Interview with T. L. Scott
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I really believe in this story and these characters. I want to share them with you and the quickest way to do so was to be an indie author. The traditional publishers are extremely selective and do not publish many new authors.
I have the paperback version of the story in the process of being published by Horton Jones. They are a new publisher to the industry.
Maybe after A Life Worth Living has its own following one of the major publishers will be interested in representing the story. I respect how broad their distribution channels are and hope in time you can find A Life Worth Living at every outlet that sells books.
That distribution reach is one of the things that really impressed me about Smashwords. They are definitely helping me to reach my goal of getting my story to as many readers as possible. Thank you Smashwords!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
As I stated in another answer, one of the things that really impressed me about Smashwords was its ability to distribute my story to so many major outlets. In addition to that the process was easy to navigate through and fast. Once the manuscript was converted and the errors fixed Smashwords sent the e-book out for distribution in a matter of days.
Success is measured in different ways. I prefer to measure mine in milestones. With the help of Smashwords I have achieved my second step in the process. I am now a published author. The first step was completing the novel A Life Worth Living.
I will continue to publish with Smashwords as I really like their business model and their ability to get my stories out to you for your enjoyment.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing is finding that the story is taking a different direction than I had planned. When the characters become real and they take the story to a whole new place. When that happens I am as surprised as I hope the reader is. I have come to realize that while I may be writing the story it is the characters that are really telling it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
What do your fans mean to you?
Well, since the is the first story I have published I don't really have any fans yet. I hope to have many fans of my stories. Fans of mine, well I have never aspired to that. I want people to enjoy the story and appreciate the characters for their strengths and their flaws. I promise any fans that I will always stay true to the story and aim to tell the best story I can.
What are you working on next?
I have just published the first two books in the Scary story series. The character Scary is a young girl that finds herself on a path in the woods on a Dark Dark night. She hears sounds that scare her. She must be brave and face her fears. She has to use her eyes and ears to understand what the dangers are and what she needs to do. Scary is a strong and smart girl that is also brave. In the second story Ride With The Wind (A Scary Story), Scary meets her new best friend and they go on a fantastic adventure. Scary is thrilled to find out that her new best friend just happens to be a unicorn. Come along and share the ride. I have finished 6 of the 10 books I have outlined for the series. If there is enough interest in the first two books I will work on publishing the rest. Please provide reviews.
I am also working on an adult novel that takes place in a small Texas town. A Bill and his fellow soldiers are in town to attend the wedding of his little sister. While they are relaxing at a café the morning stillness is shattered with the crack of automatic weapons fire. A madman is firing rounds in the air while he has a dark haired woman on her knees in the middle of main street.
It looks like their vacation will not be quite as relaxing as they had hoped. A gang has infiltrated this small town and is using it to launch their drug smuggling and human trafficking operation. The title is Fault Line. I will keep you updated on my blog as the release date solidifies. http://tlscotttheauthor.blogspot.com/
Who are your favorite authors?
The first book I remember falling in love with was by Anna Sewell. The book Black Beauty had great characters and a great story line. I was hooked. Mary Shelley blended the creepy Igor with the tragic monster. Jules Verne took me to places that I didn't even know that I yearned for.
