Scott A. Borgman
Good morning, Scott, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors.What have you written?
Here’s a list of my current publications, all are digital books available through www.smashwords.com and various retailers:
From the Heart – A short collection of poetry.
The Ebook Writer: One Author’s Journey – a short recollection that started with a childhood dream to where I am today.
The Exiled: A fiction story that at its core seeks to teach lessons about humanity – both where we are today, and where we could one day be. Book 1 in the Exiled trilogy.
The Exiled: Continuation – Book 2 in the Exiled trilogy, it takes places a little over twenty years after the first book. This time, there may be no way to win the game.
The Exiled: Infinity – The final book in the Exiled trilogy reunites old friends and enemies in one last game. This time, the fate of humanity depends on an unlikely alliance between enemies if it hopes to have any chance to survive.
Province of a Thief – A story set in a fantasy world filled with sneaky thieves, deadly assassins, and powerful mages, it is the first in what will certainly be multiple tales in a world I created from the ground up, and continues to grow.
What is your favorite genre to write?
I have always been a lover of fantasy since childhood. Magic, dragons, elves, dwarves… they captured my imagination at an early age. Since then I’ve always wanted to write in that genre. Province of a Thief is my first work set purely in that genre, and without a doubt I can say it is the genre I am most passionate about.
One would think that would be an easy genre to write in, since absolutely anything one can imagine can be possible in such a world, but I can certainly attest that it is far from that! Even mystical creatures and powerful mages have to be believable. That sounds strange, doesn’t it?
Fries Cheese Deluxe, or as my wife and I used to call it for years: ‘Fries, cheese, and stuff.’ My wife has made it for years. It’s a very simple dinner that anyone can make, and it is delicious.
Cook up a bag of frozen steak fries in the oven (regular frozen fries work too, but we always use steak fries). While they’re in the oven, brown a pound or so of meat (depending how many people you have – my wife uses 1 ½ lbs. for us and our three children), and toss in a large can of Manwich - like you were making Sloppy Joes. Then heat up a jar of Tostitos Cheese Salsa as well in a microwave (we go with the medium – mild is too mild for us, but we’re too chicken to try the hot variety *laugh*), and you’re all set!
Fries on the bottom, meat over the fries, and the cheese sauce over that. Mix it together on your plate if desired (I do!).
Tea or coffee?
Definitely tea. I never acquired a taste for coffee, and being married to a British girl, tea is a staple in our home! I used to drink it straight with a lot of sugar before I met her. Now it’s milk instead of sugar.
Pizza or ice cream?
Pizza for dinner, and ice cream for dessert! *laugh*
Where would you like to visit?
I would love to go overseas and visit the old castles in England, Scotland, and Ireland, as well as Stonehenge. I’ve always been fascinated with that era of history. I’m sure that has had some influence on my love for the fantasy genre, because it incorporates some of the aspects of that time period.
Favorite musical artist. Do you listen to music when you write?
I don’t listen to music when I write. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Most of my writing is done late at night into the early hours of the morning because everyone is asleep and it’s quiet. I find it much easier to write with silence, as it keeps my mind on the story and doesn’t drift to anything that may distract me.
As for a favorite musical artist, while I enjoy most kinds of music, I would have to say that Vivaldi is my favorite, his Four Seasons piece in particular. My father loves classical music, and when I heard it at a very young age, I quickly came to enjoy it myself.
What makes you laugh?
I asked this question out loud, and my wife answered with ‘you have a warped sense of humor.’ I’m still trying to decide if that was a compliment. *laugh*
I believe she was referring to the idea that I can find humor in even the smallest things. Laughter can be the best medicine, and I think that far too often we take life too seriously. Such seriousness can become like a dark cloud that always hangs over us, and lessens the whole experience of life itself.
I love a good comedy, a silly prank (‘Japanese dinosaur prank’ on YouTube comes to mind); even a simple phrase during a conversation can bring on a fit of giggles. That’s not to say I don’t take things seriously – I take my devotion to my family, and to my writing, extremely seriously. But there’s always time for laughter.
The beauty of laughter is that it’s a natural stress reliever, among other things. It does so many other good things for the body, and it’s contagious! Make time out of every day to laugh – whether it’s finding something new that strikes you as funny, or something you know always makes you laugh. That’s one of the keys to enjoying life!
How old were you when you started writing?
I first began writing when I was about 9 or 10. I used to sit in my bedroom with notebooks and start writing stories that popped into my head. Of course, at that age, I would get an idea and start writing, and then halfway through a different idea would come to mind, so I’d open a different notebook and start writing that idea.
English was by far my favorite subject in school. My teachers throughout grade school and into high school always told me I had a gift for writing, even back then. Anything that required writing I enjoyed – though I had a tendency back then to procrastinate.
