Interview: J. Scott Savage


Here is another interview with our wonderful WIFYR 2013 faculty. J. Scott Savage has been published for more than ten years. His eleven novels include the Farworld fantasy series by Shadow Mountain, the Case File 13 middle grade series by Harper Collins, and Dark Memories, the first horror novel published by a mainstream LDS publisher. He will teach the middle grade writing workshop.

For a preview of how great his morning workshop will be, heeeeere’s Scott.

Q: Scott, when did you know books for kids was the place for you?

A: One night I had the idea for a middle grade fantasy in my head. At the time I didn’t write fantasy or MG and didn’t believe I could do it. But the idea kept coming back so strong, I couldn’t sleep. Finally, I decided I would prove to myself that I couldn’t write the book I was thinking about by trying to write one chapter. When I saw I couldn’t do it, I would go back to sleep. Five hours later, the sun had come up and I had written 5,000 words. I’ve written for children ever since.

Q: What is your favorite line that you have ever written or read that someone else wrote and why?

Q: “Many years ago, when we all lived in the forest, and no one lived anywhere else…” is a line Peter Straub (and later Stephen King) uses in several of his books. It’s sort of like Once upon a time, but for some reason it always gives me chills.

Q: What is the best advice you have ever received for this business we are in?

A: Try to focus less on the specific piece you are trying to sell and more on your career as a whole.

Q: When you are stuck in a  particular place in a  book that you can’t seem to get through, what do you do?

A: I write a note that says “Something amazing happens here.” Then I go to the next section where I know what is supposed to happen. By the time I’ve written the next three or four chapters, I know what goes where I put the note.