Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! I was on his blog a couple of weeks ago and now he’s here! People, welcome J. Scott Coatsworth! 🙂

Where do you live and write from?

My husband Mark and I live in Sacramento. We’ve been here for seventeen years – we lived in the Bay Area for a long time, but I grew up in Tucson. Literally, though, I write at my desk in our shared office with a view of an ivy-covered wall and my container vegetable garden.

Why do you write?

Because I have to. I’m a writer, and I have so many stories in my head just begging to be told. I’m happiest when I am writing regularly – it’s an itch that demands to be scratched.

When did you start writing?

I wrote my first short story in fifth grade for a University of Arizona elementary school writing contest. It was strongly inspired by the Jetsons (flying car and all) and illustrated by the author in crayon. It won the contest (I don’t remember if it took first place or was one of the winners) and was placed in the UofA library in Tucson. It might still be there. 😛

I started writing seriously in my last few years of high school, and submitted my first novel at 25. It was roundly rejected, and we will never speak of it again.

What genre(s) do you write?

Sci fi, fantasy, and magical realism, mostly. I’ve dabbled in mm (male-male) romance, but my heart was always in sci fi. My mom got me started on Lord of the Rings in third grade, and I read McCaffrey, Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Piper, Brin, and many others by the time I reached junior high.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I get up around 5:30 every morning and try to do an hour to an hour-and-a-half each morning before starting work (with varying levels of success LOL). It’s important to have a regular schedule, and starting early means my mind is at its most sharp.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

I’m great at writing epic tales and weaving together multiple plot and character threads. I see my writing as cinematic, playing out over a large canvass. I also excel at worldbuilding (if I don’t say so myself 😉 ) I build detailed, immersive worlds that you won’t want to leave.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

LOL those are two very different questions. Inspiration comes from all kinds of places. Some opf my short stories are inspired by single words – Pareidolia, Eventide – and large parts of the Liminal Sky series were influenced by that word – liminal” – that I first heard from one pf our pastors at church. Still others come from short story fragments I started ages ago but never finished, or things that pop into my head (often in the middle of the night – I got the idea for Across the Transom after midnight and got up and wrote it whole.

And yeah, probably? I think there’s a little of me in each story I write. How could there not be? Each character draws on things I have seen or read or heard or done, so it’s inevitable that I leave a little “me” behind.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Again the trick double-question! 🙂

A bit of both. I used to be a total improviser/pantser, which explains the hordes of unfinished stories on my hard drive. Now I start out with a rough outline (plotter) and improvise along the way, allowing myself to change it as needed. It serves as a roadmap for where I want to go.

And I’m pretty fast, when I stick to it – I can complete a couple novels and a number of short stories in a year.

Tell us about your latest book

I’m in the midst of self publishing my two sci fi trilogies – The Ariadne Cycle and The Oberon Cycle. As of this writing, book one of Oberon – Skythane – has just been rereleased. The Oberon Cycle was inspired by the Giants series by James Hogan in that it’s like an onion, with new layers being peeled back in each new book. In the first one, we meet Xander and Jameson, two men thrown together by fate as the end of Oberon approaches. Oberon is a unique half-world – literally a half sphere, and much of the plot revolves around this central fact.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Oooh, tricksy. I started out on the traditional publishing side. In 2018 I self published my first book – “The River City Chronicles” – and was soon doing so regularly with novellas and short stories. Now I am republishing my old Dreamspinner books, and soon plan to publish more new works.

But I am also trying to land a big publisher through agent submissions, which I hope will eventually be fruitful. Cross your fingers!

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Oh yeah. There’s Dropnauts, my Liminal Sky spin-off that looks at what happened back on Earth. That’s out to agents currently.

I am working on a new trilogy set on Tharassas, the world of The Last Run.

And I have six other short stories in various states of submission on the spec fic magazine circuit.

I also have a number of other stories to rerelease this next year.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

To reach as wide an audience as I can’ I am writing writing writing, and also trying to level up to a big NYC publisher. I’d love to see the books done as a TV series or film someday. 🙂 So I submit, submit, submit!

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t stop. We writers are almost all afflicted with imposter syndrome – that internal critic who tells you your writing sucks, you’re just not good enough, and you should pack it up and go home. I let mine stop me from writing for twenty years after that first stinging rejection. I wish I had kept going. You can’d sell what you don’t write!

_________________________

Find Scott online:

Website

Facebook: Author Page

Twitter: Author Page

Instagram: Author Page

Dreamspinner Press: Author Page

Goodreads: Author Page

QueeRomance Ink: Author Page

Amazon: Author Page

BookBub: Author Page

Buy Skythane

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3 Comments

  1. Fun interview, and I hope the book is still at the library, because it would be really cool to learn libraries actually keep those kinds of things.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Niiiice!

    Like

    Reply
  1. Me – Interviewed! – J. Scott Coatsworth

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