LifeOfWriters have had the pleassure to interview author Scott Thompson about his writing life. Scott Thompson is a Georgia author living outside of Atlanta. His writing can be read in regional publications, short stories, and in his novels. His latest novel, Eight Days, follows a man after death into eternity.
- How did you start your writing career?
I wrote a memoir a few years ago. After it was complete, I knew I’d never publish it, but I did learn that I had the discipline to follow through with a complete book. A year or so after I finished the memoir I wrote a short novel, submitted it to a writing contest, and won a publishing contract. I didn’t know much about the book industry, or anything else about publishing when the first book came out, but it was a great experience. Since then I have read every book I could find on the subject of writing, and I have studied great novels.
With every new chapter I complete, my writing gets better, and I learn more about my strengths and weaknesses. I try not to stagnate. I’m a storyteller first, and an author second. Writing is simply a way for me to share my stories with people, and to do that I have to become the best writer possible.
- What is your daily routine?
I try to write early, before the distractions of the day take over. I write almost every day, and with each new day, I’ll do a very quick edit of what I wrote before, because that helps me start with the new day’s work. I don’t spend too much time editing what I already wrote in a first draft. It’s just to get me rolling again. If you edit too much too soon you’ll never finish a manuscript.
I always keep a notepad nearby so that I can take notes for the current book, or even for future stories. Ideas can come at any time or place, and I try to capture those feelings and words before they’re gone. There are dozens of story ideas every day if one will pay attention.
- Do you read books during the writing process? If so, what?
Yes, I read every day. I love novels, but I also read historical books, technical books, graphic novels, or anything that looks interesting. I try not to read too much in the same genre. Novels introduce us to other people and other worlds. If I only read the same type of books, I won’t learn and grow.
I will avoid books that are too similar to what I’m currently writing, because I don’t want those to influence my own work. When I was writing Eight days I read scholarly works on the afterlife and Heaven, but I avoided books like Heaven is for Real and anything by authors like Mitch Albom. I didn’t want to take anything from any of those stories inadvertently.
- Do you have a daily word count?
I try to get at least 400 words per day. That’s not much, but it adds up. Some days I might write 1,000 words. The trick is to keep moving forward.
- What is next for you?
I’m well into my next novel. At some point, I’ll also put together a book of short stories. Some of the shorts have been published. Some not.
- Who is your favorite author? Why?
There are so many. I have favorite authors, but my favorites change depending on where I am in my life, and even my mood. I really like Peter Jenkins for non-fiction, and my favorite novelist are many: T.C. Boyle, Michael Chabon, Hemingway, C.S. Lewis, and Ron Rash. I’m always finding new writers I enjoy. Recently I started reading Thomas McGuane, who understands and sees nature in ways that connect with me personally.
- Do you have any writing advice for aspiring writers?
The best advice any writer will offer is to read every day and to write every day, but I think an important piece of advice that is often left off is to maintain writing discipline. You have to start and finish projects or you’ll never be read. So, yes, write every day until you finish what you’ve started.
Do you want to know more about Scott Thompson have a look at the links below: