Q&A With Samantha Lien

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Q&A With Samantha Lien 

It’s amazing doing Q&As with publicists, agents, editors, and everyone helping authors get their stories out into the world like ships out into the sea. Tonight, I am doing a Q&A with the owner of the publicity firm Roger Charlie, Samantha Lien

Q: Samantha, what made you become a publicist and what is your favorite part about being a publicist? 

A: It was sort of a happy meeting of circumstances! I was just finishing up my master’s in business with a focus on Sports and Entertainment Management. I had two months left and thought I had better start looking for a job, so I reached out to my network. My aunt is a mystery / thriller author and mentioned her publicity firm had just let someone go, and that I should reach out to the owner to see if they were hiring.

I did. The owner and I had a 45-minute phone call, and a week later, I was on a flight to New York to help support publicity efforts at Book Expo America, and I’ve been doing publicity ever since!

I have so many favorite things about my job. I love helping people share their stories in a way that will genuinely connect with the right readers and audiences. I love that working on each campaign feels like diving into different worlds that are unique and special to each person and story with whom I work. I also am such an extrovert, and with so much of my job being online, I love getting to know the people on the other side of an email address or social media account to really know what brings them joy or interest, so that I always bring them something that they’ll enjoy writing about and supporting, as well. And of course – I really love when I land a great placement. It’s a celebration for everyone involved, and it really fuels my fire to keep aiming high for my clients. 

Q: How long have you been a publicist? 

A: Since May of 2012. I went out on my own in January of 2015 to continue my work in book publicity, and also expanded coverage for musicians and creatives, as well.  I have also regularly worked on book campaigns with Kaye Publicity since 2017.

Q: Did you have to go to college to be a publicist or did you apply for an internship to become one? Other publicists said different things. 

A: I guess, per se, I didn’t go to school specifically for publicity, but I am one of the rare cases that is using all of their degrees for their career. I went to school for Journalism, minored in Graphic Design, and then later got my master’s in business, with an emphasis on Sports and Entertainment Management. I would say I landed my job exactly how a publicist places a story though — by reaching out to my network! 

Q: If you were to write your own book, what kind of book would it be & would you represent yourself as your own publicist?

A: Oh boy… I had wanted to write a book back when I was 21, but I don’t know now if I ever could. I have so much admiration for the detail and attention it takes to put an entire story together — making sure you get all the facts right, the order, introducing tiny easter eggs throughout a story that wraps up all so wonderfully at the end. That may just be my brain as a mother-of-two tiny kids talking though. Ask me again in 20 years.

Q: What is your advice for new authors wanting you to be their publicist? I know one publicist, Kaitlyn Kennedy, who I did a Q&A with in the past said that you need to have your story finished first and have an agent and then have a publicist. 

A: I love Kaitlyn! She’s so good at what she does. I think authors are smart to think about publicity and marketing early on, but Kaitlyn is exactly right. We need a finished product before we even start on our piece of the puzzle so we can read through the manuscript and really get to know your target audience. When we have the finished story, it helps us create strong angles to grab the attention of our media contacts, as well develop a list of targets that will best resonate with you and your story.

As far as a timeline, I like to see a finished manuscript 4-7 months prior to a confirmed release date. This gives us plenty of time to drum up as much coverage through many different formats (print, online, radio, podcast, broadcast, social media) so that it lands around your pub date.

I think the most important advice I’d pass along though is to trust your fellow authors and writing community and do your research to find the right fit for you and your book. I personally think work should be fun — especially when you may end up working with someone for months, or even years — and I hope my client feels the same way.

Q: What are your favorite genres of books to read & why?

A: I have really been swimming around memoirs over the last year – especially on audiobooks for all of my long walks. I also love a clever psychological thriller, humorous contemporary romance and a good SFF or comic. 

Q: Would you please tell the readers of the blog & I about some of the authors who are your clients?

A: Of course! 

I am really excited to be working with award-winning transgender Lilah Sturges, who is releasing her original graphic novel The Science of Ghosts on June 18th. She is a writer of numerous comics, including the PRISM Award winning Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass and The Magicians. She also authored DUNE: The Official Movie Graphic Novel, as well as many other titles from Vertigo, DC Comics, Marvel and more. She’s a total badass. 

Mister & Mischief  (a.k.a Jeff and Andy Crocker) aren’t authors, but they are incredible storytellers. Jeff and Andy are a husband-and-wife team out of Los Angeles with roots firmly planted in the theatre and themed entertainment world. They create fun-forward journeys beyond the fourth wall and blend unexpected storytelling and real-world engagement to foster curiosity and connection. In a sense, they help remind us all that it’s important to play pretend whenever we get the chance! They’re also the incredible minds behind experiences for clients like Universal Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering.

They just debuted at the Apple Avenue Detective Agency at the Words without Walls Festival in San Diego. I had the opportunity to experience their production 40 Watts from Nowhere when they came to the Denver Film Festival last November and fell head-over-heels for the work they do. I can’t believe I get to work with them!

Mark Stevens is not only a client, but a friend that I particularly connect with because of our shared love of music. We’ve been working together my entire career as a publicist. He is not only a wonderful writer, but the biggest champion of authors out there; he is so connected and supportive of the writing community. A friend of his, Gary Reilly, passed away in 2011 and left 25 unpublished novels behind. Mark and his friend started their own press and published all of the novels on his behalf.

Mark’s most recent release was in 2023, and out of left field, as he has been a career mystery writer for over 30 years. The Fireballer is a poignant story about hopes, dreams, and how far one man’s talent takes him before he realizes it’s about what you do — and how you do it. He’s currently shopping other stories around and we’re hoping for another release in the near future!



After 15 years in promotions, marketing and business management in a variety of industries, Samantha Lien entered into the world of publicity in 2011 and she has found tremendous joy in helping all types of creative souls step into the limelight. 

In 2015, she started her firm Roger Charlie that specializes in publicity and management for authors, musicians, and creative small business. She revels in sharing an individual’s stories through thoughtfully crafted imagery, wording and placement. Samantha is your wing woman for creative strategy, national tours, and slingin’ stories all over the world to major media outlets, organizations and influencers all over the world. It’s all about building your community.  


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