Saturday, August 15, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Scott Bell


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hi, Scott.  Welcome to The Gal.  I just finished reading your book and I was really impressed - great job!!
            Let's start off with something easy: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Scott Bell:
By day, I'm a Suburban Man.  I'm able to grill hamburgers, mow the lawn, and change the oil on my SUV.  I have been married to the same woman for 25-years, and two kids in college - one at the University of Texas, one at Texas A&M.  This provides great cover for my true identity...
            At night, I become Writer Man.  I put on my spandex writer suit and fight crime with my trusty laptop.  Villains thwarted, crises averted, evildoers punished.
            Then I brush my teeth and go to bed.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things that most people don't know about you?

Scott Bell:
One of the reasons people don't know these things is because I don't tell them.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Scott Bell:
Besides "Green Eggs and Ham"?  The book that inspired me to read was a Conan the Barbarian pastiche by L. Sprague DeCamp and Lin Carter.  I never knew mighty-thewed barbarians could exist inside my head in such stunning Technicolor.  This led to a series of pulp fiction by Robert E. Howard, Mickey Spillane, John D. MacDonald, and many, many others.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Scott Bell:
I read two or three books a week.  Right at this instant, I'm starting my first Daniel Silva novel.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Scott Bell:
Writing haunted me since Junior High.  Late at night, through a dark forest, I would run from it, tripping over fallen adverbs and sinking into deep plot holes.  I used everything to block its path: work, kids, alcohol...
            Finally I gave in and let writing catch me, after 30-years of evading it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Scott Bell:
Nope.  I'm not picky.  Anywhere I can score a fix, I'm good.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Scott Bell:
I'm what they call a "puncture."  I want the story to unfold for me the way it would for a reader.  Which sometimes means I paint myself onto the edge of a cliff with no way down but the hard way.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?

Scott Bell:
Not a book, exactly.  More like a general disgust with the way fiction was headed.  One, the quality of published fiction has suffered due to poor editing, poor writing, and self-publication.  (No offense to self-pubbers.)
            Fewer and fewer people were writing the kind of stories I wanted to read.  I mean, how many damn vampire stories do we need?  (No offense to vampires.)
            So I decided to write my own stories.  There.  That'll show 'em.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Scott Bell:
Sentences.  Sentences and words.  Putting them in the right order sucks.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Scott Bell:
Explosions.  I like lots of explosions.  And good men and women stepping up to do the right thing, despite the personal cost.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Scott Bell:
The smart-ass ones.  I usually have a snarky character or two that gets off some good lines.  Victor Ruiz in "Yeager's Law" for example.  He's Yeager's sidekick and, I think, has some pretty funny comebacks and put-downs.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Why did you pick your particular genre?

Scott Bell:
I write in several genres.  Crime Fiction came first, only because I found it easier not to have to create a new world.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Scott Bell:
Characters.  At least I hope it's the characters.  I try to make my people real.  No superhuman ability, no super-smarts that can outthink everybody in the room.  (No offense to Jack Reacher.)  Just real people who get stuck in some really tough situations and have to somehow triumph over the adversity.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your "trunk"?  (Everyone has a book or project, which doesn't necessarily have to be book related, that they have put aside for a 'rainy day' or for when they have extra time.  Do you have one?)

Scott Bell:
A dead body.  Sorry, officer, I have no idea how that got there.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Scott Bell:
I'm so glad you asked...  The sequel to "Yeager's Law: is under review by the publisher, called "Yeager's Mission."
            I have a series of crime fiction books featuring a larger-than-life Texas Ranger, Sam Cable, and his Bronx-born, sassy sidekick, a little hellion named Rita Goldman.  The first of these will be called "April's Fool," followed by "May Day" and "June Bug."  (See the clever titles?  Aren't I cute?)
            Next up, I have a departure from crime fiction, a pre-Dystopian sci-fi novel called "Working Stiffs" that posits: What if we could reanimate dead people with technology and have them take over the grunt work of day-to-day living?

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Scott, it has been GREAT having you today.  And I can definitely see you being like my favorite character from Yeager's Law, Victor (he was awesome!).  I can't wait to read the sequel - and to check out these other books you have coming our way.  :)  I wish you the best of luck ... and you are welcome back any time.


About the book:
Abel Yeager is dead broke, down on his luck, and suffering from a serious case of what-the-hell-does-it-matter.  His transition from active Marine to stateside long-haul trucker hit a wicked speed bump when his rig was involved in a wreck that claimed the life of a pregnant woman and laid him up for several months.
            Back at work but deeply in debt, Yeager meets bookstore owner Charlie Buchanan in St. Louis and jumps at the chance to haul a load of remainder books to Austin for her.  On the way south, a crew of truck thieves tracks his every move.  But none of them know what Charlie's ex has smuggled inside the book pallets, who e stole it from, or how far the owner will go to get it back.  Charlie's the first person Yeager has cared about in a long time, but as their bond depends, so does the danger they're in.
            With enemy forces closing in, Yeager battles greed, corruption, and his own fatalism in a bid to hold true to Yeager's First Law: come home at the end of the day.


About the author:
Scott Bell has over 25 years of experience protecting the assets of retail companies.  He holds a degree in Criminal Justice from North Texas State University.
            With the kids grown and time on his hands, Scott turned back to his first love - writing.  His short stories have been published in The Western Online, Cast of Wonders, and in the anthology, Desolation.
            When he's not writing, Scott is on the eternal quest to answer the question: What would John Wayne do?

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