Interview with C.H. Scarlett

Describe your desk
Obsessively in pursuit of organizational perfection. I'm a Virgo, which means someone wrote down in stone somewhere that we are supposed to be obsessive organizers. I think people believe that means we are constantly organized. Sadly, that isn't the case. I am proof. It's a constant struggle. I can tell you, though, that for me personally, I am continuously pulling my hair out over it. I am always trying even if things are just fine and "should be" left alone.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in North Carolina and Virginia. I spent some time in NJ as a teen, but the majority of my life has been spent in the country, particularly in the mountains. I didn't have neighbors dropping by or in clear sight, and when I didn't have school, I had to rely on my imagination to see me through. This was before Direct TV or Cable, video games, and "play dates". Parents, or at least mine, didn't shower me with toys, lol. I think that helped me as far as imagination and stories go. Although there wasn't anyone around to hear them, I could sure dream some up and did.
When did you first start writing?
I would like to say I started writing as soon as I knew how, but I actually started drawing out my stories, play-acting them out, long before I scribbled the details of the exact tale. I would say around twelve or thirteen-- that's when the shoe boxes started to fill up and of course, everything was handwritten. Sometimes I wander what I would have done if someone had bought me a typewriter.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Book I of the Bound by Blood Series....

High Priestess of her bloodlines, Samanthra Lampir is on the verge of her Awakening, something every Vii before her has welcomed with ease. Not Samanthra though, for her Awakening is prophesied to bring about the doom of her and those she loves the most, her sisters. In secret, she undergoes dangerous rituals despite the fatal threats of TERAH and the rising strengths of its enemies. That is, until the night a great storm of unknowable power releases a prophecy, a revelation, that will change her world--the world of TERAH-- forever.

Book II of the Bound by Blood Series....

Secrets are unveiled.
A Gathering is called.
Sides are chosen.
Legions are raised.
A challenge is made.
Evil has reared its ugly head. The true enemy has been named.
Who will save or destroy TERAH?

Once Samanthra takes her true & rightful place among the sacred bloodlines, she soon understands and realizes the sacrifices that must be made in order to save TERAH from its unholy threat.

Or does she?

As a darker and more deadly prophecy unleashes itself, as more pieces of the puzzle come together, as even more unforeseen riddles unwind, one thing becomes all too clear . . .
Bound is she by the ancient blood, and by that blood, someone and something, must be sacrificed!

But who, what and at what cost?
Remember, things are never what they seem to be . . .
Not even the Priestess.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have worked within the realm of publishing in one form or another for the past ten to twelve years. I have seen a lot of changes within that time. When I first stuck my big toe in the water, publishing was going through major changes even then. At that time, eBooks were fighting for their place among the big fishes in a very uncertain and difficult ocean of traditional waters. New Genres were also diving in and the very tastes of the dedicated reader were changing from socially accepted genres to the more daringly taboo ones. I had some books published, although I learned many lessons while I struggled to stay afloat. One publisher sent me royalty reports but never paid them. Another went out of business after a long stretch of craziness. While I unexpectedly fell into puddles of promotion and marketing jobs, I got to enjoy a wave or two of being a cover artist. I also attempted to redefine myself as an Author or what sort of Author I wanted to be-- that I needed in order to be happy. Many want you to change things-- even the content of the book, even wanting the story changed to what they see as a sure sale like erotica. A lot of writers are awesome at that. Give them a guideline and they will roll with it. Tell them to change something, go more extreme, add more sex or whatever, and they can deliver. I was having problems, though. I made the mistake of changing some of my books into genres that they clearly didn't need to be. I became desperate and I ended up miserable because of my choices.

I will say, every single aspect of publishing taught me something lesson-worthy, but more importantly, kept me from drowning completely.

Now, after taking a long needed break, I am kind of doing it my own way. Instead of struggling with the cookie cutter mold, I am letting my stories be what they want. The best way I know how to do that, is going Independent. So that is why I am doing this. I just want to write.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Honestly, I am not sure yet, but I am impressed with the Style Guide and the eBook formats that my work will be channeled into -- Sony, Kindle, Nook and more. The website isn't junked up with heavy scripts and has been very easy to follow, thus far. Hope the simplicity doesn't change.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seeing things. experiencing things that I never thought was possible. Also, reliving things and making peace with what was, unfortunately, all too possible.

Writing is therapy, entertainment, food for the soul, and so, so much more.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean the world to me. They breathe life into the pages of every story I can create. People think writers do that, but in truth, I think the fans do. While I write to write and will write regardless just because I am miserable when I don't, it does mean something intensely special when someone else enjoys it. They keep things from gathering too much dust. Ya know? They give me goals and purpose. We all need some of that.
What are you working on next?
I am working on the third book to Bound by Blood but I am also working on a book slightly different than anything I've done thus far. It's called, Right as Rayne. I am tapping into my southern roots for this one. Creating a place much like the small towns that I knew growing up. It deals with small town scandals, physical and emotional abuse, and how corrupt people can abuse religion. It deals with saving yourself.

