Scott Spotson Friend to Wizards & Author of My Wizard Buddy

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I recently sent a lot of emails back and forth with self-published children’s author Scott Spotson. We met on Goodreads and decided to read one another’s books. He was kind enough to read and review my book: Spooky and The Ghost Chorus in return for me reading and reviewing the delightful My Wizard Buddy (Book 1) which he co-wrote with Brian Wu. After I was done I had so many questions I just had to badger Scott a bit.

Writers are curious creatures and I just had to get to the bottom of just what makes Scott tick. We’ll start off with my Amazon/Goodreads Review and follow it up with a short interrogation of Scott Spotson. Enjoy!

My Wizard Buddy by Brian Wu and Scott Spotson is an entertaining magical romp. Tyler is a sad lonely boy who never has any of the newest games and is terrorized by his older sister. But one day he decides to accept an invitation to be best friends with an odd boy named Dirk. That’s when Tyler’s life gets exciting because Dirk is a wizard! Dirk’s magic is more of the wish variety and he and Tyler cause all kinds of fun. There are no real villains in this story except the demons that live in our own minds. Ryan, a popular boy lost his father to cancer. Dirk seems to be dealing with issues he isn’t saying and of course Tyler is dealing with the urge to be accepted. I enjoyed the read. Fun book. I would recommend it to the YA crowd.


KK: Where did you get the idea for your series Wizards Wars?
Scott: The imagination that comes from having an imaginary friend was the impetus behind my wizard series My Wizard Buddy. What if you could have a friend who could make anything happen, but such a friend could be kept a secret from the rest of the world?

KK: What made you decide not to have an antagonist? 
Scott: Many children’s books do not have an antagonist. That’s because children are looking for a slice of life, to reflect their experiences to date. They’re not looking for an ultimate battle, they’re looking for something that perks their interests. Think of several books that show a slice of life, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid; Judy Blume books such as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; Ramona Quinn books; James and the Giant Peach; and The Phantom Tollbooth. 

KK: Why did you decide to self publish?
Scott: I think self-publishing is a good idea, rather than take up too much time of the established publishing industry. If your book is any good, prove it with your sales and reviews, then show the publisher what you’ve done. Makes sense!

KK: When we meet Tyler he is a very lonely boy. Was your intention to deal with issues like bullying and loneliness? 
Scott: I don’t think it was my intention to deal with bullying and loneliness, but rather than these nicely worked into the plot. Definitely loneliness, since that is a reason we often have imaginary friends. Also, I wonder if due to the increase in entertainment and tablet technology, if loneliness among children isn’t increasing. 

KK: In the first book Dirk uses magic indiscriminately. Are there consequences for each spell cast? Loss of energy?
Scott: No, there are no consequences for Dirk. This is not accidental. In all my wizard books, every wizard is infinitely powerful with magic. The only things wizards cannot do is bring people back from the dead, or control people’s minds, and if you think about it, these obstacles actually render wizards pretty powerless with controlling humanity.

KK: Self publishing is risky business. How are you using social media to promote your book?
Scott: I don’t rely heavily on social media. I do have it, but I find that the quality of the books–and getting them out there to start with–are more important factors. I’m very grateful to the marketing whiz of BookBub though, because they listed one of my books, Life II, twice.

KK: Are you currently working on any new books?
Scott: I am ghostwriting three books–one, an epic fantasy; two, a dystopian humour book; and three, a mystery/adventure novel (actually, that is co-authored with another).

KK: Where can people find your books?
Scott: People may go to www.scottspotson.com or just type in “Spotson” on Amazon or Goodreads. 


Bio: Scott Spotson is a novelist who excels in imagining scenes of intrigue and adventure within ordinary lives while daydreaming, then pulls together various plots to create a compelling story. He likes to invent “what if?” scenarios, for example, what if I could go back to my university days, and what would I do differently? What if I could switch bodies with friends I am jealous of, like the guy who sold his software for millions of dollars and does whatever he pleases? What if I had the power to create clones of myself to do my bidding? Scott then likes to mentally insert himself into these situations, then plot a way to “get out” back to reality. This is how “Life II” and “Seeking Dr. Magic” were born, within weeks of each other. He’s still working on dreaming up a situation where he gets to smash a pie in the face of his boss, with no justification whatsoever – how to get out of that one?

On the Downeaster Alexa…

I haven’t written in awhile. Sorry. I’m in a precarious position where I am flat broke and scrambling. I have to take odd jobs and take on projects and fix pools. I’ve painted houses, made cards for special occasions and for about 4 weeks I worked at a greenhouse. Then they let me go…

It was mental torture. The pay sucked and basically I hated it. But I went out of my way to be pleasant (was told I was rude,) worked my ass off (and kept getting looks like I wasn’t) and basically tried to be a model citizen. There was no sound in the greenhouse. Sometimes the fans kicked on and the silence was relieved for seconds at a time but honestly it was like being in a sensory deprivation tank. And I couldn’t find my MP3 Player.

