R. Scott Wallis Interview

Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?

It means the world to me because it’s the first book in the Skyler Moore Thriller series and because it’s the first book that I have spent a good deal of time promoting. As an independent author, marketing is my second fulltime job and I actually quite enjoy it. I’ve written tons of things before—both published and unpublished stuff—but this was truly a labor of love and a lot of thought went into it. Because it’s the first of a planned dozen books (the second, THE NEW MEXICO SCOUNDREL, is also available now, and the third book, THE NEVADA SABOTEUR, is coming September 27), it’s my baby! I knew that I wanted to have Skyler and her best friend—celebrity chef Brenda Braxton—from a small, southern Maine town because I spent so many memorable summers there when I was a kid. It’s has a very special place in my heart.

Where do you get your storylines from?

Who knows!? They just pop into my head. But, I spend a great deal of time thinking about them and mapping out ideas. I primarily use the Notes app on my iPhone to make notes and jot down ideas constantly, no matter where I am. That synchs up with the app on my laptop, so when I sit down to work, I can look at my notes to see story ideas, character names, or twists and turns that came to me when I was in line at the bank. I’m very lucky that I never have writer’s block; new ideas and fun scenes just keep on coming. Knock on wood.

Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others?  Why?

Easier, because I’m getting better. I think every time I work on an article or a letter or a story, it’s better than what I’ve done before because I’m learning as I go and getting better as a storyteller. In my own mind, at least.

Do you only write one genre?

I mainly write light-suspense and thrillers that are fairly soapy in nature, with lots of dialogue, but I am kicking around the idea for a young adult fantasy novel. I have never written anything like that before, but I came up with what I think is a very unique idea and I can’t wait to get it down on paper. I need to figure out where it will fit in the insane calendar I’ve created for myself with my thriller novels though. My plan is to release three Skyler novels each year.

Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?

I almost always write at my desk, on my Mac laptop, in my home office. I’ve always had a
dedicated home office since graduating from college—usually a spare bedroom in my house—but now I have what might be called the parlor at the front of the house. It’s across the front hall from the living room and I have windows facing both east and west. It’s quiet and away from the parts of the house with the most activity. I typically write from 6:00 a.m. until 10-ish, seven days a week. I’m really only good for four hours, then my brain starts drifting off to all the other things I need to get done. But no matter where I am, I can’t sit facing a wall. My desk is always in the middle of the room, facing out. And coffee and/or Schweppes Club Soda are a must-have. I don’t usually listen to music, but if I do, it has to be all-instrumental pieces because lyrics distract me.

And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?

Well, I’ve always been a writer, but it was when I decided that I was ‘done working for the man’ that I made it a self-employed career. I worked in offices at big companies. I’ve traveled all over the world for someone else. I did my time. And then, I went out on my own, and it was the best thing I ever did. I like calling my own shots and running my own show, even if I fail. And I did fail a few times. I got let go by clients. My clothing manufacturing company didn’t turn a profit. My clothing store couldn’t compete with online businesses. But each and every time, I learned a valuable lesson, and got right back up on my feet. Then I decided it was time to do what I always wanted to do since I was a little kid—publish my own books and share my stories with others. I don’t care if I get super rich and famous (although that would be nice), I’m just happy sharing my creations with others and hopefully entertaining them, too.

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