Rayne Coffee's grandfather and mother are dead. There's nothing left to keep her in Vista, Virginia. No one can protect her. Leaving is the hardest thing she's ever done, but after becoming the victim of a violent act, scarred by one vicious scandal after the next, and is promised to inherit the wicked agenda of a false prophet who wants nothing more than to keep his cult alive, Rayne believes the only answer is to get out while she still can.

Seven years later, though, unforeseen circumstances brings her back, especially after a tragic fire washes clean the stains of Vista, and gives light to a very new and promising dawn. Thinking she'd finally have a fresh start in a town blessed with new beginnings, on a farm that was rightfully hers to begin with, Rayne takes her place in what was always meant to be her home. And once she does, oddly, Rayne begins to rediscover herself and just what it was that made certain members of her family so very special to begin with -- a gift, a charm, an ability like no other.

But with her return, a door to an ugly past is blown right off it's hinges, and certain horrific events trigger a release of terrors that just refuse to die. Unfortunately, this time, Rayne can't run. In order to destroy the past once and for all, though, the past may have to take her with it.
Who are your favorite authors?
To name a few ....

Marion Zimmer Bradley, Normandi Ellis, Barbara G. Walkers, Juliet Dark, Anne Rice, Steven King.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My own stubbornness and children. I live for them. I still have a lot of raising them to do and they still have a lot to teach me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
A better question would be, "When you are not running the kids to basketball, baseball, softball, football practices, helping with homework, cooking supper, working, seeing to the other million must-do-chores, how do you spend your time?"

The answer to that one is, writing. lol
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I am hooked up with newsletters that specialize in eBooks. They send me daily blurbs, deals, etc. I also do hunts on Amazon, Barns, etc.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, It had to do with a singer who came home to bury her alcoholic mother. She ends up being haunted by the memories of the abusive mother, and the life she was cursed to live before she ran away.. She was a destructive soul, just so damaged by everything her mother put her through.
What is your writing process?
An idea hits me, and I will scribble it down. Then, when I am feeling inspiration for that particular story, I start writing. I never know the ending until I get there. I write outlines but they always change as the chapters play out. I end up with notebooks filled with messy notes,research, important things not to forget, or character details. I end up with computer files filled with cut scenes, extra chapters, rewritten pieces and whatever else. I end up picking the work apart over and over and over again -- always trying to get every detail just right. I envy people who can write novels in less than a month. I really do.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I read a lot in grade school but the biggest impact a book had on me was, Flowers in the Attic. I was really young when I read it, too. I mean, I had a Librarian that used to sneak me books from her house that was way ahead of my age range. She would throw me things on Egyptian Myths, and who knew what else. I ate up every single word of whatever she snuck off to me. Flowers in the Attic, though, I really remember that one because I ended up thinking, "I have got to find this girl. Her family is worse than mine."

Okay, so my mother never sprinkled poison on my donuts, but still, lol. That didn't stop me from avoiding powdered sweets for the remainder of my life.
How do you approach cover design?
I did this for a living and still do on the side. Its not an easy job and like writing, has it's challenges. I like to make covers and then sit on them for awhile. Stick them on my desktop and see what things begin to annoy me.

Unfortunately, that whole deal, "Judge a book by it's cover," is very. very true. Chances are, if you are not visually drawn to a cover, you won't give the blurb the time of day. You won't even sample it.

Every time I make a cover -- for myself or for someone else-- I try to think, "Now what will make a book jump right off the screen and into your Reader?"
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Right now I have a Kindle, but I am opening my eyes to other options.
Published 2013-12-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Willow's Web
Price: $4.00 USD. Words: 95,550. Language: English. Published: December 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Struggling with a sleep paralysis and a lifetime of unexplained paranormal events, Willow Graves, just wants to settle down. Lake Serenity seems perfect until things begin unraveling from the webs spinning in her head.
Wyntress Nyght : Exes & Hexes
Price: $4.00 USD. Words: 87,840. Language: English. Published: December 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
Wyntress Nyght, here, serving up your forbidden dose of supernatural crack. So hook up your IVs, roll up the psychic and toke her, or offer up your shot glass for some ectoplasmic delight. For I have the phantasmal kick you have all been jonzing for. No DTs here, my darklings, only the monster of all dragons for you to chase . . . me!
Bound by Blood : The Sacrifice
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 96,180. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Book II of the Bound by Blood Series.... Once Samanthra takes her true & rightful place among the sacred bloodlines, she soon understands and realizes the sacrifices that must be made in order to save TERAH from its unholy threat. Or does she? Bound is she by the ancient blood, and by that blood, someone and something, must be sacrificed! But who? What?
Bound by Blood : The Awakening
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 85,890. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Book I of the Bound by Blood Series..... High Priestess of her bloodlines, Samanthra Lampir, is on the verge of her Awakening, something every Vii before her has welcomed with ease. Not Samanthra, though. That is, until the night a great storm of unknowable power releases a prophecy, a revelation, that will change her world--the world of TERAH-- forever.