Interview with Scott McClain

When did you first start writing?
I've written from a young age. I've always enjoyed writing and I'm almost a little saddened it took me until I was nearly thirty to realise that I should have done this a long time ago. There were stories I wrote at school that I hope I can adapt one day into something that other people could read. There was a story my English teacher compared to 1985 (George Orwell), set in the future and where people didn't leave their room; everything they needed was in there, apart from human contact. I also wrote a kidnapping story I wrote when I was fifteen that I'd like to see if I could find again.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I actually found it recently! We've been doing up our house and I found some A4 sheets that I'd printed out when I was at primary school. On them was a story about an eleven year old boy and his pet dog, Bonesruff, who were detectives and wanted to save the world from an evil villain who was going to blow up a market square somewhere. I'd written it when I was ten, I think, and I'd love to use Bonesruff as a character in a story some day.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The one that really sticks out from reading at school was one where a child discovers an old weather map that can control the weather. I borrowed that a few times from the school library. I was intrigued by the power that an old, dusty map like that could have and wished controlling the weather was that easy. It'd be sunny a lot of the time if it was up to me.
What do your fans mean to you?
It's amazing to have fans out there who have read something that started in my imagination. To have people reading that is fantastic. To have them like what I've written is one of the best feelings in the world.
Who are your favourite authors?
Robert Ludlum, Michael Cordy, Michael Connelly (who I've had the pleasure of meeting), John Grisham and Thomas DePrima are the names that spring to mind. Trying to capture some of the tension and plot twists all of those authors bring to their stories was one of the big aims of 'Smile' albeit in a different genre.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm going off at 7 a.m. each morning! That's the time I have to get up to go to my day job, Monday - Friday. If I was writing full time my days would start a lot later. To be fair, my children would wake me up before then anyway.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a full time job, a wife and two children. Fitting in the writing around all that has been hard and doesn't leave a lot of time for anything else these days.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I've always looked on Kindle in genres that I like and see what's new, what's had good reviews and gone from there. As an author now, I'm always keen to leave reviews on other authors work. Reviews make a big difference.
What is your writing process?
I've discovered there's two general camps for this: Planners and Pantsers. I'm more in the 'Pantser' camp. I have a brief outline of a chapter and I write to it. It's a couple of sentences but provides enough for me to let my mind work and come up with a story. Each of my chapters is at least 2500 words and I try to make the chapter a story in itself. I write chronologically a lot of the time, I don't skip about between chapters.
How do you approach cover design?
I asked a professional ebook designer to design the cover for 'Smile'. He asked for some details about the book and used those to form five separate cover designs to work with. I chose the one I did for 'Smile' because it was simple, but effective, and I wanted something that could be a basis for a series.
What are you working on next?
As of May 2015 I've been busy working on the next book in the 'Smile' series, called 'Smiles'. It carries on from where 'Smile' left off, adding more depth to the characters, introducing a couple of new ones and expanding on the relationships that 'Smile' formed. It's progressed very quickly, there's about 60,000 words drafted at the moment, so I'm hoping it'll be available in early 2016.
Published 2015-09-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Smiles
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 118,660. Language: British English. Published: July 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
What happens when you take famous author Sir Andrew Anderson, who is suspicious he has found the child he fathered eighteen years ago; his assistant, Izzy Smart, who is now in a relationship with Tim Pointer, star saxophone player from Talent UK; and four of Tim's friends who are also dating? Smiles. That's what happens.
Smile
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 107,610. Language: English. Published: September 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
What happens when you take five teenagers, a famous depression-busting author, a television talent show and a coffee shop? Smile. That's what happens.