Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m so excited to have Scott Prussing back with us today as our feature author. Scott has answered some questions for us and has also let some of the characters out to play so they could answer some questions too. Scott is offering one very lucky winner a signed copy of the first book in the Blue Fire Saga, Breathless. Leave him a questions or comment to be entered!
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Welcome back to VRB Scott! It’s been over a year since I first reviewed Breathless and was blown away! I’m excited to have you back.
Thanks for having me back. It’s great to be here again.
After your amazing debut party that we like to call Breathless, were you surprised at the amount of positive feedback you got?
I was positively delighted by the amazing feedback I got. I thought people would like Breathless, but I was blown away by how much so many people truly LOVED it. The “superlatives” I received in reader feedback was amazing, including made up words like “fantabulous.”
Did you ever think when you released Breathless, that a year later you’d have such a huge fan base?
Honestly, I wasn’t sure how big a fan base I would have. I was certainly hoping to have a big one. What I wasn’t expecting is how absolutely devoted and enthusiastic many of my fans are. It’s awesome.
You are so gracious to your fans. Tell us a little about your Golden Circle and Diamond Club.
I try to reward by biggest fans in as many ways as I can. The Golden Circle is a group I created to honor some of my most supportive fans. There are about 35 members who have either bought multiple copies of my books (for friends or to use as giveaways) and/or have consistently supported me by posting or reviewing on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, etc. I put a special page in the front of each of my Blue Fire Saga books (starting with book 2, Deathless) that lists their names and thanks them.
The Diamond Club is a group I created after book 2. Membership is very exclusive. Currently there are only 8 members – all super fans and supporters. They also get a special page in the front of the books.
I also honor many of my fans by using their names (and sometimes even their descriptions) as characters in my books. People LOVE that, especially when they get to be something cool like a vampire.
You’ve since added Deathless and Helpless to the Blue Fire Saga, plus working on Fearless. Did you have those books already planned when Breathless was finished? How many more do you have planned in the series?
When I wrote Breathless, I did not know if there would even be one sequel. I was hoping it would be popular enough to support a sequel, but I really had no idea what direction it would take if I did write one. And I can certainly say the series has grown in ways I never expected. In addition to vampires and volkaanes (my creation, for people who haven’t read the books), the series now has some wizards, zombies, super vampires and a witch. My main character Leesa has changed in ways I never dreamed of when I wrote the first book.
I’m not sure how many more books there will be. There’s no way the overall story will be complete with Fearless, so there will certainly be a fifth book, and probably a sixth. As long as I can keep the stories fresh and exciting, I’ll keep going with it. But I recently published a fantasy / adventure book (Dreams of the Last Born) which is book 1 of a trilogy. People are loving it, so now I have to write 2 more books in that series as well.
You currently reside on the West coast but the Blue Fire Saga takes place on the East coast. Why did you choose to have your books set on the East Coast? How did you learn so much about the East–did you live there, or just research it?
I grew up in New Jersey and attended college and grad school in Connecticut, so I’m very familiar with the area. I lived close to Middletown (the setting for most of the Blue Fire Saga). If there was a place I remembered but couldn’t recall all the details, I just google it to make sure I get the description and details correct.
I set the book in CT because I thought it was a better place for vampires than California (too bright and sunny out here!) My vampires don’t sparkle in the sunlight, (or burn up in it either), but it does hurt their skin, so they prefer the night, or cloudy days. Plus, I wanted to be able to have more variety in the weather and lots of woods and forests.
Besides your Blue Fire Saga, tell us about some of the other books you’ve published over the last year.
I already mentioned one, Dreams of the Last Born. It’s a fantasy/adventure novel set on a made up world with two moons in the sky. No children have been born anywhere in the world for more than 5 years, and then Penderyn is miraculously born. No more children are born after him. He seems to possess some magical powers, particularly over his dreams, that he is unable to control. The book is magic, swords and arrows rather than guns and technology.
Another book is a teen romance called Mine: A Love Story. This one was great fun to write, because it’s the only book I’ve written in the first person (as an 18 year old girl!) and I based much of the plot of some of Taylor Swift’s hit songs. I also “borrowed” a few pieces from Breathless (and even have the main character reading and thinking about Breathless at one point). One reviewer noticed the “borrowed” stuff and asked me about it. I told her, “Heck, if you can’t plagiarize yourself, who can you plagiarize?”
The final book is the book I’m most proud of, a mystery/suspense novel titled Unturned Stones. I think it’s totally original and imaginative, with a twisting, surprising story line. Not too many people have read it yet, but those who have are loving it.
Do you plan to go to any of the reader conventions anytime soon? Do you ever do public events?
I’ve only done a few public events. When you are unknown (which I pretty much still am, despite my devoted following on Facebook), public events like signings don’t generate much interest. I would love to have my fan base grow large enough to have a big convention in Middletown, like Stefanie Meyer does in Forks.
Nancy asks: How are you so prolific? You seem to just churn out novels. Do you have a method you follow, and a word/page count you aim for each day?
I guess I’ll reveal a little secret here on VRB. A couple of my books (Unturned Stones and Dreams of the Last Born) were written YEARS ago. I was unable to get them published (traditional publishing has always been a bear to break into), so they just languished on my computer. Once I established a bit of a fan base, albeit in a totally different genre, I updated them and published them. With the growing popularity of ebooks and the ease of Print On Demand, it’s pretty easy to bring any book to market.
