My interviewee for today is Paul M. Schofield.
Tell us about your latest project.
The latest project is finishing the first sequel to TROPHY, my first novel. The story of the New Victorian Empire continues on in TROPHY: RESCUE. Additional new characters have complicated the plot and added new twists and turns to keep the action and thought provoking ideas churning along.
What book do you wish you had written?
I wish I had the command of language and the insight to develop characters the way Jane Austen did in Pride & Prejudice. It’s an absolute masterpiece in nuance and dialogue.
I’m curious that although you say you’d like to write like Jane Austen you write Action and Sci-fi, do you intend to try other genres and see if you can one day master a book like Pride & Prejudice or are you likely to stick to just the one genre?
There is an old saying: “Jack of all trades, master of none”, and I would prefer to master at least one genre. Although I admire Austen’s writing I know my strengths run to action and description. I also love science, the hobby of amateur astronomy being particularly fascinating, so I guess I’m locked into the sci-fi, action-adventure genre for now. Writing is an ongoing challenge. One famous author stated we never master our craft but remain apprentices. I want to be the best I can be, sticking to what I write well, making the words live in the minds of my readers.
Are there any of your characters you particularly relate to, if there is, who and why?
Of all my characters it would have to be Martin. He’s an average kind of guy that’s thrown into a terrifying situation but ends up making the best of it. He’s also an outdoors-man and has a love for animals, something I can relate to. He never gives up.
What started you writing if you remember, and why do you write now?
I’ve always been creative and had a love of nature. Years ago we wrote and played our own music in a rock-band. I’ve had a career of architectural design and dabbled in some poetry. In 1991 I took a creative writing class and started the ideas for Trophy. It lay dormant in a drawer until a year and a half ago and then I really put some effort into it. I write now because I love it. There is something quite satisfying about sharing a story and your deepest ideas.
You imply writing is not your only career, are you a full time writer currently and if not do you wish to be?
My career as a designer continues in part-time mode. Alas, bills must be paid and I like to eat and support my family. Full time writing, even making a modest living from it, would be a dream come true. I don’t know how many hours a full-time writer puts in, but I try to write at least two hours per day, usually in the morning.
You took a creative writing class, would you say this has improved your writing and recommend it to other aspiring authors?
I took the class when I wanted to start writing. If you are in that position, by all means, take the class. It’s a good way to get your feet wet and see if you like it and have the discipline to carry it through. If you are already writing connect with other authors, attend seminars, read and study about character development, point of view, description, elements of style, etc. Have others, paid or otherwise, edit your work. Never publish without professional editing of some sort.
What are you planning on doing next/What else are you up to?
Completing the Trophy Saga will take a few years. Included are two sequels and two prequels along with the original book, five books in all at this point. I have the basic ideas, titles, and direction for them, but they will take unforeseen twists and turns. That is the fun of writing … where will it all end?
You say you have the basic ideas, titles and direction for your next few books, do you plan them out in advance in detail or just dive right in when writing?
My original instructor gave me a valuable piece of advice: Always know what your ending is. In that way you can always write toward it and never be plagued by writers block. I know what all my endings, titles, and general lines of action are. I work around very loose outlines that might cover a few chapters at a time. Then I can dive right in and follow my thoughts like a flowing river, but always to the same planned ending.