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?
Hi, Fiona, thanks for having me! My name is Scott Borgman, and I’m 41 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Minnesota, originally.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Well, I have a few years of college under my belt. I never finished, due to a life choice twenty years ago toeither continue college in the Midwest and attempt to make an online, long distance relationship work, or to move out to Virginia where the girl I had met online and fallen in love with was living at the time. I chose the latter, and I don’t regret that decision. We’ve been married for 18 years.We moved around a bit in the early years, first from Virginia to Iowa, then to Arizona for a year, before moving to central Wisconsin, where we’ve been for the past fourteen years.
We started a family very early on and had four children. However, we lost our youngest child back in 2010 tragically when he was only 3 years old. As painful as it was (and still is some days, even now), I’ve come to realize that just like meeting my wife was not a random act of chance, neither was that devastating loss. It was the trigger that set my feet on the writer’s road that I now travel upon.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I just released my 7th book a few months ago (technically it’s my 8th, if you count the Collector’s Edition I have out which bundles all three books in a trilogy together into one complete volume), which is an Urban Fantasy – my first foray into that genre. And I’m pleased to say that it just received a Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review award, making it my 4th book to receive the silver seal.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing when I was in 3rd grade. Back then I didn’t really have the focus, though. I’d start writing a story and then a new idea would pop in my head, so I’d grab another notebook and begin that one.
Every one of my teachers from grade school through high school told me I had a gift, which made sense, because my childhood dream was to be a fiction writer, to delight and entertain readers with the stories that I wrote. I took every class I possibly could during those grade school and high school years that had anything to do with writing. English, Creative Writing… I was on the high school newspaper staff as well, first as a reporter and then as the News Editor. As high school came to a close, I was encouraged to write for a newspaper, a magazine, or do something in television. But that wasn’t the kind of writing I wanted to do, so that dream (and my gift) were set aside and forgotten as I went off to college.
I worked in the grocery industry for close to twenty years. When our son passed away in 2010, I wrote poetry at first as a way of dealing with the loss. That was when the dream was remembered, the gift taken out of the attic and dusted off, and I began my writing career, now with the focus I hadn’t had as a kid.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
You would think when I published my first book, but that wasn’t the case with me. I’d self-published a few books on Smashwords before moving exclusively to Amazon. My biggest reason for making that change was because Amazon has an AMAZING program for readers, Kindle Unlimited. All of my books are enrolled in that program.
Anyway, I knew there were readers out there who, like me, prefer paperbacks to digital books, and I wanted them to have the same opportunity, so I went about putting the books I had published (I think it was 3 or four at the time) into paperback format. When I received that first proof copy in the mail, I was excited, of course. And when I held the book in my hands for that first time, I remember tears started to roll down my face. I just stood there, awestruck and overcome with emotion, and whispered: “I did this. I wrote this.” At that moment, that was when it really hit me. I was living my childhood dream, doing what I had been given the gift for and was meant to do. I was an author, a fiction writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My son. I don’t want anyone to think I’m trying to get sympathy, because I’m not. I just want people to understand that event in my life opened my eyes and helped me to realize who I was meant to be. Through his loss, he taught me to see once more through innocent eyes, as he had.
We all start out that way. But as we get older, the world around us steals away that innocence as we learn about selfishness, greed, intolerance, hate, discrimination… We’re not born with those things.
My first book, The Exiled, is a Paranormal Romance, as are the two follow-ups that make up the trilogy and tell the entire story. I think people tend to get the idea that it’s religious because the story has angels and such in it. Truthfully, the angels, Lucifer, the Greek gods and goddesses, and even the various creatures of myth and legend are just the baseline for the story. There are lessons scattered within it about humanity, about where we are and where we could one day be. It takes a hard, emotional look at those issues of hate, discrimination, selfishness and greed at various points.
It’s meant to entertain, certainly. There’s action, suspense, unexpected twists, even a touch of horror and some fantasy-type elements. And yes, because it’s Paranormal Romance, there’s strong language and a few pretty descriptive steamy scenes – romance written, not erotic.
But even those aspects are just a baseline. At its heart, it’s about us. The trilogy is my attempt to pass on those lessons that through his loss, my son taught to me. It’s always been my hope that it will not only entertain, but that those lessons will have a deeper, emotional impact. The trilogy holds nothing back, showing how low we can sink… but also how high we’re capable of soaring.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
As I write in three different genres, I’ll switch gears to my High Fantasy series for this question and give credit where credit is due. My wife is responsible for the start of that series. She’d bought a game called Thief several years ago, and when I asked her one day how she liked it, she replied by saying that it was fun but didn’t like the fact she was playing as a male character, with no choice to play as a female character. Cue the suspenseful, sneaky movement through the shadows music, and then Jaelyth, the main character in Province of a Thief stepping out of them.
