Scottie has always been curious about writing erotica, but she was leery of falling into that “cringey” writing category. Most of the erotica that crossed her path seemed coarse, to say the least – but what she did love about it was the reality of erotica. She loved the honesty of it, the fearlessness, and the way explicit romance could really get to the core of what it means to be human. She saw a genre popular not for its shock value, but for its resonance.
List of Books:
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
If I'm in a good session, I'm a regular Energizer Bunny. But even a lame session leaves me feeling invigorated. Editing the work is the same. I think it just puts my brain to work, and shows me all the incredible things I am capable of. Nothing is a self-esteem booster quite like writing is, for me. Even when I get negative feedback.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Being told to "build a platform." Beware of any advice that would inherently distract you from the writing itself. Blogs, social media, branding. If you don't enjoy it or improve your craft because of it, it is probably just wasting your time.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I've cycled through many over the years, and I just keep improving and overcoming. I think I'm at the point now where metaphors stymie me. I read incredible books like The Raven Boys or Red Rising, where the authors make deadly good comparisons, and I keep cycling back to the same old phrases. I don't know how to break through those walls. But then again, maybe it's not really in my style. Won't stop me from trying, though.
Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Between every. Single. Book. It's just as hard for me to start a new book as it is to start writing a new draft. This is because, ten-to-one, I'll stop everything in my life for two days to read the book nonstop... so reading is a dangerous distraction when it comes to my productivity levels. I have no control....
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
As a self-published authore, Vellum and MacInCloud. These allow me to easily format an endless supply of eBooks and paperbacks at next to no effort, even on a PC.
What does literary success look like to you?
Making half a living off your craft.
What’s the best way to market your books?
Ads. I've only tried Bookbub, and I like it, but Amazon and Facebook are supposed to be awesome too. Social media and blogging doesn't work, in my opinion. The verdict is still out on newsletters for me.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Is that supposed to be difficult? Writing men always jazzes me up. I think the trick is to find something in common with your character. Writing is nothing if not an act of role-playing.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Oh my, yes. I have hidden an entire cipher in the Sleeping Lotus series, which took place within a spy ring. I don't think anyone will ever notice!
What was your hardest scene to write?
I find that if a scene is hard to write, it's probably boring, because I'm bored while writing it. I've never struggled with a scene for another reason than not feeling engaged with it. Which means I should probably take a step back and reorient. This happened recently with Lady of Chains (forthcoming as of this writing), where I just had zero inspiration around the point where Lassyne became a spy and had to learn all the rules of being a spy, blah blah blah. A week later I went back in and had her ignore the entire spiel and I threw a wrench into the scene and things were easier after that.
Do you Google yourself?
Oh gods no.
What is your favorite childhood book?
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Starting the draft. Outlining is fine and exciting, but when I face the first blank page, I'm paralyzed. I'm terrified that I've forgotten how to do it, that my skills have slipped since I last tried. Two pages in and that melts away.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Well, I can write any book in a month, be it a novella or a 100k monster. Basically, I can write 45,000 words in a week when I'm at my most industrious. But to edit my work takes more time, of course. And I will go entire weeks writing nothing at all, so it's not like I keep up that rate nonstop. Everyone has their own way of doing it, and for me, I just go ham some months, and I'm a desert the next.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I don't think anyone believes in it until it happens to them. Which could take decades. But when Covid-19 landed, I had a devil of a time putting down any words. My mind was on other, potentially deadly threats to my well-being. But it's not like that's the only reason to be blocked. It had just never really happened to me until that moment, and it really freaked me out, to find out it existed.
Are you a plotter, planster, or pantser?
I used to be a hybrid. My mistake. I am now a strict outliner--although my outlines range from only a paragraph to giant documents of preparation. It just saves me so much time in revision to follow a few structural rules. Although I'll admit my short stories still get pantsed--which is doable when your stories are as short as mine are, at the 500-4000 word range.