Fiona: 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?
Scott: My name is Scott M. Baker. I’m fortunate to be fifty-five years old, retired, and enjoying being a full-time writer.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Scott:I was born and raised just north of Boston. I spent twenty-three years living in north Virginia and northeast Asia (three years in Okinawa and three years in Seoul, South Korea) while working for the Central Intelligence Agency, and then four years in central Florida. I now reside outside of Concord, New Hampshire.
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e. your education, family life, etc.).
Scott: I have an MA in Modern European History;have travelled throughout Europe, Asia. and the Middle East; and have worked against North Korea, Iran, cyber espionage, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Not only have I been very fortunate to live such a great life, but these experiences have found their way into my novels.
I’m married to the love of my life and fellow writer, Alison Beightol. When I’m not writing, I enjoy watching my stepdaughter grow from a teenager to a young woman as well as doting on two dogs and the two cats who graciously allow me to live here with them.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Scott: I’m working on several projects. I’m shopping around to literary agents my latest manuscript called MAG: Mutant Assassin Group, a dark techno-thriller with horror elements about a government conspiracy to use a bioweapon against North Korea, and the veteran CIA agent and desk-bound analyst who risk their lives to warn Kim Chong-un and prevent the onset of World War III. On the writing front, I’m drafting my first screenplay and am working on the last three books in my young adult post-apocalypse series that is written under my pseudo Josh Matthews.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Scott: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember.It’s always been my passion. Back when I was a kid, I used to make monster magazines out of construction paper or draft short stories in notebooks, none of which were any good.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Scott: I didn’t start writing seriously until I joined the CIA. I had a manuscript with a literary agent and several publishers about North Korea obtaining nuclear weapons and using them to blackmail the United States. Unfortunately, after 9/11 techno-thrillers were no longer marketable, which is why I switched to horror.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Scott: Ironically, it was the movie Van Helsing. I had seen it with a close friend, and afterwards I said to her that I could have written a more realistic vampire story. She dared me to try it, and that started my career as a horror writer.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Scott: My first horror novel was about a small band of humans battling the undead in Washington D.C., so I came up with the title The Vampire Hunters. It’s not very original, but it gets the point across.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Scott: I don’t have a specific writing style. However, I am known for my intense action sequences and for killing off most of my characters.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Scott: All my horror novels deal with vampires, zombies, giant insects, and assorted other monsters, so realistic is a relative term for me. However, I do try to make my work as plausible as possible. I don’t rely on clichés such as chosen ones, prophecies, and superweapons. I want my readers to be entertained without having to suspend too much belief.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Scott: I don’t travel to write my books; however, many of the places I’ve been to eventually make their way into my novels and short stories. The Vampire Hunters trilogy takes place in and around Washington because I lived there for twenty-three years. Other locations I’ve visited that have made their way into my books are Mont St. Michel (The Vampire Hunters: Dominion), San Francisco (Rotter Nation and Rotter Apocalypse), Los Alamos (Yeitso), and Site R (Rotter World). For those sites that I’ve never been to, I do extensive research; I rely heavily on Google maps.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Scott: The editor of Emby Press created the covers for The Vampire Hunters trilogy and allowed me to use the cover art when I self-published the books. Zach McCain did the cover art for the Rotter World saga, and Andrej Bartulovic produced the cover for Yeitso. My favorite artwork is Nazi Ghouls From Space, which was done by up-and-coming artist Maggie Carrie.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Scott:My novels are meant only to entertain. There are no hidden social or political messages.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Scott: I can’t name only one. When I was starting out and had not yet been published, I made friends with Brian Keene and the late J.F. Gonzalez, who provided moral encouragement until I finally got my first novel into print. Now that I’m working on my first screenplay, Ben Garant has been very supportive. All that they’ve ever asked from me is to pay it forward and be supportive of the newbies who follow me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Scott: I sure hope so. I still have a lot of ideas I want to get into print, including a series I’m plotting called OSS: Office of Supernatural Services, about Allied intelligence officers battling Nazi occultism during World War II.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Scott: Not athing. I like what I’ve written so farand feel it’s as perfect as I can make it. I always keep my focus toward what I’m about to write.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Scott: I learned quite a bit, but not what your average writer usually does. While writing MAG: Mutant Assassin Group, I learned how to alter the body so it’s trans-human, how to produce a radiological weapon, and how to develop the world’s most deadly biological weapon. I’m not saying that my search profile has put me on the government watch list, but this past Christmas I got holiday cards from the CIA, FBI, and NSA.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Scott: For most of my books, I have no preferences. Having said that, if I did get to pick, I would want Nathan Fillion to play Drake Matthews from The Vampire Hunters trilogy and Bruce Campbell to play the alcoholic mall Santa from “Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly”.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Scott: Keep writing and write every day, even if it’s only one page. If you write one page a day, at the end of a year you will have a full-length novel of 352 pages.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Scott: To my current readers, thank you for your support. I’ve been side-tracked lately while I concentrate on my young adult series, but I have some great projects planned. For your readers who have yet to discover me, please check out my website or Amazon author’s page. I have an eclectic range of works – vampires, zombies, giant insects, sewer monsters, torture porn, alien invasions, and even consensual tentacle sex. I’m sure you’ll find something that grabs your interest and will hopefully make you a life-long fan.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Scott: I’m a huge World War II history buff and one of those people who read several books at the same time. I just finished Death Traps by Belton Cooper, about armor warfare in west Europe in WWII. I’m currently reading Hi Hitler by Gavriel Rosenthal, about the revisionism surrounding the Nazi era, and The Collaboration by Ben Urwand, about the relationship between Hollywood and Nazi Germany.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Scott: I don’t, but it was probably some children’s book about green eggs and ham. When I was young, I read a lot of horror and science fiction classics by Shelly, Wells, Verne, and Stoker. The book that had the biggest impact on me was Graham Masterton’s The Manitou, which my mother gave me when I was ten. It introduced me to modern horror, and I was hooked on it ever since.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Scott: I laugh at things that are inappropriate. I’m also a horrible punster. It drives my wife insane.I cry when I see animals abused.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Scott: Being a World War II buff and having studied this period of history all my life, I would want to meet Adolf Hitler. Not because I admire the man. I don’t. He was the mostevil man in history. But I would love to spend some time with him, see what he was really like, and try to figure out what went on in that twisted brain.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Scott: I have a lot, although some of them I never get a chance to pursue because I’m so busy. I love reading and playing video games (mostly first-person shooters). My wife and love traveling to Europe and try to do so every two years. I also enjoy building scale models of WWII tanks or movie monsters, although I haven’t done so for years.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Scott: I watch way too much TV, so I try to be selective. My favorites areFamily Guy, Rick and Morty, The Orville, The Big Bang Theory,The Librarians,The Last Ship, Doctor Who, Z Nation, The Walking Dead, and Fear the Walking Dead.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, and music?
Scott: Burritos and ice cream (iced coffee and whiskey for drinks), red and black, Meatloaf and music from the 50s and 80s, plus country and western.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Scott: Read a lot, binge watch TV series I missed, and drive my wife crazy.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Scott: I have no preferences for my tombstone. Just bury me face down so I can see where I’m going.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Scott: My social media links are listed below. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to get to know your readers. I hope to make several new fans.
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003N4U9BK
Goodreads Author’s Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3505916.Scott_M_Baker
The Vampire Hunters Omnibus: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HGVF4RE
Cruise of the Living Dead: A Zombie Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C2DW26W?ref_=pe_870760_118561140
Incident on Ironstone Lane and Other Horror Stories: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01K0VOPUE?ref_=pe_870760_118561140