Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have been writing avidly since I was three years old. There is hardly ever a time when I am not working on a new novel, and when I am not writing, I feel lost! All in all, I have written five books, and two have been published so far: Portrait of a Sunset (a romantic suspense novel) and Chase and Charlie, a thriller.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is Portrait of a Sunset, and it was partially inspired by a dream I had. It was also inspired by some of my own personal struggles with anxiety, which manifest themselves in my main character, Clara, in an undiagnosed form of PTSD. Although my own personal experiences are nowhere near as traumatic as Clara’s, writing this character really helped me to vent some of the pent-up emotions I was feeling, and to learn that what I perceived as a weakness could actually be a strength.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Perhaps at one time this habit wasn’t unusual, but in this day in age, I’m sure people will find it very strange that I write out the first draft of all of my novels completely by hand! I find that this helps me to take my time, and to pick up the book whenever I feel the urge to write (without having to boot up the computer). It also makes it easy to see all my work in one place, and reading it as I type the next draft really helps with the editing process.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
So many authors have influenced me that I have lost count! But I would have to say that the three who have influenced me most are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and J.K. Rowling. Stephen King in particular really influenced me with his memoir/writing manual, On Writing.
What are you working on now?
I just finished writing the first draft of a new novel in the romantic suspense genre. Unfortunately, though, I have a policy of never telling anyone what my books are about until they are in the final stages of production (I don’t want to jinx anything!). Sorry! 🙂
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I have found the most success promoting my book on my Facebook author page, or in Facebook groups, as well as on my author website, www.jessicascottauthor.com.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
NEVER GIVE UP!!! Writing is a tough, lonely job full of obstacles like writer’s block and time constraints and people not “getting” you. But you are stronger than all of these things, and you will overcome them. Never stop believing in yourself and your writing, no matter what!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“You will face many defeats in your life, but never let yourself be defeated.” – Maya Angelou
What are you reading now?
Right now I am actually exercising my Italian skills by reading an Italian-language novel called “Volevo essere Audrey Hepburn” (“I Wanted to Be Audrey Hepburn”) by Vanessa Valentinuzzi. I bought it in a bookstore near Milan last year when I went to visit my pen pal of seven years.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Next up for me is one of my favorite parts of being a writer: the first read-through of the novel I just completed. I love getting to see the characters again, and seeing the whole story come together. I can’t wait!
After that comes publishing, and then, who knows!
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Hmm… This is a tough question. I think I would take Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger (a book of some of his best short stories, including my favorite, “For Esme – With Love and Squalor”), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing. If I can take a fourth book, I would also bring one I hadn’t read before, because I always enjoy reading something new and different.