I remember once in grade school we had to do an Anthology report – it was a large assignment, so big we were given three months to do it. I waited until the night before it was due. My mother was furious with me for waiting until the last minute! I must have drank a gallon of hot tea that night in order to stay awake, and missed the first morning classes the next day to finish it up.
When I got the assignment back, my teacher had written a note on the final page that said something to the effect of: ‘Well done, Scott! I can tell you really worked hard on this, and it was done so well that I ended up reading more than I intended to!’ My mother thought I should have gotten a D for that assignment. The teacher gave me an A++. I believe my mother grounded me for a week. Ahh, memories!
Describe your perfect evening.
I actually had one such night very recently. It was a beautiful night outside, and the cold had finally given way to a nice warm evening. My family and I had a wonderful dinner together. We laughed, and talked about how our day had been.
After everyone had gone to bed, I sat down to work on my current project, a follow-up to my latest book, Province of a Thief. I was working on a particular scene, one that I knew when I sat down how it was going to play out.
Halfway through the scene, an aspect of the story suddenly popped into my head that literally made my mouth drop open in shock and stop writing for a few moments. It was not planned, I had not even considered such a thing, but suddenly there it was.
That is one of the greatest treats of being a writer. Our job is to delight and entertain with nothing more than the simplest of tools - words. Our purpose is to bring out emotions within our readers, and throw in twists and surprises within the story that aid in that quest. But sometimes, even when we know how the story goes beforehand, we can be surprised ourselves.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My son, Cameron, who passed away at the age of 3, has been my inspiration. Anyone who has seen my Author’s page on Smashwords, or my Twitter, or even my Author’s page on Facebook will see that I choose not to use a personal photo of myself, but a mold of my son’s hand as my image.
I want people to know that there is a true meaning behind the image. The image is not only to honor him, but it is a symbol of my love for writing, and my hope that my work can reach out and touch others, as my son Cameron did to so many people.
Cameron has been and continues to be my inspiration. Though words cannot express how much I miss him, he has been my greatest teacher, and the one person that I hope is as proud of me as I will forever be of him.
What do you do when you get a writer’s block?
Usually I fight with it for a few hours. Writer’s block is never fun, but it is a roadblock that happens to us all from time to time. It’s not always a case of being stuck and not knowing what happens next, but more often than not for me it’s a case of something I feel just doesn’t flow right.
Eventually after several attempts and deletions of said attempts, I typically save everything I’ve done to that point, and take a break. Sometimes it’s only a few hours. Sometimes it’s been as much as a few days. Patience is a virtue, as the saying goes. So I wait until it comes to me.
I’ll watch a movie, read a book, play a game… anything to take my mind off the project for a while until the solution presents itself to me. It can be frustrating, but that comes with the territory, and I’ve learned it’s far easier to accept the blocks and wait them out, because when the right flow finally comes to me, it’s always well worth the wait.
Who is your favorite author?
There are quite a few authors that I am fond of, but I would have to say that Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are my favorite authors who have written many books set in the Dragonlance world.
Best book you’ve ever read?
I have quite a few favorites, but I’ll just list a few:
It, by Stephen King (incidentally, my wife does not like clowns, but since I first read this before we met, I get to claim this by default!)
Dragonlance: Chronicles series, by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Who is the one person who has influenced your life the most and why?
My son, Cameron, without any hesitation, has been my greatest influence in my life. Before he passed away, I was like so many others - rushing around, taking the little things for granted, thinking that a good life was determined by wealth and material possessions.
When Cameron passed away at the age of 3, I suppose you could say my eyes were opened. I realized that those things are insignificant. What really matters, is each other. It’s not about competing with each other to see who has the biggest house, or the flashiest car. It’s about helping each other up when one of us falls, and cheering for each other when one of us succeeds.
As children, we teach ourselves to love – and it’s an unconditional love, because we don’t know about greed, selfishness, lies, or hatred at that age. As we get older though, we forget that first, most important lesson, because we become exposed and influenced by those very things.
It took the death of someone very close to my heart to realize that life isn’t about what we can get, but what we can give to each other. Cameron loved unconditionally, friends and strangers, because that was the only thing he knew.
So he is both my inspiration, and who has influenced me the most in my life. In my own small way, I strive to do what Cameron did for so many others – touch their lives, if even for only a few moments.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
On the serious side, it would be an honor to meet and speak with Morgan Freeman. He’s such an amazing actor that brings an excellence to every role he plays that one couldn’t see anyone else in that role afterwards. On the humorous side, Conan O’Brian never fails to make me laugh with his ‘Clueless Gamer’ bits.
What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Believe in yourself first and foremost. Write with passion, not just from the head but from the heart. And whatever kind of genre(s) you pursue, remember that it’s not the story itself that brings out the emotions of a reader, but the characters that live within the story.
Do you have any links for us to follow you?
Here are several links that others will find useful:
Smashwords Biography page: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ScottBorgman