Hello everyone! Book Monster Reviews and LITERAL ADDICTION are very proud to officially welcome the incredibly talented Scott Prussing to our sites today.
Scott is the proud creator of the Paranormal Romance BLUE FIRE SAGA - a trilogy that has gotten amazing reviews and has generated some incredible and well deserved social networking buzz. The first book of the saga, “Breathless” was released in 2010 with the second installment, “Deathless” coming out in August of 2011. The 3rd and most recent installment, “Helpless”, was just dropped on December 1, 2011, just in time for the holidays. All 3 books in the saga are available in both print and eBook formats.
He also has 2 available suspense titles, “Unturned Stones” and “Tangled Webs”, and a short romance, “Mine: A Love Story”, which was inspired by the songs of Taylor Swift. All of these have received some wonderful praise and recommendations as well.
For those of you not yet familiar with Scott’s work, we thought we’d give you the synopses of his released books to peak your interest a bit.
“Breathless” – BLUE FIRE SAGA Book #1:
LITERAL ADDICTION’s 4 ½ Skull Review of “Breathless” can be found HERE.
“Deathless” – BLUE FIRE SAGA Book #2:
LITERAL ADDICTION’s 5 Skull Review of “Deathless” can be found HERE.
“Helpless” – BLUE FIRE SAGA Book #3:
LITERAL ADDICTION’s 5 Skull Review of “Unturned Stones” can be found HERE.
“Mine: A Love Story”:
LITERAL ADDICTION’s 5 Skull Review of “Mine: A Love Story” can be found HERE.
They sound great, right!? They are!! Scott is also hard at work on his next paranormal release, and we were given the honor of a sneak peak at the work-in-progress prologue and 1st chapter. We can tell you already, just from that little first draft bit, that it’s going to be something special! Until then however, what do you say we get to the interview and learn some more about the author behind the BLUE FIRE SAGA and these other great titles?
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Hi Scott! We’re very pleased to finally have you here today and are very excited to help you promote the BLUE FIRE SAGA and the rest of your backlist!
SCOTT: I’m happy to be here and very honored, too. Literal Addiction and Book Monster Reviews are awesome sites.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: We always start by getting to know our guest authors a little bit more, so let’s see what we can dig up about you…
Q1): Can you please share 3 things about yourself that we couldn’t find out easily on the Internet?
SCOTT: Let’s see… I eat the same breakfast virtually every morning – bran flakes with raisins (not Raisin Bran – fresh raisins) with non-fat milk. I love it, it’s incredibly easy, and it’s good for me, too. Two, I’m a HUGE college basketball fan (Go UConn Huskies!), both men and women. Three, I’m a closet Taylor Swift fan – I guess not so closet to those few who’ve read my ebook “Mine: A Love Story.”
Q2): What are 2 things that always make you smile and 2 things that never fail to piss you off?
SCOTT: Getting amazing positive comments about my book from readers. Seeing the dolphins swimming by the end of the pier near my apartment. I’m pretty even keeled, so the “piss me off” part is more difficult. Intolerant, arrogant people do it for sure. I’ve also noticed that more often than not, when someone pisses me off they are on their cell phone (driving too slow on the on ramp of the freeway, chattering away in a restaurant, forcing me to listen to their problems because I happen to be near them in a line, etc.)
Q3): We read in your Bio that you enjoy golf. How often do you try to get out and what do you generally shoot at a standard 18 hole professional course?
SCOTT: It varies, but maybe I average once every two weeks. I’m generally in the 80’s, which is amazing, given that I’ve never had a lesson and I never practice. I have one of the ugliest swings around, yet every year or two I somehow manage to shoot a round in the 70’s.
Q4): If you were to describe yourself in 5 words what would they be?
SCOTT: Oh, man. My natural modesty makes this difficult for me. J Easygoing, smart, creative, witty and “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” (the hyphens make that one word, right?)
Q5): What’s a standard writing day like for you? Do you have any interesting quirks or things that you can’t go through your day without?
SCOTT: I have no standard writing day. When a book is just pouring out of me—like Helpless did—I may write for 6 or 8 hours in a day (with short fun breaks). Other days I may write nothing, or just play with something I’ve recently written, polishing it. When I am writing, I try to write something in the morning, after I exercise. That way, if I decide to “while away the afternoon” in frivolous pursuits, I’ve already been at least a little productive.
