I met Scott Carruba at a con, and was so floored by the amazingness that is Scott (and by how good looking he was) that I said about a billion times how beautiful his covers were. Yeah… it was awkward. Thankfully he was too “guy” to let on that he noticed… or maybe he just didn’t notice at all. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to read one of his books – TWICE – and have several interesting conversations with the man. Definitely a talented guy, so make sure you reach out to him and tell him hi. Oh, and buy his books.
Meghan: It’s been awhile since we sat down together, Scott. What’s been going on since we last spoke?
Scott Carruba: More writing, but unfortunately, no con appearances. I have done some traveling, but it wasn’t related to writing. The third and final book of my urban fantasy series was just published, so now I can put that behind me and work on something completely different.
Meghan: Who are you outside of writing?
Scott Carruba: I am still me. I look at my writing as part of my creative expression, and that very rarely stops completely. I may not always be sitting in front of the computer, writing, but there is nearly always some sort of creating going on in my head. Other than that, I’d say family is the most important thing to me. I am fortunate to have a great, close family, and we all get along very well.
Meghan: How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?
Scott Carruba: They have, and I wish more of them would. I know that some close family members (mainly my mother) would be shocked at some parts, but I still would like them to read my work.
Meghan: Is being a writer a gift or a curse?
Scott Carruba: It’s a gift. I presume some would call it a curse, because it can be difficult, and you sometimes feel like a slave being tossed about on fickle tides. I feel like it enriches my life, and I frankly think things would be very boring without it.
Meghan: How has your environment and upbringing colored your writing?
Scott Carruba: There is no escaping it. The life we live shapes who and how we are as writers. My parents were certainly not an impediment to my writing. They even encouraged it to some extent. They never thought I could become rich & famous off it, because to them, the arts were something you did as a hobby, not a ‘real’ job. So far, they were right about that, but I feel there was an odd mix of encouragement and marginalizing, which did result in some stumbles and false starts.
Meghan: What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research for your books?
Scott Carruba: How windows open in Europe. Oh, I suppose my research into alleged actual schools run by the Devil was fairly strange.
Meghan: Which do you find the hardest to write: the beginning, the middle, or the end?
Scott Carruba: Definitely the middle. I love the beginning. I have so many unfinished works, because I revel in the blank page and getting started. I also generally have the end already figured. It’s connecting those dots that provides the biggest challenge to me.
Meghan: Do you outline? Do you start with characters or plot? Do you just sit down and start writing? What works best for you?
Scott Carruba: I do all of those. I prefer to have an outline, sometimes even a treatment. I generally jot down a ‘cast of characters’, and sometimes I begin the outline after the work. It helps me stay focused.
Meghan: What do you do when characters don’t follow the outline/plan?
Scott Carruba: That doesn’t happen to me very often. I’ve read a lot of other writers talking about how the characters have minds of their own, but it doesn’t seem to happen to much to me. If it does, I make modifications as necessary, but it’s never been a huge deal for me.
Meghan: What do you do to motivate yourself to sit down and write?
Scott Carruba: That can be tough. I try to stick with a routine, because that works for me. There are times that are for writing. After a while, it becomes habit, and I just do it. When I really need motivation, I can listen to certain kinds of music, or even watch certain sorts of shows to receive motivation. I also sometimes just go back and read over what I’ve written, then carry on.
Meghan: Are you an avid reader?
Scott Carruba: Yes. I was an avid reader before I became a writer. I will always be in love with reading and writing.
Meghan: What kind of books do you absolutely love to read?
Scott Carruba: Good ones. Seriously, though, I enjoy complex books that allow a story to be told in the time it needs. I like depth and density.
Meghan: How do you feel about movies based on books?
Scott Carruba: I take them one at a time. I don’t feel any particular negativity toward them in general. I also don’t necessarily judge them poorly if they deviate ‘too much’ from the source material. I generally view them both in the context of their original source and how they stand as their own vehicle.
Meghan: Have you ever killed a main character?
Scott Carruba: Not yet.
Meghan: Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?
Scott Carruba: I do not enjoy that. I have had characters go through rough times, and it is somewhat difficult and painful for me to write. I am an empathic person, so I tend to want to avoid extremely troubling events. I force myself to push them through terrible experiences, but I don’t enjoy it.
Meghan: What’s the weirdest character concept that you’ve ever come up with?