I did however, remember all the words to ‘Downester Alexa.’  The song is sad and haunting and all about what it’s like when you’re an obsolete human being. He’s a fisherman in a land of no fish and he can’t do anything but what he knows; fishing. So I spent 4 weeks alone, with no sound, working my ass off and singing a song about loneliness. Ha, if anyone had worked with me, seen me or even heard me that might have been cause to get rid of me. Person A – “Tell her to stop singing that song, it’s sad.” Person B – “Let’s just fire her…” But nope. I saw someone at the beginning of the day and at the end..or if I saw the bosses they gave me looks as if I’d peed in their breakfast cereal. It was rough and frankly a relief to be fired.

On the writing side of things, after being fired, I edited 100 pages of my story ‘Life with Amy’ and only have about 20 pages left until I force one of my friends to read the whole damned thing and tell me if it sucks. Maybe I’ll write a story about a greenhouse employee that kills everyone next, as a way of putting my job in perspective… I know I will be spotty on here until I get regular employ. I should be working on a commission right now (3 gods on a field of blue in acrylics–) but I needed to update my playlist to include ‘Downester Alexa’ to remind me that I cannot work in a vacuum.

Feel free to comment with stories of crap jobs you’ve worked. I love being sympathetic and empathetic.

 

Chapter 1 Slowly Plugging Along…And Randomness

The writing continues…oh…so…slowly. The dialogue is fun and very silly. I still need to add some background stuff and flesh out the sites and sounds but it is happening. It might take an all day marathon of Matt Smith tomorrow to brush up on the banter but I think I can suffer through that. It did lead me to web searching a few little gems of the old show and some of those wonderful webisodes Moffat likes so much. It’s all research I tells ya. I also bought another Doctor Who Book to read (more research,) new Wii cables (Inky the Guinea Pig ate the old ones,) and a Jackson Pearce novel because she is brilliant.

Jackson Pearce is  also wonderfully friendly and responds to tweets directed at her, near her or around her. I’ve talked to her about things like: Sleepy Hollow the TV show and whether or not Abby and Crane will end up together and Amazon mix ups. It reminds me that I want to be as accessible to my readers when I am as published as she is. She also does clever videos online. I hate the sound of my voice so…maybe, maybe not. Ok, tangent over. But there was a point. Ohe yes there was: follow me on Twitter… @1fuzzymonster — I will respond to you because I have nothing better to do with my time. (That’s a lie. I am very busy making ebook covers on fiverr and searching for gainful employ. Hire me and I will work for money. But I watch General Hospital every day and I check Twitter when Sonny Corinthos is on. Sorry Maurice Bernard, you are amazing but your character is so….1993.)

This week I have promised myself to get back on the writing horse. I have an unfinished short story. I have at least 3 novels in need of rewrites and edits and my Doctor Who Book. I also apparently made some money in royalties from Amazon for some books I self published. Unfortunately I can’t remember what email address I used. Go to work that one out this week. I was thinking of adding more to that… If you want to read a good one I wrote with Drew Pepin, check out Circles. It’s only 99 cents and it’s not that long…It’s also super violent. Ha, I am usually less gory and more silly/supernatural but this was a great collaboration with a great writer and friend.

I will hopefully hit you guys back later in the week with some good news on the job front, the freelance writing front and on whether or not a person can go mad watching the same few seasons of Doctor Who over and over again (ask my BF and he’ll say, ‘yes.’)

Feel free to hit me up about writing in the comments. Also if you have a self published book and you want me to interview you for this super random blog of mine, drop me a line. I love to pick other writers’ brains. Mmm brains.

Interview with Indie Author Charlie Daye

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I want to be a paid author. So do most of the people reading my blog I’m betting. So why not learn from the people who are already out there doing it? So I sent Charlie Daye a bunch of questions in the hopes of sucking all the awesome knowledge out of her Indie heart.

Charlie Daye began writing at the tender age of thirteen. With an obsession for romance, happy endings and the supernatural she delves into your greatest fantasies and worst nightmares. She will have you laughing, crying, falling in love and getting angry. She will always give you a HEA but getting there is the journey worth taking. Charlie Daye has authored several Paranormal Romance novels including The Hunter Series, Breeders and Request. Going where her muse takes her, Charlie has ventured out of the steamy romantic PNR with her new fantasy series Children of Kria.

KK: What is your process for coming up with novel ideas?

CD: Truthfully, I don’t really have a process. Most of the time, my idea come to me because of something I’ve seen or experienced. And every once in a while it will be because of something crazy a friend has done.

KK: How has your life and personal experiences influenced the creation of your novels?

CD: It’s influenced it greatly. About 50% of my characters are based on people I know and about 25% of the stories come from real life experiences.

KK: So you do base your characters on people in your life?

CD: Absolutely.

KK: How long did it take you to complete your first full length novel?

CD: 3 Months

KK: How many drafts do you typically create?

CD: Just one. I don’t see the need in duplicating my work repeatedly.

KK: When did you decide to become an author? Was there a big ‘Eureka’ moment or was it more of a subtle stumbling into it?

