Wednesday, July 13, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Scott Tarbet

1    Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

My dad was a professional technical writer and editor, and aspiring sci-fi scribe, my mom an inveterate storyteller. Between the two of them I was so steeped in the craft that I started composing tales as soon as I could talk, and writing them down before I was out of kindergarten. The first time I saw my writing in print was in fourth grade.

Scott E. Tarbet
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

First thing in the morning. Every day. I'm an early riser, so I'm at my desk by 5:00. I have specific word count goals for each session and track them assiduously.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I have a home office with a good, up to date desktop computer. All my writing lives in the cloud, so I can get on with Office 365 and write from my laptop, iPad, or even my phone. And I often do. You can never tell when the muse will tap you on the shoulder.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

Favorite: deadlines. I work very best when my publisher has a gun to my head. Especially my publisher; short stories have benefited from that. Least favorite: deadlines. I hate being under the gun.

    How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

Get the Book at Amazon
The concept for “A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk” came from the phrase ‘rude mechanicals’ in the Shakespeare play. Wouldn't it be great to make the Bard’s bumpkins actual semi-mechanical men, in a Steampunk setting at the end of Victoria’s reign? The rest followed naturally, over the next ninety days.

    What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

My publisher, Xchyler, has extensive social media efforts. Besides their work, I do lots of signings, convention appearances, etc. My basic philosophy is that writing is easy half of the job: then the hard stuff starts.

    What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I'm in the last week of first draft of “Dragon Moon”, a techno-thriller that sends Navy SEALs, Russian Spetsnaz, and a Chinese American spy on a mission to stop a madman’s aspirations for world domination. It is scheduled for publication later this year.

Close on the heels of that one will come “Rise of the Stripling Warriors”, an LDS YA, then “The Thousand: First Worlds”, first volume in a YA/NA hard sci-fi series.

    Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I have so many projects in the pipeline that I will have to live to be a hundred and twenty to get them all written. And that's just what is already in my writer's notebook. The Thousand series alone should consume the next three or four years.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

I would ask that beginning writer what in the world they meant by ‘talent’. Is s/he gauging talent by getting their first draft of their first effort accepted for publication by a big house? If so, virtually no writer Is ever ‘talented’.

Writers become published authors when they combine desire to write with extensive practice in the craft, discipline, and endurance. No one ever emerged from the womb with their name on the New York Times bestseller list.

If our fictional writer truly needs outside validation that they should continue on the long hard road to literary flare, technical competence, and marketability, they should hand their work to a group of writers whom they respect, and ask for a brutal assessment. For my part, I have never heard a writer tell another writer, “Give it up. You stink.” We give each other feedback, gentle or occasionally brutal, but we never try to deprive each other of the only outlet for those of us driven to tell stories in the written word.

All that said, some writers just never reach the point of readiness for the jump to published author status. If that is you, beginning writer, keep writing for your own enjoyment. And your mom's. Always your mom's.

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