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?

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Why am I writing about General Hospital?

I love General Hospital. Just accept this. And for anyone who writes and doesn’t watch a soap (nighttime, daytime or web) you are missing out. When you watch a soap opera you really learn a lot about building a character and story line up slowly and then punching people in the face with your insanely awesome payoff. It’s a study in patience. Especially this week on General Hospital.

Being a fan of AJ Quartermaine has never been an easy experience. He’s the son of Monica and Alan. When he was born Alan thought he was Rick Webber’s son so he didn’t bond with him right away. In fact he never bonded with AJ until he got a substance abuse problem and suddenly realized his alcoholic son wasn’t as weak as he had always thought. He was raised with his golden boy brother Jason Quartermaine and his cousin ‘holier than thou’ Ned.

His character was blamed for everything bad that ever happened ever. It turned him into a drunk and once fateful night his dumb brother Jason got in the car with him when he was drunk and got brain damage when AJ wrapped the car around a tree. Even though AJ was going to turn himself in and take the blame for it, the family refused to allow him to do that and he spiraled. And damn it if we didn’t have to put up with his now really boring brother Jason Morgan (Quarterbrain.)

No while everyone continued to love Jason even while he hated all of them, AJ pulled his life together and was doing well until he met train wreck Carly. She destroyed him. She got pregnant and lied giving the baby to his brother and then to a mob boss. AJ spent years just trying to be near his son. After dying and coming back from the dead to bond with his son, AJ was tragically murdered by Sonny the man who stole his son.

But today…ah today was glorious.

Franco revealed a video showing Michael that Sonny killed his father in cold blood and Carly helped him cover it up. Oh how brilliant! Oh how emotional! Justice finally! Sonny and Carly are now dead to Michael. The story line from start to inevitable comeuppance took 17 years.

Amazing. Imagine if I could harness an audience and make them wait 17 years for their payoff? I would be a genius and a millionaire maybe.

Spooky & The Ghost Chorus (Available on Amazon.com)

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I haven’t written anything on my blog since my disastrous time at the greenhouse in Feasterville (not the popular one.) I’ve been in a crazy whirlwind of inspiration and madness. I put my Doctor Who novel aside because frankly I hated it. The plot was hackneyed and it was going nowhere fast. I will be picking it up again for this year’s National Novel Writer’s Month.

So what have I been doing? Well I got a temp gig at a great company. Met a bunch of brand new weirdo friends who I am incredibly grateful to have. But what am I writing? Glad you asked!

While getting sorted with a day job I also wrote a 40,000 word novella in September. After having it professionally proofread, I decided to self publish it through Amazon. That’s right, I went insane and wrote a novel in a few weeks. Not only one novel but I have mapped out a 13 part series for Halloween Hollow the world where Spooky is the Guardian of Halloween and Halloween themed wacky adventures abound.

Check it out here.

It may look like fluff for kids but we all know I grew up in the 80s. Themes abound. Themes like bullying, racism, being different and self acceptance.

The second book is going to be called: Spooky & The Underground Hollow. I have a chapter written already and a second one started. I started almost immediately after the book went to print. I love these characters so much I actually missed them when I wasn’t writing them for a week.

Next thing I will be doing is trying to figure out how to promote my books. I want to do a Blog Tour ( I read about it today…it’s like a world tour for my book the lazy way since I never leave my Ikea desk chair.)

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.

 

Did Some Writing This Week…

Been falling a bit behind in the writing. I had a huge bout of ‘no one is going to want to read this crap ever’ with the Doctor Who story. But luckily I got some fiverr gigs for writing. Then you see, I had no choice. Forced to be productive with it.

So this week I wrote a 5000 word modernization/reimagining of Oscar Wilde’s amazing Picture of Dorian Gray set in modern day London to impress a client’s lovely girlfriend. I wrote my heart out for him and assume he got lucky. Because the praise I got for the story made me feel like a writer again. Cheers!

