I had an interesting chat today with best-selling author, Shane Scollins. Check out the details below!
Have you ever cried over a book? If so, which one and why?
A = Yes I have. At some point in virtually every one of my 10 books there have been some form of tears.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
A = My family… I will always rather spend time with them than write.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? If so, what was it?
A = I did for a very brief flicker in time when I first started. But it was never a serious consideration.
What is the worst book you ever read and why?
A = Oh boy, that’s a loaded question. There have been way too many to name just one. So many books I start and cannot finish because they are so poorly written and plotted.
What’s your ultimate writing goal?
A = To make enough to write full time, support my family and not have a day job. But I think that goes for every author I know.
What made you decide to become a serious author?
A= It was reading Dean Koontz. He was the first author I read that didn’t seem predictable to me. And his style was presented in such a way that you don’t have to be a hardcore reader to enjoy his books. I thought that if I could just present books in a similar way, to be unpredictable and fast-paced, I could get more people into reading.
Do you do research for your characters or settings? Give us an example.
A = All the time. Life is research; living is research. Everywhere I go and everyone I meet is a form of research. In THE MERMAID I walked around the Fort Fisher area to get a good scope of the locations and local people. I live in the area so it was easy to do.
Do you believe writing is a gift or a learned skill?
A = I think writing is a learned skill, but storytelling is a gift, and there is a vast difference. Anyone can learn to write but telling a good story is organic. I don’t think it can be learned in some sense. You can tell the difference when a story is natural and when it is forced or worse yet, cobbled together from 10 different stories the author has already read.
Do you believe anyone could write a book?
A = Sure, anyone can write and book. But not everyone can write a good book, and this goes back to the previous question in that not everyone can tell a story.
How often do you write and for how long?
A = Whenever I can and for as long as I can. I don’t push it as hard as I used to. I used to write at a furious pace. Now I’m much more relaxed and casual about the pace.
What did you edit out of your most recent book?
A = I didn’t edit too much out of THE MERMAID really. It came together in such a way that it was complete.
How do you name your characters?
A = It all depends. Sometimes they come to me, sometimes I work at it. Sometimes I just pick a random name from a sign or television show or anything else and sometimes I just see a cool name and want to use it.
Do you read your book reviews? Why or why not?
A = I used to. When I first started I read every one the minute it was posted. But now, I can’t even tell you how many reviews my books have. I know my one book LEGACY RISING had like 100+ reviews but they were recently lost by Amazon. So now it has like 2. That would have driven me crazy in the past now I’m just over it.
Are any parts of your book(s) auto-biographical?
A = I guess in some way they are all. The characters all have some part of me, as do the stories. But in totality not really.
What was the hardest scene you every wrote and why?
A = That’s a tough question. I struggled with the ending of THE MERMAID, only because I could not settle on how to end it. So I wrote several endings and struggled with that, probably more than any other ending to a book.
What one thing would you sacrifice to become a better writer?
A = I mean, the only thing one can really sacrifice is time. Time is the only thing we have in this world that truly belongs to us. It’s the one thing we have to leverage against the things we want and need.
How long does it take you (on average) to write a book?
A = It depends. I’ve pumped out books in a little as 3 months or in the case of THE MERMAID it took like 2 years to get that done the way I wanted.
Do you write to music? If so, what do you listen to?
A = I do write music, I’ve been playing guitar since I was a kid. I listen to a wide variety of things but mostly I like punk rock, heavy metal and things along those lines.
Have you ever been contacted by a non family/friend fan?
A = Yes often.
Have you ever thought of writing outside your genre?
A = I don’t really have a set genre. I write suspense/thrillers but they tend to span over multiple genres. It is often hard to stick my books into a singular genre.
What is your best writing advice for beginners?
A = Just to have fun with it, and write what you want. Don’t try and write something similar to what it out there, don’t try and capitalize on a trend. Be creative, be original.
Shane Scollins is an Amazon best selling author who grew up in Northern New Jersey. After spending over a decade in the snowy mountains of Upstate New York, he has since relocated to the beaches of Wilmington, NC. Primarily a suspense/thriller writer, Shane enjoys taking readers on surprising and unexpected journeys that sometimes venture into the paranormal/supernatural. He is currently working on his next book.
Shane's books, including The Mermaid, are available for purchase and download on Amazon now. Check out his website!