This book sold me on the title alone. I mean, who wouldn’t want to read a book entitled THE LADY ALCHEMIST? And while we unfortunately have to wait until the book debuts on May 26, I’ve included buy/pre-order links at the bottom of this interview.

In a land torn between magic and alchemy, Sepha is an exceptional alchemist, able to bend the rules in ways no one else can. But when a slip of the tongue lands her in prison with a mountain of straw, even she has to admit that she can’t transmute straw into gold.

With the threat of a death sentence hanging over her, she’s forced to make a deal with a conniving magician. Sepha escapes with her life – but at a cost: she has one year to alchemically create a body for the magician, or else her firstborn child will be his.

As Sepha’s deadline approaches, she uncovers a deadly secret. How can she save her country when the body she owes the magician will be used to destroy it?


In your website bio, it says you are an engineer as well as a writer. What originally got you interested in engineering?

Well, I actually stumbled into engineering by accident! When I was choosing my major, I was less concerned with my future occupation than I was with finding a challenge. My favorite subject in high school was physics, and when I researched majors, it seemed like physics would be the most challenging for me. That was the entire basis for my decision to major in physics! (What were you THINKING, High School Me?) I was right about one thing, though – getting a degree in physics was definitely a challenge!

When I came out of college with a B.S. in Physics, it took me a long time to find a job in a technical field. I consider myself SO incredibly lucky, because I eventually stumbled into an engineering field that allows me to apply my physics background to my work.

I still have this habit of seeking out challenging things, purely for the sake of finding out if I can succeed. My current job is HARD, but I love it. Writing is hard, too. But I love it.

Wow, Physics! That was the only subject in school I needed tutoring in. My brain just…wouldn’t. And writing is hard too, but in such different ways. In THE LADY ALCHEMIST, Sepha has to confront the negative perceptions that others have of her. How did you know this needed to be part of her journey?

I love this question! In some ways, I think Sepha’s battle against other people’s negative perceptions of her is the biggest challenge she faces.

Sepha comes from a history of emotional abuse, and because of this, she carries a lot of baggage with her. From page one, she has already internalized a lot of the negativity she’s received. She is therefore incredibly critical of herself and very sensitive to criticism from others. But it’s impossible to move forward when you have this voice in your head criticizing everything you do. It’s impossible to be successful if you try to please everyone.

Learning to be kind to yourself, and learning to accept that you can’t please everyone, is so important. I knew from the beginning that, for Sepha to progress as a person, she would have to confront negative perceptions from other people as well as from herself.

A great lesson for us all. Can you name a book that you’ve read recently that you enjoyed? If so, what did you feel it did right story-wise? Why?

I recently read Starsight by Brandon Sanderson, and I can’t stop thinking about it. In keeping with his other books, the plot starts out slow. It builds and picks up speed, until suddenly you’re galloping along, unable to turn the pages fast enough because everything is coming to a head all at once! He is a master of plotting and world-building (and sass), and I take a lot of inspiration from his books.

So do I. I just started his book Skyward, and I love it. What are some of your current projects?

My main project is the sequel to The Lady Alchemist! It is strange to be writing the sequel of a book no one has read yet, but it’s also really exciting. I’m SO excited about the direction the story takes in the next installment, and I can’t wait to share it with my readers. (I’m going to have readers soon! That’s so cool!)

I have several other projects in the works (all of which are SUPER EXCITING to me), but they are largely on hold until I finish The Lady Alchemist 2.

Buy: BookPassage ~ Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound

For more about Samantha Vitale in her books, you can go to her website,



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