For the other 4 books I’ve written in the last 2 years or so, I don’t have any regular routine. I’m single, so with no family obligations to get in the way I can pretty much write when I choose. I don’t write every day, but when I do, I shoot for 1000 words as a nice minimum. On prolific days, I can hit 3000-3500 words, but I don’t like to sit at my desk for that many hours too often.
Ariel asks: You majored in Psych–so did I! What was your favorite class? What were your plans with that degree before you discovered your writing voice?
Social Psychology was by far my favorite class. I took it my junior year. The professor was hilarious, like Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society. I was an unenthusiastic biology major at the time, but I switched to a psychology major for my senior year, because of that one class. That professor agreed to be my advisor, which was awesome.
I had no plans at all for my psych degree, which is why I went to graduate school (to hide out from the world and have fun). Even after I got my Master’s, I had no plans. I didn’t really use my pysch degree for at least ten years. I taught snow skiing and lifeguarded for a year (sometimes on the same day!), worked in the computer game industry during the dawning of that era, did some retail, etc. I finally used my degree when I worked in a wellness center, leading groups for weight loss, quitting smoking, stress reduction and fitness.
Ariel asks: So you’re a guy; what’s it’s like for you to write about a teen-aged girl? How did you capture so well the emotional essence of an 18 year old girl?
I get asked this question frequently. It was certainly a challenge, especially at the start. I realized I would need some help, so I advertised on Craigslist for a female “guide” to help me as needed with things like fashion, dialogue, music, what college girls talk about when there are no guys around, etc. A wonderful young woman named Jessica Dall responded. She was in college at the time and also did some writing of her own. I peppered her with background question about modern college life before I began the book. Anytime I had a scene that involved girls together, dialogue, or anything else I wasn’t sure about, I would email it to Jessica who would comment, suggest and even edit it for me.
I still have never met Jessica in person, but she remains close in my heart. I still remember one faux-pas she saved me from. I had written a line that Leesa says to Rave that went something like “you’d better watch it, Buster.” Jessica asked me when had Leesa become a sixty year old grandmother? Apparently, modern teens don’t use the word “Buster.” lol
Now that you’ve had your moment in the spotlight Mr. Prussing, mind if I ask the characters some questions?
Fire away. They’ve all taken up residence in my head, so I think I’ll be able to get them to respond.
Leesa: You seem to be coming into your own as the series progresses, but the males around you are very protective. Do you think this will eventually become stifling? Do you ever want to yell, “Just let me do it on my own damn it!”?
Ha! Not yet, for sure. I’ve got so much to learn about some abilities I never even knew I had. The one thing I felt I had to do on my own (the bargain I made with the vampire Stefan) almost turned out to be a disaster. It was just pure luck that it didn’t and I’m here to talk about it.
I get the most help from my boyfriend Rave, but I can’t ever imagine that being with him would ever feel stifling. Hot, yes. Stifling, no. But who knows, ask me again in another hundred years or two.
Dominic: What were your first impressions of Leesa?
I was very impressed with her when I finally found her. She’s bright, determined, brave and fiercely loyal. Considering all she had to deal with growing up, I’d say she’s a pretty amazing young woman.
Rave: Boxers, Briefs, or Buckskin?
Hahaha. Do I really have to answer that? How do you know I don’t go “commando?”
Cali: Where is your favorite place to shop? What’s your favorite pattern/color for the season?
I love The Buff, a resale place not too far from campus. They have the coolest stuff, and it’s cheap, too! As far as patterns go, I’ve been doing a lot with skulls lately. For colors, I’m partial to pink, purple and burgundy. But I pretty much like anything bright—anything that makes me stand out. I like black, too, of course.
Cali: Would you ever take a chance and go out with Stefan?
Ooooh…that might be fun, but I think Leesa would KILL me if I did. He kissed my hand once, and it was tres cool, if you’ll forgive my pun.
Rave: Have you ever thought of setting Cali up with Dral or Bain?
When you get to read Fearless (book 4), you’ll see she’s been working that on her own. She’s just flirting—I hope. She seems pretty happy with Andy.
Rave & Leesa: Would you to mind, terribly, asking Scott to write a more adult version of the Blue Fire Saga for me? Wouldn’t you two like to have sex eventually? And I don’t mean like the assumed sex in that one book with the feathers!
Leesa: Wow, we’ve barely been able to kiss yet, and you’re asking about sex! Honestly, I’d be happy if Scott would just write up something so I could kiss Rave for more than five lousy seconds, without worrying about being burned to a crisp. Kissing him is beyond amazing, trust me. I’ve never had sex, so I can’t really compare, but I can’t imagine it could be any better than what it feels like to kiss a volkaane.
Rave: Volkaanes view sex somewhat differently than humans. I’m not sure Scott’s readers are ready for volkaane sex just yet.
Thank you Scott for stopping by and talking with us. I wish you all the success in the future and I hope you will come back soon and visit with me and everyone else here at VRB. Is there anything you’d like to add or say to your fans?
Thank you for having me. I love the folks here at VRB—you were one of the first sites to review Breathless and interview me. As for my fans, I want to thank them as well, for their support, enthusiasm and love.
And to anyone who is not yet a fan of mine (or who wasn’t until reading this interview), please join me on Facebook. I love interacting with fans. I have two pages, Scott Prussing Author and Breathless Fampires, as well as my personal Scott Prussing page.
And finally, to VRB and all my fans, old and new: Keep spreading the word