Author Interview # 2- W. Scott

W. Scott is a writer and actor who calls Williamsport, Pa home. He writes poetry, fantasy, and romance. You can nearly always catch him with a cup of coffee in one hand and a writing implement in the other. He’s an avid dreamer of bigger things. He takes a firm stance in decreasing the stigma on mental health. Take a look below to learn a little about him and check out what he has to offer!

Q: It’s always hard to let others read what we write, but is it more difficult because of your content? Are there any special processes you have to go through before publishing it in any platform? Such as pep talks.

A: I do think that when one publishes anything, whether it be poetry, fantasy, or even a school essay, there is always a little trepidation. As writers, artists in general, we bare creative souls. There are pieces of ourselves that we are showing to the world and knowing that those pieces can now be accepted or rejected, it’s frightening. But we shouldn’t ever let the fear stop us. I try to always think of it that way. The big reason as to why I put my work out there in the world is to feel less alone and to have someone else feel less alone as well.

Q: We know there is still a negative outlook on mental illness, a lot of stigma. Do you have any encouraging words for writers who are held back from this?

A: I once heard a preacher say that we have to step out of the boat. She was using the metaphor of the time when Jesus walked on water and how His disciple, Peter, walked out to meet Him. It took a lot of courage and tremendous faith. Having and living with any type of mental illness is seriously tough. But when dealing with this, I know for myself, I try to think about the rewards on the other side.

Q: What is your absolute favorite genre to write out of all the ones you’ve done?

A: I think that it would have to be poetry. There is a vulnerability there that can be very therapeutic. And poetry doesn’t have to be or sound very complex to be poetry. Poetry is more or less about putting your essence out on the page, a piece of yourself that perhaps another reader can relate to.

Q: What’s your favorite piece you’ve done?

A: Haha, it is strange because it would feel like trying to pick a favorite child. I do not have a specific piece that I would call my favorite because each one deals with or talks about a different emotion that I’ve felt, sort of like a snapshot. But if I had to pick one, the piece that comes to mind at the moment would have to be the one titled, sincerely, setting the firefly free. I published this one in my most recent book, Notecards and Scrolls, and basically I was talking to an ex of mine. I knew that soon we would both be going in different directions. We both had dreams that we wanted to accomplish and I was telling him that I didn’t want to hold him back. I wanted to see him grow and shine and be happy. So I was writing to him telling him that it is alright. I set you free.

Q: Does your creativity ever get blocked and if so, what do you do to unblock it?

A: Oh, yes. I’ve been going through a sort of block for the past couple of weeks now. And what’s worse is that I’m the type of writer where I am unable to just make myself sit and write. So usually I will try to either go for a walk or a drive. It opens up my mind some and when that happens, a spark will sometimes go off. But I also try to continue tell myself that even just writing a sentence is alright.

Q: When did you start writing?

A: It is a little hard to say, haha. During my childhood, I was an avid journaler. I kept several notebooks in my bedroom because I constantly lived in my head. I still do to this day.  

Q: What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

A: Probably believing that my work has to be perfect, to sound perfect to be accepted. Oftentimes, I will talk myself out of writing for several days because I would become so hard on myself. I am still learning how to love and be grateful for the editing process. 

Q: What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the publishing journey?

A: My favorite part would have to be discovering my book on the store websites, like books-a-million, barnes n’ noble, amazon, etc. Even when I held the author copy in my hand, I had a hard time believing that it was my book. My least favorite part of publishing would have to be the marketing. I am bad at it. and no matter which route you take in the publishing journey, traditional or self-publishing, you have to learn how to market yourself. 

Q: Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?

A: I am. Coming up, I was lucky and grateful enough to be able to put together an anthology project titled (un)graceful bones. There are nine beautifully raw and talented writers a part of this project and we are all talking about mental health and how it affects each one of us. that come out Oct. 8. I also am tying up my last book in my Bottled Messages series, titled Postcards and Bristol.  

Q: What’s your favorite book when you were a kid and what is it now?

A: What’s strange is that as a child, I didn’t have a favorite book. I hated reading. So I made up stories of my own to entertain myself. As an adult, I would have to say that my favorite book would have to be Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It’s so cliche, I think, haha, but I feel that J.K. Rowling’s was the first book to open me up to so many wonderful and vast universes out there. 

Q: If you could ask one successful author three questions about their writing, writing process, or books, what would they be?

A: 1. Do you believe that a writer should make themselves write every day in order to become a successful writer? 2. Are you able to listen to music when you write and if so, what kind? 3. Do you believe in writer’s block and if so, how do you overcome it? 

Q: What time of the day do you usually write?

A: I feel more comfortable writing at night. I am not sure why but that is usually when I can get the most down on paper. 

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers about your work?

A: I would like to thank them for giving a piece of my heart a chance. 

Q: Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.

A: I am a performer as well. I’ve performed in musicals and plays since I was about four or five years old.  

W. Scott has appeared at the local bookstore in his hometown for signings (also the oldest independent bookstore in the country) Otto’s.

Check out his Amazon page for his lovely books, two so far in an anthology.

Author Interview #1- Rich Rurshell

Rich Rurshell writes sci-fi and horror and hails from Suffolk, England. Rich’s stories appear in anthologies by Zombie Pirate Publishing, Stormy Island, and Clarendon House. Check out his work in publications online such as Dastaan World, Jakob’s Horror Box, and CafeLit. He enjoys writing and playing music, and chocolate. We’ll let him tell you about his other weird food loves.

