women. writers.

Women in Writing: Meet Samantha March

Samantha March fell in love with books at a young age. Thanks to her mother and grandmother, both avid readers, Samantha followed in their footsteps. Field trips to the library were the highlight of her week, and, during her middle school years, Samantha went on to do volunteer work there. She also began writing, and her early works closely resembled characters from The Baby-Sitters Club, as well as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movies. In high school, Samantha excelled in her writing courses.
A slew of real world wake-up calls pushed Samantha to temporarily shelve her dream of becoming an author. She took what she considered the practical route and enrolled in a business college in Des Moines, Iowa, where she graduated with honors in 2009. But her love for writing never went away. In October 2009, Samantha started the book blog ChickLitPlus. From her small blog, Samantha met fellow readers and writers who pushed her to continue her goal of becoming a published author.

Samantha has since published three novels  Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket, and A Questionable Friendship, and, in 2011, she launched an independent press called Marching Ink.

1) Samantha, thank you so much for joining us here at Lady! You founded ChickLitPlus back in 2009 and, later, a sister site called CLP Blog Tours where you've hosted hundreds of blog tours and book bloggers. Why did you feel the need to create a site solely dedicated to this one particular genre?

When I first thought of starting a book blog, chick lit is what I was reading the majority of the time. And, believe it or not, not a lot of chick lit sites were out there yet! It seems right around that time the whole “chick lit is not dead” campaign started, so my timing was spot on. I’ll be honest though: over the years, I’ve branched out quite a bit. We’re not solely chick lit anymore, but the blog still focuses on what chick lit lovers love: books, fashion, celebrities, beauty, and more!

2) Chick lit gets a bad rap for being all fluff and no substance, but many of the authors you've hosted on your site have written books that deal with some pretty heavy material, material that would, in other circles, be deemed "literary". In fact, your first novel, Destined to Fail, comes to mind. How do you think women writers can work to overcome the stigma attached to chick lit? Is it even necessary?

I’ve talked to a lot of authors over the years on this subject, and more and more I’m seeing that authors are simply writing what they want to write and what they know they can sell. Because of the self-publishing and indie publishing boom, authors are now more in control than ever of their work. If they want to write chick lit and know they can market that book, they’re going to. Empowerment!

3) Your publishing company, Marching Ink, has released six titles since its launch in 2011. As an independent press, your authors are heavily involved in the marketing process. How do you think this helps cultivate long-term success for an author?

I really think it does, but Marching Ink authors might not always be with Marching Ink. Getting into the routine of knowing how to run your social media and interact with readers and understanding the market is hugely important for anyone, whether you have a publisher, publicist, or assistant working for you.

4) Congratulations on recently making the switch to books and publishing full-time! Would you mind sharing with our readers some of what you're working on now?

Thank you so much! I have a lot of projects going on right now – never a dull moment! I have written the first draft of my fourth book, and it’s on hold right now for rewrites while I finish up a few outside editing projects. Marching Ink also has another title in the works, which should be out this year. I started working as a Book Marketing Manager with BookTrope, so I’m always busy with them and the wonderful authors I work with. I also recently launched The Cheeky Chicks with my best girlfriend Holly, and we are all about fitness, beauty, fun, and friendship on our Instagram page. Doing yoga and having a partner (especially my BFF) to learn along with me has been so much fun. I view The Cheeky Chicks as simply another extension of Chick Lit Plus. CLP focuses on beauty and fitness, and we’re just taking it to another level!

To learn more about Samantha March, please visit her official website here and "Like" her on Facebook. You can also follow her on Twitter @SamanthaMarch23 and on Instagram @SamanthaJanning. Updates on her newest adventure, The Cheeky Chicks, are available on Twitter @CheekyTimesTwo and on Instagram @TheCheekyChicks. 

Samantha March currently lives in Iowa with her new husband and newer puppy, Aries. Besides reading, writing, and ChickLitPlus responsibilities, Samantha enjoys sports, especially the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs, and will never refuse ice cream.

1 comment on "Women in Writing: Meet Samantha March"
  1. It is such a pleasure reading about a woman who is so passionate about the work she does. It's a rare sight that we get to see people uplifting other women. Kudos to the team!