Yes, I found this blog topic on a list of topics from another site. Sue me. Who inspired me to write? My father, Trevor Scott, who himself is a bestselling author, taught me to write from a ridiculously young age. I’m not kidding. I was six-years-old when I wrote “Ben and the Dragon” and it was a 4,000 word short story. I’m seriously considering editing it and putting it out as a freebie.
In all seriousness, my dad has had a lot of success with the Bestselling Jake Adams International Espionage Thriller Series. He’s sold more than 500,000 copies in the last few years (as of this writing) and the series really deserves to be turned into a movie series. Trevor Scott served as an editor on my latest book, Symbiote, which is to be released soon. It’s really exciting to be working with my dad to produce that which is my best work to date.
Now it’s time for some backstory. In or around 1993, my dad separated from the Air Force and became a full-time writer. I was six and thought that was the coolest thing ever. I was right. As I grew up, he stayed at home watching me and my brother while writing what would become a bestselling thriller series. When I was a child I didn’t have much grasp of how popular he was becoming, I only knew that he could teach me proper grammar and a unique writing style. What I learned from a young age generally granted me trips to the principals office, as my teachers seemed to think my writing was plagiarized or that my dad wrote my papers for me. Usually, he’d never even read them and took such instances as a source of pride.
There have been reviews of my work that have suggested that I’m the son of Trevor Scott. The answer to that is yes, it’s true. I grew up learning about the art of writing from a master of fiction and I only hope to be a shadow of his name. I tread in deep footprints and it’s an honor to call him my editor and biggest fan.
My new Science Fiction novel, Symbiote, comes out this month! Stay tuned for information regarding its release!
Writing from the perspective of a woman (for me) or a man (for a female author) has to be one of the more challenging aspects of putting pen to paper. Though I acknowledge, it could certainly be easier for women to write male characters because of the bias of growing up in a world where most protagonists in stories are men. When writing, you don’t want to let your own gender perspective bleed through, so it takes a lot of forethought to get it right. One thing I’ve found that’s helpful is to write in third person limited focusing on the opposite gender subject. I say this because after extensive research (read: romantic comedy binges) I would say I’m no closer to being able to write the thoughts of a woman than I was before. However, third person limited allows you to get into the character’s head without necessarily reading their mind word for word. The reader gets a sense of what they’re thinking without have to come up with an authentic internal monologue.
I’m not writing this piece to suggest writers shouldn’t try to write opposite-gender internal monologue. In fact, I think it would be a great exercise. Rather, I believe it’s just easier to sound authentic if I don’t. In my upcoming Sci-Fi novel, Symbiote, there are two main characters of opposite sexes and I switch perspectives between them, sometimes mid-chapter. I do this for multiple reasons, not the least of which is to view the other characters in the room from the perspective of the character on which I’m focusing. The way my male character would describe himself is skewed in comparison to how my female main character would view him.
Another thing to think about is what stereotypes we place on the characters we, as writers, create. My male protagonist is what many people would call a meat head, but he actually does have some brains underneath it all. My female protagonist may look small, but she’s strong and has a mouth on her that puts many of the male characters ill-at-ease. She’s a tough character who doesn’t take crap from anybody. It’s rare in my novels that you’ll find a weak woman. They are there, simply to get a cross-section of society, but they are not the norm. In the 21st Century, I think it’s becoming very common to see headstrong women who don’t fall into the archetypes we were used to seeing in 20th Century Film and Television. Consequently, I also show that my male characters are capable of emotions and are not the unfeeling automatons typical of the past, though I wouldn’t call any of my main characters weak. At least not to their faces.
Note: Symbiote, my new Sci-Fi Thriller, comes out this month! Stay tuned for details and extras!