Some of my favorite authors, in no particular order are: Michael Palmer, Nora Roberts, Daniel Steele, John Saul, Wendi and RIchard Pinni and their Elf Quest series, R. A. Salvatore, Nicholas Sparks, Ken Follett, William Brinkley for The Last Ship, and Dean Koontz. Of course there are many and more authors that I have enjoyed over the years but the above have been my main sources of enjoyment. There is one more that I have saved for last as he is my all time favorite author. His writing has been my constant companion since the day I picked up a copy of Cujo. As a young man it was always the story itself that had me coming back for more. They were so exciting yet chilling. Over time it was the characters which drew me to re-read them. Each time I found more layers to the story and enjoyed them all the more. In my humble opinion Stephen King will always be my favorite author. Thank you Mr. King for a lifetime of laughs and chills.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Most days it is out of a sense of duty. I need to pay the bills and for now that is my 9 to 5 job. I enjoy it and I am grateful to have some really good colleagues. It is the days that I rise before the alarm clock with a thought for a story burning in my mind that I really enjoy. I would love to one day be in a position that my main job is writing.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I can usually be found with a book in hand. I am frequently reading 3 or 4 books at a time as well as writing one main story and developing other ones along the way. Yes it can get a bit crowded in my head at times but somehow everyone seems to get along most of the time. I also enjoy running. That time alone I allow my mind to just drift and have come up with some good ideas while taking one step at a time. I also enjoy spending time with my children. They are a true inspiration to me. Listening to a child puts a lot of things into perspective. They don't complicate things. It is the way it is and that is it. A good lesson for us all.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I look at the genre I am interested at the time and then check out the best seller area. I also look at new releases and read the descriptions. If possible I look at the reviews. Of course I read my favorite authors when they release new stories but I keep an eye out for new talent as well. We all start out somewhere. I have to admit that I do pay attention to the cover as well. If it catches my eye I will look into it more.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I did not really start writing until A Life Worth Living. I was content with being an avid reader. Now that I have gone through the process of writing a complete novel I am glad that I waited. I am sure that I was not ready to tell the stories until now.
What is your writing process?
I get inspiration from a lot of different things. Ideas form and then I see where they are willing to go. Some ideas I let simmer for years, other ones I have to immediately write them out.
I try to get as much information about each character down on index cards. I have found that it helps me to keep the facts straight. I will also use a loose flow line to track events. I have found that by doing so I can see if there are inconsistencies. There are times I have found it difficult to link main parts of the story together. When that happens I take a step back and look at the story as a whole. I have found that the chapter is better suited somewhere else in the story. That is one thing I love about writing, you can keep working the story until it is complete. It does not all come out at once. It takes encouragement and hard work to get it just right. When it does though it is a very powerful thing. When it is right it can engage all of our senses. It can share ideas and provide insight into things we never considered.
I hope you enjoy the stories I share with you.
What's the story behind your latest book?
There has been a lot of discussion about the security of our southern border. Talk of gangs and other criminals invading our country got me to thinking and asking one of the most fundamental questions any author can ask: What If? What if a gang had set up operations in a small town? What if a group of soldiers were in the right place at the right time? And so began the core of Fault Line.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story that really pulled me in was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. That is the story that really lit my love of reading. The characters were dynamic and the plot carried me along with it. It was touching. It was exciting. It was a fantastic book.
How do you approach cover design?
I usually have a concept for the cover as I write the story already in mind. When I engage the cover designer I share what that concept is and then let them create the artistic interpretation of it. For A Life Worth Living it was all my idea that came to be the cover. In the case of Fault Line it was a collaboration process that ended up being the final cover. For my latest novel Levels, the artist came up with a completely different concept.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My favorite books are ones that have characters I can relate to, ones I can feel come to life, they stand up off the page and say I am here. Plot lines that move along unexpected paths but still, when you reach the end, you can see how they got there, no matter how convoluted the course.
My favorite book is The Stand by Stephen King. The world is decimated by a plague, wiping out billions. The survivors start having dreams that divide them into two camps. It is a struggle of good against evil at the end of civilization.
Next is The Door to December by Dean Koontz. Thank you Mr. Koontz for opening the door to potentiality.
Blake Crouch and the story of Dark Matter broke into my top five. A fantastic story.
Terry Pratchett The Long Earth was a fantastic read about the multiple earths.
WIlliam Blakely The Last Ship a story about a US Navy Destroyer after a nuclear holocaust. Fantastic Read!
Stephen Baxter Evolution is a collection of short stories that follows the tale of life.
Everything else by Stephen King
Anne Rice Vampires, Ghosts, and Mummies She is the queen and may she reign on. Thank you Ms. Rice.
What do you read for pleasure?
I am an avid reader and, in addition to the authors listed in the previous response, love Tom Clancy, David Baldacci, Patricia Cornwell, Michael Crichton, L. Ron Hubbard, Osron Scott Card, James Patterson, John Saul, and of course J. R. R. Tolkein, and George R. R. Martin.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on a Kindle and on my phone.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
E-mail newsletter. I like to keep in touch with my readers. I also love doing book signings and meeting fellow book lovers.
Describe your desk
It is a cluttered space with what I need close at hand.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.