Thursday, November 17, 2011

TBG Author Interview: Tori Scott!

Hi everyone!

Today I'm happy to share an interview with Tori Scott, the author of the short story, FOUR HOUSES (available now!) and her first YA Paranormal novel, THE COLLECTOR, which is currently on submission. Here's the summery for THE COLLECTOR from Tori's website:

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of Hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of Hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions long ago buried.

Sounds awesome, no? :) Now, without further ado, on to the interview!


1) Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Meh. I think I always wanted to be a storyteller. The writing just helps me achieve that.

2) How did you come up with the idea for THE COLLECTOR? Did it just come to you, or was it more of a gradual progression?

It started as something I was just thinking about, but when I found the angle I wanted to use the rest came in a rush.

3) Where do you draw your inspiration from while you are writing? For example, do you listen to music while you write or sit outside?

I only listen to music when writing a seriously emotional scene. Otherwise, it distracts me. Inspiration comes from my cat, Gizmo, who knows no limits when dreaming big.

4) How do you stay motivated to write? Even though you’re currently on submission, have you ever wanted to give up? And if so, how did you pull yourself back from the "edge"?

About once a day, I consider giving up. But I treat it like a job, and just keeping doing it. The next day always comes, and I’m thankful I worked through the one before.

5) Tell us about your writing habits: where you write, when you write, how much you write, etc.

I write like a Marine: 2,000 words a day, M-F. I start when I get up in the morning, and stop for the day when I hit my daily word count. It’s not an interesting pattern, but one thing’s for sure—it gets the job done.

6) How do you deal with constructive (or not) criticism? And if it's negative, how do you deal with it?
I thank the person verbally, and kill them mentally. Works like a charm.

7) How many stories did you start writing before you found a "winner" and how did you know you'd found a keeper?
I wrote one book before The Collector and always wondered if it was working. With The Collector, I didn’t wonder. My gut just said it was working. It may not get published, but I’ll always love the story.

8) Do you have any new writing projects in the works? Can you tell us about them?
I just started working on my next project. While I usually keep my stories under wraps until I’m close to finished, I’ll say it’s more YA Fantasy than YA Paranormal. ;)

9) What were the most difficult and best parts of writing THE COLLECTOR?

The difficult part was the half-way mark; it usually is for me. The beginning was the easiest. It just…flew.

10) What did you do to celebrate when you found out that you were getting signed by your agent?

I went to my favorite restaurant and keep texting my mom saying, “Hey, guess what? I have an agent” in between bites. I was beyond giddy.

11) What did your friends and family think when you told them you were writing


I didn’t tell many of my family members or friends when I started writing my first book. To be honest, I was afraid they’d laugh. But I had more confidence when starting The Collector, so I told them. They were supportive…to my face, anyway. ;)

12) Now that you're on submission and a more experienced writer, what advice would you give to all the aspiring writers out there?

Pfft. Please. I’m in no position to give advice. Ha! But I will say I read somewhere, “Be the one.” That’s what I think to myself when it seems impossible. Beat the odds. Be the one!

13) How long did it take you to write THE COLLECTOR from concept to outlining to completion to sending if off to agents?
It took me one month to outline, two months to write, one month to edit, and one month to prep for submission. So, five months from start to submission.

14) Can you tell us about your journey to publication for THE COLLECTOR so far?

I pitched my first book to agents for months before getting an offer of representation. I emailed my offer to the other agents who had my MS, and The One, Laurie McLean, said to send her the full (she had my partial), and the first 100 pages of the one I was working on now (The Collector). She actually signed me for the first 100 pages and the synopsis of The Collector, and said she thought she could sell it as soon as I finished it. I worked HARD to get Laurie as an agent (I’d interviewed her on my website, met her at a conference, told her in no uncertain terms that she was my dream agent, etc.). I’m so happy to have her! Now it’s a waiting game being on submission while writing my next book.

15) What kind of atmosphere do you prefer to write in, calm or chaos? Why?
Calm, I can’t think when there’s background noise.

16) What is your writing process like?
Brainstorm, plot, write first draft, edit as I write, edit again, submit to my agent for her edits, edit once more, go on submission. Pray to God for a deal.

17) The main character in THE COLLECTOR is a teenage boy; what was it like being a female and writing from a male’s point of view? Any tips?

Sooooo fun! This was my favorite part. My advice when writing a guy is twofold: Don’t sugarcoat your guys; they aren’t women so don’t pretend they are. Also, ask a guy’s advice on dialogue. Say, “Would a dude really say this?” and get their feedback.

18) Do you have any odd and unusual habits which help you in regards to writing?

Hmm, probably just that everything on my desk has to be clean before I can work. Otherwise I’ll clean instead of write. Dumb, but true!

Thanks for the interview!!!


To find out more about Tori and her books, visit her website! No, thank you, Tori! I had so much fun getting to know more about you and THE COLLECTOR and I hope to see it on the shelves SOON so I can pick up a copy! :)



Trisha Wolfe said...

Awesome interview! Asked a lot of great questions for inspiring writers, and even experienced ones. And Tori always gives such great and honest answers. Woot!

Rachel Harris said...

Great interview . . . and always Tori, you manage to be freaking hilarious while giving such great advice and info. Hugs girl!

By the way, I've read The Collector, and let me just tell you--pure gold baby :-)

Michael Offutt, Expert Critic said...

Great interview. This book sounds awesome.