Welcome, Jeff, er, that is, Scott! How long have you been writing? What made you start?
Well I’ve been writing off and on for most of my life. But I seriously started a novel for the first time about eight years ago. At the time it started as a way to relieve the stress of being the CEO of an Internet company during some pretty stressful times and traveling a lot. Later, I realized how much I loved writing.
When did you sell your first book?
What type of writer are you? Do you plan ahead/plot or do you simply fly by the seat of your pants?
I’m the type of writer who goes, “Holy cow! I only have three weeks till my deadline!” No, seriously, I need enough of the story in my head that I know where I am going. But if I outline too many details it feels like I lose a little of the spontaneity. So my outlines are more like ideas chained together by what-ifs.
How do you choose your characters' names?
I collect names. I actually have a little book. But writing in the fantasy genre really required me to spend more time thinking about the names. You can’t have Trinkalina and Hank. Doesn’t work too well. Generally I am not a fan of character names that the reader can’t pronounce. No, XXyrch.
What is your daily schedule like?
Get up. Shower. Have breakfast. (Usually I try to get dressed somewhere in there.) Oh, you mean as far as writing? I like to get in at least 1500 words a day. Usually I edit the previous day’s work first to get me into the story. If I’m really in a groove I can easily write 5-6,000 words. But I definitely have weeks where I don’t get anything written.
How do you handle life interruptions?
“Be quiet!!!!” Sometimes that works. Sometimes not.
That ties a lot into the previous question. I can handle life’s interruptions. But I can’t write very well when I don’t have stability in my life. For example if I am really worried about how I am going to pay the bills, it’s tough for me to lose myself in a story. Once I am into a story though, you could set off a bomb next door and I wouldn’t notice.
Do you write with music playing? If so, is the music likely to be songs with lyrics or only instrumentals?
I’m one of those people who finds it hard to focus on writing with music playing unless I am so familiar with the music that it just fades into the background. I do like instrumentals and nature sounds. The sound of the ocean is soothing. When I go back and edit, I often have music.
What food or snack keeps the words flowing?
What one thing do you like most about writing? Least?
Tell us about your new book, Farworld: Water Keep.
Farworld is really off the beaten path for me. Not they I haven’t crossed genres before. But this is going into fantasy and YA. It was such a change that I really didn’t think I could do it. But the story pulled me through. I got so caught up in Marcus and Kyja and the whole Farworld location that I literally dreamed about it almost every night I was writing. I describe this book as ordinary kids finding a way to accomplish extraordinary things. Not the typical story about kids overcoming their weaknesses to become great per se. But kids learning to live with their weaknesses and struggling to do the right thing. It’s fantasy, but it’s the way most of us would handle things if we were put into those circumstances. “I don’t know why I was chosen to do this. And I’m probably going to fail. But I’ll give it my best shot anyway.”
Awesome cover, BTW. What is your next project?
Well I’ve got two series I am actively keeping up with—Shandra and Farworld. So that doesn’t leave a ton of times for new projects at the moment. But I’ve got this kind of darker urban fantasy idea along the lines of the Desden Files. It’s about a bounty hunter/PI who dies and gets sent to hell. But he has a way to earn back his life if he can solve a little problem for the big guy.
What is your advice for other writers?
Write with a passion. Don’t write a story that is like all the others. Don’t write something “good enough.” Write something that gets you really excited. That’s what other people want to read.
What other work of yours has been published?
Cutting Edge, Covenant, 2001
Into the Fire, Covenant 2002
House of Secrets, Covenant 2005
Dead on Arrival, Covenant 2006
Water Keep, Farworld Book 1, Shadow Mountain, Sept 2008
Thank you for the Interview.
Thank you, Marsha. I’ve really been enjoying the process of publishing for the national market. It’s been a real learning experience. Let your readers know they can drop by my blog anytime at http://www.jscottsavage.com/ and the Farworld website should be up in the next few weeks at http://www.readfarworld.com/.