Scott Reintgen, author of the Nyxia Triad, Ashlords, and Saving Fable fills us in on his latest novels, his writing process, and offers a few tips for aspiring authors.
Saving Fable & Ashlords
Sara (Book Series Recaps): What was your inspiration for Ashlords?
Scott Reintgen: My favorite stories are our world with a twist. Horse racing is pretty familiar to us. Even if we haven’t ridden horses a lot, we’d know that concept from movies and art and all of that. So I looked at that familiar concept, and thought about how to take it a step beyond the norm. Phoenix horses did the trick.
Sara: I see that Ashlords is a duology. Did this simply feel right for the series, or did the changing book market play a part?
Scott: It is a duology, and that’s mostly a function of our industry. I do think it works well for this series. Book one is about an epic race. Book two is about the war that powder-keg of a race begins. That format works well for the stories I wanted to tell. But yes, the industry is relatively tired of trilogies. Some big-name series can pull off the longer stories, but very few return their investment. I wanted to write something shorter.
Sara: Who is your favorite character from Ashlords and why?
Scott: I’ve got an underdog, an outlaw, and a chosen one. My personal favorite, though, is the underdog. Imelda Beru is that clever character I love to play around with. Always one step ahead. Stubborn. Willing to take a stand against what’s wrong with the world. Definitely one of the favorites I’ve ever written.
Sara: I haven’t read Saving Fable, but the premise sounds unique! Where did you get the idea? Is this the English teacher coming through?
Scott: Saving Fable is a product of wanting to play. I’d been working on–and reading– several darker books. It all felt so serious. Saving Fable was a playground to explore far lighter world building. It’s really the book that I had the most fun writing.
The writing and publishing process
Sara: What’s your writing routine like?
Scott: I wake up and spin gold from my fingertips. Right. No, typically I start the day by light revision of what I wrote the day before. And then by the time I hit open page, I’m good to go. Most of my writing also happens in coffee shops, because I’m a walking cliche of a writer.
Sara: 🙂 When writing your novels, do you outline the entire series before you start the first book or do you wait and see where it will go?
Scott: I like to know the beginning and the end, but in between? It’s fun to let my characters take those parts of the story over for themselves.
Sara: What advice would you give to aspiring YA science fiction / fantasy authors?
Scott: Keep working. Read widely. Find people to spur you on.
Sara: Tell us about the importance of an author’s online presence. How has social media and your website helped you connect with and market to your target audience?
Scott: It’s not make or break. I think YA and MG give a sense that this is far more important than it actually is. Someone with 20k followers!? Of course they can hit the list! But that’s not often how it works. I do think it’s important to have a platform if you want to have a platform. I do also think people can use those platforms to their benefit. I have friends on Instagram that are amazing at walking alongside a growing fanbase that they worked tirelessly to create. It’s cool to see. But some wildly bestselling authors aren’t even on social media? So it’s more about investing in what you are good at and making sure the investments pay dividends (whether that’s success or relationships)
Sara: We’d love to know the story of how you became a full-time author. Was it a quick process or a long time coming?
Scott: I’m one of the lucky ones in this regard. My wife’s job took us out to Switzerland. I couldn’t really get a job there so I started writing full-time. I got my advance for the Nyxia series, and I’ve been full-time ever since. I write a lot. I write fast. And I do a lot of school visits to supplement my income. Overall, I’m lucky to be full time. Most authors aren’t.
A few fun facts
Sara: What books are on your bedside table right now?
Scott: Wilder Girls by Rory Power and Exhalation by Ted Chiang
Sara: What’s your favorite way to read: paper books, ebooks, or audiobooks?
Scott: Paper books, all the way.
Visit Scott’s website at https://itspronouncedrankin.com/
Read more about each of his books on Amazon: