SAMANTHA HEUWAGEN: DAWN AMONG THE STARS

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Being a person who juggles several lives at once—and often struggles to balance them—I’m always intrigued when I discover someone else who does the same. Samantha Heuwagen is a debut novelist, but she is also a bilingual therapist and an activist. She says, “I’m very, very lucky to be able to mix all that I do together in such a way that is meaningful and creates the change I wish to see in the world.” I’m excited to have her on the blog to chat about her brand-new book, DAWN AMONG THE STARS.

Welcome to the blog, Samantha…and congrats on the release of your debut novel, DAWN AMONG THE STARS. What’s the book about…and what inspired you to write it?

Thank you so much for having me! DAWN AMONG THE STARS follows three humans as they try to figure out the universe on a cosmic scale through struggles of mental illness, transitioning into this new life with aliens, and discovering what it means to be apart of a family.

I was inspired by a dream I kept having that grew until I couldn’t ignore it any longer. After I started writing it down, I stepped away from it while in graduate school. After a few years of realizing I needed something fun to do while in school, I picked it back up again. With urging from my friends and family, I decided to share it with the world and I’m so glad I did. Now I get to combine my passion for mental health awareness and writing to help people on a whole new level.

On your website, you identify yourself as a “bilingual therapist, author and activist.” Can you share a little bit about the way each of these roles manifests itself in your life—and how you balance them?

I’m very, very lucky to be able to mix all that I do together in such a way that is meaningful and creates the change I wish to see in the world. I’m a therapist, first and foremost, and that greatly impacts how and what I write about. It shapes the way I see the world and how I exist in it. I can’t be an activist without being a therapist. I can’t be a writer without being an activist and a therapist. I can’t be the best therapist I can be without being an activist or a writer. It all ebbs and flows into each other.

Because all these things flow into and out of each other, I get to do it all in a day. That’s not to say if I’m crazy busy one day and have to set aside, let’s say writing, to see clients, I do it but I’ve gotten to a point in my career that I use my time wisely. I’m also fiercely protective of my writing days and my days with clients. I don’t think either of those areas need to suffer but they do need their own special times on my schedule.

Given that you’re a sex therapist who’s written a book featuring alien sex, I have to ask—was it a challenge for you to write the sex scenes in DAWN? Or did your voice lend itself naturally to sexytimes prose?

It’s funny because everyone thinks sex is intercourse. Wouldn’t it be odd if my characters stopped everything they were doing to have intercourse when chaos is raging? Sex isn’t just one thing––it’s many things to a lot of different people, so I use DAWN as a way to showcase the realities and complexities of human sexuality. There are a ton of ways to showcase it and I hope in the subtle (and maybe not so subtle ways) I’ve done it, people can appreciate something new and exciting––even healthy, since we seem to be missing the bigger discussion of healthy relationships in sexytime prose these days.

It wasn’t as much of a challenge as I originally thought when I started adding love scenes into my work, but I tell you, trying to figure out how to explain sex without it being too flowery was interesting. I wanted to say things as is and not have to come up with euphemisms. It’s 2018, people, we can say penis!

Tell us about your YouTube series, Spilling Tea with Samantha and Dr. B. What’s it all about, and what made you decide to start making videos together?

Dr. Christopher K. Belous and I started working together a little after I graduated from Mercer University. It was a natural fit since we have similar personalities and approach therapy in similar ways. We are both very passionate about changing the dialogue surrounding sex and mental health, so we thought it would be a unique way to bring education to the masses by creating a YouTube channel. Our fans send in questions or we come up with hot button issues and discuss them in unique and, sometimes, crazy ways. At the end of the day, it’s all about education and showcasing sex positivity. We’re both very proud of the work we’re doing.

Who was your favorite character to write in DAWN AMONG THE STARS, and why?

Now, this is just to write––not my favorite character because trust me, I’ll never tell! But I actually really enjoyed getting to know and developing Clairfic Munal and Melissa Pebbles’ relationship. I know it’s not just one character, but the two of them together make my giggle and highlight an ideal, healthy relationship. I’m really excited for readers to learn about them, too!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Samantha Heuwagen works as a Marriage and Family Therapist and specializes in Sex Therapy in Atlanta, GA. She is a graduate of Mercer University School of Medicine where she earned her second Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her first Master’s degree is in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of South Florida where she first realized her passion for sex education. She is a certified sexologist with the American College of Sexologists. When she isn’t working with clients, she teaches at Kennesaw State University sharing her knowledge about sex and feminism. Her debut novel, DAWN AMONG THE STARS, the first in a multi-part series, releases May 2018 through Trifecta Publishing

Buy links:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CSDC77N/ref

https://www.books2read.com/u/4EyANA

Website: SamanthaHeuwagen.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/609493369396318/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sheuwagen

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/samantha_heuwagen/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/heuwagens/pins/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/75884217-samantha-heuwagen

Being a person who juggles several lives at once—and often struggles to balance them—I’m always intrigued when I discover someone else who does the same. Samantha Heuwagen is a debut novelist, but she is also a bilingual therapist and an activist. She says, “I’m very, very lucky to be able to mix all that I do together in such a way that is meaningful and creates the change I wish to see in the world.” I’m excited to have her on the blog to chat about her brand-new book, DAWN AMONG THE STARS.

