Bestselling author and Edinburgh alumna Samantha Young chats about her love for the city, being on the New York Times Bestseller list and why Edinburgh and the University are set to continue to play a huge part in her writing career.
|Humanities and Social Science (Ancient and Medieval History)
|Year of Graduation
Your time at the University
After high school I took a few years out from education and worked an office job in Edinburgh. I absolutely fell in love with the city. It has all the benefits of city living—shops, bars, restaurants, culture and entertainment—but because it’s a small there’s a sense of intimacy you don’t get in bigger cities.
I decided I didn’t want to leave and Edinburgh University had a great reputation and the exact course I wanted to study in their curriculum. It was a no brainer, really.
Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University
When I failed to get a job in an industry I could put my history degree to good use in, I put my knowledge to use writing young adult urban fantasy filled with mythology and history. I had been writing a series while at uni, a series I completed and self-published when I was unemployed.
Struggling to find a job, I put all my efforts and free time into writing, self-publishing and promoting my young adult books. After six months I was able to declare myself self-employed as a writer.
In August 2012 I self-published an adult contemporary novel, 'On Dublin Street', which follows the story of a young American woman living and loving in the city of Edinburgh.
I sold 'On Dublin Street' in a two-book deal to Penguin. It will now be published in 20 countries and is an international bestseller.
It hit #1 in the Amazon Kindle store in the U.S and in six weeks I sold over 200,000 copies of the book, hitting the New York Times Bestseller list and attracting interest from publishers.
After signing with an agent, I sold 'On Dublin Street' in a two-book deal to Penguin. It will now be published in 20 countries and is an international bestseller. I am still self-publishing but it’s very cool to see my book in bookstores and I’m enjoying my relationship with Penguin.
I find Edinburgh hugely inspiring and have a few concepts for other series set in the city scrawled down in my notebooks. Moreover, Edinburgh and the university are set to continue to play a huge part in my writing career as the 'On Dublin Street' series continues.
I’d advise current students to get as much out of the city as possible as it’s steeped in history and culture and is an education in itself. Also, no matter how much it tells you otherwise… procrastination is not your friend…