Falling for Love and Gravity: Sam Sotto Talks About Coffee, Inspiration, and Isaac Newton

Written by: Christian Joy Dominguiano/Sunday, Jan 29, 2017 02:20 PM

 

Time and time again, man leaves a trail of questions about love while fiction finds its way to offer answers. Like Newton's Third Law of Motion, man's action results to fiction's equal and opposite reaction. For internationally acclaimed author Samantha Sotto, love is the invisible hand that is responsible for everything man has ever achieved throughout history. 

Six years after her successful debut, Sotto is back to prove that love is what she thinks it is— a force to be reckoned with. A force that transcends time, space, magic and music. 

Her new book entitled Love and Gravity brings back themes reminiscent of her antecedent work, Before Ever After, and introduces two souls bound by fate: a gifted cellist, Andrea Louviere, and a familiar name that will definitely pull one in– Sir Isaac Newton. 

“A young Isaac Newton had explained why and how the apple fell. I wrote Love and Gravity to tell the story of the woman who dropped it,” Sotto reveals.

We sat down and interviewed the author herself to find out how her writing process, inspiration, and penchant for wine and chocolate brought this romance to life.

Tell us about your writing process--how was your process for Love and Gravity different from that of your previous work, Before Ever After?

I’m not sure if what I do can be considered a “process” because the most structured part of my “process” is the bit where I make coffee. The rest of the time, I just sit in front of my computer and hope that words find their way from the maze in my brain to my fingertips.  I didn’t even have an outline for Before Ever After. All I knew was which country the story would begin in and which place it would end. I mapped out the countries between my starting point and end point, shortlisted the places I had been to, and built my historical research and story from there.  

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Coffee Time. Samantha is living proof that most of the time, a good cup of coffee and writing go hand in hand. Photo credits: iStock.com/AlexBrylov

I was slightly more disciplined with Love And Gravity because the time travel aspect of the book made it more complex. I charted the story’s course using index cards, pinned the cards on a corkboard, and pretended I knew what I was doing.

Any particular object, person or event that inspired you to write Love and Gravity

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Sam's spark of inspiration allowed her to reimagine part of Isaac Newton's life. Photo by Samantha Sotto

Believe it or not, the idea for Love and Gravity popped in my head after watching Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I left the movie theater itching to create an alternative history story of my own – minus the vampires. And bloody axes.

Among all the great physicists, why did you zero in on Isaac Newton?

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What happend during Isaac Newton's "Miracle Year?" Photo credits: Getty Images/Imagno

I chose Isaac Newton because I learned that he had a “gap” in his life. When Cambridge University was closed due to an outbreak of the plague in 1666, a twenty-four year old Isaac Newton returned home to Woolsthorpe Manor. While other students might have killed time at the local tavern, Isaac used his time away from school to develop calculus, author the laws of motion, and discover the workings of gravity.  This year came to be known as his Annus Mirabilis – his Miracle Year.  For a boy who used to languish at the bottom of his class, his accomplishments that year were nothing short of wondrous – and a mystery.  Isaac’s work in 1666 was well documented, but little was known about what he did outside of it. Who was he with? What did they do? Where did they go? I started my search for answers in his personal library. 

Isaac Newton owned close to two thousand books, with subjects ranging from alchemy to astronomy. But one book to me seemed out of place – a treatise on the vibration of musical strings. I wondered what might have prompted Isaac to acquire such a book. I followed a trail of breadcrumbs and found myself on a twisting and haunting path of music, magic, physics, time, math, love, and secrets. I found my answers. 

Coming from a successful debut, how do you deal with the pressure of releasing a second book?

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Sam's adorable dog, Tennant, usually naps by her feet while she works! Photo by Samantha Sotto

Wine. And chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Kidding aside, writing Love and Gravity was actually the way I dealt with the pressure. Immersing myself in the story and losing myself in the lives of my characters was great therapy. Compared to the challenges they faced, coming up with a second book seemed simple.

What impression would you like to leave with readers of Love and Gravity?

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Wonder and Magic. Photo by Samantha Sotto

I’d like to leave readers with a sense of wonder and magic. This feeling becomes harder and harder to find as we get older and if Love and Gravity can stir this even just a little bit, I’d be extremely happy.

Read: Books and Other Happy Endings

What other books are on your shopping list? Let us know in the comments below!

 

About Christian Joy Dominguiano
Christian (Joy to his loved ones and CJ to his colleagues) is a self-proclaimed modern-day romantic who believes that classic novels, chick flicks, and a slice of pizza make the world go round. He drinks at least three cups of coffee a day to fully function, and admits that he was under the influence of caffeine while writing this article.
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