Interview with Scott Johnson

What motivated you to become an indie author?
It's something that I'd always wanted to do. I've always written for other people for work (blogs, magazine articles and websites) and I grew up writing roleplaying scenarios too. I've always been a reader but my passion has always been writing so I decided that it was time to finally cross over to the other side and try my hand at being a writer. Being an 'indie' author gives me flexibility and control over my work plus I get to meet some great people.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When the book is finally finished and launched it's such a sense of achievement. It's like your child or pet – it becomes part of you – you're proud of it! There's so much blood, sweat and tears that goes into it. When someone has read it and they get in touch to tell you how much they loved, it's just the best feeling. It makes is all worth while.
What do your fans mean to you?
Having other people out there that have read my novels (and like them too) makes you feel glad that you started writing. It means it's not all been for nothing. In some way you've had an affect on someone's life, you've interacted with a stranger or a friend and you've now got this bond. They've imagined the world that you created, they've engaged in the characters and followed them along their journey. They've shared the experience.
It's nice when people ask me 'what's going to happen next'! Knowing that people want the stories to carry on gives me the confidence and the enthusiasm to continue.
What are you working on next?
The next novel is the third novel in the series. This will be the final novel in the trilogy (in this story arc) although I do have some ideas for stand alone books with some of the characters. The third book will carry on from where 'Return to Havenmill' finished. It should be out in 2018. I've got a few ideas for a couple of other books too, maybe a horror novel.
Who are your favorite authors?
I grew up on fantasy, science fiction and horror. Dean R Koontz, James Herbert and Stephen King. I love H.G. Wells too; he was a true visionary and a great storyteller and not just science-fiction either. And of course, the legendary Terry Pratchett. Such a tragedy to lose such a great talent and a likeable man.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
To be honest, some days I don't feel like it but doesn't everybody?! Writing isn't easy and it can feel very forbidding having a set number of words to try and get through in a day. You have to detach yourself from the pressure and just enjoy the story as it flows. Keep an eye on your end goal. Having a great (and very understanding!) wife is a blessing. Every day brings something new and it's kind of exciting not knowing what's going to happen.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a graphic designer too so I spend some of my time doing that still. I designed the covers for 'The Wolf Hound and the Raven' and 'Return to Havenmill'. I design a lot of packaging design for clients too, mostly for a UK chocolate manufacturer and a global drinks company. When I'm not working my two passions are motorbikes and movies. I'm got a couple of bikes which I ride for most of the year, either with friends or with my wife. Say hi if you meet me in Matlock in Derbyshire! I watch a lot of bike racing too, MotoGP and World Superbikes. I'm a Ducati fan, or Ducatisti as the say. Films are a big escape for me. I think anything that takes you away from 'the real world' or your normal life, even for a short while, and encourages you to think and be creative is a vital part of being human.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I think I was about 14 years old maybe. It was a fantasy story – proper sword and sorcery stuff! It was about 50 pages long. At the time I was pretty proud of it. I remember a couple of friends and my brother reading it. It's long gone now.
What is your writing process?
People often ask me how I write. I sit at my computer and start to type an idea. The characters start to dictate what they do and how they act to situations. The story then builds from there. I usually have a few key points that but I never set out wth a whole plan. I make lost of note about characters, places and timelines. I like detail. My style is very cinematic. I want the reader to see what I see.
Sometimes you get lost in research or bogged down in the finer details. Hours can pass and you don't feel like you've achieved much which can be frustrating but ultimately necessary I feel. Sometimes I write early in the morning and carry on until late into the night. Some days I can be lost in the internet and don't get any words typed until the afternoon. Writing is very varied and fluid.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I always read at junior school. I vaguely remember some pirate books. The first book that really opens my eyes and my mind was probably J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It was the first fantasy novel that I'd read, and it was so big and epic. It was the introduction to the whole sci-fi and fantasy genre for me.
How do you approach cover design?
I want to capture the essence of the story without giving anything away and without being too abstract either. It really annoys me when book covers have nothing to do with the stories. As a designer i think getting the cover right is vital. It's packaging design – it's what your novel is sold in so it has to be right and it has to stand out. With my first two novels I wanted to capture the underlying darkness of the stories and create a sense of mystery and unease. I wasn't people to say 'What's that? What's going on there?' It should capture their interest immediately. The dark colours with a simple flash of bright colour provides the contrast and portrays a hint of hope shining through the gloom. Getting the font right is important too. It should match the tone and style of the book . Don't just design it to look like another novel or to fit with a current trend. Every novel is unique and so should its cover.
Published 2017-12-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Silent Winters
Series: The Wolf Hound and the Raven Trilogy. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 91,580. Language: British English. Published: November 21, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Darkness. Failure. Despair... Each day the roots of Lord Sabas Tannith’s Empire spreads across the land. A New Order rises like a black cloud upon the horizon. The world stands on the brink of a Great War. A master race will rise from the ashes. Freedom will end. If Daniel Lindström fails to reunite his friends, humanity is lost and the world will be thrown into chaos. History will be rewritten
Return to Havenmill
Series: The Wolf Hound and the Raven Trilogy. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 106,680. Language: British English. Published: December 11, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
In the aftermath of the wedding, Mary and Alexander narrowly escape with their lives and are thrown into a dark and uncertain world. Alone, lost, and on the run, they must find the strength to survive and learn the truth about their past before it is too late, and end Lord Tannith's brutal plans to spread war and tyranny. Millions of innocent lives hang in the balance as a new Empire emerges.
The Wolf Hound and the Raven
Series: The Wolf Hound and the Raven Trilogy. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 96,480. Language: British English. Published: December 11, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
While out walking his dog along the cliff tops during a terrible storm one evening, Robert Harris discovers a semi-conscious figure at the edge of the sea. The man has no recollection of who he is or how he came to be there. As the details of the man’s past are discovered, they are drawn into a bitter battle of politics and power on a fast-paced and dangerous journey across Victorian England.