Jaelyth is a female master thief, living and “working” in the capital city of Silvergate, which lies in the Province, which in turn is located on the fantasy world of Tal’Avern, which I built from the ground up, along with two other books that spawned after the first. I’m working on the fourth one now, to finish up that series.
Yes, my wife is responsible for all of that. A single comment brought the character to life, which in turn expanded into an entire world where magic is real, fearsome dragons fill the skies, dark plots and danger lurk around every corner… and where heroes are found in the most unlikely of places. That’s the kind of power words can have!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I have two specific styles, actually. The first is that while I have books in three different genres – High Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Urban Fantasy, all of which have their differences, they all share one thing in common: Strong, compelling female characters in the leading roles. I love that aspect of my writing, because the girls can play those roles and be tough when they need to, but they can still retain that softer, more feminine quality at other times. A big muscle-bound male charging at a dragon, fighting off a werewolf, or going toe to toe with an alien one minute and then is crying the next because the celebratory tea and crumpets are so delicious just isn’t believable! That’s just a thought from my head, by the way. It doesn’t actually appear in any of my books, haha! *pauses for a moment and scratches chin thoughtfully* Hrmm…..
As for my second specific style, I think this explains it perfectly:
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Even though all three genres are fiction, there’s always something in every book that falls under one of those question categories. I think almost every author does that. A phrase, a tiny detail that seems casual but has a personal meaning for the author… maybe a reaction a character has to something. My wife would probably disagree, but there’s a little bit of her in every one of the main and secondary female characters in all of my books.But let’s keep that between us! 😉
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Not unless you count getting up from the bed and walking the ten feet over to my desk and laptop! There are times where accuracy is needed over imagination, so I do a lot of research in those instances – mostly online, or driving to the nearby library. For example, in the Exiled books, a reference is made several times to when Athena blinded Tiresias when she caught him watching her bathe. I spend quite a bit of time researching various mythological stories, wanting something specific about Athena, so when I found and read that story, it fit perfectly. My thinking was that readers would find those little treasure trinkets, get curious, discover that story actually exists, and perhaps want to read those a well.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
With the exception of my newest release, all of my book covers were created by Mat Sadler (matsadler.com), an artist I came across several years ago on Fiverr when I was looking to have my covers redone after attempting to do the covers myself. We learn best from our failures, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I failed miserably when I made the original covers myself. Mat is absolutely amazing, and I’m pleased to say that his work has gotten some very well-deserved recognition.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In the High Fantasy and Urban Fantasy books, not really. Those are purely for entertainment. As for the Paranormal Romance books, I’ve already mentioned the message somewhat, but I think perhaps this will help to strengthen that somewhat:
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?
I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had a chance to get a lot of reading in. There are a few authors that are on my To Read list: C.L. Schneider and K.K. Allen are among them. I truly wish there were more hours in the day, because I love to just sit down, relax, and read!
I don’t have a favorite writer, as I don’t limit myself to reading only one or two genres. There are amazing stories out there, and I love discovering them! I will say that lately I have stuck to reading books by Indie (self-published) authors.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Fate. I don’t agree with her choice to cut the string in her tapestry that she did, but I have to give her credit, albeit grudgingly: She knows what she’s doing.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Definitely.The hours are long (a 10-hour day is a short one for me) and there are all kinds of frustrations and ups and downs thathonestly make this the hardest job I’ve ever had. But I’m doing what I love to do: Delighting and entertaining others with the stories I write. That makes it the most rewarding.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a thing!
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Expect the unexpected. I thought I’d learned that lesson already with the other books, but there are two common ways to write a book. One is to make an outline, like Cliff Notes. The other is to just start writing and wing it. I’m a winger, and what always happens is that one is half writer, half-reader, never knowing what may happen next.
There were times when something was suddenly revealed to me that I had absolutely no idea about and wasn’t expecting. I literally stopped dead in my tracks, stopped writing and sat back in my chair, staring at the screen with my mouth dropping open and a shocked look appearing on my face.
I actually love it when that happens, because if I have those reactions, chances are that readers will have the same or similar experiences.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I would hope my latest release, Angel: The Mithista Incident, would be the book made into a film. And not just the lead but the secondary and even minor characters, I would want new actors who are just starting out or have only been acting for a few years. I know the struggle of working hard, hoping to get that first break, that one chance… that lightning strike.I think we all do, no matter what each of us does for a living. I would hope as well that the movie would be a blockbuster hit, so those new actors would get that lightning strike that we all dream of getting ourselves.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
The best answer I can give is provide a link to a motivational speech Arnold Schwarzenegger gave many years ago, when he was talking about his six rules to success.