CD: *Laughs* It’s something that just kind of happened, I guess. I’ve been writing poetry and short stories since I was a kid but the idea for my first full length novel came when I was working in a cemetery. I thought it would be cool to write a story about a haunted house and so The House was born.

KK: What made you decide to go Indie?

CD: The thought of signing my rights away to a large corporation for any length of time is unnerving to me. My books are like my children, so it just made sense to keep then with me. Not only that but I’m obsessively picky about the books covers which you don’t really get a say in with most publishers. I think my cover artist secretly hates me! *Snickers*

KK: What part do you think social media (twitter, Facebook…) plays in marketing your books?

CD: I think FB and Twitter are great for getting the word out about my books but think it’s an even better option for my fans and readers to connect with me. It allows them to ask questions or simply converse back and forth with myself or other fans. And yes, I do respond personally to ever post and email I receive.

KK: What advice do you give to new authors starting out or older authors who want to go it alone and publish on Kindle, Nook and other independents?

CD: For the newbies… Keep it up. It’s hard work but if you have the drive it’ll pay off in the end. Just make sure you have honest beta readers and a great editor. For the older authors… you guys know how hard it was to get started and luckily have had some assistance in getting your name out there. As in indie, all that work is now on you so be prepared for tons of leg work.

KK: Where do you write? Do you have a designated area?

CD: I write in what I refer to as my dungeon. LOL. My office located in the basement of my house.

KK: What sustains you through a Fantasy series? Do you plan a story arc or do you wing it?

CD: I write on the fly. I wait for the story starts to bubble over then sit down and right until every last detail is on paper.

KK: What made you choose fantasy as your genre?

CD: Fantasy is actually new to me. Most of my fans are used to my PNR (Paranormal Romance) novels. But when I started writing my first Children of Kria novel, it took on a life of its own which took me from the PNR world right into the world of Fantasy. It’s been a little nerve wracking and am I bit terrified but it’s a new adventure I can’t wait to start.

KK: What is the new series about?

CD: Children of Kria was something I came up with while having a bad day. And since killing people in today’s society is highly frowned upon, I decided to create a world of immortal assassins that seek justice for those who would never get it on their own. Each story focuses on a different character in the world of Kriation and each character responds to a different kind of heart ache. Let’s take the first three books in the series, for example… Fury (Book 1) responds to the betrayal of a man to a woman, Raithe (Book 2) responds to rape, Vengeance (Book 3) responds to slavery and so on.

The stories will differ from character to character. In some instances you made read about how the assassins came to Kriation and in other instances you may read about a hunt they go after already being a Child o Kria and in some instances you’ll get both. The books are action packed thrill rides that are dark and deadly. They deal with issues that some may consider taboo or just downright disturbing.

This will be a new writing style for my current fans who are used to my paranormal romance novels. You will find no romance in these books since they are considered fantasy novels, however, I’ll still give your happily ever after.

KK: How do you approach writing? Do you set a time to write each day or do you write when the mood strikes? Wear funny hats? Play music?

CD: I write when the mood strikes me. I find if I try and write when I’m not in the mood, the story turns out horrible and I have to delete everything I wrote. So, for me, it makes sense to wait.

Check out a sample from Charlie Daye’s new series Children of Kria:

 Whatever was left of my heart had just been destroyed. It was bad enough knowing he married that horrid woman but it was something else entirely when I had to listen to them make out over the phone. The pain in my chest became so intense that I couldn’t breathe. I sat up and reached for my shot glass and the bottle of vodka that was currently sitting on my nightstand. I looked at the glass briefly before tossing it aside and drinking straight from the bottle. I just wanted the pain to stop. I wanted my life to go back to the way it was before I got involved with Gyan. I sobbed. Who was I kidding? I wanted Gyan back. I wanted him so much that the thought of living another day without him had me pulling my pocket knife out of my drawer and bringing it with me to bed. I began to mindlessly slide the blade across my arm. With every slice, the pain of my broken heart began to lessen. I sliced until I couldn’t lift my arm to hold the knife anymore. I slumped over on my bed and stared blankly at the puddle of blood that saturated my floor. A tear rolled down my cheek as the pain in my chest once again reared its ugly head. I closed my eyes and pleaded to the darkness, “Please make the pain go away.” As the darkness began to close in and the pain began to fade, a bright light began to take shape. It was iridescent in color and seemed to twist and turn until a very distinct shape took form. It was a woman with bright red hair and a white gown that flowed around her body like mist. Here eyes were the color of the raging sea during a storm. She lifted me up and cradled me in her arms like a baby. It was the most comforting feeling in the world. I smiled weakly, “Are you an angel?” She smiled and brushed a piece of my long dark hair away from my face, “No child. I am Kria.” Synop: I am a seeker of vengeance; A mender of broken hearts. I respond to the siren call of loneliness and despair. I was once a human woman; Very much like you; Until my heart was destroyed by the man I loved. My only purpose now is to avenge those that have been betrayed. I am Fury… And hell has nothing on me. Tag: Welcome to Kriation, where the brokenhearted come to seek the justice society can never give them.

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If you’d like to get in contact with Charlie Daye, check her out on Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads and on her website.