Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
I’m Scott M. Sandridge. I’m old enough to know better, but still too young to care. :p
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and was raised in Corbin, KY.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m actually a high school dropout, believe it or not. Got my G.E.D. and spent most of my life working minimum wage jobs. My current dayjob pays decent; although, I wish I had been making this much back when the cost of living was half what it is now, lol.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My first published novel came out on May 1st. It’s called The Silverblade Propecy.
Throughout the ages, messiahs have come and gone, and all have fallen.
After centuries of exile, Bantaka the Godslayer is active once more. The Seer manipulates the strands of Time and Space to bring together Pankea’s only hope: the most unlikely motley of misfits and cut-throats in the land, and a godling half-breed who’s bloodline heritage holds the key to saving—or dooming—all Existence.
Destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy to “pierce the heart of her ancestor,” Marian Silverblade is hailed as the current messiah of her age. But prophecies often get misinterpreted. And Lord Calahan Darkblade—Marian’s ancestor and Bantaka’s Herald—has plans of his own….
The Silverblade Prophecy is the first book in The Messiahs War Trilogy. When destinies collide in a war unlike anything before seen on Pankea, the choices made by the most unlikely of heroes may determine the outcome.
You can find it on Kindle at Amazon.com:
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing fiction since I was seven (I watched The Neverending Story and decided I wanted to write a story that never ends, lol), but obviously most of that was dreck. The first time a short story of mine was published was back in 2005. I’ve written and published many short stories since, and I’ve been freelance editing since 2013. I was the managing editor of Fear and Trembling, an online Cristian Horror zine, from 2007—2011.
I write because I love it. I love creating new worlds and characters, placing them in rough situations, and seeing how the characters get themselves out of those situations.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve never thought of myself as anything else. But I didn’t consider it official until I published my first story.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book I ever tried to write, or my first published book? In a lot of ways all my fiction tends to share the same general inspiration in my love for the SF/F/H genres: specifically The Neverending Story, The Princess Bride, The Lord of the Rings, The Dragonlance Chronicles, War of the Worlds, and Star Wars.
I’m also a big fan Cyberpunk and Dark Fantasy. And anything written by Stephen King.
The Silverblade Prophecy came about because I kept getting told that my short stories were too short, and that I needed to write a novel. And so I did. lol
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Basicly, the story came up with the title for me. I knew it would be about Marian Silverblade, the last surviving heir of the Silveblade bloodline, having to fulfill the prophecy to slay the founder of the family line, Calahan Darkblade, who was turned into a vampire and later a god. Everything that happens is the result of the Seer manipulating time to ensure the prophecy gets fulfilled. He can’t manipulate Marian’s or Calahan’s fates because their destinies are set in stone (both figuratively and literally, lol), but he can do that to others to insure that they end up in the right place at the right time to help Marian out….
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I go with what I like to call the “no bs” approach to writing. My job is to show a story through scenes, actions, and dialogue (both external and internal); not to get bogged down in waxing poetic about a random vase on some random shelf (unless there’s something very important about that vase that makes it an integral part of the plot). Descriptive prose has its uses, but its power comes from its scarcity in the story, not when it’s overabundant. There has to be a purpose for it. It has to do something for the story. Otherwise, it’s pointless to have it in there and just becomes a big waste of words.
Because let’s face it. Nobody cares about knowing where every single crack in a wooden door is (and how dare you assume your readers don’t have the imagination to fill in the details they want), unless you telling them about those cracks effects the scene or plot in some way (like, for instance, if the cracks spell out a magical rune that will cause the door to explode if the proper password isn’t used).
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The characters are amalgamations of bits and pieces of people I’ve known and met in my life, but that goes for every writer’s characters.
When creating the religious system for my world, one of the things I noticed was that most fantasy settings would have one single monolithic religion that everyone on the world either worshiped, opposed, or (rarely) just didn’t believe in. That’s always rubbed me the wrong way because in the real world you have multiple religions and multiple denominations of each religion, each with their own unique practices and deities but also at the same time sharing many similarities in their myths. So I wanted Pankea to have a real world feel to its religious system, so I created three systems—the Pankean Pantheon, Outsiders Pantheon, and The Cycle—each having various levels of influence on specific races and nationalities, and each having their own Orders, cults, and (in the case of some) their own secret societies.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Krys Janae. And she did an awesome job of giving just the right balance of charm and menace in Lord Calahan Darkblade, the character on the cover.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not everything is what it seems, and there’s a mixture of good and bad in everybody.
And females that kick ass are cool (yeah, yeah, cool! hehehe).
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
R. R. Tolkien, Stephen King, and Orson Scott Card are my three most favorite authors. I love the sweeping epic feel of Tolkien, the writing style of King, and the moral quandaries that make up the themes in many of Card’s stories.
As for new authors: Frank Creed, Stephen Zimmer, Chrissy Garrison, and RJ Sullivan—wait, they’re not new anymore, they’re pretty much veterans by this point. But they still put out some awesome stories. John F. Allen is relatively new and has an awesome kickass heroine in his novel, The God Killers.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Most people I’ve met support it. They all have their own opinions on how best to go about it, of course, lol. Some opinions are well thought out, and some…not so much. Sometimes lip service is all anyone can give.
But if it hadn’t been for Aglis Budrys back in 2000 telling me my work could be publishable, I probably would’ve given up. And Eugie Foster taught me a lot about writing, editing, being a reviewer, and just publishing in general. I never got to thank either of them in person before they died. 😦
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. Eventually. Once I start making enough to no longer need a dayjob.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Oh no no no. I put that book through enough revisions already, lol.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
It can wear you out.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Megan Fox would be Marian Silverblade. And either Gal Gadot or Halle Berry would be Yavar Thain, depending on which of the two could get the Vangaardian accent down right (I think Gal’s natural accent would give her an edge on that).
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep writing, and keep reading.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
There’s two more books to go in this trilogy, with a lot of twists and a lot of surprises. And things are going to get epic. And darker.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Thunder Horizon by Stephen Zimmer. It’s sword & sorcery with a female main character that could give Red Sonja a run for her money.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Holy Bible. Then right after that The Brothers Grimm, some Shakespeare, and then a science encyclopedia. And about a dozen novels or so. And all this between the ages of 7-9. My parents wanted to make sure I was well read, I guess, lol.
In 8th Grade, I got so caught up in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings that I intentionally got in trouble just so I could get detention, so I could have plenty of time to finish reading the books. I spent almost that whole year in detention and had to take 8th Grade over again the next year. lol
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A lot of things make me laugh. I have a dark, twisted, and crude sense of humor.
A lot of things make me…er, um, can cause dust to get in my eyes. *Ahem!*
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Thomas Jefferson. Just to be able to sit and chat with him.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I collect comic books and play video games. I also love tabletop RPGs.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Back when I had a TV to watch: Buffy the Vampire Slayer,Firefly, and Angel. Oh, and X-Men: the Animated Series.
These days when I have time for it, I’ll watch shows through my laptop: Agents of Shield which I’m still trying to get caught up on, and Star Wars: Rebels. I’ll also go back and watch my favorite episodes of Star Wars: The Clone War from time to time.
As for films: I’ve so far watched all the MCU films up to Captain America: Civil War, and both of the new Star Wars movies.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Pizza, black and red, heavy metal
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would an hero.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Here lies Scott Sandridge. He was an ass. A lovable and charming ass, but an ass nevertheless.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I have a website on the way. 😀
For now you can find me here:
and my Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/smsandwrites/