I don’t think I have anything I can’t get through my day without, though I would miss my morning sojourn down to the ocean, where I walk or ride my bike almost every morning.
Quirks: I’ve never DRIVEN though the drive thru lane of a fast food place in my life. Is that a quirk? I don’t eat much fast food, but when I do I always park and go inside. It’s better for the environment than letting a car engine idle in the drive thru, and my feet still work, so why not use them? Another “quirk” is the cell phone thing, but that’s the next question.
Q6): We read that you don’t have a cell phone. Is that still true? Any particular reason why?
SCOTT: Still true. There are several reasons. One, I have no need for one. When I’m out and about, I don’t like to be bothered, and since I’m single with no kids, I don’t need to be responsible to anyone. Plus, people with cells frequently annoy me (see the “piss me off” question above) and I don’t want to risk ever becoming one of them. As a bonus, I’m pretty sure I’ve saved thousands of dollars over the years by not having one.
Q7): Having a Masters Degree in Psychology from Yale, how did you decide to become a writer – especially one of paranormal romance?
SCOTT: This is a long complicated answer. I never wrote ANYTHING in high school or college; in fact, I avoided classes where you had to write papers (too much work). So I took no English, History, Poly Sci, etc. In my twenties, I read an article about a 14 year old kid who was writing an epic fantasy, a la Lord of the Rings (my all time favorite book). I thought: I can do that. So I started writing a LOTR ripoff. The story was pretty good (if unoriginal), the writing poor. But having written that opened a door into the computer game world, back in the Prehistoric days of computer games (anyone remember floppy disks?). I wrote the story and game design for a couple of games.
Then I got the itch to write a book again. This was in the mid to late eighties. I decided to write a mystery/suspense novel, since I love reading them. I wrote Unturned Stones (which I recently updated and put out as an ebook). It’s still my favorite of all my books. I think it’s totally original, well-written, with lots of clever twists. I managed to acquire a New York agent, but he was unable to get it published. So then I wrote another mystery/suspense novel, Tangled Webs, in which I “upped” the sex and violence quotient, since S and V sells. Still no luck getting published.
Flash forward 15 years, during which I did no writing, other than some health education articles for my employer, a large HMO. A friend of mine’s husband, who is an avid reader, read my two books and loved them. He knows how hard it is to get anything published and uttered this now famous “throwaway” line: “write something with vampires in it. Anything with vampires sells.” I thought: I can do that. So I did. And thus was Breathless born. I self-published it and gained enough avid fans clamoring for more that I almost had to write a sequel, and then a third book. And still they want more…
Q8): Who are some of your favorite authors and what are a few titles in your TBR pile right now?
SCOTT: In fantasy, I like Tolkiien (of course!), Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks and a favorite from my childhood, Edgar Rice Burroughs. Mystery/suspense and thrillers are Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Robert Ludlum, Dennis Lehaine, Robert Crais and many others. James Patterson when he writes WITHOUT a co-author. I read at least one book a week. Surprisingly, I don’t read paranormal (Dean Koontz would be the closest) or romance. That keeps me from stealing anything from the popular works, I guess.
I don’t have a TBR pile. I walk to the library almost every week and find something in the New Book section. I’m sure I average more than one book read per week, unless I’m in the throes of writing. Then I use reading for breaks, but don’t have as much time for it.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: O.K, now we’ll ask some questions directly related to the books… J
Q9): Was there any specific inspiration behind the creation of the BLUE FIRE SAGA?
SCOTT: No specific inspiration other than my friend’s comment (above). I wanted to write a Twilight type book that was really not like Twilight, if that makes any sense. So I just started thinking about what could I do differently, but still appeal to that huge audience. I invented volkaanes and one-fanged vampires and gave my heroine some definite strengths and weaknesses.
Q10): Is the saga stopping at “Helpless”, or will there be another book - maybe a spinoff book/series?
SCOTT: There is certainly room for at least one or two more books in the saga, as not everything has been wrapped up yet. I’ve also been kicking around the idea of writing an “alternate” sequel to Breathless, where things turn out very differently. I can’t go into any more detail without spoiling the ending of Breathless for people who haven’t read it yet. I’ve already figured out how I would do it, though, and have even written the beginning.
