Yet another awesome author has agreed to join us for an interview and a giveaway. Today, we have Stan Schatt, author of EGYPT RISING.
Welcome to We Do Write, Stan. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I've had a number of careers in widely different areas. I went to med school and worked as an autopsy assistant (great for writing medical thrillers). I was an English professor (great for writing about college students). I worked in law enforcement (great for writing detective stories like the one I completed recently). I worked in the technology industry (great for writing technology thrillers or science fiction novels). I've worked in market research as an executive (great for corporate in-fighting scenes). Now I write full-time and love it. For many years I wrote evenings and weekends.
Wow! You certainly have some experiences to draw on. How long have you been writing?
When I was 12, I couldn't find a science fiction novel that appealed to me at my local school library. I came home, grabbed a pad of paper, and wrote my own SF novel in cursive. Of course no one else could read the book, but I enjoyed it because I knew what my audience (me) was looking for. No matter what my day job was, I continued to write books during evenings and weekends. I published my first book at 26 and now am up to over 30 books.
Tell us about EGYPT RISING. What’s the story about?
It's the story that came about because I asked myself what would it be like if someone very much like Indiana Jones had a teenaged daughter who not only had to deal with normal teen issues but also had to deal with everything from terrorists to ancient technology that she discovers, a weapon going back to the time refugees from Atlantis wound up in Egypt. Egypt Rising is also a story about relationships and about how a girl who considers herself nothing extraordinary discovers she has intelligence and courage she never thought possible.
You had me at Indiana Jones's teenage daughter... How did the idea of the story come to you?
I did a lot of research on the Egyptian revolution of 2011 as well on Egyptian history and culture. I decided I wanted to create a grand adventure for a teenaged girl while also describing how she deals with issues ranging from cliques, her ordinary physical appearance, Islamic fundamentalists, and a Queen Bee who makes the girl's life at school miserable.
Very interesting premise. I like it! Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I opt for a hybrid approach. I have learned the hard way that I need to write a detailed outline with key plot points so I don't write myself into a corner with no way out. I also have learned that if you just adhere to an outline, the result lacks life. So, I start with an outline and then let myself go when I get an idea, even if it means revising my outline.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part is when I sit down to develop an outline. I already have an idea and I might even know how the book is going to end, but I need around 60 scenes. I might find that I only have around 30 scenes in my head, so I have to think about adding additional characters and additional plot points. That's the most challenging part of writing the book.
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
My wife is the inspiration for all my books. Two of my books are the direct result of my grandchildren. My grandson started to write a novel set in the game of Minecraft. He needed some help (he's only 9, after all), so I picked up the project. I couldn't have written the book without his technical assistance since I've never played the game. The result is Journey to a Different Dimension, a novel that is moving up very quickly on Amazon's list. My granddaughter told me she wanted me to write a novel with her. She's provided me with an outline, and Jane Blond, International Spy is now about half done.
And finally, where can people find you and your books online?
All my books are available on Amazon. Eternal Press offers ebook copies of Egypt Rising.
Thanks for joining us, Stan! It was a pleasure having you!