"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!" (Mary Quallo, St Louis)

"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!"  (Mary Quallo, St Louis)
Coming next week - Carla Eatherington

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Maine Chance - Ngaire meets author Kim Scott

The weather in Spain has turned very warm, and the heat has reminded me of something I must do before the summer is upon us. Last year, towards the end of the summer, I was at the beach with family and friends. The water was extremely choppy; the biggest waves I had seen at that time of year. I joined in with my kids bouncing over the waves and having the best of fun. Then it all went horribly wrong. 

I spotted a swell, an enormous wave fast approaching the shore about 100 yards out. Determined not to be taken out by the wave I started making my way out of the sea, helping my kids as well.
I nearly made it! But the wave caught me and took me out. I felt like one of those plastic balls  rattling around in the bingo basket. I landed at the water’s edge like a beached whale; half drowned and eyes nipping from the salt.

Glancing over my shoulder I saw another humongous wave heading towards shore. Struggling up and trying to gain composure I took a couple of steps towards the dry sand and stopped dead.

My swimsuit was weighted down by a ton of sand that had sneakily washed into the lining and I looked like I had … well, I will leave you to think about that! But that wasn’t the worst part. My swimsuit was not where it should have been; not covering the right bits! Embarrassed and reddening fast I sorted out the recalcitrant swimsuit and scurried under the parasol.

No doubt you are asking yourself, what the heck is she going on about …? Well, I will be buying myself a new swimsuit with super, double-sided sticky straps and Velcro ties.  I laugh now, but I didn’t then. Everyone else did … hahahahahahaah....anyway, today's guest is well known Indie author Kim Scott and a big friend of the Wizard's Cauldron.  

Here's her original interview for those that missed it...let's hear a big Wizardwatcher welcome for...

Indie's Kim Scott!!!!

Kim, welcome back! Can you update Wizardwatchers on what you have been doing since September 2012? 

It's fantastic to be back and thanks for inviting me. It's been hectic this year. After the release of On Grace’s Shoulders, book 3 in my Ruth Chernock Series, I moved on to complete the saga. In early November 2012 book 4, Pink Sky and Mourning launched. While working on plans for a new book I worked with my Mother, Georgia Jones to compile a family cookbook. We scrambled to have it ready to distribute before the holidays. Presently I am working on a new book, What Happened to Alex Manning?. This book should be out the end of May.

Am I right in saying that Book 4 in the Ruth Chernock series was going to be called ‘Fallen Acorns’ … why the title change to ‘Pink Sky and Mourning’? 

I had only begun to write the book when I chose the title Fallen Acorns. It came from the old quote “mighty oaks from little acorns grow.” 

But the title did not feel right from the beginning and as I wrote the book I just could not reconcile myself to it. When I had finished writing it I talked with friends and family and pleaded for suggestions. 

Only days before the book was released I thought of the phrase “pink sky in morning, sailors take warning” and equated it to that book. With a little word play it became Pink Sky and Mourning.

What is your fascination with 18th century Maine? 

The 18th century was an incredible transition period in New England. The colonies were more settled, yet the wars with the local tribes persisted and a society unique to this region was established. 

Maine State

Maine has a blended history that traces primarily to Britain and France with a strong influence from the local Native American tribes here. From the food and speech patterns to the architecture and peculiar traditions, Maine is an exceptional place.

A Pequot Tribal Warrior

Who is the first person you would allow to read one of your completed novels? 

My sister-in-law was my first choice. I come from a family of blunt speakers. We speak our minds and apologize if need be, when all is done with. My sister-in-law has a quieter nature and I knew she would sugar coat it a bit if the finished work was dreadful. 

When she seemed to be sincerely pleased with it, I felt more confident and shared with several others. Before moving on to have it published I turned to my younger sister. I knew she would be brutally honest. When she gave me a virtual thumbs up I was incredibly relieved.

What keeps you motivated to write? 

I have always needed creative outlets to vent my energy into. Without them I am so restless it is absurd. I sew, knit, do needlepoint, quilt, and write. 

When not writing, and in need of a relax,
Kim often sits down and makes traditional knitted
tablecloths (See Wiz's World of Tablecloths on Pinterest)
At any given time I might have six or eight projects in the works. But writing provides a creative outlet with an escape. Mentally I travel to the locations in my books and listen to the stories my characters tell. The feeling I get from that keeps me motivated and continually draws me back again after each story is done.

Do you suffer writer's block? 

I have been so fortunate I have never struggled with serious writers block. When I start a new book I have to push harder for the first 35 pages and worry it might not click. But after I pass that hurdle it begins to flow and quickly the characters are shouting over each other to tell their tales.

Describe a typical day in the life of author, Kim Scott.

My days vary based on how my lungs are functioning. I have sarcoidosis of the lungs and it can be extremely limiting. The weather, balance of my meds and a thousand other factors determine how I feel physically. Writing allows me to escape mentally when I can’t leave the house physically for days on end. Most days I begin with iced mocha coffee made with espresso and a variety of prescriptions. 

