Thursday, July 22, 2010

Scott Cleveland Interview

  1. What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

It’s not so much the time of day that determines how productive I am as the time of year.  I have to get into a certain state of mind in order to start writing, and I’ve found that just about anything can get in the way of that: work, chores, what’s on the Discovery Channel? Hey, cookies!  The less external stimulus there is, the easier it is to get to that place in my head.  So, I do most of my writing between October and March, when the weather pretty much eliminates the need to go outside.  That said, no particular time of day is any more or less influential on the Muse than any other.

  1. Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

I used to write longhand kicked back in a La-Z-Boy then transcribe to a desktop.  A couple of years ago I finally got hold of an old laptop and realized the inordinate amount of time eaten up by the transcription.  I work almost exclusively on computer now (while kicked back in the same La-Z-Boy), though I still prefer to review and do minor revision on hard copy.

  1. What do you draw your inspiration from?

Just about anything.  A television show about human influences on climate change got me to wondering whether sufficiently advanced technology could offset the effects of development in a pristine ecosystem.  (i.e. if we found a habitable planet today, would present technology allow us to bypass the messy, crowded phase of industrialization?)  And if so, would that conflict with basic human nature?  That premise sets the background for Pale Boundaries.

  1. Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

I try to get out at least one keyboarded page when I’m composing.  Sometimes I surpass that by a wide margin, sometimes I barely manage to get out a paragraph.  My creativity is kind of like a geyser—sometimes nothing flows until enough builds up, then whamo!  I crank out half a chapter in one sitting.

  1. Are you a published or self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?

I really, really wanted to publish traditionally for a long time, but the process just wore me down.  What I reeeally wanted was to get my work in front of people, so I went the self-published route last January.  My greatest non-skill is graphic arts, and I spent more time trying to come up with a cover than internal formatting.  The cover art for Pale Boundaries came from a royalty-free graphics site, and I’ve gotten mixed feedback.

  1. What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

I started writing purely for myself.  I think I may have decided to try to be a capital-double-u Writer later on to justify the time I spent doing it.

  1. Do you own an ebook reading device?

I have Kindle for PC on a laptop, but I have to admit that I’m old-school when it comes to reading for pleasure—I prefer a paperback.  Something tells me I’m going to have to adapt in the near future.

  1. Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

I cut my literary teeth on Heinlein, Andre Norton, Azimov and too many others to name.  I’d have to say my favorite contemporary authors are Elizabeth Moon and John Scalzi.  I just finished Blood Orbit by John Derderian, and at the moment I’m reading 33 A.D. by David McAfee.

  1. What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

I think book trailers are a perfectly legitimate means of advertising, perfect for today’s social media.  I wouldn’t mind having one, but like I said I’m graphic-arts challenged.  Maybe someday.

  1. What are you working on now that you can talk about?

Come this fall I’m back to work on the follow-on to Pale Boundaries, titled Embustero.  My goal is to have it out by the end of 2012. 

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