Author Interview & Giveaway (US only)
Scott Prussing - author of the Blue Fire Saga
- What inspired you to write your first book?
I remember this distinctly. Shortly after college, I read an article in the local newspaper about a fourteen-year-old boy who was writing a Lord of the Rings type novel. LOTR is my all-time favorite book, and I thought “I could do that.” So I started writing—in ball point pen on a legal pad. I ended up with an eight hundred page Lord of the Rings rip-off. The plot actually had some good stuff in it, but the writing was horrible. It’s what got me started, though. That manuscript no longer exists, thank goodness.
- What is the biggest challenge you faced during the publishing process?
Dealing with rejection. I tried to go the traditional route of finding an agent and then a publisher, but that is EXTREMELY difficult to do nowadays. So I decided to self-publish. The biggest challenge in going that route is getting the word out. There are an awful lot of books out there competing for attention.
- Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
I really don’t know how to answer that. They just come to me. The ones I like, I keep.
- Do the characters ever take over and change the course you had originally planned?
Well, I never write with too much of a plan. For the most part, I prefer to let my characters take me where they want to go, within certain guidelines, of course. Every now and then, though, a new character pops up that just “demands” a bigger role. That happened twice in Fearless, book four of my Blue Fire Saga. I had to go back and rework several parts of the beginning to allow for the new characters’ roles.
- Where does the creative magic happen? (where do you do most of your writing)
I do all of my writing on my computer at my desk in my bedroom. A lot of my “creative magic” comes to me in three places, though. I seem to get some really good ideas while lying in bed in the morning, while walking or riding my bike at the beach, or in the shower, for some reason.
- Do you strictly write on your computer, or do you jot notes down on napkins?
Strictly on my computer. As I mentioned in the question above, I get some great ideas in some strange places, like in the shower. When I do, I have to keep repeating the idea over and over in my head so I don’t lose them before I get a chance to start writing. Every now and then, I’ll jot a note down on a pad next to my computer, if I’m not quite ready to write whatever genius idea I came up with. :)
- Do you need silence to write, or is there music playing in the background?
I’m versatile. I like to have music playing, but sometimes I forget to turn it on and I write for an hour or two in silence.
- Do you still enjoy writing, or has it become a ‘job’?
For the most part, I enjoy it, especially when the story feels like it is flowing out of me. It only feels like “work” when I get stuck on something. Usually a walk or a shower will unstick me.
- What is your reaction to bad book reviews? Bad reviews?
Do they exist? I wouldn’t know. Seriously, it depends on how they are written. I try to learn from them if they express what seems to be a valid point. Sometimes, though, a negative review seems totally at odds with what everyone else is saying, so there is not much to learn from it. You can’t write a book that EVERYONE will like, but sometimes I wonder why some people feel the need to tear down a book for what seems to be no good reason, other than that it wasn’t the kind of book or writing that they enjoy.
- How did you come up with your character names?
Most of them I just invent, especially for the first book in my series. In subsequent books, I often reward some of my more devoted fans by naming characters after them.
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you do? I used to lead support groups for wellness (weight loss, smoking cessation, stress management, fitness). It was sometimes fun, often rewarding, and I was good at it, so I suppose I’d do that again.
- What is your favorite book / series?
Lord of the Rings is unquestionably my favorite.
- Best & Worst thing about being an author?
Best thing without a doubt are the fans. I love interacting with my fans, and I have some of the best, most devoted fans on the planet (I just need more of them!) The worst is the constant need to promote, knowing that no matter how much time you spend promoting, it is an uphill battle.
- How many books will there be in the series?
I’m not sure. At least five, since I am working on the fifth right now. I can easily see another book or two after that.
- Does it get easier after the first one?
Yes and no. Yes, because I’m so familiar with the main characters that I know what they will say and how they will act in most situations. No, because I need to keep coming up with fresh new situations to use along with the ongoing, underlying storylines.
- Do you listen to your readers? Do you ever consider their opinions when writing the next book?
I love interacting with my readers, and yes, I listen to them frequently, and often ask their advice/opinion on a work in progress via my Facebook pages. One of the underlying themes that carries through books 2-4 was actually suggested by a reader. Two other fans suggested vampire roles for themselves that have grown into important characters.
- Do you get writers block? How do you get past it?
I don’t get stuck very frequently. Usually a walk or bike ride at the beach or a nice long shower will produce an idea to get me past any block.
- Does the time of day make a difference when you’re writing?
Not really, although I don’t write at night too often. Mostly, I write in the morning and/or afternoon.
- When it comes to your series, do you find yourself on the side of the vampire or the Volkaane?
I try to stay reasonably neutral. Despite the natural enmity between the two races, I’ve managed to create a couple of situations where they had to work together. If you forced me to choose, I’d have to say volkaanes, since I invented them.
- Tell me something I don’t know?
I have never had a cell phone.
- Cats or dogs?
Dogs, but cats are okay, too.
- Are vampires real?
They are every bit as real as volkaanes.
- Favorite food?
- Inside or outside?
Outside. I live in San Diego for a reason. :)
- How do you feel about being one of the few men to write paranormal romance?
I love it. I get to ask my fans for advice/suggestions when it comes to some of the more “girlie” stuff concerning clothes, makeup, etc. Also, I love it when I totally surprise a reader with my ability to write believable female characters like Leesa and Cali. The one downside is that I know there are a lot of readers who won’t even take a look at my books because I am a guy.
- You can buy copies of The Blue Fire Saga on his website: http://www.scottprussing.com.
- Or if you want it right now and prefer an e-book, you can find them here: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
- You can contact Scott on his Twitter or Facebook pages.
Also, Scott is having a FREEdom Sale! Buy 3, get the 4th FREE. Visit his website for details.
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