Hey Everyone!! :-)
Scott Borgman is joining us today. Scott, please tell us about yourself and how many books you have written. :-)
Scott: I live in the exact center of Wisconsin (no joke, the town’s sign even says it!) with my wife and our three teenage kids *gulp!*, along with a kitten and our lovable, bed hogging dog (who is the reason I’m usually up all night because she steals my spot!) I’ve written six books so far, along with a small collection of poetry. Three of those books make up the Exiled trilogy, which are PNR books, while the other three are in my Tal’Avern Chronicles series, which is epic fantasy – my main genre focus.
Me: Ha! Sounds like you have a full house! :-) What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Scott: I actually just finished overhauling my entire Exiled trilogy recently, which consists of The Exiled, The Exiled: Continuation, and The Exiled: Infinity. When I first wrote them about four years ago, they were done shortly after my youngest son Cameron had tragically passed away at the age of 3. In a way, they were my way to try and come to grips with the loss, and as a way to pass on some real life lessons that it took his loss for me to see. I had actually considered unpublishing them, but the overwhelming support I got from my fellow Indies to keep them active made the decision to go back through them and get them to the higher expectations I have for myself now that back then I didn't. Cami was my inspiration for the trilogy, in the hopes that I could pass on some real life lessons interwoven between an interesting story.
Me: I'm very sorry for your loss. It's wonderful that you were able to find some solace in your writing. What are you working on now?
Scott: With the trilogy overhauled, I’m heading back into Tal’Avern to finish up the Chronicles series with a fourth book. I imagine by this time the characters are getting restless for me to get back into the world so we can continue on our way. I’ve missed them, but you know how it is, one thing comes up and then something else… I’m sure the dwarf doesn’t mind waiting though… he’s probably sitting in a tavern with a mug of ale right now!*laugh*
Me: I've heard that about dwarves. ;-) What authors, or books, have influenced you?
Scott: Margret Weis and Tracy Hickman were the first epic fantasy authors I read. R.A. Salvatore is another influence. I spent a lot of my childhood in the Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms worlds, and when I wanted something a bit more macabre, I snuck into the Ravenloft world to hang with the vampires, werewolves, and other things that inhabit that realm. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a group of close friends who I played AD&D with every night during the summer when I was 18. Good times with good friends… and a LOT of soda. I’ve used things from AD&D and made some of my own changes to them (I actually have the AD&D Monster Manual) like turning an orc from an unintelligent creature to making them a smart, war-like, clan-based society. Things like that. But that’s what we do, borrow a common idea and alter it to our own unique flavor.
Me: And its truly amazing how many flavors fantasy comes in! :-) What are you reading now?
Scott: I just finished reading Jen Winter’s book Kissing Demons (Awesome book! ((sneaky promo for her but ssshhh! She doesn’t know I wrote that!)) ) and have literally just started Bloodmarked by Lu J. Whitley. Looking forward to reading that one too! I actually enjoy pretty much every genre. I think it’s good to not limit oneself to one or two genres, simply because there are so many great books out there, and one may find their next favorite in a genre they don’t typically read.
Me: I've read Kissing Demons, and Bloodmarked is definitely on my list! :-) Both books and authors have been featured on this blog before. ;-) You're right, there are a LOT of really amazing tales just waiting to be discovered! :-) For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?
Scott: Well, the Exiled trilogy blends modern day with angels, Greek mythology, some fantasy elements, a touch of horror, a bit of steamy romance (steamy, not explicit!), tosses them all in a blender and mixes them together. As for the Tal’Avern Chronicles – I’ve broken the rules of ‘traditional’ epic fantasy. I’ve been reading the genre for over 25 years, and one thing that always seemed to be commonplace was that the heroes and villains were typically male. You know, the big warrior Conan type. Or the characters from the Lord of the Rings – all nine Fellowshippers were male, and the two main villains as well. So in the most pleasant way possible… screw the rules sideways. The genre needed female characters in lead roles, not cowering behind the guys or playing minor roles. And they’re certainly not the old ‘knight in shining armor’ type. So that's what I did when I first created the world several years ago - screwed the rules sideways. *grin* I hope readers will like something apart from the old traditions. They might end up falling in love with a thief or a Shadow Walker… I certainly have while I’ve been writing about them. They’re not superheroes - they have flaws and they don’t always come out of their struggles victorious. But that’s why I love them - they’re believable. That doesn’t mean they can’t kick some ass right along with the guys though! ;)
Me: My little feminist heart is going pitter pat! ;-) It sounds like I'll have to add the Tal'Avern Chronicles to my TBR! :-) What is your favorite part of being an author?
Scott: The focus of the job. I used to work in the grocery industry… for about 20 years actually. I worked in every department, mostly in lead roles. I was good at it, but I was never truly happy doing it. It was a job, a paycheck… working my ass off so someone else could make a profit. Being an author, the focus is on the reader, giving them a world they can enjoy and travel through along with characters that I hope they feel connected with. I hope they’ll love some, despise some, hope some succeed and others get their due justice. It’s a selfless profession that focuses outward to others, not inward at myself. It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. It’s for that reason, through the long hours of writing, the editing, the editing… the editing… it makes it all worthwhile to me. Every. Single. Minute.
Me: I couldn't agree more! :-) Do you have a day job as well?
Scott: Right now, writing and promoting my work is my job. When my wife and I first got married, I worked and she stayed home with the kids. We’d always wanted to switch roles, even back then. Her mother always stayed home, and she didn’t want to turn out like that. My father was always working when I was growing up, and I didn’t want to be like that. But we never went ahead and did it because of hearing the constant ‘advice’ from the 1950s idea that the man will always make more than the woman. It took the loss of someone close to us to see that life isn’t about how much you make or what you can get, but what you can give. That’s why I’m so passionate about focusing outwards. I’d love to be able to live comfortably through my work, I won’t lie. But not at the expense of giving up that focus to others. I do what I do both in honor of my Cami, and because I think it’s what he would have wanted me to do.
Me: Amen!! And I'm so glad you and your wife have found a lifestyle that works for you. Everyone else's opinion is irrelevant, as long as you're happy. :-) What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?
Scott: The easiest part of being a writer is the writing itself. I typically work overnight, because I need complete silence in order to concentrate. Having three teenagers in the house (2 girls and a boy) you can imagine absolutely nothing would get done during the day. The hardest part for me is the promoting aspect. In all honesty, I suck at it. Bones from Star Trek would say ‘Dammit, Jim! I’m a writer, not a car salesman!’ I’m learning that aspect of the job slowly, I think… but it’s tough. It’s like swimming upstream for me, because that aspect of the job is focused on me and not on readers - if that makes any sense.
Me: It makes perfect sense, and I think most authors would agree with you. :-) What genre do you place your books in?
Scott: The Exiled trilogy of books fall under the Paranormal Romance (PNR) genre, and the Tal’Avern Chronicles series of books fall under epic fantasy (100k+ words is considered epic fantasy, I believe).
Me: Cool!! Is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?
Scott: I’d like to give my most heartfelt thanks to those who read not only my books, but every author, who write reviews on them, who choose to give us their time out of their lives and allow us to be their storytellers. I’m sure I speak for every one of us when I say we truly appreciate it. And I hope that everyone takes time each and every day to do something for someone else… helping someone put their groceries in their car may seem an insignificant thing, but even a small act of kindness brightens our world. For those small acts of kindness, I cannot thank you enough. <3
Me: I love it! :-) And so these fine folks can find your work, are there any links you'd like me to post?
Amazon Author page: www.amazon.com/author/scottborgman
Author Blog: http://scottborgman.blogspot.com/