Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?
I think I’ve always been a writer without the actual writing part. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been making up characters and stories in my head. I just never thought I could actually do anything with it so I’m pretty late getting into the writing game. It was when I realized I had all these people and stories begging to get out of my head that I thought I might give it a try. My sanity thanks me for it.
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
The best thing to do is build a schedule around your life, include writing time and stick to it as best as possible. I’ve found it way too hard to just wing it and be as productive as I know I can be. When I think I can sneak away to get some writing done, I often times find myself wasting time on other things…plus it drives my wife bonkers when I just disappear. I have to make sure to keep a balance between the wife and kids, work, and writing.
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?
I dabbled in hand writing things when I first started. I still use paper to help plot and keep track of ideas as they come but I’m slowly giving all that up. Mainly because I once lost a notebook almost full of writing. That was heartbreaking. Now, I use apps like Evernote to keep track of notes and ideas if I’m not on the computer. Otherwise, I build spreadsheets with outlines, plots, characters, places, and such. Word is my writing tool of choice and I use Dropbox to back up my stuff.
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
The best part of writing is the creative process. I love when a little spark of idea blooms into a bonfire. A single spider silk leads to an entire, intricate spider web. There’s nothing like that feeling when you’re working on an idea and something just clicks and you’re like YES! The worst part is that it all too often lacks an immediate payoff. You can slave over a computer for hours and not feel like you’ve accomplished much. You do get these little shots of joy after a particularly productive writing session, but rarely get that “done” feeling until months, sometimes years, later.
How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?
I live in Pocatello, Idaho which has the nickname “Gate City.” I thought to myself what if there was a town out there actually named Gate City because it had a gateway to another world in it? Of course, a gateway needs a gatekeeper. Fifteen-year-old Gaige Porter was born. The story became too big for one book to hold, so I made it into a trilogy about his adventures back and forth between these two worlds while he tries to figure out exactly where he belongs. It took me about five and a half years to write the trilogy mainly because I was still learning how write a novel. I had tried previously with disastrous results. The first book, The Gatekeeper, took about three and a half years of writing, rewriting, revisions, and edits before it really clicked for me and I was happy with the results. With my new found writing confidence, I wrote the next two in just under two years…mainly due to work constraints.
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
I’ve found the most effective marketing strategy is free stuff. People love free stuff! Once I released my second book, I offered the first e-book for free for limited times. That led to people buying the second. There are several websites out there that will advertise your free or discounted e-books to readers. Some services are free, some you have to pay for. I have also had some success purchasing a small amount of ads on Facebook. The main thing to remember is to set an affordable marketing budget and stick with it. Use that money wisely and keep track of what works for you and what doesn’t.
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
|Get the Book at Amazon|
The Gatekeeper Trilogy is finished and out! Currently I’m working on a middle grade novel called Firefly. It’s about a 12 year-old-boy who has to deal with the fallout from his mother’s life as a supervillain. He tries to get out from under that shadow, but everybody treats him differently. Cruelly. It’s a “sins of the father” (or mother) type of thing. As a middle grade book, it’s not only thought provoking, but also fun…because, you know, he has powers, too!
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
I have so many projects on the backburner that it’s hard to pick the next one to work on when I finish the current. I have a middle grade novel I wrote exquisite corpse style with my daughter that is completed but needs lots of polishing. Other than that, I have lots of projects in various stages. Everything from young adult stories to a fantasy series to a steampunk series. You never know what I’ll turn out next.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
Talent is subjective. Writing is a lot like learning to play an instrument. There are those who pick it up quickly just like there are those who have a “knack for words.” Then there are those of us, like me, who have to work at it. That’s why it took me so long to write The Gatekeeper. I had to work at it. I had to learn. My advice is to study your favorite authors. What do they do that makes you like their work so much? Their world building? Their characters? Their way with words? Keep writing and I’d be willing to be you'll be producing grade A stuff in no time!
Learn more about Scott at the following links: