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?
My name is Scott Colbert, no relation to Stephen Colbert before anyone asks (and they do). I turned 54 this past August.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Originally from NY, but have reluctantly called Phoenix, AZ home since 1981.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
My life is fairly boring these days, several illnesses keep me at home more than I like. I’m a cat lover, see my mother every week, and stay out of the sun. I have a year of college under my belt, and would like to go back and finish to get my journalism degree.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m having my gall bladder removed. Oh, and I’m almost done with my next book, Errors of the Flesh.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was 11 or 12 when I wrote my first short story. I’d just seen Rocky and was so inspired and excited by the movie, I wanted to write a story just like it, and I did. It was about as good as you would exp3ect it to be, which is to say, not very.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
From the first time I picked up a pen and wrote something with the aim of having others read it. Probably my junior year of high school, I was on the school paper. We went to a conference of high school journalism students, and I ended up winning third prize for best written essay. That’s when I knew I had something I could do pretty well. I’ve been a writer ever since.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I honestly can’t remember, other than knowing I wanted to write a Weird Western. The main character, Eddie, was based on my father somewhat (it was my way of honouring him as he passed n in ’89.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It was part of a lyric from the song White Featr by Marillion “…I felt Barbed Wire Ksses and icle tears.” If I ever write another book in that same universe, Icicle tears will be the logical follow up title.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I suppose you could call it minimalist. I write enough to give you a basic idea, and let the reader fill in the blanks. The main challenge in my genre, which is horror, is how hard it is at times to del with technology. In my newest book Life in Amber, I had to try and incorporate it into the story, without it seeming clichéd when they couldn’t. It’s why I prefer setting my stories in other time periods.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In Barbed Wire Kisses, very little was based on my own experiences, and the only character based on someone was the main character Eddie, who as I said earlier was based on my father. In Life in Amber, there is a lot of me in there. It’s the most personal of anything I’ve written, as the two main characters Evan and Kaden are based on myself and m,y closest friend.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Thanks to Google maps, and Google earth, no travelling is required. Just a lot of research.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
A friend of mine Joe Adams, designed the cover for Barbed Wire Kisses as well as all my non fiction books, and I designed Life in Amber and the upcoming Errors of the Flesh.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That’s for the reader to decide. I simply want to tell a story, and if they read something into it, that’s fine with me.
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?
It’s been awhile since I’ve read anyone new, not for lack of willingness, but lack of time; I tend to stick to the usual writers I’ve read throughout my life.I will say however I love the work of Jerry Janda. He’s a screenwriter, not a novelist, but his stories are dynamite. My favourite would have to be Stephen King, for his ability to make characters so believable. I love his world anbd the people he has inhabit it.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
The late great T.M. Wright. He became a mentor of sorts as I was writing Barbed Wire Kisses and his input made it what it is. His insights, talents and willingness to help gave me the boost I needed. When I feel a bit down, I go back and reread the emails he sent, encouraging me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do, though not sure how viable it is these days.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There’s always things you want to change after the fact, but by and large I’m very happy with how my work has come out.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
There was a 6 year gap between Barbed Wire Kisses being released and Life in Amber, and what I learned writing Amber was, Kisses wasn’t a fluke, that I have more stories to tell. In my current work Errors of the Flesh, I’ve learned writing high fantasy is a lot harder than I thought.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For life in Amber I could see Tom Holland and Paul Giamatti as the two leads.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Read twice as much as you write. Read things outside your genre, read non fiction, watch documentaries. Continue learning so you don’t deplete your wells.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Please leave reviews, whether you like a book or not, they are so important for the writer.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I tend not to read when I’m writing as I don’t want it to influence my own work. Stephen King once made the analogy that it was like being an open container of milk in the fridge, and it adopts the taste of what surrounds it. Having said that, I am reading his newest book The Institute, as well as a brilliant book of poetry called Bedlam, My Boy by UK underground LGBT artist Wade Radford.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but I remember the first book that made an impact, and flipped that writing switch, it was The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My friends make me laugh and the news makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Ugh! There are so many, but if I had to pick only one, it would be Truman Capote, simply for his stories, and I’d want to ask him all about In Cold Blood.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I suppose I would consider my podcast a hobby. I’ve been doing The Imaginarium with my cohost Todd Staruch for almost 5 years now (it will be 5 years this November).
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Big Mouth for one on Netflix. Wholesome and filthy, it’s brilliant. I’ve been going back and watyching shows I grew up on, and seeing them as an adult, makes me appreciate sitcoms like All in the Family and Maude, even more.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Foods: Anything Italian or Mexican. Colors: Ble and Green. Mosic, 70’s rock, prog rock, and ‘80s new wave.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Probably working at one of those coffee shops that also has cats you can adopt.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Spending it with the people who matter the most to me while eating everything I’m not supposed to eat now.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Blog (though I post very infrequently): https://secolbertblog.wordpress.com/
Facebook (the best place to contact me: https://www.facebook.com/secolbert