Scott Carruba: My characters are not too weird, or I don’t think they are. At least not in concept. No talking shoes or roaches. I can’t write like Burroughs.
Meghan: What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever received? What’s the worst?
Scott Carruba: I’ve received a lot of good feedback. It’s hard to tell which was ‘best’. My publisher has helped me to refine my writing in ways I never would have alone. As far as ‘worst’, my Rhetoric and Composition professor told me I was “too” creative.
Meghan: What do your fans mean to you?
Scott Carruba: My fans mean a sort of completion of the circle that gives a satisfaction like no other. I would write even if I never got published. It is a drive in me I feel I cannot deny. Having someone partake of and enjoy my work to that extent fills me. It’s amazing. I thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart.
Meghan: If you could steal one character from another author and make them yours, who would it be and why?
Scott Carruba: Probably Hannibal Lecter. Such a fascinating character, and I find it immensely interesting how a cultured monster can capture such popularity and become a dark protagonist.
Meghan: If you could write the next book in a series, which one would it be, and what would you make the book about?
Scott Carruba: This is a tough one for me, and a great question! I think I’d choose Silent Hill. I’ve never even read any of the books, but I find the world so enthralling and deeply creepy. I love psychological horror, and I’d love the avenues of exploration afforded to me if I were to pen a book in that series.
Meghan: If you could write a collaboration with another author, who would it be and what would you write about?
Scott Carruba: Probably some sort of dark, gothic, twisted, occult something with Carmilla Voiez. And it’d need to have vampires in it. And demons. Maybe demon-vampires?
Meghan: What can we expect from you in the future?
Scott Carruba: I am currently working on a book about an extraterrestrial invasion that deals with how we perceive reality, memories, ourselves, and what the future may hold for us. I’ve also got two novels about vampires in the works. So, yeah, vampires again.
Meghan: Where can we find you?
Meghan: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you’d like to say that we didn’t get to cover in this interview or the last?
Scott Carruba: This has been a very thorough and fun interview. I hope others enjoy reading it. Thanks!
Meghan: Oh no no no. Thank YOU, Scott, for stopping by today. And if you thought this one was good, wait until you get to round three.
Born in Houston, Texas into the temporary care of a bevy of nuns before being delivered to his adopted parents, Scott discovered creative writing at a very young age when asked to write a newspaper from another planet. This exercise awakened a seemingly endless drive, and now, many short stories, poems, plays, and novels (both finished and unfinished) later, his dark urban fantasy Butterfly series has been published.
The seeds for this tale began with dreams, as many often do, before being fine-tuned with a whimsical notion and the very serious input of a dear friend. Before long, the story took on a life of its own and has now become the first book in the series.
Having lived his whole life in the same state, Scott attended the University of Texas at Austin, achieving a degree in philosophy before returning to the Houston area to be closer to his family and friends. During this time, he wrote more and even branched out into directing and performance art, though creative writing remains his love.
A modern dark urban fantasy, telling of two powerful families who uphold a secret duty to protect humanity from a threat it doesn’t know exists. Though sharing a common enemy, the two families form a long-standing rivalry due to their methods and ultimate goals. Forces are coalescing in a prominent Central European city- criminal sex-trafficking, a serial murderer with a savage bent, and other, less tangible influences. Within a prestigious, private university, Lilja, a young librarian charged with protecting a very special book, finds herself suddenly ensconced in this dark, strange world. Originally from Finland, she has her own reason for why she left her home, but she finds the city to be anything but a haven from dangers and secrets.
The tale continues in Sword of the Butterfly, book two of the series, as Lilja and Skothiam continue to fight demons within and without. The infernal forces make a grand play, hoping to stab the world in its very heart. Casualties mount as further tensions rise in the City, threatening the vigilante with a loss of freedom and life. Children become victims of a madman’s design while the hunt is on for a powerful creature wreaking havoc across parts of the U.S. Lilja begins to question herself and her place in Skothiam’s life even as the very treasure they must protect comes under danger.
The third Book awaits. The last of them. All holding promises of untold power. Skothiam and Lilja continue their journey as they follow the trail to places unimagined. Strange forces lurk, biding for the moment to strike and exact price. Unexpected allies arise even as others seek to disentangle from the web. Who will gain and who will lose? What shadow waits, eager to consume them all? Find out in the conclusion of the Butterfly trilogy.