My Fabulous Female Friday post this week features the absolutely brilliant, Ms. Samantha Atzeni. I met Samantha in college through mutual friends. Whenever these mutual friends would have a get together, we would both attend, and we would usually end up talking and having a great time together!
These days, now that life gets in the way a bit more, we don't get to see each other as often, but we make sure to have "Friendsgiving" every year, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and it's something I look forward to every year!
Sometimes, I am fortunate enough to run into Sam, and her husband, Adam at the Starbucks near where I work! When that happens, I feel like my day got an extra shot of espresso, because I am definitely a happier person for seeing the two of them!
Samantha Atzeni, Writer/Adjunct Professor/Publisher
Can you explain why you wanted to pursue your careers?
I've always wanted to be a writer and I’ve always loved to tell stories. My career as a writer/adjunct professor/publisher came about as I began to collect skills and experience from the various jobs that I had to take to support myself. I wrote to pay for school, I taught to improve my writing, and my husband and I started a publishing company in order to keep writing and working on projects that are important to us.
I’m grateful for the careers I’ve created for myself because they all remind me that I can always improve and I can always be better. I like having an audience, students, and other creators to work with and to teach me the many ways I can create and to reach people through our work.
What's your motivation?
My motivation is being a part of a narrative that is bigger than myself. I get to write books that sit in stores next to authors that I admire! I also find motivation within the vast network of strong, powerful women that serve as my sister-mentors. Mindy Kaling once mentioned in her book that anyone can be your mentor, and I have really taken this advice to heart. I have to agree - we can motivate each other and mentor each other into greatness.
What are your biggest accomplishments/proudest moments so far in your career?
So far, my proudest moment is watching young women get excited about The Mother Principle. This graphic novel began as my angry response to the lack of strong female protagonists in comics. It started as a small idea, and has turned into a full series. I love watching people respond to Alicia Padron's artwork (sometimes it is as though she lives in my head! Alicia knows what to draw even before I can imagine it). I also love getting to share the writing process with Adam Wilson, my husband. This is my first comic and our first collaboration and it has been so wonderful to share this experience together. I'm so proud of this team.
My biggest accomplishment has been getting the opportunity to travel so much for our work. I never thought I would get to be a "citizen of the world."
What you think your best quality is?
Does insomnia count? Kidding...kind of.
What has helped you push through your biggest challenges?
My sense of humor has helped me the most. With writing, you have to develop a thick skin and the same goes for teaching. Often, when I find myself struggling, I try to have a laugh about it to bring down the stressful situation. It helps me step out of my head for awhile and help me gain perspective.