decision as it was a calling. Anyone can write a book, but not everyone can be an author. The reasons you write have to come from a passion about the subject and writing has to flow from somewhere inside you. This is something that calls to you.
I have always written short stories, essays and such, but never really thought about writing a complete book. Not until Reilly came into our life as a Katrina rescue dog. I was so taken with her character that I just had to write down what I observed about her. One thing led to another and I had outlines for at least 5 books. Now that has turned into six with all the draft work complete.
The biggest impact, I think, was getting through the process of actually producing the book. From the start, I was sometimes overwhelmed with the process to the point that I had actually thought about giving up the calling and just writing a children’s book with pretty pictures, small words and big type. I am glad I didn’t though. Now all my friends and family think it’s great they know an actual author, that in itself was worth it.

Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:
Where do I begin? I guess it started the day that Reilly ran into the room when we went to visit her for the first time.
We had just lost our big galoot Brownie to heart failure. He had been our light and joy and we missed him dearly. He was a Great Dane Lab mix that we procured as a puppy from SICSA (our local shelter). His whole family had been abandoned in a barn and left to die. Fortunately a neighbour alerted the animal control and all were rescued. We were only supposed to foster him for three weeks, but he ended up staying for 13 years. Two weeks after he went home, we got a call from a friend that said there was a female 9 month old Katrina rescue up for adoption. When we arrived and sat down they let her in and the first thing Reilly did was to run up to me, place her front paws on my lap and kiss me on the cheek. I said to my wife “I’ve made my decision what’s yours?”. The next thing you know Reilly was in the front seat of the van ready to go home. she is still there after 6 years and my wife sits in the back.
It was during the next two years after we got her that I started to wonder what she went through after the hurricane. I notice her strange behaviour right away, she walked around puddles, did not go out in the rain, and loved all men, and herded squirrels. That was the motivation to write about this wonderful Border Collie mix with the joker smile.
Since I did not know her full story (only that they thought she had been in that mess for about a month after Katrina before they found her) I decided to make her the main character and write a fictional story around that. And, since I am a big Lassie fan, I thought that I would write an old-fashioned adventure story with good old-fashioned bad guys and a heroine that could handle herself (believe me I have seen what she can do)

What are your future aspirations as an author?
First to finish writing the next book in the series, Reilly Lost In The Wildwood, then the other four. I am almost done with chapter 8 of Wildwood, so I consider that to be a good thing.
Most likely then, Lord willing, I would like to write a Sci-Fi novel that actually has no brain eating monsters in it. I had already started that before Reilly After The Storm, so I have a few chapters written already. It is called the Lords of Terribrith.

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?
I have always been a bit of a sci-fi person, but also I grew up watching adventures like Lassie. Some of my best days were spent dreaming of going on adventures with Lassie and getting rescued from the bad guys. I also love a good mystery. Growing up in England, I loved all the shows like Inspector Morse, Miss Marple, etc. I pulled from those experiences for the fictional parts of the book and from my observations of Reilly’s character for the main heroine.
I guess that travelling the world when I was younger helped me to understand the international aspect of life. I got to see different cultures and aspects of life that were different from my own. I pulled from those memories for most of the scene setting.
One aspect of my life that I found very useful was my ability to do research on a subject. Today that is made much easier with the internet and Wikipedia.

What do you do to improve yourself as a writer?
Reading what others have done. Listening to my Editor the first time. Brush up on my punctuation and spelling. read through my last book.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my story Ashley. It is much appreciated. if anyone wants to see the whole story they can go to http://www.tgsampson.com/ and find out all about me.

Thanks T.G for joining us on Stitch Says – love hearing from another author who has written about their dog. Dog books are the best. I will post a review of Reilly soon, so watch this space!

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