Interview with Scott Skipper

Published 2016-02-14.
What motivated you to become a Smashwords author?
My stuff does not fit the mold for traditional publishing. It's quirky, irreverent and deals with topics outside of the mainstream. When I discovered Smashwords, I got serious about writing again. Since then 99% of what I choose to read I get from Smashwords. I may be their biggest fan.
When did you first start writing?
At about fourteen I submitted my first story for publication to a sci-fi magazine. It was poorly typed on a 1910 Underwood with a broken 'p'. They immediately sent me an acceptance letter and advised that it had been sent to an illustrator. I was flabbergasted and ready to make my fortune. A month later they wrote to say that they had landed a deal with Harlan Ellison and no longer required my work. Although Ellison is a very good writer, I never did forgive the bastard.

In 1985 I had a unique opportunity to take an extended period of time from my day job and I contemplated a career switch. I wrote several stories, published a few articles and completed an admittedly inadequate novel. After a year I decided to go back to work. Fast forward thirty-five years and now I am retired in the age of self-publishing. There's no stopping me now!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting a reader. Although, I will admit, somewhat guiltily, that it is gratifying to reread my work and find it satisfying.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My Alien Affairs trilogy has gotten quite a bit of attention, but I wanted to do something different for the final installment. So Alien Child is told in the voice of Terrie Deshler, a half-alien teenager with the unenviable task of convincing the new, no-nonsense invader from Tau Ceti, that there are no breeding humans on the whole planet, so he can go home and rest assured the human race is going extinct. It was a challenge to keep the narrative consistent with Terrie's vocabulary. The feedback I've received has been positive, so I guess I know how a half-alien teenager sounds. She even has her own Facebook page.
What are you working on next?
I am going to try some more political satire in the light of the extremely interesting presidential election season. There should be plenty of material for a cynical mind to feed upon.
Who are your favorite authors?
Hemingway tops the list, I like Twain, and among contemporary writers, I read Tom Robbins, Nelson DeMille and Daniel Silva. Eclectic taste, huh?

For the last few years I've been getting most of my reading material from Smashwords where my favorites are Burt Boyar, Chris Mason, JT Kalnay, Wendy Bertsch and Guntis Goncarovs.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The gin at the end of it.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, studying genealogy, bicycling, traveling and lately, chasing bears. Yes, bears, we've had a lot of them this year. I collect wildlife photographs taken with camera traps hidden around our property. There is a slideshow of the best of them available on my website, The link is on the Bio/Blog page.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I browse Smashwords. I'll download a half dozen samples that might be worthwhile. If I like it, I go back and buy it. I review every book that I read and I keep a list of possible typos, and yes, there will be some, which I share with the writer if I can make contact with him.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No, I remember writing stories in second grade. When I was in eighth grade I submitted a Revolutionary War spy story as a project in history class and was accused of plagiarism. The first story I submitted for publication was called The Happiest Man in Hell. It was about some poor joker whose misfortune it was to be the unwilling object of the Devil's amusement. Someday I may update it and publish it as a free short story with the disclaimer that it came from the dim antiquity of my youth.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Latest books by This Author

Blood Omen
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 55,390. Language: English. Published: June 4, 2022. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Ancient, Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
A sign—an omen—compels an ancient people to abandon their impregnable city and follow in the footsteps of their ancestors who had splintered from them eons ago.
St. Anthony's Fire
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 34,570. Language: English. Published: September 3, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Renaissance, Fiction » Biographical
Around the turn of the 15th century, a Dutch Master called Hieronymus Bosch painted a very strange painting. According to modern thinking, it is perhaps psychedelic. It is a triptych depicting the Garden of Eden, earthly delights, and Hell. Virtually nothing is known about the man known as Hieronymus Bosch. St. Anthony’s Fire explores some possibilities to explain the man and what drove him to pai
Quantum State
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 49,090. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
Surf the multiverse once more with the Alien Affairs gang in this brain-twisting jaunt through time, space, and gravity waves as they battle monstrous attackers, Russians, and Congress. This time the gang is led by computer avatar turned bosomy blond android, Cassiopeia, who is never at a loss for wit and wisdom.
The Klansman's Wife
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 53,190. Language: English. Published: May 19, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
(5.00 from 1 review)
The closing decades of the twentieth century were the dying gasps of the old South. Before northern industry started migrating for nonunion labor and favorable tax rates and before Yankees started grabbing prime real estate while savoring the mild winters, the Civil War still raged in the hearts and minds of many a good ol’ boy.
Dark Energy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 67,100. Language: English. Published: July 5, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
The late genius, Stephen Hawking, said in his masterpiece A Brief History of Time: “So what one needs, in order to warp spacetime in a way that will allow travel into the past, is matter with negative energy density.” If you’re a member of the Alien Affairs team, warping spacetime is part of the job description.
La Verne Writers' Group 2019 Anthology
Price: Free! Words: 33,560. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author, Fiction » Anthologies » Poetry - multi-author
Collected works of the La Verne Writers' Group and writing contest winners. Herein you'll find humor, adventure, horror, fantasy, poetry, and even a little murder. Contributors are Lisa Griffiths, Toni Eastwood, Sharri Cohen, Carol Elek, Holly Scott, Tamara Miller, and Scott Skipper
Wicked Light
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,640. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
A man’s sanity crumbles as shadows snipe at him from his peripheral vision and voices taunt him to do drastic things. Strange cars follow him. Animals behave differently. Allergies develop suddenly. Strangers attack him and those close deny him. Where does madness lie?
The La Verne Writers' Group 2018 Anthology
Price: Free! Words: 75,190. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Literary collections » American / General
The 2018 LVWG Anthology offers something for everybody: humor, grit, warmth, action and adventure, poetry, YA, children’s stories, and somethings that we don’t quite know what they are.
Gravity Waves
Series: Alien Affairs. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 74,760. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
(5.00 from 1 review)
There is an infinite number of parallel universes in the multiverse. With access to them, one can choose what age to be, or to arrive at the end of a journey across the stars before departing. This could be a very powerful tool in the hands of someone determined to alter the future. It could also be extremely dangerous.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,130. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Crime
Dealers in illicit artifacts, murderous pothunters, an amorous homicide detective, an enigmatic shaman, and two irregular aides-de-camp conspire to thwart the larcenous efforts of a young widow from California to recover her husband’s body and get rich in the process.
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