Interview with Scott Skipper

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, www.ScottSkipper.com. 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.
Published 2016-02-14.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

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)
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.
Artifact
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.
Half Life
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 83,710. Language: English. Published: September 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
(3.00)
A beautiful young woman and a man she just met are stranded on the beach below fourteen hundred tons of nuclear waste when the earth begins to move. How much time to do they have before the tsunami strikes. Will the cooling ponds that keep the fuel rods safe withstand the shaking
Megalodon
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 26,890. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures
To the peril of all who accompany him, a salvager sails the globe searching for a creature supposed to have gone extinct before the time of the dinosaurs. Megalodon was the length of a sperm whale with jaws that could swallow an orca. Its teeth that still wash onto distant shores measure six inches from tip to root. Fame and fortune awaits he who proves a monster from the Pleistocene still exists?
A Little Rebellion Now and Then
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 62,090. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA
A Little Rebellion Now and Then is two American stories, one about our darkest past, the other about our darkening future and one woman’s fight during both eras at opposite ends of her life.
The Time Shrink
Price: Free! Words: 3,380. Language: English. Published: September 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
A couple from the future believe they can save their marriage if they can go back to a time before their troubles started. The alien marriage counselor's temporal displacement device is their salvation, or so they think. Try this short, hilarious foray into the future of psychoanalysis.
Capital Blues
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 67,010. Language: English. Published: July 10, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
(5.00)
Satire: humor that shows the weaknesses or bad qualities of a person, government, society, etc. (Merriam/Webster) If ever there was a time that government deserved to be satirized, it is 2016. If you think reality has gone crazy, wait until you see how Candidate Jim agitates the crowd, and the world.
Alien Child
Series: Alien Affairs. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,470. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
How does a half-alien teenager cope with her over-protective mother, genocidal aunt, Islamic terrorists and an alien follow-up invasion? She copes very well, but it sure gets in the way of her love life.
Alien Eyes
Series: Alien Affairs. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 71,810. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
(5.00)
The aliens left the entire human race infertile. Carrie Player is searching for a cure in the vast cache of data stored on the reading device that the alien, Deshler, gave her as a parting gift. While the species is dwindling ISIS is trying to hasten the end by unleashing a deadly epidemic on America. To battle the new threat the CIA puts a different woman on the case, a very different woman.
Alien Affairs
Series: Alien Affairs. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 62,210. Language: American English. Published: July 31, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
(4.00)
Alien Affairs is a sci/fi novel in which a forty-something divorcée shows uncanny sangfroid while bantering with an alien bent on exterminating the human race.
Golden State Blues
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 72,430. Language: American English. Published: April 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
(5.00)
If you like Donald Trump, you're going to love Governor Jim! See how two troublemakers who met in a bar attempted to save the Golden State through political chicanery and uncommon sense while having a good time doing it.
Face of the Angel
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,730. Language: English. Published: June 13, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
(5.00)
Was Josef Mengele, the Auschwitz Angel of Death, really evil? Or was he just misunderstood? For forty years he skulked around South America hiding in plain sight while the world’s best Nazi hunters fell all over themselves trying to find him. Discover the bizarre facts and the astonishing rumors that kept him running throughout his long exile.
The Hundred Years Farce
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 55,650. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Alternative history, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
(5.00)
The United States invaded México in 1846! What if they never left? See what the world might look like if the Old South had acquired the territory of México before the Civil War. This alternative history covers the period from 1846 to 1946 and indulges in political satire that is more relevant than ever.
In the Blood
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 74,610. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
(4.00)
Who was George Washington Skipper? He was a twice-wounded Confederate veteran who loved the ladies a little too much. He kept moving to stay ahead of his wives and the whipping post until Reconstruction and personal tragedy ran him to ground deep in the woods of South Carolina—with the wrong woman.
The Stainless Steel Coffin
Price: Free! Words: 6,700. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
(4.00)
In the seventies a metal shop just south of Los Angeles received an order for one stainless steel coffin with a glass lid, but that wasn't the unusual part.
Pain Below the Equator
Price: Free! Words: 13,430. Language: English. Published: September 21, 2011. Categories: Essay » Political, Essay » Sociology
(4.00)
This is the frank journal of a six week tour of South America from Buenos Aires, around the horn to Valparaíso, Easter Island and Peru, chronicling the good the bad and the insane of the southern continent.
A Death in Carolina
Price: Free! Words: 3,690. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
A brief fictionalized account of the murder of a deputy sheriff in rural North Carolina on the Fourth of July in 1914 by a descendant of the family containing contemporary photographs and news clips.
Family Traits
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 112,490. Language: English. Published: June 9, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Colonial America, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
(3.67)
How did a witness to the beheading of Charles I come to be an Indian chief in Virginia? Read how three generations of mixed blood troublemakers ran afoul of the Governor and their wives in Colonial America.