Interview with Scarlett Finn

When did you first start writing?
I have been writing since I was a child. At around age nine I completed my first novel (so to speak :)) with illustrations and everything. I've been writing ever since, though I'm better at it now... I'd like to think!
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest work started with the premise of mistaken identity. Often a simple concept can lead to the most enthralling finished product. All it takes is one grain of an idea then the world is your oyster.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've made excuses for years about my writing, and about why I dedicate so much time and energy to something that just sits on my hard drive. If you don't have a passion for writing then sitting down and writing a hundred-odd thousand words could be daunting I imagine.
Anyone who has the drive to write knows that it is about more than the end product, the process itself is enjoyable too - certainly the creation is the most exciting part.
Making yourself known to traditional publishers is a time-consuming - and I have to say - boring process. It becomes about boiling down your message, charming the pants off someone you've never met, and has no idea who you are.
It's funny because I tell my friends that writing a hundred thousand words is easy, but boiling that down to five hundred is an almost impossible task - especially when you're so close to the piece.
So to answer the original question being an indie author doesn't take the fun out of writing as trying to sell yourself to agents can do.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I do. I remember the first story I wrote. It was a children's book because at the time I was a child. It's still kicking around here somewhere but I wouldn't dare pick it up, I've come a long way since then!
What is your writing process?
Each novel has to be organic. I start with an idea. Sometimes it's something that comes to me at the most random time and the story takes root from there. Other times I use a stimulus. I try to write something every day, sometimes it's only a few lines, sometimes it's thousands of words.
If I find myself in a rut, or not engaging with a specific story, I leave it, go away, and find a stimulus to try and fire a new idea. That process allows me to rediscover my creative energy - a writing exercise to remind me what it's all about. :)
Describe your desk.
My desk is crazy but it's organized chaos. I know where everything is, and anything I might need is always within reach - even if it's just the cold coffee I haven't touched for an hour, or two, because I'm so engrossed. I have my whiteboard, which I use to plan out the steps needed, it's great because it's quick glance and if something doesn't work I can change it with a quick swipe.
The central thing is of course my laptop, I always have my reporters notebook and my sticky notes, just in case I need to jot something down.
I love my office, it's my space to create, anything goes when I'm at the keyboard and often I'm as surprised by the characters actions as the readers may be when reading them!
What are you working on next?
Next?
I am going through the editing process with one novel at the moment and for sneak peeks visit - scarlettfinn.wordpress.com - I'd love any comments, or questions you may have, and of course your feedback is invaluable.
After that, I have a novel to finish, and then I may have to polish up the sequel to Mistake Me Not...
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My little boy! I don't have much of a choice, we have school runs, and chores, and all the usual manic things to get done in the day. I also run my business from home, which means I have to be really good at managing my time.
If I'm in the midst of a project it does tend to extend into every area of my life, daydreaming, running to find a pen when a great line of dialogue comes into my head, that sort of thing.
When I sit down to work I never know just quite what will come out of me, what the characters will have planned for me that day. So inspiration that gets me out of bed? The unknown. We never know what will come of our day, who we'll meet, what we'll do, and each day I'm one step closer to my characters, we know them better with each word we write - it's very exciting.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read what I write. I read romance. I read works that compel me with their synopsis. I want to care about the characters, that's what draws me into a story. I read a synopsis and if it's intriguing I read the novel.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I've had just about every model of Kindle there is. I read on my Smartphone, my desktop... anywhere really. I love how accessible reading has become. I take my Paperwhite everywhere - honestly, everywhere - because I never know when the mood to read will strike me. With these technological advances we can carry dozens of novels at all times - something for every mood we're in.
Plus, I'm waiting for disaster to strike. I think being a writer is a real blessing because in my mind anything can happen. I see possibilities everywhere. I might get snowed in, maybe my car will break down, or a terrorist might burst into the bank and take everyone hostage! Or a gorgeous billionaire may land in his private jet and fall desperately in love with me... or not.
But if I get stuck anywhere, as long as I have my Kindle I'm happy.
Published 2014-04-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.