Monday, July 20, 2015

Interview with mystery author R. Scott Mackey

Today I have an interview with mystery author R. Scott Mackey. We’re talking about his new novel, Courage Resurrected: A Ray Courage Mystery.

During his virtual book tour, Scott will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn person. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

Scott Mackey lives in Northern California, where he writes both fiction and non-fiction. His first book, Barbary Baseball, achieved critical acclaim from baseball historians for its quality research and writing. He followed that with two young adult novels. His popular Ray Courage Mystery Series includes Courage Begins, Courage Matters, and Courage Resurrected. The fourth book in the series, Courage Lies Beneath, is scheduled for release later in 2015. 

Scott's career arc has included stints as a corporate communications manager, college professor, copywriter, bartender, and youth sports coach.

Welcome, Scott. Please tell us about your current release.
Courage Resurrected takes place a few months after the events in Courage Matters, the first book in the series. In Courage Resurrected, Ray Courage’s wife Pam died thirteen years before in a car accident. Or did she? Ray’s world is turned upside down when he receives a series of e-mails from someone claiming to be his dead wife, accusing him of attempting to kill her and vowing revenge. Ray sets out to find the identity of the e-mailer only to discover the circumstances of his wife’s apparent death appear to be all but accidental. Soon Police Detective Carla Thurber comes to suspect Ray of killing his wife, and of a subsequent murder of Pam’s confidant. Meanwhile, a murderous predator who does not want the facts of Pam’s death to surface aims to stop Ray. In the greatest challenge of his life, Ray must outrun the police and elude those who are out to kill him as he seeks the truth about his wife’s death.

What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to continue the Ray Courage series in a way that would do justice to highly acclaimed first book. To do that I wanted to develop with plot elements and twists even more engaging and surprising than in Courage Matters. Though the first book moves briskly, Courage Resurrected races at a breakneck pace.

Excerpt from Courage Resurrected:
A much-needed rain began to fall, the heavy drops plinking the top of my car as I approached it from the IML office. It hadn’t rained this hard in a couple of years. Many of us in California wondered if the three-year drought had become the new normal, one of the consequences of global warming. Watching it through the window of my car made me feel good, as if the drought might be one less thing I’d have to worry about. My mind had already shifted from the e-mail to what to have for dinner when my cell phone vibrated again.
The muscles in my test tightened when I saw the message came from Pam1111. I opened it.
The body of the e-mail was blank, the message contained only an attachment. I debated the wisdom of opening the PDF labeled only “article,” but my curiosity overcame my fear of infecting my phone with a virus. The Sacramento Bee article from thirteen years before recounted the fiery car accident that had killed my wife Pam. At the bottom of the article someone had scrawled in ink:

Nice try, Ray.

My giddiness about the rain suddenly evaporated.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Well, along with Courage Resurrected, I also released Courage Begins: A Ray Courage Mystery Novella in April. If it isn’t already Courage Begins will be Permafree on Amazon and other online retailers. So if your readers want to see if my books are for them, that’s an easy and inexpensive way to go. Book four in the Ray Courage series is due out this fall. And I’m at work on the fifth book this summer. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that the Ray Courage No-Nonsense Cookbook, featuring recipes from meals featured in my books is also available.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I first started getting paid for my writing back when I was a sportswriter for the college newspaper and then the college town newspaper. After that I became a corporate communications writer and wrote my books on the side. Now, my books are the sole focus of my writing.

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 write about four hours a day. I do have a day gig in higher education. I write for two hours in the morning before work and two hours afterwards.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Maybe that I write standing up. I used to sit on an exercise ball. But a few months ago I bought a desk desk whose height can be adjusted by an electric motor. So now I stand while I write. It’s easier on my back.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Center fielder for the San Francisco Giants. That didn’t work out so well. I couldn’t hit the curveball and my baseball career petered out in college.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thank you for all your great feedback on my work. I really do like engaging with my readers or potential readers and respond to every e-mail I receive. If anyone wants to contact me, please do so at


Thanks, Scott!


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Mai T. said...

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

Scott said...

First of all, I would like thank Lisa for hosting me on her blog. I'm excited to be here.

Mai, regarding your question, I'm still learning as I go on how to market my books. The central model many indie authors use is to make one book permafree and to use it as a "funnel book" to another free book that you've written in exchange for the reader's e-mail list. Building a strong mailing list of dedicated readers is a foundational strategy for many indie writers.

Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed the interview and learning more about you.

Unknown said...

Ohhhh! This sounds reallly good! -Kristelle @ Amiabooklover

Scott said...

Rita and Kristelle,
Thank you for your comments. I wanted to let you and the other readers know that you can download a free copy of Courage Begins (a novella) from my website if you want to see if you'll like the series. My website is

Stormy Vixen said...

Enjoyed the excerpt, sounds like a very intriguing book, thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Great interview! Love Ray Courage! Thank you for sharing!

Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing the awesome interview and excerpt! I really enjoyed reading this post :)

Ally Swanson said...

Great post! I really enjoyed reading the interview! Looking forward to reading the book!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed everything about the post today! Thank you!