Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Author interview with Lynda K Scott

A warm welcome to American author Lynda K Scott who writes for a genre which combines her love of science fiction, fantasy and romance.

Tell us about when you sold your first book.
My book, Heartstone, is available from Mundania Press which has quite a good following for science fiction, fantasy and paranormal books and has spread out to include romance. When I got the notification, I was elated. Couldn't stop grinning. And I immediately sent out email to all my friends that it had, at last, found a home.

Where is your favourite place to work?
I have a somewhat messy office I share with my kitten, Wookie. That's my favorite place to work because I can go in there, turn on the radio/cd player and close the door. The only one who's allowed to disturb me is Wookie but since she's my writing partner, I suppose that's all right.

Do you have to juggle writing with the day job? What is your work schedule?

I recently gave up my day job so I don't have to juggle anymore. Now, I have to adhere to a schedule that keeps me writing, otherwise I'd get too interested in playing with the Internet or working in my garden or...shopping.

How do you begin when you start a new novel?

I usually begin somewhat ahead of the story's actual beginning. That way I can give a little back story or history in for my characters. I know I'll delete it before I try to sell it because I don't want to bore my readers.

Which authors have most influenced your work? And which do you choose to read for pleasure?

Andre Norton and Isaac Asimov were my early influences. Both had romantic elements in their work. Ms Norton's style was spare, not a word wasted. She had a skill that led to graceful writing that lured a reader in and keep them firmly attached to the book. Dr. Asimov gave his science fiction stories real people which is what fiction stories are about. I like to think that what I've done is combined fantasy and science fiction with romance to get a genre I call Science Fantasy Romance. I'm not going to say that I created the genre or coined the name for it but that is what I write.

What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?

The hardest part of the writing process for me is to NOT include every single bit of information that I've learned during the book's research. I love research and I love learning and I'm sure most readers do as well. But an author can get off the path easily by looking for ways to incorporate each datum that comes her way. That's my burden and I have to fight it every day.

How do you develop your characters? In historicals, how do you keep them in period yet sympathetic to readers?

I begin with a physical description. Some tiny oddity will make me wonder how or where that physical trait came from. It's amazing how fast a character can grow when you begin expanding on something as simple as a tiny scar just below an eyebrow. While I don't write historicals, per se, many of my characters sound as if they're from a time period other than our own. Sometimes they are. Sometimes they're simply from another place with the values or mores of an earlier time period. To keep a character sympathetic to a reader you have to make the character someone the reader will sympathize with or one whose goals and motivations the reader can understand.

What do you think an editor is looking for in a good novel?

I think an editor looks for a solid story and great, motivated characters.

How do you relax? What interests do you have other than writing?

I love to cook and create recipes. I also can produce from my garden or from our local Farmer's Market. And I love to read.

Do you believe writing is a skill anyone can learn? What advice would you give a new writer?

I think many writers have an innate skill but without the proper nurturing of it by reading and studying good writers, it will likely wither. My best advice to new writers is to read, read and read some more. Then practice writing. Follow that up by more reading. Read the genres that interest you but also read genres that aren't quite your cup of tea. While you read, study how these successful authors developed their characters or plots, used dialogue or descriptive narrative. There's a lot that can be learned just by reading and it's fun!

What draws you to your particular genre? Are you a specialist or do you have another identity?

I love stretching my imagination. I love mythology. I love science. My novels follow the Arthur C. Clarke quotation: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Heartstone has shapeshifters who wield laser swords, fly space ships, and have interplanetary transport locations. They heal/diagnose with 'magical' stones or by touch. Altered Destiny has alien 'Elves', dragons, space flight, altered time lines and other cool stuff. My goal is to make the 'magic' plausible and the science understandable without sacrificing the story or the characters.

Do you enjoy writing sequels or series? If so, what is the special appeal for you?

Both Heartstone and Altered Destiny could have sequels...if I could halt the flow of ideas springing into my mind for new stories.

Do you find the increasing amount of time a writer has to spend on social networking and blogs a distraction from your writing, or of benefit?

There's no question that social networking takes time. I do believe social networking or blogs are important for a writer who has published books. With the way publishers are so cash short, we authors have to do whatever we can to get word out about our books. I also think social networking and blogging is fun. I've met a number of really sweet people who if they just lived a little closer would probably be close friends.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, how do you cope with it?

I have on occasion had writer's block. Sometimes it's easier to deal with, sometimes not. Usually what I do is to take a pad of paper and try to write something long hand. It doesn't matter if it's for the story I'm working on or if it's just ramblings from a wandering mind. The act of writing seems to liberate me from the writer's block.

With the increasing popularity of ebooks, how do you see the future for writers?

