R. Scott Mackey will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
1. Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author. I’m persistent as hell. I’m not sure where that comes from, maybe my dad, or maybe from playing competitive sports through my youth and into college. Even when I’m most discouraged, within 24 hours I try to get back out there, whether it’s pitching a book for sale or review, or developing the next big idea.
2. Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you? I very consciously decided to write in the mystery/suspense genre. I read a lot of mysteries and felt that is where I could do some very good work. It’s a very competitive genre, but I firmly believed that if the work was high quality if would be appreciated by readers. So far that’s held true with all of the Ray Courage books.
3. The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter? I’m a plotter. I outline my novels meticulously. And then I deviate from the outline, sometimes quite a bit. But having an outline lets me know that I can get from beginning to end without any stumbling blocks. My current book, Courage Resurrected, is quite complicated. Without an outline I would have driven myself crazy trying to keep everything straight.
4. Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline? Yes, but only in the sense of those being common fears most of us have. In Courage Resurrected, Ray must stare down and defeat some scary people. I’ve never been in that situation, but I tried to put myself into Ray’s shoes and have him react emotionally in ways that I might.
5. Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you? Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. For me I prioritize everything then work as hard as I can to complete the highest priority items before they are due. As an Indie Author, I have to wear a lot of hats. Writing is only part of what I need to do to be successful. I work closely with a book formatter, cover designer, editor and proofreader. I need to give some love now and again to my website as well as to social media. There’s a lot to pay attention to and I feel that I’m getting better at balancing all of the components.
6. Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention? I’m ashamed to say it but if I was put into many of the scenes Ray Courage was put in in my books it would be a disaster. I have written Ray as a common person. He’s in his fifties, can’t punch out people or withstand much physical violence. He has to escape certain situations using his smarts and his guile. I’m not so sure I could be as successful as he is in doing that. For example, when he is in the park meeting the crazy girl and Mastrov’s men chase him, Ray is able to accomplish what I could never do.
- Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without. I do ninety percent of my writing at my desk in my home office. When I’m not writing there I go to a local coffee bar about a quarter mile from my house. I haven’t recently, but I used to order one of their fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. They’re about six inches in diameter, warm and gooey on the inside, and just about unbeatable with a cup of their French roast.
8. Writing inspirations? Everyday life. I like to observe people and places. I don’t journal anymore, but I take a lot of mental notes about people I encounter and how something about them might work its way in to a character in my books. Same with settings and locales.
- You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? This is a tough question because I like so many different authors for so many different reasons. Because I also am interested in non-fiction storytelling, I would like to meet Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit and Unbreakable. I would really like to know how she does her research, how she organizes it, and then uses it to create such seamless stories that read like fiction.
10. I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t. I can’t watch a television show or movie without trying to out-think the writer. Most of the time I figure out the story outcome before the writer wants us to. It’s not because I’m smart, it’s because I’m looking at the story through a writer’s eyes, not that of a typical viewer. I used to announce these revelations midway through the story, much to the chagrin of friends and family. I still do the story analysis and try to one up the writer, but I’ve learned to bite my tongue and not spoil things for anyone watching the show or movie with me.
by R. Scott Mackey
Ray Courage’s wife Pam died thirteen years before in a car accident. Or did she? Ray’s world is turned upside down when he receives a series of e-mails from someone claiming to be his dead wife, accusing him of attempting to kill her and vowing revenge. Ray sets out to find the identity of the e-mailer only to discover the circumstances of his wife’s apparent death appear to be all but accidental.
Soon Police Detective Carla Thurber comes to suspect Ray of killing his wife, and of a subsequent murder of Pam’s confidant. Meanwhile, a murderous predator who does not want the facts of Pam’s death to surface aims to stop Ray. In the greatest challenge of his life, Ray must outrun the police and elude those who are out to kill him as he seeks the truth about his wife’s death.
Walter Heffner told police that night that he thought an airliner had crashed on the road in front of his house, the sound so deafening, the eruption of flames so huge that only an object that large moving that fast could explain it. By the time he put on his shoes and coat he saw what was left of a car straddling the center stripe of the two-lane country road, the heat from the fire so great that he could not get within a hundred feet.
Scott Mackey lives in Northern California, where he writes both fiction and non-fiction. His first book, Barbary Baseball, achieved critical acclaim from baseball historians for its quality research and writing. He followed that with two young adult novels. His popular Ray Courage Mystery Series includes Courage Begins, Courage Matters, and Courage Resurrected. The fourth book in the series, Courage Lies Beneath, is scheduled for release later in 2015.
Scott’s career arc has included stints as a corporate communications manager, college professor, copywriter, bartender, and youth sports coach. In addition to obsessing over punctuation and grammar, he cares about his family (including his dog and cat), the San Francisco Giants, and his rather sad golf game.
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1tMtfF8 Web: rscottmackey.com