Saturday, 14 July 2012
Author Interview: Scott Prussing
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing?
I grew up in New Jersey and went to college and graduate school in Connecticut. After receiving my Master’s degree in psychology from Yale University, I was smart enough to move to beautiful San Diego, California. In addition to writing, I enjoy riding my bike along the coast, going to the movies (not renting), reading books of all types, hiking, skiing and golf.
I’m the self-published author of the four book paranormal romance series Blue Fire Saga (Breathless, Deathless, Helpless and Fearless). I’ve also written two mystery/suspense novels (Unturned Stones and Tangled Webs), a teen romance Mine: A Love Story, whose plot is based on the hit songs of Taylor Swift, and a fantasy adventure novel called Dreams of the Last Born. All my books are available in print and ebook versions.
I remember exactly how my interest in writing started. I was inspired by an article I read in the local newspaper shortly after I got out of grad school. It was about a fourteen-year-old boy who was writing a Lord of the Rings type novel. LOTR is my all-time favorite book, and I thought “I could do that.” So even though I had avoided all courses that required writing in college, I started writing my own book—in ball point pen on a legal pad. I ended up with an eight hundred page Lord of the Rings rip-off. The writing wasn’t very good, but that’s what got me started. That manuscript no longer exists, thank goodness.
Can you tell us a little about your novels The Blue Fire Saga?
The Blue Fire Saga is a modern paranormal romance in the mode of Twilight and Vampire Diaries, but filled with lots of new ideas and creations, such as one-fanged vampires (crippled versions of the real thing) and supernatural vampire hunters called volkaanes. Vampires are the catalyst for the action, but not the lead characters. I’m proud to say that most reviewers and readers so far have remarked on the unique aspects of the series, saying things about Breathless like “breathes new life into the vampire genre,” “is a breath of fresh air,” “is a new twist on things that go bump in the night,” and is a book that “breaks out of the predisposed storyline that tends to follow the vampire romance genre.”
The main character is college freshman Leesa Nyland. She has been fascinated by vampires since she was three years old, because that's when her mom started acting weird, insisting sunlight hurt her skin because she'd been bitten by a one-fanged vampire. But fascinated doesn't mean Leesa believes, any more than she believes in magical blue fire, people who live for centuries, and kisses that can kill. But when her beloved older brother suddenly disappears, she’s forced to consider all these and more. She also has to figure out what to do about her mysterious new boyfriend. She knows Rave likes her a lot—so why won't he kiss her? (Hint: he’s NOT a vampire.)
I don’t want to reveal too much here, but as the series has evolved, I’ve added plenty of new twists and surprises (zombie pit pulls, anyone?). Leesa has grown enormously as a person as she confronts new obstacles to her happiness and safety, and that of her friends and family.
Where did you get the idea for the saga?
This is a difficult question to answer. Perhaps the simplest thing to say is that I started by wanting to write a Twilight type book that was NOT like Twilight, if that makes any sense. I wanted to create supernatural romance with vampires in it, because they are fun and popular. My primary goals were to craft a very passionate romance that was also fast paced and suspenseful.
Because vampire/human romance has been done and overdone, I made my vampires the catalyst for the story, but not one of the two main romantic leads. I invented a new type of vampire hunter that I call volkaanes and also created one-fanged vampires. I set the story in college, rather than high school, so it could be a bit more mature (it’s still suitable for the young adult audience). After that, I just sort of let the story take me where it wanted to go. As the series grew, I added a couple of wizards, some zombies, a Necromancer and witch, all the while keeping the same main characters and keeping vampires an important part. It’s really been quite amazing the way the story has evolved.
The Blue Fire Saga has vampires in it, which I personally love! How does your take on vampires differ to what is already on the market?
My vampires are closer to the traditional than to the sparkly, high school attending vampires with special powers in Twilight. The sun hurts their skin, but does not kill them, so they prefer the night or cloudy days, but they can still venture out on sunny days (with a hoodie and long sleeves, and staying in the shade as much as possible.) They live communally in underground caverns, following certain rules (limiting how often they hunt humans, for example) to keep from drawing too much attention to themselves. They can pass as human when necessary, and some of them mingle with people now and then. I also invented one-fanged vampires, who I call grafhym. They are crippled versions of the real thing, far less powerful, and they are shunned by other vampires. Grafhym play a critical role in book one, Breathless. Indeed, one of the catchphrases for the Blue Fire Saga is “It all started with a one-fanged vampire.”
I like the covers of the series. I like that in each of the book covers for the four books so far there is only a slight change in each the color of the girl’s T-shirt which I like. Who designed of the covers and did you have much say in the designing of them?
Theresa Jackson of Orchard View Color designed the original cover (Breathless). I was very involved in the design, choosing the base photo from online, insisting on a blue glow on the pair of hands to symbolize Rave’s magic, and I suggested the drop of blood dripping from the “H”.
Lisa Giszcinski, a friend of mine who uses Photoshop, changes the colors of the shirt for each following cover (I give her the color.) I add the drops of blood (with MS Paint), which signify which number book in the series each book is. If the series keeps going, the covers are going to start getting very bloody!
There are currently four books in the series released how many more do you plan on releasing?
I’m not really sure. The series keeps expanding beyond anything I envisioned, with new characters popping up and new storylines unfolding. I have the cover and title (Heartless) of book 5 already done. I never work with an outline or storyboard, so I never know where the books will be heading.
Why should we read your series in one sentence?
People should read The Blue Fire Saga because it’s romantic, fun, fast-paced, suspenseful and original—readers are truly loving it.
Final word from the author.....
I want to thank you for the opportunity to connect with your followers, and I want everyone to know that I am one of the most accessible authors out there. I love to interact with my fans, especially on Facebook, and I have rewarded a number of them by naming characters in the books after them.
To learn about my books and to order signed print copies visit http://www.scottprussing.com.
Ebooks available at Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. Here are the links for Breathless, book one in the series:
Follow me on Facebook http://wwwfacebook.com/scottprussingauthor and http://facebook.com/BreathlessFampires