Today I would like to welcome Scott Prussing to The Writing World. I have an interesting interview for you all. Keep reading to find out more about this author.
What inspired you to write your first book, Scott?
I’m going to give a somewhat complicated answer to a simple question, because I have two “first books.” One (Unturned Stones) is actually the first one I wrote, but nothing ever happened with it. The second (Breathless) has been moderately successful and has led to 4 sequels.
A friend of mine, who is an avid reader, read Unturned Stones and loved it. He knows how hard it is to get anything published and said offhandedly: “You should write something with
vampires in it. Anything with vampires sells.”
I decided to make write a “Twilight type” book that was not really like Twilight, if that makes sense. I started thinking about what I could do differently, but still appeal to that huge audience. Instead of making vampires the lead characters, I made them the catalyst for the action. I also made them more traditional. I invented supernatural vampire hunters I call volkaanes and created one-fanged vampires, who are crippled versions of the real thing. I made sure I had an engrossing storyline with several subplots. I think I succeeded pretty well, because there are now 4 sequels to Breathless, with plans for a fifth.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Sure, I remember exactly. Shortly after college, I read an article in the local newspaper about a boy who was writing a Lord of the Rings type novel. LOTR is my all-time favorite book, and I thought “I could do that.” So I started writing—in ball point pen on a legal pad. I ended up with an 800 page Lord of the Rings rip-off. The story wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t very well-written. It’s what got me started, though. Thankfully, that manuscript no longer exists.
How does your take on vampires differ from what is already on the market?
My vampires are closer to the traditional than to the sparkly, high school attending vampires with special powers in Twilight. The sun hurts their skin, but does not kill them, so they prefer the night or cloudy days. They live communally in underground caverns, following certain rules to keep from drawing too much attention to themselves. They can pass as human when necessary, and some of them mingle with people now and then. I also invented one-fanged vampires, who I call grafhym. They are crippled versions of the real thing, far less powerful, and they are shunned by other vampires. Grafhym play a critical role in book one, Breathless.
What makes your stories different?
I think my paranormal romance novels have more mystery and suspense than many books in the genre—an offshoot, I think, of having started my career with two suspense novels. I also try to create a few new things in my books, such as the one-fanged vampires and supernatural vampire hunters called volkaanes I invented for my Blue Fire Saga. In Heartless, book 5 in the series, I added another new invention—xenorians. They are members of an ancient sect that believes all magic will eventually turn evil and so must be destroyed.
You have VERY creative worlds, yet the emphasis of your books seems to be more weighted to the story. What are your feelings on world building vs. character building vs. storyline?
I think all three are important. If readers don’t like your characters, they’ll have a hard time enjoying the story. I’ve always been more of a “story guy” than anything else, so that comes easiest to me. I think that’s one reason people way beyond my core audience love the Blue Fire Saga books.
My books are usually set in locations I know well, so there is little “world building” needed for that. Since I invent and use some different kinds of supernatural characters, I do have to build a way to fit them into the everyday world and to make it logical and real. It’s kind of like world building with the real world. The last thing I want is for a reader to say about something is “that doesn’t make sense.”
Description doesn’t come naturally to me, so I have to remind myself every time the location changes to spend at least a few sentences describing the new place (sights, sounds, smells, etc.) I don’t enjoy reading books that go on and on with descriptions, so I try to be very descriptive without using too many words. It’s actually been a very pleasant surprise to me when readers and reviewers call my books things like “wonderfully descriptive.”
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of writing?
My favorite thing is when I write a section that I KNOW is really good in some way—clever, funny, inventive, creative, flowing, etc. It could be a scene, a piece of dialogue, a description or even a character. My least favorite part is when I get stuck, where I know what I want to say but can’t figure out how to say it in a way that is smooth, flowing and clear. Sometimes it can take longer to write three sentences than it does to write an entire page.
What do you do to help you write? Do you down the energy drinks? Eat junk food? Blast the tunes? Do tell.
I’m kind of boring here, I’m afraid. I just sit down at my computer and start writing. I hate to admit it, but writing is usually (but not always!) pretty easy for me. Sometimes I have the radio playing, sometimes I don’t even remember to turn it on. I don’t eat or drink anything while I’m at my desk. If I get stuck, I’ll sometimes stretch out on my bed with my eyes closed to think (my computer is in my bedroom). For some reason, if I’m really stuck, a shower helps. Like I said, all in all, pretty boring.
Readers can stalk Scott Prussing at:
Amazon Author Page:
eBook links to Breathless: