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Interview with D.C. Scott

He is a new name in murder mystery writing. He has a full-time job as a nurse working for a large university in Texas, in addition to writing his mystery series. He also has some nonfiction documents in the works.

Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself not many people know?
I wrote for a local newspaper and contributed to a couple of magazines over twenty years ago.

Q.2 When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?
My next book is nonfiction. It is about a man training for and competing in an Ironman distance triathlon. I am trying to get it out by this Christmas, but I am in the process of dealing with an agent and, hopefully, a traditional publisher. This process may take longer than I would like!

Q.3 What made you write Precision: The Original Magruder Mystery?
I had a story running through my head for many years but could never write the ending. Once I was able to do that, I wrote the book. However, Precision is just the first in a series of five books entitled The Magruder Mysteries. It is too long of a story for one book or even three books, as I originally planned.

Q.4 Were there any obstacles you faced while writing this book?
Time is always an issue with family responsibilities and a full-time job.

Q.5 What’s the most challenging part about writing an action thriller instead of any other genre?
Creating sympathy for the culprit. Making a sinister being a sympathetic figure is hard to do!

Q.6 Why should other writers want to write a thriller?
It is fun to express oneself negatively (through the antagonist). It can be therapeutic to release one’s “inner demons” this way.

Q.7 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Identifying with their emotions. My wife and I have different ways of dealing with ours. For instance, if I am frustrated, I try to work it off by doing something physical. My wife will often sit down and cry when she is frustrated. I used her emotions to help develop my female characters.

Q.8 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
My “formula” is to write the ending. Then, I will develop my character. After doing that, I will write the names of my chapters with a brief description of each chapter. That serves as my outline. Then, I start at the beginning of the story. I wrote the whole book first when I wrote Precision, then I decided who the murderer was. That way, I reasoned that the surprise ending was more effective.

Q.9 How do you select the name of your characters?
I use initials to identify their personalities. My character’s initials are significant. They tell me what that character’s personality is like.

Q.10 How long, on average, does it takes you to write a book?
It took me four years to do the research for my first book (the nonfiction one) and six months to write it. Then, I sat on it for twenty years before I decided to re-edit and try to sell the story to a publisher or an agent.

Q.11 Outside of your family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author?
A friend of mine from both high school and college would read my blog and make encouraging remarks about my writing. That really helped keep me going.

Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
Yes, to some degree. I deal with writer’s block the same way I dealt with bad swim times when I was training for triathlons. When I was not satisfied with my swim times, I would concentrate on breaking down my stroke and doing drills to improve my body line and technique.

When writing, I sometimes write a short story or edit a work that is complete. Sometimes, those two things help. If they do not, I take my dog for a long walk. Doing something physical makes my brain work more efficiently.

Q.13 What were the most surprising things you learned while writing this book?
How hard it is to market a book in this century.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
I think that my most unique (and maybe quirky) writing habit is being obsessive that my research is accurate. Even critics who are not particularly fond of my stories agree that my research is accurate. This aspect of my personality served me well while doing research papers in nursing school.

Q.15 Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would do my regular job (nursing) as long as I am able. I enjoy helping people. Outside of that, I may start training to compete in shorter distance triathlons again.

Q.16 Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
It has been hit and (mainly) missed. I tried an email list, but with minimal success. Using social media and influencers seems to get me the most notice.

Q.17 What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. My nonfiction book has hope as its recurring theme. We all get discouraged, and the competition is fierce. However, if you enjoy what you are doing, it is not work. That is a four-letter word that implies one does not enjoy what s/he is doing. No matter how much effort is put into a work of fiction or nonfiction, it should be enjoyable.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
A. Albert Einstein
, because, besides being brilliant, I believe he was a very humble, hardworking man.

Q.19 What is your favorite book from other authors and why?
A. For Whom the Bell Tolls
by Earnest Hemingway is my all-time favorite. Reading Hemingway’s works as a young man got me interested in writing. I would say that James Harriot also was a big influence on me as a young man.

Q.20 Share the experience of your writing journey so far?
So far, it has been a real learning experience. I have learned, mainly, what NOT to do when trying to market a book by a new author.

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