Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Interview with R.H. Scott, author of Chosen Soldiers


Inside the Book:

Chosen Soldiers

Title: Chosen Soldiers 
Author: R.H. Scott 
Release Date: February 9, 2016 
Publisher: Harper Voyager 
Genre: YA Dystopian/Thriller 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

After the missiles tore up the Earth, societies crumbled, leaving scattered patches of humanity struggling to survive. Slowly, a group came together, helping each other regrow a world worth living in.

And then the Others attacked.

Realizing the need to truly protect themselves, they formed the Academy: a place where young people could be built into an elite military force. The training is intense…and so are the consequences for failure. Sloan Radcliffe is not a failure.

In fact, she’s the best of the best—the girls’ Senior Champion—and the only one who can match her is matched to her: her betrothed, Jared Dawson. They are the perfect couple: exemplary fighters, pure leaders, and exceptional role models. But as their time at the Academy draws to a close, Sloan is starting to see signs that maybe their life is built upon secrets…and that secrets are never a strong foundation.

With the battlefront looming and whispers growing louder, Sloan is caught up not only between her loyalties to her people, but also to the man she loves. A combination of military sci-fi and dystopian thriller, R. H. Scott’s Chosen Soldiers is an intense look at a young woman’s world shattering under the weight of its own illusions.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

While I value my academic and professional accomplishments, I am most proud of my relationship with my family. Despite geographical distance, my family remains incredibly close-knit. I have the support of my wonderful mother, sisters and fiancé in everything I do and I have always strived to return that same support to them. We have a beautiful family relationship that we are all very proud of.   

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

I have been lucky enough to travel fairly extensively, having started as an infant! Travel allowed me to be exposed to a variety of vastly different societies, religions, beliefs, practices and cultures. Such exposure has definitely influenced my writing and I frequently pull bits and pieces from different schools of thought, different societies, different places and people, and incorporate them into my work. 

When and why did you begin writing?

Too young to remember! I can easily recall writing a story about an Egyptian Pharaoh on my grandmother’s yellow notepads (that she used for her own writing!) when I was around eight or nine years old. By twelve, my mother would let me sit at her computer for hours, typing away my stories. I think I began writing for the same reason nearly all writers do—we have no choice. Stories come to us and we need to express them however best we can. 

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Again, I feel many writers are born needing to write, needing to tell a story or produce an entire world of characters and plot lines and twists and excitement. As a child, I wrote because I had a story I wanted to tell, and that feeling has remained with my since. As I come from a family of accomplished writers and artists, I was always encouraged to express myself through whatever medium I felt most drawn to. One of my sisters is an incredibly talented photographer, the other a fashion designer, I suppose my preferred medium was always the written word. 

When did you first know you could be a writer? 

On some level, I probably always knew I could be a writer, largely thanks to the support of my amazing family and some encouraging professors, but I was also apprehensive to show my work to anyone who could really help me to achieve my dreams of a writing career. A few years ago I was sitting in a friend’s London apartment, talking to a wonderful young man who asked me, in essence, that if I knew what I wanted to be doing with my life why was I wasting my time doing anything else? What he said changed everything. As soon as I got home, I began to put together the first draft of Chosen Soldiers. 

What inspires you to write and why?

My mother, my sisters, my interest in sociology, history and psychology, a good song or a unique experience—the world around me is filled with inspiration. 

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

I won’t know until I have tried them all. 

What inspired you to write your first book?

So many things inspired Chosen Soldiers and helped develop its storyline. First experiences with love, heartbreak, and commitment, coming from a family of strong women, reaching an age where gender differences and sexism were, all of a sudden, much more apparent, studying sociology in university at the time, and the motivating words of a handful of people. 

Who or what influenced your writing once you began?

Everyone in my life was, and continues to be, a wonderful influence on, and supporter of, my writing. My mother and sisters read every draft of Chosen Soldiers and became so invested in the story that they possibly know parts of it, or certain characters, better than I do! They encouraged me daily, and they influenced my character development, dialogue, scenes, and writing style. They played instrumental roles in influencing and supporting me once I had begun writing. 

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

Remembering the story you’re telling and actually telling it—not getting lost in the words. As a writer in this genre, you create this entire world that is so detailed and real in your mind. You know your characters’ identities, their habits, what they would or wouldn’t do or say. You know how you think the story should start and end, and you also have practical demands on you that are necessary if you want to produce something of quality. It can be very easy to lose yourself in your work and I have been lucky enough to have worked with some incredible professionals who have helped me learn how to take a step back, realign myself with the essence of the piece, and write more constructively. 

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?

That a book is not the product of the author alone, but of an entire team of gifted professionals. Agents, editors, publishers, assistants, readers, friends, family—it takes a village of talented people to produce a book. Writers may be responsible for the story but I have learnt that not enough credit is given to the greater behind-the-scenes community of the literary world. They are a phenomenal bunch. 

Do you intend to make writing a career?

While I have many passions and career interests, and I intend to try my hand at a few different ones, writing was my first love and I will write professionally for as long as I can with the hope that I continue to produce stories others are interested in reading. 

Have you developed a specific writing style?

Yes and no. I think I probably have a distinct voice as a writer that those who read my work can pick up on easily, and a manner of handling words that is reflective of my interests and what I want my audience to experience, but I am uncertain if I have developed a specific style that is entirely fixed at this stage in my writing career. 

What is your greatest strength as a writer? 

My understanding of ‘the greater good’ of the book. Thanks to the guidance of my wonderful agent, Richard Curtis, I have learnt to put the book first and my pride and stubbornness second. If I have written something that isn’t true to a character or storyline, I need to axe it, I can’t keep it in there just because I wrote it and thought it was a good line or paragraph (or chapter!). Egos get set aside if you want to be true to the story. 

What is your favorite quality about yourself?

By and large, with some obvious exceptions, I’m nonjudgmental. I’m not interested in who you were yesterday; I want to know who you want to be tomorrow. 

What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

I’m a workaholic. 

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

Oh, too many to choose from! Today, after hours of working on my next piece, its got to be “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it,”—Toni Morrison. 

Meet the Author:

R.H. Scott, born 1991, has spent the better part of her life travelling with her mother and sisters. Having lived on three continents by the age of 21, she developed a unique interest in differing societies and psychology. Scott completed a Bachelor of Arts Sociology & Socio-Legal Studies and is currently working on her MSc Experimental Psychology. The granddaughter of two published authors, writing has been a lifelong passion, and outside of her academic endeavors, Miss Scott writes full time, enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, and reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment