Today, I consider myself very fortunate for the opportunity to interview Scott J. Holliday, author of “Stonefly.” This is one of the very best books of the year, in my opinion. With captivating descriptions and a unique story and plot, this one is certain to please.
Please take a moment to check out Scott’s Amazon Author page HERE
And check out Stonefly HERE
*Additional links and contact methods found at the bottom of the interview
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you write
I’m recently a father for the first time¬—a baby daughter—and couldn’t be more proud. I was able to hold her for the first twenty minutes of her life (while her mother recovered) and somewhere in that twenty minutes the train that was my old life derailed and landed on a new track. I’m a Michigan State grad, software developer, and I make my own pizza. The key is in the crust, and I’ve got a secret ingredient that makes all the difference.
I write books about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. I fell in love with reading and storytelling because I could always take something meaningful away from a well-told story. My goal is to tell stories that relate to our own lives so that readers can take something meaningful away from them.
Can you share anything with us about your current WIP?
My current work-in-progress is a coming-of-age tale. It’s about a young boy who’s dealing with some personal tragedy, and then he discovers something in his life that keeps coming back. He sets out to investigate the reason why, and along the way… well, we’ll see 😉 There are some fears and frights in it, but it doesn’t go into all out horror.
Also, I’m working on Broken Horizon, Jacob Duke #2.
What has been the most eye-opening part of being an author thus far?
Sincerely—There’s magic in it. Before I took my writing seriously I thought it was BS when an author would talk about their characters becoming real and taking their own paths through life. I figured it was impossible to be a character’s creator, and still somehow allow that character to make their own decisions. I was so wrong. I discovered just how wrong I was when I wrote my first publishable book, Normal, and my characters were pretty much doing whatever they wanted to do. It was like magic. I followed them and wrote down what happened, if that makes sense. And then I knew just how emotionally taxing it could be when I found myself crying about some of the tragedies and pain that my characters were going through. It’s a surreal thing to be the creator of the tragedy that you’re imposing upon your character, and yet you still feel destroyed by it.
What do you hope for the future of your writing career?
I’d like to be a full-time writer someday. It’s staggeringly difficult to get a foothold in this business, but I’ll keep on writing and keep on pushing because it’s what I do. Ultimately, though, I’d just like to know that my work is affecting people in a positive way. My books are like children. I’m sending them out into the world to do as they will, and I’m just hoping that they do the right by others.
Who are some of your biggest influences and/or favourite authors?
George Orwell. In particular, 1984. The last page of that book made me cry out with a mixture of anger and love. Never has a work of fiction hit me so hard and left me speechless. A masterpiece. I enjoy other classics, too, like Catcher in the Rye and Of Mice and Men. I also loved What’s Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges, and The Green Mile (the movie was good, but the book was fantastic) by Stephen King.
Other than that, I’ll read just about whatever I can get my hands on. I’ve grown less tolerant of bad writing over the years, though. I stop reading many more books than I used to. I guess it comes with knowing a bit more about what it takes to do it well, and then seeing that sometimes authors are clearly taking shortcuts.
Additionally, I’d say that movies inspire me just as much as books, and even more so, music. Music breaks me down and makes me think differently. So much of what I write is inspired by music, I’m almost embarrassed to admit it.
What first inspired the idea for your story?
I’ve seen too many movies and read too many books about people who’ve been given super powers. They’re suddenly left with the responsibility to use that power correctly. I thought, why not someone who has been given real responsibility, but no super powers? That’s when Jacob was born. He’s just like the rest of us, who have to be responsible to our families and friends, but we’re not given special gifts.
How many rewrites did it take for you to feel you had a marketable book?
From top to bottom I only wrote the book once. After that I’d say it went through five to ten editing passes. It’s just me doing the work, so I have to step away from the project for a bit and get perspective in order to see some things that I didn’t see the first time, the second time, etc.
Where can we find you?
You can find me in Detroit, MI. If you check the Thai food places and I’m not there, check my writing desk 😉
Any final thoughts, advice for other authors?
A final thought—I’d like to thank you, Ionia, for what you do. It’s people like me that need people like you, and I appreciate it. My advice to other authors? I’m hardly qualified to be giving out advice, but I guess I could say one thing about finding success with writing:
You’ve got to belong to it.
The Young Ones: http://www.amazon.com/Young-Ones-Special-ebook/dp/B00CWN9E8W