1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a nice guy. Dogs and children follow me. It’s a curse. I’d rather be a jerk because it seems like more fun. Unfortunately, though, I feel for others. That’s why I’ve become a writer.
2. How did you hear about Anaiah Press?
I heard about Anaiah Press through Kara on twitter, and I’m glad I did.
3. What was your first encounter with the writing world?
I always love my writing, starting with a paragraph I wrote in English class in the seventh grade. I polished that thing up shiny and the teacher had no idea who I was until he read it. He gave me a look, and I was like, yeah, I know it’s good too. I still get that rush from writing, but the publishing world has tried hard to beat me up. That’s their problem, though, and I kept coming back for more. I’m either perseverant or crazy. Actually though, it is this: I have Faith.
4.Tell us why we’ll love your book.
There is love and there is suspense, heartfelt moments and guns a blazing. What a killer combination.
5. What does your writing process look like?
I borrowed from Elmore Leonard and John Grisham and get up at five in the morning to write before doing the day job. It’s a nice time to write because the dream world is still open for business.
6. What authors have inspired you to write?
My inspirations come from writers who have kept me up at night turning pages. From my early years I loved the Hardy Boy’s Mysteries. Later, I found John Grisham to be wonderful. To me it’s all about fast pace and danger and being so caught up in the story that nothing else matters. Also, I learned a lot by local published authors, Robin Burcell, who writes suspense for Harper Collins, and Susan Crosby, who writes romance for Harlequin. I told them that my writing Romantic Suspense was the combination of the two of them.
7. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
I don’t feel qualified to be offering advice to authors, but that won’t stop me. I do have something important to say on this topic. Have fun! Writing should be a blast. Enjoy creating your characters and world and plot. Enjoy the process. I imagine everyone writing a story dreams of getting it published, but that brings in a whole additional layer of complication and work. But if you love the process, then it won’t be work. When I write something that I think is good I get a rush from that which is awesome. It keeps me coming back for more like a bad habit.
8. Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Panster to plotter seems to be the progression. My first books (never to see the publishing light of day) started out with a feeling and a sentence. As the story progressed I kept thinking ahead, what happens next? The cool thing about this process is I’m as surprised as the next guy by how it turns out. I was writing my second novel and we came to a scene where something had to happen and my character stepped up, seemingly on her own, and did something so awesome I was floored. That kind of organic story telling is great, but I as I progress I become more in charge of the story from the onset and can see further down the road. But even so, I’m still looking for a surprise twist I didn’t realize up front and wouldn’t be possible without allowing my characters to have their own say in the matter.
9. What is your best marketing tip?
Sad to say, if left on my own, I would have not read the Hunger Games. My son told me to, and I started it, but I thought, hunter girl in a dystopian world? So not my thing. Later my son asked if I had read it, and then said, No, you’ve got to read this. At least finish the first chapter. So I did, and by then Katniss was such a sympathetic character that the rest of the weekend was lost to her adventure. This is my way of saying the absolute best marketing is word of mouth (and writing a great story.) Another book I enjoyed was by Neil Gaiman, who I discovered quite by accident while browsing in a used book store. I happened to open a page in an anthology and was immediately captivated by the author’s voice so I made note of who it was. However, that in itself wasn’t enough for Neil to get a buy. Later, Amazon sent me an email offering a reprint of American God’s at a reasonable price point on Kindle. Those two things in tandem are what worked. I’m a tough sell. Even Stephen King has to work on it. Between Amazon promotions and hearing him on Fresh Air, coupled with the awesome cover art, I preordered Joy Land. So, in answer to the perfect marketing plan, it’s multiple avenues, a decent price point, word of mouth, and most importantly, a good story well written.
10. What’s more important: characters or plot?
When I think of Harry Potter I think of Harry and Hermione and Ron and Hagrid and the Dursleys, etc. I don’t recall readily that in book one Hermione played chess, or whatever. The characters are what sticks. Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow: need I say more.
11. What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have always wanted to be a writer, but when I was young I didn’t have anything to say, so I lived life instead. And that’s my answer. When not writing I’m living life. I have a family, have had several careers: was a horse wrangler, auto mechanic, dishwasher, carpenter for fifteen years, and after the birth of my daughter and deciding maybe I had better grow up: I went back to school and am now a computer programmer. I’m a homebody and my hobbies reflect this. I like gardening and barbeque and short trips to the beach or mountains, but as I get older I would like to travel farther, especially to Paris and London.
12. What do you do when you experience writer’s block?
Writer’s block comes from putting too much expectation into the words. If I feel stuck I remind myself to have fun. Don’t worry. Just write. If it’s terrible so what. Of course, if I were famous and received large advances, then that may be difficult. Thankfully that’s not my problem, but hopefully I’ll have to cross that bridge someday. Maybe the worst case of writer’s block that I am aware of involves S.E. Hinton who wrote a genre defining classic while still in high school. Where does one go from there? Her writer’s block lasted for years after that, and it wasn’t until her husband told her to simply write a page a day and don’t worry about it that she eventually got over it. Writing needs to be enjoyable. If success comes from it than great, but it can’t be the motivation. If you are having fun, you won’t be blocked.
13. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences?
It’s all based on real life experience. Granted, I haven’t actually been in Julia’s and Rick’s situation, but I have had experiences that help me understand their reactions. I was hiking by myself through the back woods of Northern California when I came upon a grower’s camp and immediately a group of dudes rushed me and surrounded me. As I watched them approach I thought my life was over and came to terms with that. Fortunately, I got out of there, but the feeling of that moment when I accepted my death stuck. When Julia faces the gunmen, her understanding and the strength it brings was once mine. Another experience I bring to the story is young love. Oh my. I still remember the exuberance of being in the presence of this girl, my classmate. Also important in the book is the fear for loved ones involved in the drug world, I know those too. So, yes, all of the book comes from my emotional experience. All of my characters ring true, at least to me, and hopefully with the help of my wonderful editor they will ring true to my readers as well.
14. How did you come up with the title of your book?
For the title I got help from my wonderful editor, Nate Kurant. It is Julia’s sense of loyalty to her brother that gets her in the mess.
15. Provide us with a two-sentence description of your book.
Julia has accepted the Lord and is getting her life back in order when her brother returns, strung out on Meth and in trouble with rival gangs. Rick has eyes for Julia, but as she slips into a world of violence he knows how easily his heart can be broken.
16. Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy the story at least half as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it for you.
17. Where can readers find you online?
Twitter is @sb_springer and web is www.scottspringer.com
Scott is the author of Bound by Blood, available this Fall.
If you’d like to participate in the Bound by Blood cover reveal on June 13 or future blog tour, please complete the form HERE.