Welcome to the blog, Samantha…and congrats on the release of your debut novel, DAWN AMONG THE STARS. What’s the book about…and what inspired you to write it?

Thank you so much for having me! DAWN AMONG THE STARS follows three humans as they try to figure out the universe on a cosmic scale through struggles of mental illness, transitioning into this new life with aliens, and discovering what it means to be apart of a family.

I was inspired by a dream I kept having that grew until I couldn’t ignore it any longer. After I started writing it down, I stepped away from it while in graduate school. After a few years of realizing I needed something fun to do while in school, I picked it back up again. With urging from my friends and family, I decided to share it with the world and I’m so glad I did. Now I get to combine my passion for mental health awareness and writing to help people on a whole new level.

On your website, you identify yourself as a “bilingual therapist, author and activist.” Can you share a little bit about the way each of these roles manifests itself in your life—and how you balance them?

I’m very, very lucky to be able to mix all that I do together in such a way that is meaningful and creates the change I wish to see in the world. I’m a therapist, first and foremost, and that greatly impacts how and what I write about. It shapes the way I see the world and how I exist in it. I can’t be an activist without being a therapist. I can’t be a writer without being an activist and a therapist. I can’t be the best therapist I can be without being an activist or a writer. It all ebbs and flows into each other.

Because all these things flow into and out of each other, I get to do it all in a day. That’s not to say if I’m crazy busy one day and have to set aside, let’s say writing, to see clients, I do it but I’ve gotten to a point in my career that I use my time wisely. I’m also fiercely protective of my writing days and my days with clients. I don’t think either of those areas need to suffer but they do need their own special times on my schedule.

Given that you’re a sex therapist who’s written a book featuring alien sex, I have to ask—was it a challenge for you to write the sex scenes in DAWN? Or did your voice lend itself naturally to sexytimes prose?

It’s funny because everyone thinks sex is intercourse. Wouldn’t it be odd if my characters stopped everything they were doing to have intercourse when chaos is raging? Sex isn’t just one thing––it’s many things to a lot of different people, so I use DAWN as a way to showcase the realities and complexities of human sexuality. There are a ton of ways to showcase it and I hope in the subtle (and maybe not so subtle ways) I’ve done it, people can appreciate something new and exciting––even healthy, since we seem to be missing the bigger discussion of healthy relationships in sexytime prose these days.

It wasn’t as much of a challenge as I originally thought when I started adding love scenes into my work, but I tell you, trying to figure out how to explain sex without it being too flowery was interesting. I wanted to say things as is and not have to come up with euphemisms. It’s 2018, people, we can say penis!

Tell us about your YouTube series, Spilling Tea with Samantha and Dr. B. What’s it all about, and what made you decide to start making videos together?

Dr. Christopher K. Belous and I started working together a little after I graduated from Mercer University. It was a natural fit since we have similar personalities and approach therapy in similar ways. We are both very passionate about changing the dialogue surrounding sex and mental health, so we thought it would be a unique way to bring education to the masses by creating a YouTube channel. Our fans send in questions or we come up with hot button issues and discuss them in unique and, sometimes, crazy ways. At the end of the day, it’s all about education and showcasing sex positivity. We’re both very proud of the work we’re doing.

Who was your favorite character to write in DAWN AMONG THE STARS, and why?

Now, this is just to write––not my favorite character because trust me, I’ll never tell! But I actually really enjoyed getting to know and developing Clairfic Munal and Melissa Pebbles’ relationship. I know it’s not just one character, but the two of them together make my giggle and highlight an ideal, healthy relationship. I’m really excited for readers to learn about them, too!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Samantha Heuwagen works as a Marriage and Family Therapist and specializes in Sex Therapy in Atlanta, GA. She is a graduate of Mercer University School of Medicine where she earned her second Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her first Master’s degree is in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of South Florida where she first realized her passion for sex education. She is a certified sexologist with the American College of Sexologists. When she isn’t working with clients, she teaches at Kennesaw State University sharing her knowledge about sex and feminism. Her debut novel, DAWN AMONG THE STARS, the first in a multi-part series, releases May 2018 through Trifecta Publishing

Buy links:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CSDC77N/ref

https://www.books2read.com/u/4EyANA

Website: SamanthaHeuwagen.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/609493369396318/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sheuwagen

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/samantha_heuwagen/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/heuwagens/pins/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/75884217-samantha-heuwagen

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