In this blog post, I interview author Scott T Evans, about his experience writing, his latest book and its out there world building, humour and reading. Scott also gives some great writing advice.
Scott T Evans is an author, having published multiple humourous books spanning, science fiction, romance and non fiction. Scott’s latest book The Day the Sun Changed Colors is about a family accustomed to living in a utopian future trying to survive the apocalypse.
When did you first become interested in writing?
I was interested in writing from an early age. But I was also interested in being a million other professions too. I didn’t really decide to be a writer until age 24 and then again at age 32. It wasn’t until age 46 that I really hunkered down and started writing full time.
What got you interested in writing as a child? Do you have any specific memories of writing as a child?
I remember playing with a 1930s typewriter and imagining that one day I would be a novelist like Hemingway.
I think I was born to be a writer, but I didn’t know it for many years.
I finally understood that it is not something you decide upon, but something about yourself that you accept.
Why do you think you were born to be a writer?
My grandfather Ben wrote poetry. I must take after him.
You mention that you were interested in lots of other professions. Which ones did you end up pursuing before writing? Do you think having worked in other fields first has impacted on your writing?
I went to graduate school studying for a PhD in Social Psychology. The plan was to be a research psychologist. But after two years, I made the decision that what I really wanted to do was write popular works, so I dropped out of school.
All our life experiences impact the work, especially the hard times. Without conflict there can be no story and without struggle there can be no writer.
Tell us about your latest book, The Day the Sun Changed Colors?
The Day The Sun Changed Colors is a comedy novel set in the year 4377. Some people consider it hard core science fiction, because there are numbers in it, but I think of it more as a mad cap social satire and you don’t need to know any science to enjoy this.
The book takes place in the distant future. The world is so advanced that there are no more wars and everyone lives in peace. Technology is so advanced that all desires are provided for and everyone can have all the wealth and possessions they want for free.
In this future world, there is no money, no countries, no time zones, no names and no periods at the end of sentences. Instead of saying He or She, everyone is an E.
What was your inspiration for the book and how did you develop the idea?
The inspiration was the troubled world we live in. All the problems of war, violence, racism, sexism, poverty, corruption and ignorance create great distress and a desire to develop solutions. Perhaps if people can imagine a society which has conquered these issues, it will inspire us to do the same.
Why did you get rid of full stops?
In the advanced future the beginning of a sentence is indicated by a capital letter. There are no other uses for capital letters because there are no proper nouns, no names. With the beginning of sentences being clearly marked, there is no need for a period and it’s use was discontinued over time.
Numbers still do use the decimal point.
There are no names, because individual identity and individual property don’t exist as concepts. Everyone is of equal value, everyone has a soul and everyone shares in the abundance and has all they want.
There is no need to identify people.
Yes it’s crazy far out, but why not?
Many of your books are commedic. How do you go about making your books funny?
Sense of humor is something one is probably born with, although having a miserable childhood helps.
The process involves displaying the absurdities in life for everyone to see.
Much of the world is crazy and one need merely tell the truth. Sometimes it helps to exaggerate the truth for dramatic purposes.
What’s your writing routine like?
I go to the same coffee shop usually and write every day, just like a regular job. I usually put in a few hours in the morning and a few more in the afternoon.
How do you develop your writing and seek feedback? Do you attend a writing group, have specific people who read your work?
I seek feedback by offering free copies to book reviewers. Periodically attend workshops at Writers & Books. Study articles online.
Are there any particular articles or books that have helped you to develop your writing, that you could recommend?
I like Stephen King’s “On Writing”.
Here is one of my favorite articles:
What are some of your favourite books and why do you like them?
1984 is one of my favorites because it did such a good job predicting the future and continues to have a great influence on how people think about current events.
I like the short stories of Ambrose Bierce.
Adding A Dimension by Isaac Asimov was a nonfiction favorite of mine as a child.
Without Feathers is a humor book by Woody Allen that I liked, way before his personal scandals.
Encyclopedia Brown was another childhood favorite.
What advice would you give to other writers?
Only do it because you love writing. Don’t do it for the money or the fame because there won’t be any.
You have to think of it as a lifetime commitment. It will take years and years to get any good at it, or to get any recognition.
Very few people read. And those who do, have large piles of things waiting to be read. It is very hard to get people to read your work. But not impossible.
Are you currently working on anything that you’d like to tell readers about?
Thank you for asking.
I am building a new website of funny insightful one liners called One Line Wonderland.
Where can people find you online?
Thanks to Scott T Evans for being interviewed for this series.
If you’re a writer and would like to be interviewed, have any queeries or would like to contact me for any other reason, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the contact form. I can be reached on Twitter at @diverselycreate