Q: How do you come up with the titles to your short stories?

A: I usually just try to find a word or phrase either from or relevant to the story. More often than not, the working title I use when saving the story between writing sessions is the one I ultimately use. For several stories, I’ve used the name of a character. Not always the main character, but an important character in the plot itself.

Q: What time of the day do you usually write?

A: Night usually. Between midnight and 3am. It seems I’m at my most creative between those hours. I can focus in the quiet of night.

Q: When did you start writing?

A: I started writing regularly around the summer of 2017. I’d written two or three stories before then and got a taste for it. My first story published was “Moon Shrine” early in 2018 in Full Metal Horror from Zombie Pirate Publishing. Until then, I’d only written stories I wanted to write, but I liked the way ZPP went about the editing and publishing of their anthologies, so I began to write stories to fit their submission calls. Before long I was writing stories for submission calls from other publishers.

Q: Describe a typical writing day.

A: It’s not very exciting I’m afraid. I sit down at my computer and then hit keys in mostly the correct order. Usually in silence, but sometimes I’ll put on some music which helps me imagine the scenes. Though anything with lyrics is too distracting, so if anything, it’s instrumental music. Vangelis, Holst, movie soundtracks… that kind of thing.

Q: What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

A: Though it’s the most difficult part, it’s also the most fun. It’s getting the initial idea for a story clear enough in my head that I can begin writing it… I need to know where the story is going and why before I can even sit down to write it. I sometimes write a basic outline down (usually on the back of an envelope or scrap piece of paper) but usually its just on my head and I’ll develop and expand the idea whilst writing. 

Q: How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

A: Depends on the story I guess. If the location of the story is important to the plot, then I like to have a clear picture in my head of where I’m writing about. If the story is more character driven, I’ll develop the world it is set in as I write. 

Q: What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the publishing journey?

A: Acceptances are always good! I really enjoyed the editing and promotion process with the ZPP team. You get to have your input into what edits are made to your story, get to suggest edits on other people’s stories, then help everyone promote their individual stories in the lead up to release day. 

Least favourite? Form rejections. I realise hardly anyone has time to address every single story they reject, it’s just not time efficient. Though that does make it really nice when someone does give you feedback on your rejected story.

Q: Who is your favorite character?

A: Ambrosius Grey. He was in my story “The Intervention”, and was also in a really early story I wrote. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Ambrosius Grey. He’s immeasurably powerful, and the motivations for both his wrath and his kindness remain a mystery. He’s fun to write. 

Q: Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers?

A: I’m writing a fairy tale… Well, a story with fairies in anyway… There won’t be any sleeping maidens awoken with a prince’s kiss in this tale though. I like to keep things dark.

Q: How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?

A: Not many. . Three perhaps… only really one which is developed enough to actually begin writing it. About revenge, and the following regret, guilt, and other emotional repercussions. Seeing the object of your hate as human, as an individual that had made choices, had good points and bad points, but only once it is too late to reverse your actions. 

Q: What book is currently on your bedside table?

A: The Magic of Deben Market by David Bowmore. I’m about a third of the way in, and I’m enjoying it so far. It’s a nice touch that it is set in a fictional town in the county I live in. My town even got a mention!

Q: Favorite book when you were a kid ?

A: The Mammoth Book of Jokes and Cartoons or 1500 Fascinating Facts. I do remember reading fiction too, but I definitely remember pulling those two books off the shelf quite a lot.

Q: What’s your favorite book now?

A: That’s easy. It by Stephen King. I loved It when I read It in 1995, and I loved It even more when I read It again three years ago. I definitely want to read It again sometime.

Q: Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.

A: I love tomato and Mozzarella salad. It’s great. And more healthy than chocolate, which I also love. 

Q: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

A: Tall, dark and gruesome.

Q: Paperback or eBook?

A: Paperback is my preference, though I see the advantage to ebooks, being cheaper and taking up no shelf space. I’m a bit of a Luddite and I don’t fully trust technology… so, I choose paperback mostly. 

Q: How many stories do you have that are unfinished?

A: Three. I intend to finish them one day. There are also stories I started that I have no intention of finishing, but I keep them hanging about just in case.

Q: The past year seems to have gone well for your writing career. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

A: Keep writing. Listen to what people are telling you, but don’t take everything too seriously. Sometimes personal taste will come into it, so stay true to yourself. Keep submitting, and don’t let rejections get you down.

You can reach Rich at his author facebook here:

Rich Rurshell- Author

You can find his work at the following:

Black Hare Press- Storming Area 51: Survival Stories. Including his story “Youtuber: Cody Redman”

Clarendon House Books- The Inner Circle Writer’s Group Poetry Anthology. Including his poem “Haystack”.

Blood Song Books CURSES & CAULDRONS. Including his stories “Monroe” and “Blue”.

Zombie Pirate Publishing- FULL METAL HORROR 2: A Bloodstained Anthology. Including his story “A Date in the Forest”.

Stormy Island Publishing: Sea Glass Hearts. Including his poetry “A Dream of the Sea” and “World”.

Please visit his Amazon page for a complete list of publications.