After that I got a gig for a 1000 story about a mermaid. It was like everyone loved me. I had just finished reading Jackson Pearce’s brilliant Fathomless (I highly reccommend it!) Which is about…mermaids! The client loved it. My ego loved that he loved it and that led me to…

I am now rewriting/editing a story I wrote years ago about a grandmother/granddaughter reconnecting involving candles and witchcraft and other stuff… Back to chapter 2 of the Doctor Who book tomorrow. 

Really the break in writing stems back to a lack of confidence in my writing. Which is stupid. I know I’m a good writer. But I guess sometimes I forget. There are just loads of sites online that sap confidence with their speeches on how you will never be a famous author. Don’t be like me and read them. Because even if you call BS and move on to another advice page that crap sinks into your subconcious and delays your greatness.

Unless you write ‘your’ when you mean ‘you’re’ because come on!

Creative Procrastination?

You would think this outline is the manuscript by how slowly it is coming together. Tonight I managed to get chapters 5-7 down. I think that this is a cause for jubilation. But it almost didn’t happen.

I wrote out chapter 5 and got stuck by the need to procrastinate. But! I decided to procrastinate by writing a short story. Yep. So does it really count as procrastination if I was in fact writing and being creative? Well yes. Mostly because I was avoiding writing by doing other writing. But it did get me started on a nice science fiction story. Once I finish and polish it, I’ll submit it. If/when it gets accepted, it will build my street cred, right? Then when I go to the BBC with my novel, I will be a recently published author. See how I BS this? See how even now I could be outlining more chapters and resort to blogging to avoid it?

I fear organization. I fear it. But only creatively.

I have some interviews with other writers coming up. I’m excited to suck the writing knowledge from their marrow and make it my own. Mwaha ha ha ha. So there’s that to look forward to. Okay, enough… gotta get the outline done. The dang book is only 13-14 chapters and I’m at 7, the halfway mark.

Outlines Are Boring!

I just got rejected… from a job interview. My story is still sitting in the received bin over at Analog, no worries there. But the job thing was a bummer. I like to eat food when I’m writing. But it’s going to be okay because I have started outlining my Doctor Who novel. 

The ideas all came flooding out of me one night when I was bored. I scribbled in red ink all over my sketchbook. There are diagrams and one sentence ideas plus some ridiculous sketches and things that will definitely be used against me when my boyfriend tries to have me committed (oh yeah, that’s happening in my future.) Two hours later, I had triumphantly crafted my five sentence back of the book blurb to show friends. I sent it out to 3 of my friends. 2 were very excited and said they would be honored to read my sample chapters (whenever I got them written, that is.) I asked the third one if he would read it and he said, “I don’t know.” 2 outta 3 ain’t bad.

After that I stalled out for two days. I had some subplots to think about. I wasn’t writing anything but I was busily inventing the planet and the aliens and the ideas and the themes. I just kept rejecting the subplots as too obvious. But after a while I just said, “Let that develop as you write or we’re never going to get anywhere!!!!” My sudden outburst startled my guinea pigs and knocked the crippled one over. (I am so sorry, Screwball.) And subplots were had by all! Plus bananas were also had by all.

Now it was time for the outline. Boy oh boy did I avoid that for a few days. I cleaned a bit. Played with guinea pigs. Did a job interview. Did a follow up job interview. Went drinking, hoping I was celebrating getting the job. Went shopping and got jeans with a gift card. went to another party…and so on. A few days passed and I got to today. Yep: Rejection Day. In an email. Bummer. I frantically applied to a bunch of jobs and panting, decided what the hell? I started the Outline

So far it is a flimsy thing, filled with only 2 and a half chapters. But it is BEGUN! There’s no turning back now. Only problem is: Oh my God, is it boring to write an outline! I know some people thrive on all this structure but I may as well be an anarchist for how much I abhor organizing a novel. But I researched some templates and I will plug away until this thing is done. Because then I get to write 3 chapters. That will be fun. I can already hear the Doctor’s voice in my head telling me what jokes to add and little bits of scientific data about the planet I’m on… Frankly he’s driving me nuts.