Since he was a kid, Scott wanted to be an author and explored many genres through high school and college. Fantasy, though, captivated his soul. Tales of Knights and magic, dragons and elves filled his dreams. After greasing the gears of the corporate machine for many years, he escaped the Information Technology vortex to focus full-time on writing. The stories he’d envisioned years ago—of nobility and strife, honor and chaos—demanded they be brought to life.
Scott lives with his wife, two children, and a giant Chihuahua on the west coast of Florida.
1.What inspired you to write your first book?
I've always wanted to be a writer, but I lost sight of that after college. Life stepped in and adjusted my perspective. Other goals became more important—starting a family, building a career in Information Technology. The dreams of earlier days melted into the background. But then things changed. Once again, Life stomped her big ol' Doc Martens on my well-running life. My career hit a big snag, and I lost someone very important to me. Time for a change. I parted ways with my company, and took some time to clear my head. It was at the five month mark, once the haze of corporate sludge had cleared, that I REMEMBERED. It's that recently remembered dream of long ago that inspired me to write. Knight of Flame is the result
2.What books have influenced your life the most?
I started reading Fantasy when I was in sixth grade and haven't stopped. If you do the math, that's a heck of a lot of wonder and magic absorbed over the years. Some of the most important books in the beginning were the Shannara novels by Terry Brooks. In fact, Mr. Brooks gave me my first bit of writing advice at a book signing during his tour for Elf Queen of Shannara. I asked for a bit of wisdom for an aspiring writer. He asked what I was working on, and I gave him a list of a few started projects. He smiled, wise eyes crinkling, and asked if I'd finished something. I paused, looked at my shoes, bit my lip, and told him that I hadn't. So, his advice—finish something, anything. A half-done work can't be sold.
More recently, while I still feed my Fantasy habit with Sanderson, Salvatore, and a host of others, I've spent significant time delving into David Farland's writing lore. His books on the craft of writing are not to be missed. Better yet, take one of his classes. For personal inspiration, I've been deeply moved by Drawing Out the Dragons, by James A. Owen. Several quotes from the book hit me so hard, that I posted them on the wall next to my writing desk. I read them every day.
3.What are your current projects?
In addition to the promotion work for Knight of Flame, I'm finishing the second book in the Chronicles of the Knights Elementalis series, and fleshing out the concept for another fantasy series based in a wholly fictional world.
4.If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out, and reader response has been tremendous.
5.What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
I can't think of a specific piece of criticism as being the toughest. I try to take each comment as a learning opportunity, and not focus on the negative (mostly). I think the toughest part of the "seeking publication" process is dealing with form-letter rejections. Rejections happen. It goes with the territory; but, when an author is seeking to break in and all he gets as a response to a query or submission is a "thanks, but no thanks," it gives him nothing to work on. What's missing? What does it need? How can he fix or change the piece if he doesn't know what's wrong? Ugh, frustrating. Just writing about it takes me back.
6.What has been the best compliment?
The best compliment came from my mentor, David Farland. He offered to provide a cover quote for the book. When he did, he told me he loved my writing style. Wow. To hear that from my mentor out of the blue meant so much.
7.Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
I've got lots and lots to say, but I'll reiterate what Terry Brooks told me twenty years ago—finish the project. I can tell you from personal experience that it's easy to get lost in revisions. I wrote and rewrote the first fifty pages of Knight of Flame too many times to count before I moved on to the rest of the book. Part of the reason for that was me learning my characters. Another was that I wasn't happy with the way it had turned out. But the biggest, to be honest, was that I didn't know how to move on. That's why I turned to David Farland and his storytelling expertise. Okay, here's a second piece of advice—don't be afraid to ask for help. If you don't know something, turn to someone who does.
8.What is your favorite quality about yourself?
I love sharing the things I've learned with other writers. It charges my batteries, gets me even more excited about the creative process. When I explain something to a struggling writer and I see that light bulb go on behind his or her eyes, it makes my day.
9.What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
Discipline. Every day I struggle to get started. The Internet sings its siren song and I lose an hour, telling myself that it's research or promo or whatever. Really? Is reading the latest status on Facebook research? Meh, not so much. Once I get going, I rock the word count, but some days it takes longer than others to get in the groove.
10. Is there anything else you would like to share?
With Knight of Flame being my debut novel, and the first book in The Chronicles of the Knights Elementalis, I'm eager to hear reader reaction. Feel free to hit me up on social media or send an email through my website. I'd love to hear from you.