Ex-Louisiana resident, novelist makes Parade ‘earn’ list _lowres

Photo by Kim Jew -- Samantha Ann King

Sandwiched between New York news anchor Anderson Cooper, 48, and his $11 million, and Bryan Pascuzzi, 45, a parole and probation investigator from Bel Air, Maryland, who made $61,130, is Samantha Ann King’s entry: romance novelist, $34,400.

King, a former Baker resident, has made Parade magazine’s annual “What People Earn” report. The first of the two-part series can be found in today’s Parade inserted in The Advocate. The dollar figures for the trio and the many others across the country featured are based on what the workers were paid in 2014.

“That was the year I made the USA Today best-seller list,” the Albuquerque, New Mexico, wife and mother said Wednesday. “$34,400 — that’s before self-employment taxes.”

The first book, “Sharing Hailey,” of King’s debut Lovers and Friends series, stayed on the list “one, brief, shining week,” she said.

“Sharing Hailey” has sold 70,000 copies. She followed it up with “Waiting for Ty” and “Tempting Meredith.”

King’s working on a new series which is more in the romantic suspense realm. She said she’s finishing up the first book, has written the second, and hopes to start on the third soon. She said her husband’s salary allows her to continue her writing.

Born and raised in Houston, King first got the urge to put pen to paper when the couple lived in Baker in the 1980s, she said.

“I saw a book at Waldenbooks in the mall, ‘You Can Write a Romance and Get It Published,” and I thought ‘You know what, I bet I could.’”

King dabbled in writing until her children were born, diving into it again after her first son left for college.

“There is so much out there, and there is so much competition,” she said of succeeding in the writing business. “And it’s so difficult to make yourselves stand out, that you really have to work to make your writing fresh and interesting so that readers will want to pick it up, and they keep buying you,” she said.