Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Interview with paranormal author Scott Prussing

Please put your hands together to welcome paranormal novelist Scott Prussing today.

Welcome, Scott. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in NJ, went to college and graduate school (psychology) in CT, and was smart enough to move to San Diego soon after. I worked in Health Education for 20+ years, helping people lose weight, quit smoking, manage their stress, and improve their fitness. Two years ago I took “early retirement” so I could devote my time and energy to writing.

I live just a few blocks from the beach, so I head down there almost every morning to walk, ride my bike, or rollerblade, for fun and fitness.

Please tell us about your current release.
Breathless is a modern day paranormal romance set in a small college in Connecticut. Although Breathless fits into a very popular (and overdone) genre, I’ve created lots of new ideas and twists.

Here’s how one reviewer described what sets Breathless apart from other vampire books: “Scott Prussing has written a book that, although it includes vampires, has managed to break away from the same old over-worked concepts and puts a new and creative spin on things. Rather than being the focus, vampires are the catalyst that brings in much-needed new blood to the supernatural world in the form of deadly vampire hunters known as volkaanes. Kudos to Scott.”

In addition to volkaanes, I also created one-fanged vampires, crippled versions of the real thing who are crucial to the story. I’m very happy to say that the exciting Breathless storyline has been appealing to women of all ages, and even some men!

Breathless centers around college freshman Leesa Nyland. Leesa has been fascinated by vampires since she was a little girl, when her mom began refusing to go outside during the day, insisting the sunlight hurt her skin because she’d been bitten by a one-fanged vampire. But fascinated didn’t mean Leesa believed. Any more than she believed in magical blue fire, people who live for centuries, and kisses that can kill. But when her beloved older brother suddenly disappears, she is forced to confront all these and more. She also has to figure out what to do about her mysterious new boyfriend. She knows Rave likes her a lot — so why won’t he kiss her?

As Leesa draws closer to finding her brother, she faces some gut-wrenching decisions. Should she risk her mom’s life trying to “cure” her? Should she continue seeing Rave, after he reveals his dangerous secret? And most terrifying of all, should she make the ultimate sacrifice — give up her humanity — to save her brother?

What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired by an off-hand comment from a friend. He’d just read an unpublished mystery/suspense novel of mine and really liked it. He said “you should write something with vampires in it. Anything with vampires sells.” I thought that was a pretty good idea. I’d always liked fantasy — Lord of the Rings is my all-time favorite book — and I thought a vampire story would be a fun challenge. But I didn’t want to write “just another” vampire novel, so I made sure I included plenty of new things, like the one-fanged vampires and volkaanes.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m writing the sequel to Breathless, which will be the second book in the Blue Flame series. I’m slightly more than half done, so I consider myself to be “over the hump!”

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Shortly after graduate school, I decided to try my hand at writing an epic fantasy. I had just moved to San Diego and I wasn’t yet working, so I would take a yellow legal pad and a pen down to the beach and write a few pages every day, in between swimming, sunning, and girl-watching. Eventually, I had 800 pages of a not very well written book, but it was a start.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I could write full time if I wanted to, since I’m single and not working right now, but sitting at my computer all day is not my idea of a “full and meaningful” life. I write for at least two hours almost every morning. Then, as the mood strikes me, I may or may not write some more in the afternoon. Since Breathless is a self-published novel, I also spend at least an hour a day marketing it in one way or another — Facebook, Yahoo User Groups, Craigslist, and, of course, wonderful blogs like this one.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Well, I guess one would be that I never plan out the storyline of my books ahead of time. I have a general idea of what the story will be about, but I just let the plot unfold as I write. I definitely surprise myself sometimes!

A “quirk” about Breathless is that the first sentence (or part of the first sentence) of every chapter is taken from the opening line of another book, or in a couple cases, a poem. These include such disparate works as Catch-22, The Stranger, The Little Prince, Interview with the Vampire, The Sword of Shannara, and The Postman. I think I managed to do it pretty seamlessly, because very few readers have noticed. It’s kind of like the “Easter egg” feature in video games.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a professional athlete of some kind. I was pretty good at sports, but nowhere near that good.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I love hearing from readers. I can be contacted through my website, or the Breathless Vampire Book page on Facebook. And I accept all friend requests on my personal Facebook page.

The hardcover Breathless is available through www.scottprussing.com or amazon.com. The eBook version can be found at either Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

Thanks for being here today, Scott. Best wishes with your writing projects! I need to get to the beach now.

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