I have a special interview today with an indie author who I have always looked up to. When I first became a self-published author, Scott's name was always thrown around as one of the indies who had really made it--someone who could write and had fabulous stories. Luckily, I had the distinct pleasure of getting to know Scott and I've enjoyed it immensely. So, I wanted to introduce Scott to all of you who might not know of him and urge you to try some of his books.
Scott Nicholson is the author of 12 or so novels, including the Top 100 bestsellers Liquid Fear and Disintegration, as well as seven story collections, six screenplays, four comics series, and three children's books. He's also put out The Indie Journey: Secrets to Writing Success.
HP: Hi Scott, welcome to my blog and thanks so much for stopping by!
S: Thanks, HP, I'm honored to be here. I've watched the way you've built your success and it's inspiring.
HP: So, the first question I have for you is all about how you got started as an indie author. For those of you who don't know, Scott's name was always one I heard when I just started out as an indie. He was definitely recognized as someone who was a fantastic writer and a success. I'd love to know how you found yourself on the road to indiedom?
S: Equal parts inspiration and desperation. I'd been through New York and agents and all that but I'd hit a dead spot in my career where I couldn't get much traction. I had the rights back to my first novel The Red Church and was looking at ways to get it back out to readers. Luckily, it coincided with the e-book explosion. After six months and the same old agent "I can't sell this," I decided I should put up every novel I'd been shopping and start looking for readers instead of that one editor who might like it. I haven't looked back since. I'm humbled and grateful for this rare opportunity.
HP: What is the easiest and hardest part about self publishing?
S: The easiest part is just doing it, which is also the hardest part. You really need creative drive at every level, from writing to product development to marketing. But you have to enjoy the writing first. I see indies who are already giving up, because they read blogs that suggest all indies will be millionaires. The truth is, few are going to win the lottery. That's why it's a lottery. For most of us, this is just a job in the arts, where you work hard and maybe 10 or 15 years later your small business starts turning a profit if you're lucky.
HP: Can you tell us about your books? Do you write series or standalones and which would you say would be good ones for my readers to start with?
S: Every book I write has an out for a sequel. The Red Church has a loose sequel with a recurring main character in Drummer Boy, and Archer McFall will be the third in the series when I have time to write it. I am currently writing the Liquid Fear sequel, Chronic Fear, and there's a third in that series as well. Your paranormal fans might enjoy October Girls, in which a teen witch and her dead best friend employ trailer-trash magic to save the world from the unborn twin of James Dean. Other books I write will depend on what readers want. I'll write whatever they support the most, because they are my boss in every sense of the word.
HP: I think you've co-written a book with JR Rain? What is the name of the book and is it available? How was that process--did you find it difficult to write with someone else?
S: We have three: Cursed! and The Vampire Club were from old first drafts J.R. had written and I revised and sprinkled Scott dust on them. Ghost College was kicked back and forth in alternating chapters, and we're doing the same thing in a round-robin with vampire star H.T. Night. J.R. is an amazing storyteller and his warmth and humanity really come through. I tend to be a little harder-edged with a little dry humor, so it's a fun blend. Working with him has definitely made me a better writer.
HP: What advice would you offer other aspiring authors?
S: Write every day. I've always said that. Be open to possibility and don't get caught up in the "Indie vs. Trad vs. Amazon vs. Apple vs. BN" stuff. Do what's best for you today and be prepared to change tomorrow, because change is the only constant I've seen in the digital revolution.
HP: What is one fact about yourself that would surprise your readers?
S: It's funny to me that people assume I am "dark" or "violent" just because I indulge in certain kinds of make-believe. I'm a gardener at heart, patient, persistent, optimistic.
HP: Would you ever consider becoming a traditionally published author or would you prefer to stay indie all the way?
S: I've been there with six books, so I know the downsides, and there are many. I know the upsides and downsides of indie pretty well, except of course the uncertain future. I am open to trying anything at any time, because tomorrow will not be like today. The great thing for indies is they now know what they are worth and they have options that didn't exist five or 10 years ago. I just wrote an article at indiereader.com. about how none of us are truly indies because we all need other people.
HP: What is your favorite movie?
S: Varies, but today I will go with The Princess Bride.
HP: Do you believe in ghosts?
S: I believe in the possibility. I've been a ghost hunter and I hosted two paranormal conferences at haunted locations, which inspired my novel Speed Dating with the Dead. But after all the EVPs and EMFs and seances, I still don't think we're any closer to understanding what is essentially an article of faith.
HP: Who has influenced you the most in your road to becoming a self published author?
S: In writing, Vonnegut, Hemingway, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, and Stephen King were people I wanted to be. The problem was I wanted to be all of them at the same time, so it took a lot of rejection slips to hammer out what I suppose is my style. I've known self-publishers as long as I've been writing, but it was people like J.A. Konrath and Zoe Winters that helped educate me on the new era.
HP: Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Scott! It was so much fun chatting with you and getting to know you. And to everyone reading this, please be sure to check out Scott's books!! Scott, where can my readers learn more about you? Do you have a website? Thanks again!
S: My website is www.hauntedcomputer.com and I'm also "hauntedcomputer" on Twitter and Facebook. My monthly newsletter has contests, giveaways, and advance copies so sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks HP for sharing your living room with me!