Author Interview: R. Scott Mather

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

My family is everything to me. I have three dogs, two kids, and one wife, all of whom keep me busy and on my toes—and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My non-literature interests include playing soccer and watching sports, namely rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Arizona teams.

2. What do you write (genre, length)?

I write mystery and soft sci-fi/techno-thriller. To this point, everything I’ve written has been novel length.

3. What is/are your current project/s? Please give us some details.

I have a completed mystery manuscript called The Mousetrap Killer on the back-burner. It requires a deeper hook and some polish, but I intend to revise it sometime in the next year. 

My current project is in the same vein as Black Mirror, in which a neuroscientist implants the brain of his deceased son into a machine which displays triggered memories onto a screen. While intended to be nothing more than a device to replay memory, the son’s mind becomes self-aware, and the odd circumstances surrounding his death become increasingly distorted.

4. Who (author or otherwise) or what book inspired you to write?

Writing a book had never occurred to me until about three years ago when, from nowhere, a story flickered in my mind. It’s arrival surprised me. I knew nothing of writing, but I figured I’d scribble all my thoughts and try to make a book out of it. I did—and it was terrible! But that drove me to explore the world of writing. Stephen King’s On Writing and Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story are the oxygen and fuel that ignited my spark.

5. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write. Learn. Repeat. 

I say “write” first because you have to start somewhere. You could spend years reading all of the How-To books available, but if you don’t put pen to paper (or pixels to screen), you will never truly learn how to write. Once you’ve written something, learn from it—your mistakes, what makes it good or bad—and apply that to the next thing you write. Keep doing that, ad infinitum.

6. What do you do for a living?

I am a software engineer.

7. Who is/are your favorite author(s)?

Blake Crouch’s worlds are incredibly thought-out, and I admire his writing style. Andy Weir makes a high-concept idea feel like something I’m experiencing, and he’s funny as hell. Agatha Christie and Harlan Coben are my favorite writers when it comes to twists. I love Chuck Wendig and the variety of stories he tells. And Stephen King because he’s the Stephen King of Stephen Kings. 

8. What is/are your favorite book(s)?

I think my all-time favorite is 1984, but Wanderersby Chuck Wendigand Dark Matter by Blake Crouch are right up there.

9. What’s the best compliment someone can give you as an author?

While reading my unfinished mystery, which features some dark content, a friend asked if I was okay. That made me feel good. Honestly, any compliment of my writing would be the best.

10. What is the strangest/most interesting/coolest/weirdest/scariest thing you’ve had to research for a book or short story?

So far, the most interesting research I’ve done for a book is on split-brain patients, whose left and right hemispheres don’t communicate with one another. And I’m sure my search history would raise a few red flags when it comes to looking up poisoning deaths for The Mousetrap Killer.

11. What is the most difficult part of writing for you? Why?

Fear of inadequacy. I don’t have a background in creative writing, so I’m in a constant mental battle between “you shouldn’t waste your time” and “I can do this.”

12. What is your favorite genre to read? Why?

I love a good mystery because I either feel smart because I figured it out, or I am entertained because I didn’t.

13. What are some little known facts about you? Hobbies, talents, anything?

I can juggle, do the worm, and I played semi-pro football.

14. Do you like physical books, ebooks, or audiobooks better? Why?

Overall, I prefer physical books because all of my focus is on the words—it’s easier to tune out the surrounding world. I have the Kindle app on my phone and use that while I’m somewhere like a doctor’s office waiting room. It’s nice, but I can’t stare at my phone screen for hours on end like I can with a book—the same holds for eReaders. Audiobooks are okay for long car rides, but since I’ve been working from home for the past two years, I haven’t had much need for them.

Find R. Scott Mather at the following links!


Twitter: @rscottmather

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