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?
Well, my name is Scott Skipper and my age is ancient. Seriously, I’m sixty-eight.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Akron, Ohio, which at the time was the Rubber Capital of the World. Now, it’s a backwater.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Education? I’m severely under educated. I never got a high school diploma, which has more to say about the high school than about me. I was there with the requisite credits, but they weren’t forthcoming. As for family, I’m batting 500 in the marriage game. I have no natural children, but I have a fantastic collection of step-kids.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
This month, I released my 17th novel, The Klansman’s Wife. It’s about illicit love and danger in small town South Carolina in the late 1970’s.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I submitted my first story for publication when I was thirteen. I typed it on a 1910 Underwood with a broken ‘p.’ It was accepted by a start-up magazine who said they were sending it to an illustrator. Two weeks later, I received a letter from them saying they had gotten a better offer and didn’t need me. Fast forward thirty years. In the eighties, I had the opportunity to not work for a year during which I devoted my time to travel and writing. I published several items, was paid a grand total of twenty-five dollars and decided I had best go back to work in the metal industry. Thirty more years passed before I got serious about my real passion. Now, I’m searching for a topic for my eighteenth book.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have always considered myself a writer, but it took sixty years and the advent of self-publishing to become actualized. Don’t let anybody denigrate self-publishing. It is the future.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was inspired by my fondness for pre-Columbian culture, but it wasn’t published until I completely rewrote it in 2017. The first book that I published was inspired by fifteen years of genealogical research. Family Traits is about the arrival of my ancestors in the New World.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Ha! The men in my family all have a distinctive trait. We are blessed with a somewhat prominent proboscis.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My style leans heavily on dialogue and fast pace. I have difficulty prolonging a story beyond sixty thousand words. The Klansman’s Wife is only fifty-two thousand words.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
That’s a pointed question. The Klansman’s Wife is about a young engineer who follows a job from California to South Carolina. I indeed had that experience in 1976. The characters are all based on people who I met there, and that’s all the confession you’re going to get out of me. Read the story and deduce what you like.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Travel is great for inspiration. I incorporated experiences I’ve had in exotic places into my work on several occasions. Mexico and the American South are prominent in my stories. Even when the setting is domestic, I use places I know well such as San Diego and Santa Barbara.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’ve designed all my own covers except for In the Blood which was done by my wife.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Well, I prefer to tell a story than to promote a message, but if there is a recurrent theme, it’s that the human species is a fallible creature guided by baser instincts.
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?
As for contemporary authors, I like Nelson DeMille and Daniel Silva. My favorite author is Hemingway. I admire how he was able to touch a nerve. When I read Hemingway, I often stop and say to myself, “How did he know that about me?” He was able to say things truly.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I owe a great deal of gratitude to the members of the La Verne Writers’ Group. They are a small band of local writers with whom I participate on Friday afternoons.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It’s more of an avocation. If it were my career, I’d be a lot leaner than I am, but having said that, I am always hopeful that one day something I wrote will take off into the stratosphere.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
If I were to think of something that would make The Klansman’s Wife a better story, I’d change it. That’s the beauty of self-publishing. You can republish as many times as you like.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Well, not really. As I mentioned, it’s largely based on things that actually happened to me, so I knew where it was going from the start. Now, don’t take that as a confession. I was not pursued across the country by a deranged Klansman.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I was first asked this question about my most popular book which is Alien Affairs. Without hesitation, I said Sandra Bullock. If The Klansman’s Wife were a movie, the main character would have to be Brad Pitt. It would be hard for me to cast the female lead because she is based on a person who is fixed in my mind.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
I always give the same advice. Be mindful, but not obsessive of passive voice, and do your damnedest to give every preposition an object. Stay away from excessive detail.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I write multiple genres. You are bound to find something that suits your interest.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading The Reckoning by Grisham. It’s one of his best.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book that I remember reading was a young adult story by Robert Heinlein. I can’t remember the title, but it was about Martians.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
The silly little dog that is waddling across the floor is making me laugh right now. Lots of things make me cry. I tear up over my own writing sometimes.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
There are so many people from the past who I would love to meet; Thomas Jefferson, Attila the Hun, Alexander the Great come to mind. But more than anyone, I’d love to spend an afternoon in a Paris café with Ernest Hemingway. I think we’d hit it off.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Do you mean besides writing? I enjoy reading and I like to cook. I’m not sure either of those is really a hobby.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m not big on TV or films. I mainly watch the news and strange channels in the high numbers.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love all sorts of food if it doesn’t come out of a can. Anything from sushi to grits suits me fine. Colors? I’m a beige sort of guy. As for music, I’m partial to rock and roll from the seventies and Latin jazz.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Roll over and die.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Ravishing young maidens.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
A very wide date spread.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Sure. My website is https://www.scottskipper.com/
I also have some Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008974519195
Amazon Authors Page USA https://www.amazon.com/Scott-Skipper/e/B007BQDCWO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1575915793&sr=1-1&linkCode=sl2&tag=scoskiautssit-20&linkId=a4fc4b89bcf8fcfa8140cded834094ed&language=en_US
The Kindle edition of The Klansman’s Wife will be free this coming Friday and Saturday, December 13th and 14th at https://amzn.to/2OBpH9h
Thank you, Fiona.