Are you totally creeped out by The Liberator’s Dante Walker? Join the club—and tip your Halloween mask to author Victoria Scott. While she’s fairly knew to the scene (keep reading for how she got started writing), this lit chick know’s how to create a character that we love to hate—and hate to love. Here, she answers your questions about The Liberator, the horror genre, writer’s block and more.
Q: What’s your process like from start to finish?
It takes me about a month to plot the book and figure out the characters. Then another 2 months to write the book. After that I spend a month editing before sending it on to my editor. So, four months total if everything goes to plan. I get writer's block often, but the key is to write past it. Write something, anything. You'll find most times you can keep the stuff you wrote on a "bad day."
Q: How do you make your readers feel like they’re in the story?
Give readers descriptions they can hang their hat on. If you say the woman was tall, it isn't enough. But if you say she was tall and rolled a shiny blue marble between her fingers, they'll feel more connected. They'll remember the marble.
Q: How do you create a truly memorable villain?
I think the key is delivering all the typical "badness" while also giving the reader something redeemable. For Dante, that's his sense of humor and his good looks.
Q: What makes a horror story a horror story?
I'd say it's the character's intentions. If they're trying to kiss you, it's not horror. If they're trying to murder you with a No. 2 pencil. Horror.
Q: Who in your life do you think influenced your love of writing the most?
My mother. She took me to the library as a child, and every once in a while we went to a real bookstore and I got to pick out a new novel. It was always so fun selecting the one I'd take home.
Q: How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?V
It was only a few years ago. I always knew I loved writing, but when I sat down with the intention, it seemed so daunting. It wasn't until I started devouring teen books that I knew I wanted to try for real. I was very afraid to fail. And I did numerous times in numerous different ways. But I pushed onward.
Q: How do you deal with writer’s block?
Many times I read or watch movies. I ask myself what I expected from the story. If it isn't what ended up happening, I question whether I can redo it with my own extreme twist.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
When you start a book, always know what your character's goals are. Not just the external (she wants enough money to buy a home of her own), but the internal too (she wants to feel like she has a family). A character's arc has a lot to do with them letting go of the external goal (the money to buy the house) in order to pursue the internal goal (now that she has a best friend and mother figure, she doesn't need the house as much).
Q: What’s your favorite thing about being an author?
Interacting with readers. Anytime something big happens in my career, my first question to my agent is always, "When can I post this online?!"
Q: What’s up next?
My next series coming out early next year, FIRE & FLOOD, is even darker, and I'm working on a project now so twisted I'm afraid publishers may freak.
Good luck, Victoria!