It’s been probably the most inspirational video I’ve ever seen/listened to. It’s helped me to keep pushing, to work harder, get better. And most of all, “good enough” is NEVER good enough. Don’t get so excited and be quick to hit that publish button. Take the time to go over everything again, and again, and AGAIN if you have to, so that when you do hit that publish button, it’s because you feel confident that you’re putting out your very best for them. Readers deserve nothing less than that.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
To those who have read my work, thank you for allowing me into your lives and giving me the opportunity to be your storyteller. I hope I’ve done my job and accomplished my goal in delighting and entertaining you.
For those who have never read my work but may be interested, I must humbly beg a request of you. Please don’t blindly buy any of my books just because the covers catch your eye or the blurbs pique your interest. Take advantage of the Look Inside feature on Amazon and read through some (or all) of the book sample you’re interested in. Covers are meant to catch your eye, and the blurbs are there to draw you in, but ultimately, there’s only one thing that truly matters: The story.
Perhaps you’ll read a sample and choose to make a purchase, or you’ll decide it’s not for you. Either way, you’re making an informed decision, and that is what matters to me. Books are meant to be enjoyed, after all. It may not be a “good way to market”, but it’s how I choose to do so. Readers are not a sales number to me, they’re people. I’d rather have a reader make that informed decision than to blindly buy.
The other thing I would ask (and this is not just for me but for every author) is to please consider leaving a review on Amazon after reading a book. Amazon places a LOT of weight on them, and honestly, reviews are the most difficult thing for us to get. It doesn’t have to be long – a few words or sentences that give your thoughts and feelings about the story (without giving away any spoilers) are perfect!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Cloak of Shadows, by CK Dawn. (http://ckdawn.com)
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I remember reading (though I’m sure it wasn’t the first one I ever read) was The Three Investigators by Robert Arthur
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My wife says I have “an abnormally large humor tumor,” and I have to agree. Pretty much anything can set me off, and if something really hits me… well, I’ve had to sleep on the couch before, because even hours later, the mere thought of whatever had sent me into a fit of uncontrollable laughter would get me giggling again. Apparently, when I get those on-the-floor, side-splitting, gut-hurting-from- laughing-so-hard moments, it sounds “goofy,” to the point of being contagious and causing others to start laughing!
As for crying, that’s the usual. You know, scenes in a movie or book, recalling certain memories (both good and bad), music lyrics that have an emotional impact… things like that.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I mentioned him before – Arnold Schwarzenegger.Not just because of who he is, but what he’s accomplished. When he came to the United States, he faced all kinds of adversity, like not knowing the language. He’s made his mistakes, as we all do, but he worked hard, never gave up, and pushed himself to make his dreams become a reality. I admire and respect that.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Outside of writing and reading, I still play the occasional video game, and as my son has shown an interest in golf, it gives me the perfect chance to get into that again – something which I haven’t done since I was in high school. Golf: A nice walk, ruined by a little white ball! Hahaha!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Way too many to list. Everything from comedies to war movies, action flicks… I’m a huge Star Wars and Star Trek geek. I’ve gone through all seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix like 6 times now. I just finished the final episode the other day,actually. When I did, my wife had this relieved look appear on her face… which summarily turned upside down and brought an “Oh my God… you’d better not!” when I grinned and went over to Star Trek: Voyager and started Season 1, Episode 1, hahaha!
Oh, here’s a fun fact: I like musicals, too! My Fair Lady and Hello Dolly!are among my favorites. Feel free to gasp in shock. 🙂
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favorite foods: Anything my wife cooks is absolutely mouth-watering
Favorite color: Midnight Blue
Favorite music: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and whatever is playing on the radio.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
This is actually a possibility for me. A few years ago, my hands started tingling, spread up my arms, and then my left leg went out. It was dead weight for about a month. I had to drag it around and physically lift it when I got in the car. I should have tried out for a zombie part on The Walking Dead! I ended up having an MRI done on my neck, which found some oddities, so another was done on my brain, where 7 nice little “I was here” scars showed up. The diagnosis: Progressive Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis.
I did get the use of my leg back, but there’s no cure for MS. Rather than dwell on that fact and boo-hoo over it, I keep writing. Life is too short to worry about things one has no control over, after all. Now, if it takes out my eyesight or the use of my hands, then the gloves are going to come off and there’s going to be a no-holds-barred fistfight between Fate and I. Should it ever happen, I fully intend to win that fight, because I refuse to go down quietly and disappoint my readers.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Dreams are like the stars in the sky. No star is impossible to touch. The first step is easy: Believe in yourself and reach up.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Absolutely, thank you for asking!
Official Website: http://scottborgman.com
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Scott-Borgman/e/B00KROBR4W/
I would like to once again say thank you for having me here and for such a wonderful interview, Fiona. I truly enjoyed it! To the visitors who stop by, thank you for taking time out of your day to come by and get to know a little bit about me and the books that I write. I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!!!