Q11): Aside from your suspense novels, your books tend to have an 18-19 year old heroine. Is there any particular reason you stick with that demographic?
SCOTT: I think that demographic allows me to appeal to fans of all ages, but especially to my core group—women between 16-35. It also allows for some good personal growth in the characters and some semi-adult behavior. And heck, who doesn’t want to revisit college—without homework and exams!
Q12): Your readers get to see an entirely different side of you in your suspense works versus your romance. Do you enjoy writing one more than the other? If so why?
SCOTT: This is actually a difficult question. I wrote both my suspense novels more than 15 years ago, and certainly enjoyed them when I wrote them. They take more work to write than the paranormal romance books, but creating the twisting plots is fun. I pretty much enjoy whatever I’m writing, or else I wouldn’t write it. But I do like the “easier” (and shorter) aspect of the paranormals. And the “squeeling” and “happy dancing” fans of the genre.
Q13): What has been the biggest surprise of your career thus far?
SCOTT: When I started Breathless, I did not even have a Facebook account. Once I started using FB, I have been very pleasantly surprised by how many wonderful, enthusiastic and supportive fans/friends I’ve made. Also, I thought I had written a pretty good story, but I have been somewhat amazed at how much people LOVE the books.
Q14): What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, logistical, etc) in bringing the BLUE FIRE SAGA (or any of your other titles) to life?
SCOTT: The biggest overall challenge was to create a story that would fit within a popular genre without writing “just another” vampire book. Creating my own supernatural beings (volkaanes) and making one of them the male lead helped take care of that. Same with my creation of a one-fanged vampire who was critical to the back story.
I didn’t really have any research issues—google makes it easy to find whatever small things I needed to look up. I set the Blue Fire Saga in a location (Connecticut, where I went to college and grad school) I was very familiar with, so I didn’t need to do much research about that.
Probably the biggest “logistical challenge” was coming up with reasons in books 2 and 3 for Rave (the volkaane male lead) to be separated from Leesa (human female lead) for extended periods of time. I used the winter solstice as a reason in book 2 and a major snowstorm in book 3 for part of this. I also didn’t want Leesa to be able to contact Rave whenever she wanted, so I made it so volkaanes can’t use electrical or battery operated devices like cell phones (or drive or ride in cars). That created an opposite logistical challenge, like how do I get them together when I need to.
Q15): We have to give you a bit of a rough time… You definitely have a way with describing young women’s fashion, and seem to have a penchant for leggings in particular. ;-) In all seriousness though, what kind of research do you do in order to gather intel for your characters and settings before settling in to build your world and tell your tale?
SCOTT: When Michelle mentioned the leggings thing to me a little while back, I started paying attention. It turns out I like the boots more than the leggings, but I do find the combo pretty sexy. I needed some kind of “outfit” that a shy, insecure girl might be willing to wear to look sexy without going over the top (her best friend Cali picks out the outfit). I think leggings with boots works, especially since the two characters I’ve used that for are tall and slender.
I live in a beach area of San Diego that is FILLED with attractive young women. I’ve always looked, of course, but when I needed outfits for young women in my book I started paying closer attention. Cali’s first outfit in Breathless is an exact copy of clothes I saw one young woman wearing while I was writing the book. It was sexy, funky and different (“out there”) and I thought it would be perfect for Cali. There are a couple of chic clothing stores near me, so I’ve stopped into them a couple of times to ask a question. Believe it or not, I had to ask whether leggings were more commonly called leggings or stretch pants. I also have a couple of younger female neighbors I can ask questions in a pinch. Plus, Google helps.
Q16): You have VERY creative worlds, yet the emphasis of your books seem to be more weighted to the story. What are your feelings on world building vs. character building vs. storyline and how do you manage and balance it all during the process?
SCOTT: I think all three are important. If readers don’t like your characters, they’ll have a hard time enjoying the story, regardless of how good it is. I’ve always been more of a “story guy” than anything else, so that come easiest to me. I think that’s one reason people way beyond my core audience love Breathless (even men), because there in addition to the difficult, supernatural romance, there is a definite plot with several mysteries and some suspense.