I love paperbacks. I love going into a bookstore and just smelling the aroma of books. I love the weight and feel of the book in my hands. But I believe books will go to electronic format completely. My publisher, Mundania Press, offers their books in print and e-format. My book, Altered Destiny, (self-published for Kindle and Nook) is doing quite well too.

Do you enjoy research, and how do you set about it?

I LOVE research as I said earlier. Altered Destiny required a lot of research on Scottish customs. I wanted some old sayings to help develop characters and I found quite a few. I adored them! So I included one saying at the start of each chapter that ties into the chapters plot.

What craft tip helped you the most? To read whatever I could get my hands on.

Tell us about your latest book, and how you got the idea for it.

How about I give you a little for each book? For Heartstone, Eric is a driven man, a born protector. He's very loyal and is willing to sacrifice himself to defend his family, his clan and his people. When his people are attacked by a creature that takes control of their minds and bodies, he realizes he needs more than just his sword or ability to shapeshift to protect everything he holds dear. That's when he learns about the Heartstone, a legendary weapon that can only be used by its Stonebearer. Luckily, the Stonebearer is the mother of his intended bride. The problem? Both the Heartstone and the Stonebearer and her family have been missing for years.

In Altered Destiny, Liane MacGregor met a red-headed boy when she was a small child visiting her aunt's seaside cottage. When she grew up, she met the man she thought was that small boy. But if he was, he had changed and become a man she couldn't love. When her divorce becomes final, she wanders along the beach below the cottage when she first met him...and the moon explodes. Suddenly, it's daytime, the cottage is no longer there and the man she just divorced is standing in front of her, wearing a kilt and speaking with a brogue...something he's never done before. At first, she thinks she's gone back in time but things like elves, castles and dragons in America make her wonder if she's lost her mind. Or if she's gone sideways, to a world that is altered from the norm. And if it's altered, is the man she thought was her ex-husband a slime ball or a hero?

Can you reveal something of your work in progress?

I have a futuristic that I'm editing, A cargo ship captain, running from the law, takes on a passenger who can either be the love of her life...or destroy her if he discovers her true identity.

Thank you Lynda. We wish you every success with 'Heartstone' and 'Altered Destiny'.

To find out more about Lynda and her work visit her website at http://www.lyndakscott.com.

To join Lynda's newsletter, send a blank email to: LyndaKScott-Newsgroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Follow Lynda at Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/lyndakscott

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/LyndaKScott

On Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynda-K-Scott/201599553208653


Unknown said...

This sounds like a great premise. In one reality or another situation could have shaped us so we could be our best or worst selves.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi RNA readers and Hi Elaine! It's great to be here.

Elaine, exactly. In one world, Devyn MacGregor is a jerk (to be kind) and the other, a hero. I've often wondered where each of us would be if we or our parents had made different choices. But to apply it to a whole universe? Now that's really fascinating ;-)

Brinda said...

Both books sounds great, Lynda. I'm sure that your love for research shows in your writing. I can understand the desire to include too many of those fascinating tidbits you learn as you research a topic.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

An excellent interview! Your advice to writers is also first-rate.

Jacqueline Seewald

Lynda K. Scott said...

Thanks, Brinda. Yes, it is hard to keep all the fascinating tidbits out of the book. I console myself with the idea that they may be perfect for the next book or the one after that ;-)

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Jacqueline, I've always found that I learn a lot by reading. Reading is one of the simplest forms of acquiring knowledge, both intentionally or as a 'side effect' of the act of reading. And, like I said, it's fun ;-)

Linda Wisdom said...

Great interview, Lynda!

Everyone, her books are fantastic!!

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed the Interview! And thanks for sharing advice.

Wishing you great Sales!

HAPPY HOLIDAY HUGS, Kari Thomas, www.authorkari.com

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Linda! Every one, if you aren't familiar with Linda, she was a guest on my blog, Star-Crossed Romance, this past Monday. She's a terrific paranormal writer and she gave us just a tidbit of a story for our Thanksgiving holiday. You can see it at http://star-crossedromance.blogspot.com/2011/11/guest-linda-wisdom.html

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Kari, Happy Holidays to you too! Thanks for stopping by ;-)

Anonymous said...

That was a great interview. I really enjoyed it.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Ella, thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed the interview ;-)

Anonymous said...

sound like good nice interview +follow i follow your new post thank's

Rosemary Gemmell said...

That was a really interesting interview, Lynda, especially when your books are a different genre from I normally read. But you're right, we should explore all kinds of books!

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi 2Peeps and Rosemary, thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed the interview ;-)

Pat McDermott said...

Very enjoyable interview, Lynda. Your stories draw inspiration from an impressive array of information. Sometimes too much info can weigh a story down, but you seem to have the knack to get the blend just right. Best of luck, and keep those stories coming!

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Pat, thanks, I do try to keep the nonessential info at bay. It's a chore though, lol. Thanks again!