Writing Improvement Software

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Author Showcase: Scott L. Collins

Scott, thanks for joining me!
Q. Like so many authors, you have a “day job”, and 2 young boys. I'm sure your wife is a huge help there, but how do you balance writing time with family time?
A. This has to be one of the top two hardest things for me to do as an author. Being pulled in so many directions, I’m not able to write as often as I would like, but maybe that’s what keeps it fresh for me. I write when I can. Sometimes that’s an hour a day, sometimes nothing, but I just keep chipping away.
Q. When you do find yourself with quiet time, how do you get yourself in “the zone” mentally for writing?
A. I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on, so I feel I’ve built up a pretty solid imagination. When I sit down to write, my characters are usually sitting around waiting for me to get to work.
Q. All authors seem to have a hang-up, some little something that can throw them completely off their game. What's yours, and how do you get past it?

A. Anyone talking to me is a huge distraction, so I wait until after the kids go to bed, or are off somewhere with my wife, and then I write.

Q. The one writing flaw that gets me every time is the overuse of commas. What writing error do you find yourself doing even though you know good and well it's not right?

A. Commas are difficult for me as well. I think I’m improving, but every time I get a manuscript back from my editor for the first time, I realize I still have a long way to go. I think that’s important though. Not everyone is perfect, and if you can identify your flaw/s, you can improve. I’m sure by the time I’m done with the series, my comma misuse will be substantially more infrequent (at least I hope).

Q. In hindsight, if you could go back and change anything you've done since writing your first book, what would it be?

A. Being more patient. I tend to rush into things. I would love to jump straight into clicking publish as soon as I finish writing draft one. Luckily, I have some important people around me who help slow me down. Critiques, beta-readers, and editors are all very critical to putting out a good product. You’ve created a diamond, why not give others a chance to shine it up for you?

Q. I recently read Scepter, the first book in the Scepter Series, and found it- dare I say, adorable. I really admired the 4 main characters, and even the ones they came across. Who inspired these characters?

A. Well, Daniel and Aidan are loosely based on my own two boys. Some of their antics and personality quirks are straight out of the lives of my boys. Olivia and Lilly? Good question. I guess they’re blends of some of the friends of my boys. It’s cute though, to watch my older boy get all flustered when talking about a girl. I try to bring that same type of awkwardness to some of the scenes between Daniel and Olivia.

Q. I loved the premise of this book, and I was impressed at how natural everything flowed. You could tell that they really did belong in the world you put them in. Mixing mythological creatures and humans in the same world isn't as easy as it may seem, but you did it flawlessly. Was it difficult for you, or did it really come as easy as it reads?

A. I’m very thankful that, thus far, the writing has come fairly easy. I think it’s helpful that I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on, so I have a rather large universe of creatures and monsters to choose from. World building is difficult, but when you’re shown how it should be done by J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling, among others, it makes it much easier to do yourself. I think the hardest part has just been developing the actual characters, giving them their own unique voice. Sometimes I’m more successful than others, to again, good to have beta-readers and editors let you know when your 9 year old girl is speaking/acting/thinking like a 38 year old man. :)

Q. I haven't read The Emerald of Phaunos, Book 2, yet, but my friend, Lex Allen, has graciously allowed me to use part of his Reader's Favorite review to let readers know what he thought. It's a glowing one, and I can tell you from experience it's no easy task getting 5 Stars from Mr. Allen (laugh). From his review, though, it would appear you were able to carry the magic of the first book through to the second. Was the second book easier to write than the first?

A. I think so. My characters have now started to flesh out in my imagination. It’s now just a matter of keeping up with their adventures as oppose to trying to nudge them along.

Q. There are going to be 5 books in this series? What is the next one coming up, and when will that be available?
A. Book three is written. I’m going through my first round of revisions now. I expect to have everything wrapped up late this year or early next year.

Q. Thanks again for talking with me, Scott, is there anything you'd like to leave the readers with?

A. Just to keep on reading!
Great Advice!
You can get Scott's books here:              Scepter                       The Emerald of Phaunos


  1. Nice to get to know more about Scott! Loved the interview!

  2. Excellent interview with an up and coming new writer, Scott Collins. Scott's "Scepter" series is a unique and exciting YA fantasy adventure tale.