I “met” Scott through his work at the Queer Sci Fi group on Facebook while I was promoting The Dangerous Type. The group holds robust discussions among writers and with readers, as well as publishing a yearly flash fiction anthology.
Scott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were. He decided that if there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them.
A Rainbow Award-winning author, he runs sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality — Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink — with Mark.
Scott’s newest book is Ithani:
Time is running out.
After saving the world twice, Xander, Jameson, and friends plunge headlong into a new crisis. The ithani—the aliens who broke the world—have awakened from their hundred millennia-long slumber. When Xander and Jameson disappear in a flash, an already fractured world is thrown into chaos.
The ithani plans threaten all life on Erro. Venin and Alix go on a desperate search for their missing and find more than they bargained for. And Quince, Robin, and Jessa discover a secret as old as the skythane themselves.
Will alien technology, unexpected help from the distant past, destiny, and some good old-fashioned firepower be enough to defeat an enemy with the ability to split a world? The final battle of the epic science fiction adventure that began in Skythane will decide the fate of lander and skythane alike. And in the north, the ithani rise….
Did something in the real world inspire Ithani?
Not exactly? It’s the third in the Oberon series; the overall series started with a few short scenes I wrote in the mid-nineties, shortly after coming out. Xander was my first gay character. In a way, the whole series was inspired by my coming out.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
There’s a scene that will mean nothing to anyone who hasn’t read my other series, Liminal Sky. A cross is discovered in a cave on Oberon, which is a major Easter Egg/crossover for the two series. It was really fun to add that teaser.
What was your writing process like as you wrote Ithani?
Pretty much nose to the grindstone. When I’m good, I write for an hour or hour and a half each day and can do 1000-2000 words at a go. But I am a little ADD (at least unofficially) so I also sneak in bits here and there: in line at the post office, in the bathroom… though that may be a little TMI.
I pretty much plow straight through, not stopping to rewrite on first draft. There’s always a point about two-thirds through where I pretty much decide I’m a total hack, the writing is shit, and that I will never finish the book.
Then I make it to the end, and it’s all okay.
In second draft, I usually layer in a lot of world-building detail and smooth out the text. Then it goes to my beta readers. When I get their feedback, I incorporate it into the final draft and send it in.
What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?
Some of the reviews were amazing: people who really got what I was trying to do. But the best part was when someone recognized one of the Easter Eggs I included and wrote me to express their amazement. That alone was worth all the effort.
What do you have planned next?
The last book in my Liminal Sky series – The Shoreless Sea – comes out in October. And I am currently hard at work on a follow-up that shows what happened on Earth after the Collapse. It’s titled The Long Redemption. It’s been hella fun to write.
I am also working on a series of shorts to help me break into the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.
Get a copy of Ithani for yourself on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Ip92nD
See all Scott’s books on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IpnXy6
Or visit Scott’s homepage and find out what he’s up to next: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com