This Week’s Feature Author Interview with
Hi Renee Scattergood, welcome to the Indie Publishing Group website. Introduce yourself to us. Tell everyone who you are, where you’re from, what do you enjoy doing, hobbies and interests.
I’m Renee Scattergood. I live in Australia with my husband and daughter. I’m originally from the US and we met online. I came out here to meet him in person, and I’ve been here ever since. I write dark fantasy, and I’m also experimenting with paranormal thrillers. My hobbies have always been centered around reading, and in the last twenty years, writing, but I also love going to the movies and playing board games with my family. Oh, and I love to cook. I often create my own recipes and believe it or not, most of them are pretty good. 😀
When did you start writing and why?
I started writing in my mid-twenties. I always loved telling stories and making up places, but it didn’t occur to me to write them down until I was in college. My English instructor suggested I consider getting some of my work published, but I was too scared at the time. I loved the idea though, so I took a couple writing courses: a novel writing course and a screenplay writing course. The reason I love writing is because I have a very active imagination and it’s an outlet. I start to go a little crazy when I don’t write. Too much clutter in my brain.
Which is your favorite book you have written and what gave you the idea for it?
Well, aside from the short story I just wrote, I’ve only ever written my Shadow Stalker serial (well, that I’ve officially published anyway…I’ve written tons of other short stories and a few novels that were never published). I’d have to say Shadow Stalker is definitely my favorite story. The idea came to me one night while I was reading The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. The character, Kado, popped into my head fully developed. I knew even then he wouldn’t be the main character, but he’d be very important as a mentor to the main character. The entire story developed around him, and while the story changed over time, he never did.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
The title for Shadow Stalker popped into my head when I thought of the character, Kado. Normally I come up with a title by writing down keywords that describe the story and I come up with a title from that. Sometimes it works well and other times I feel like ripping my hair out. Then there are just times a title just comes to me. For my most recent short story, The Dream Crypt, I actually did a poll with my readers to come up with a title. It worked out well, so it’s definitely something I’ll try again in the future.
Who helped you with the cover? Or did your design it yourself? What was your inspiration for your cover design?
For Shadow Stalker, the covers were designed by Kathryn Jenkins at Magical Designs. I came up with the concept and she put them together. Mainly I wanted to do something that represented a scene from the story.
What are some of the themes of your story?
The main theme has to do with whether prophecy defines your life or if you can create your own destiny, or shape your destiny in your own way.
What’s your process when you sit down and decide to start writing a book? What is your process and do you have a system?
I do. The first thing I do is write down all the ideas I have for the story, just to get them out of my head. Usually it starts with a character and suddenly all these ideas start floating around. Writing them down helps get rid of the noise, so I can focus on organizing the story. Once I write down the ideas, I go through the process of creating the main plotline and creating the characters. I don’t write down everything about the character, though. I write down the basic stuff, like what they look like and their motivation throughout the story.
As the story develops I’ll add to that and create other characters as well. Once the plot, setting and characters are worked out to my liking, I think of subplots I can add. Then I’ll start writing out the scenes. When the scenes are worked out, I made a timeline and make sure the scenes are flowing the way they should. Then I’ll re-order the scenes if necessary and break them down into chapters.
Once that’s done, I write the outline for the first chapter and begin writing. I don’t like to write the full outline just in case things change. So, after chapter 1 is written, I’ll do the outline for two and then write that and so on until the book is complete.
My first draft it little more than an extended outline. Basic actions and dialogue. My first round of edits involves fleshing out the story by adding in the emotion and senses so to speak. Then I do a read through to check for any other errors (grammatical or otherwise) and make sure it flows well. After that I run it through Grammarly and then it’s off to the editor.
Who are some of your favorite characters and why?
I love Kado. He’s very mysterious and dangerous on the one-hand, but he’s also very caring and protective. And Auren, because she’s very spunky. She follows her heart regardless of where it leads her (which gets her into trouble a lot), but she’s intelligent and strong. Then there’s Makari. At first, he wasn’t going to have that big a role in the story, but I liked him too much. He has to overcome a lot as the “evil” antagonist’s son, to learn the truth and have the strength to do something about it.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I love J.K. Rowling and Terry Goodkind. They’re probably two of my favorite traditional authors. Two of my favorite indie authors are Lindsay Buroker and Karen Lynch.
Have you got anything you’re working on now?
At the moment, I’m working on a few things. I work better when I have multiple projects going on at one time. I’m in the process of writing Part 4, which is Episodes 19 – 24, of my Shadow Stalker serial. I’m attempting to write and publish a short story a month this year, so I’m working on my April short story now (which is science fiction at the request of a few of my readers, but still has a dark slant to it). Plus, I’m in the planning stages for a novel series called, A God’s Deception.
If you could have any super powers what would they be?
At this moment, it would be to stop time so I can sleep as long as I need. ?
If you could travel to any location in the world where would you go?
Disney World… it’s always Disney World.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years’ time?
I hope that I’m a successful author, making enough money to support my family and for travelling all over the world (and to go to Disney World, of course). I have family in the U.S. I haven’t seen in over twelve years, so it would be great to visit.
Thanks so much for taking the time to do an author interview. Take a minute and check Renee Scattergood out on the links below!