Kim! For a refreshing change, try Chai tea - known to salve over a hundred human
ailments. The Royals swear by it, and other teas.
Available at a speciality tea shop near you - Ed

If all goes well I am on the computer early. I check my FB page, Twitter and other social media sites. I then move on to tackling emails. My Outlook calendar is checked frequently for appointments and commitments. Throughout the day I do housework, writing, reading and watching an occasional old movie. 

Classic old film - Citizen Kane: ideal armchair viewing for all

Everything is dependent on feel and what my body will allow. On average I am out of the house only one to two days a week. Really it is not as bad as it sounds.  

What do you do to relax, to get away from work and writing? 

I seldom get away from writing and marketing. To relax find a comfortable chair and read or watch movies. In general writing allows me to get away so completely I don’t mind not being able to do it physically.

Kim, you have a new book coming out soon,  please tell us a little about it. 

I am very excited about my next book, ‘What Happened to Alex Manning?’ and I am looking forward to the reviews. This story has evolved so far beyond the original tale now but I love it.

Alex Manning cover and Atlantic swell

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating ‘What Happened to Alex Manning?’ 

This book is written more from the male point of view than the female as it had been in the Ruth Chernock Series. I listened to my teen nephews talking and picked up a lot from them to use in determining the point of view of Alex Manning. In the beginning I thought I would dislike him immensely but I do love this character.

Are the names of your characters in your novels important? 

They are important to me. I factor in the time period, the surname and likely country of origin before choosing a name. The time period used in my books makes this information essential. I research common names of the period and earlier generations too. Making the names fit the time and place is more important to me than assigning any hidden meanings to them.

Do you work with an outline, or just write? 

I begin with a six to eight page outline. I also work out a timeline of births, marriages, deaths, etc., to minimize errors as the story progresses. The outline changes as I work through it but the beginning and ending generally remain the same straight through.

Popular modern pastime - treemaking

What do your family and friends think of your writing? 

My family and friends are incredibly supportive of my writing. Some have expressed concerns about the dark threads that run through my books. I don’t mind, that observation amuses me. It keeps my story unpredictable and entertaining. I am careful to keep the intimate scenes PG-13 because my Mom, Aunts and Niece all read my books.

Traditionally famous for crayfish, lobster, REM, old things, lions, lush green environments,
giant trees, massive jacket potatoes, men in big hats, vultures, garden peas, Gingham, Stephen King and lighthouses, Maine has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately. Sumptuous Zumba instructor Alexis Wright is in a Kennebunk courthouse accused of running a brothel alongside her popular dance-yourself-slim activities. Kim's iconic creation Ruth Charnock would be most unamused!

What’s on your desk

My “desk” is an antique dining room table with extensions on each end that snap up and lock to make it longer. It provides plenty of space so it is reasonably organized. I use a laptop and an ergonomically designed keyboard.  The table/desk is in front of two large windows. It is a good space for writing.

If you could spend a day as someone else, who would it be and why? 

Honestly I would like to be a man for just one day. I can only imagine how much information I could pick up to use in future books from that. The opportunity to think and react like a man for one day would be priceless.

Al Bundy for a day!!

Kim, you get a once in a lifetime chance to join some members of your family for a trip to New Zealand. Whilst on a guided tour to experience the diverse Maori culture you participate in the traditional dance the haka. Unfortunately, you sustained an injury to your ankle during the dance and had to rest for the duration of the tour. What 4 books and 2 CDs did you bring along with you on the trip?

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

Cabinet of Curiosities by Lincoln & Child – I would love to read both of these great books again.

Cold Vengeance by Lincoln & Child

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star by Paul Theroux 

The Traveling Wilburys Collection

The Grand Tour – Aaron Neville

And finally, where can fans of Kim Scott keep-up-to-date and find out more?

My FB author page is always brimming with news. https://www.facebook.com/RegardingRuth

‘What Happened to Alex Manning?’ has an FB page all its own https://www.facebook.com/pages/What-Happened-to-Alex-Manning/416970635055640

My website also has the current info on all of my books and where they can be found http://www.kimscottbooks.com/

Kim, it's been an absolute pleasure to have you on the show. Hopefully, we'll see you next year!

Ngaire, its been a pleasure and I'll be delighted to see you all again!

(Ed: And I'd like to thank Ngaire Elder for covering for me while on my holidays. She's been a massive help and I love her dearly for all she's done. Ngaire promises me that she will be back, as I know, from the contents of the Cauldron mailbag, that's what you want to see. 

Ngaire, from the frozen wastes of Middle England, to the sun-dripped, bougainvillae scented orange groves of your seventeenth century hacienda in Cadiz, thank you. You will be missed.)


  1. Great interview, Ngaire, and I agree with the Great Wizard that you will be missed on the cauldron. I am glad you will have a recurring role going forward. Kudos to everyone - the Wizard Cauldron's interviews are over the top.

  2. Thank you, Mary Ann. Loved doing the interviews.


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