Monday, June 6, 2011

Meet Scott Niven

Scott is the author of three self-published books; Twilight Candleflies, Sunset Lavaflies & Midnight Fireflies. Each book contains three tales of speculative fiction. And all three are well worth the price. You can read my review at See Spot Read.

I can't remember just how I met Scott, but I've come to know him over the last month or so, and he's not only a great author, he's a genuinely nice guy. Which makes doing an author interview and review a pleasure. So without further ado~ the interview:

1.) How long have you been writing?

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was 12, I attempted to create an epic fantasy series along the lines of Lord of the Rings. I've still got the 5 mini-books I created for the series, and the first one has a date on it of April 10, 1981. So let's go with April 10, 1981!

2.) Do you write full time or do you have another job?

I'd love to be writing full-time, but currently I'm a typical 8-5 worker who moonlights as an author. I'm fortunate, though, in that I love my day job as a web designer at NC State University. The work involves a certain level of creativity which I enjoy, plus working on a college campus (which also just happens to be my alma mater) keeps me feeling young.

3.) Are these books; Sunset Lavaflies, Twilight Candleflies and Midnight Fireflies your first published work?

These are my first books, but I've had several short stories published over the years. My first published work was in a now defunct mystery magazine titled "Murderous Indent". It was a great magazine. I have no idea of its circulation, but it appeared in my local Barnes & Noble a couple of times. Definitely a huge thrill to walk in a bookstore and see a magazine with one of my stories in it!

4.) What made you decide to go the Indie route?

My manager at NC State mentioned that Amazon had started allowing authors to self-publish their work. He knew I wrote in my spare time, and thought I should publish some of my stories. I did some research and realized there really wasn't any reason NOT to self-publish, especially since I'd probably never convince a publisher to book out a book of short stories by an unknown author. I'm now very happy I self-published, because I've met lots of great new writer friends (including you!) and I've received enough positive feedback to encourage me to attempt something longer.

5.) You call your books Science Fiction/Fantasy but I would say at least some of the stories have a horror element. Like "Every So Often in Ducere, Nevada". Do you agree or disagree?

Oh, I definitely agree. Ever since I got it in my head to self-publish, I've had trouble labeling my work. I put speculative fiction on my three books, but I've received questions from several people asking what "speculative fiction" was. So lately I've been describing myself as a science fiction/fantasy author. But I think if I was going to be honest I should label myself as a science fiction/fantasy/horror/mystery/thriller writer, since I've written several stories that fit in each of those genres. I'll probably never write anything that will horrify readers as much as some of H.P. Lovecraft's stories horrified me (his story with Brown Jenkin still frightens me when I think of it), but I do hope I'm able to weave in some material that disturbs readers and gets in their heads from time to time.

6.) What scares you personally? Do you have any silly phobias?

See question 5 above: Brown Jenkin.  :-)  I also don't care for yellow jackets all that much, but I've had to swallow that fear so that I can seem fearless to my son. One way I scare myself on purpose is with a show called Coast to Coast AM that plays nationally on AM radio stations over night. The show discusses a huge variety of topics, from extra-terrestrials to ghosts to possession and so on. I sometimes turn it on as I'm falling asleep, then wake up in the night to hear some ghost-chasers playing a recording of a ghost boy saying something like "help me" or "why did you leave?" I usually can't get back to sleep for awhile after that.

7.) What is your writing routine?

I'm a single parent, so my writing schedule is scattered across the board. On the weeks when I have my son, I try to fit in some writing in the evenings, and sometimes during lunch. On the weeks when I don't have him, I'm usually able to get in a couple of hours each night, with longer sessions during the weekends.

8.) Have you always been a fan of Scifi/Fantasy?

Yes. I grew up reading mainly Fantasy with some Stephen King and a few other random authors thrown in for good measure. At some point in high school I began enjoying Science Fiction, then lots of other genres followed soon after, but I usually always return to Fantasy and Science Fiction.

9.) What other authors inspire you?

Well, I love Tolkien. Probably lots of people say that, but how can you not be impressed with what he accomplished? I love looking through the appendixes at the end of "Return of the King". When you dig through that, you realize just how detailed and fleshed-out his books were. I also love Patricia McKillip. More people need to read her fantasy books! Stephen King also inspires me, mainly because he thought his original stories weren't that good, but then once they got published he realized that readers loved them. 

10.) What advice would you give to newbie writers out there?

Well, I'm planning on writing a blog post about this soon, but I had an epiphany last week at the beach. And the epiphany was: I can write anything I want. Yes, it sounds simple, but I used to always evaluate if I thought this story idea or that story idea would be marketable to a magazine or publisher. But now, if I've got an idea that's stuck in my head that wants to be turned into a story, I have no , I have no barriers. If I write it, I can publish it. The world may not like it, but I'm no longer constrained by the "publishability" of my stories. That thought gives me a huge sense of freedom, and I think it's a though that everyone can benefit from - especially newbie writers.

About the Author

Scott Niven was born in 1969, but he still hasn't grown up. He loves being a parent though, so he pretends to be a grownup when he's with his son.

Scott's been writing in one form or another for over 25 years. He has published 3 books: Twilight Candleflies, Sunset Lavaflies, and Midnight Fireflies. His short stories have appeared in various publications, including the literary journal Pembroke Magazine. He was also a finalist in the prestigious L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest.

When Scott's not writing or spending time with his son, he enjoys snapping forgettable photos, running through his neighborhood, and hopping on airplanes. He's visited 39 states, 15 national parks, and sadly, 0 foreign countries.

When Scott grows up, he hopes to become an astronaut. If that doesn't work out, his fallback dream is to make a living writing.  |  facebook  |  twitter  |  kindle  |  nook

I hope you all enjoyed meeting Scott Niven as much as I have! Now show him some love and follow him & buy his books!



Blaze McRob said...

Maybe Scott could become a part-time astronaut who writes books for a living. Just thinking.

I like Scott's frame of mind about writing what he wants to write. And, of course, his growing up concept is wonderful. I'm old enough to be his dad, and I still haven't grown up yet.

The great thing about the new writing movement is the number of class people becoming authors. Scott appears to be one of them. He would probably never send his Editor a horror story with her two worst nightmares.

Great interview from both of you.


Anonymous said...

I love Scott's motivated attitude! My hat's off to him and you, Stacey for this interview! I'm going to give him a follow now.

Spot said...

Blaze~ he does have a great attitude about writing and life in general. I think that's one of the things that drew me to him. He's proving to be a good friend too! Can't have enough of those!

Jason~ I'm very sure you will enjoy his work and his blog!