My books have been set in locations I know, so there is little “world building” needed for that. Since I invent and use some different kinds of supernatural characters, I do have to build a way to fit them into the everyday world and to make it logical and real. It’s kind of like world building with the real world.
Because description doesn’t come as naturally to me as the story, I have to remind myself every time the location changes to spend at least a few sentences describing the new place (sights, sounds, smells, etc.) Same thing with clothing. I don’t enjoy books that go on and on with descriptions, so I try to be very descriptive without using too many words, if that makes sense. It’s actually been a surprise to me when readers and reviewers call my books things like “wonderfully descriptive.”
Q17): Can you spill anything about the new project you’re working on?
SCOTT: My newest project is a post apocalyptic novel that I think is pretty different from most of what’s out there. It will have supernatural creatures of all sorts. There are a bunch of things that will make this book original, but I need to keep them under wraps for now.
Q18): What are your favorite and least favorite parts of writing?
SCOTT: My favorite thing is when I write a section that I KNOW is really good in some way… clever, funny, inventive, creative, flowing, etc. It could be a scene, a piece of dialogue, a description or even a character. My least favorite part is when I get stuck, where I know what I want to say but can’t figure out how to say it in a way that is smooth, flowing and clear. Sometimes it takes longer to write 3 sentences than it does to write an entire page.
Q19): Is there a question that you’ve wanted to be asked in an interview but haven’t been? How would you answer it?
SCOTT: I’d love someone to ask “Can I order 100 copies of your books?” J (my answer would be “you bet!”) I’d also like someone to ask me “what’s going on with the first line of each of your chapters in Breathless? My answer would be they are all the opening line (or partial opening line) of another book. Could be a classic, like Tale of Two Cities or The Stranger, or another fantasy like Sword of Shannara or one of the Eragorn books (I can’t remember which one offhand), or a vampire book like Interview with the Vampire. I had to cheat just a bit by using the first line of two poems and one play. I just did it for fun, and to give readers something to puzzle out or research if they were so inclined.
Q20): Is there anything special that you’d like to say to your readers (both new and established) while we have you here today?
SCOTT: I’d like to thank my readers for all their wonderful support. I try to show my appreciation by naming characters after fans and by including their names on Thank You pages like my Golden Circle and Diamond Club. If they haven’t already, I’d love my readers to “like” Breathless Fampires page and Breathless Vampire Book page on Facebook (lots of fun pics, some contests and giveaways, and announcements there). And of course to visit my website, www.scottprussing.com To new readers, I say “Enjoy!” and “spread the word.”
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Scott, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to come and chat with us today. We’re excited to talk with you a bit more in tonight’s live chat as well. We’re proud to help you promote the BLUE FIRE SAGA and the rest of your backlist and are very excited to see what you have for us next. We’d love to have you back for your next release if you’re interested.
SCOTT: I would love to be back. And I’m looking forward to chatting with all the literal addicts and book monsters… Thank you so much for inviting me here.
If you want to keep up with Scott online, you can find him here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BreathlessVampireBook?v=wall&ref=ts&sk=wall and https://www.facebook.com/BreathlessVampireBook?v=wall&ref=ts&sk=wall#!/BreathlessFampires
DON’T FORGET: Scott will be available to chat Live with members, followers, fans and guests from 8:00 – 9:00pm EST (7-8pm Central/5-6pm Pacific & Mountain) in our Author Chatroom, and at least 1 prize will be given away during the chat (more than likely multiple prizes, but it will depend on turnout)! J
Scott is graciously offering up a signed hardcover copy of “Breathless”, the 1st book in the paranormal romance BLUE FIRE SAGA, to 2 winners from Book Monster Reviews and 2 winners from LITERAL ADDICTION (over at their site).
Make sure you are a member of the Book Monster Blog (by clicking on the “JOIN THIS SITE” button at the top left hand corner of blog page), and then post a comment on the interview with your email address.
*Any comments without an email address will NOT be entered into drawing.
Don't forget to drop by the LITERAL ADDICTION website (http://www.literaladdiction.com/) and follow the directions and links to enter their contest for an extra chance to win!!!