Thursday, February 19, 2009
Interview: Madison Scott
We interrupt your regularaly scheduled Cover Craziness to have an interview with Madison Scott, author of Reba.
When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I think it was when I was ten. I had been telling my brothers stories for a long, long time, and I’d always been a voracious reader. But this one story (it is truly awful, now) just came into my head and wouldn’t go away. I wrote it down on notebook paper, using both sides (because that’s how real books are) and tied it together with string. I was so proud of that book. Ever since then, I’ve been writing, but it wasn’t until about my sophomore year of high school that I was thinking, ya know, I could do this! And, here I am.
Do you listen to music when you write? If you do, what kinds, and do you have a certain playlist?
I do my best writing when everything around me is silent and the words just pour from my brain onto the keyboard. However, sometimes it just doesn’t work that way. I’m too easily distracted when my story isn’t going the way I want it to, and sometimes I just need to block something out so I can focus so I turn on the music. Soundtracks and movie scores are usually what I play, but I’ve found that soft country works really well, too. My general playlist has a little Lynrd Skynrd, Emmylou Harris, Queen, Chuck Berry, BTO, and Hans Zimmer.
What was your inspiration for writing Reba?
Well, I was watching an episode of an old TV show one day, Bonanza. I don’t remember which episode it was, or what it was about it that inspired me, but I do remember thinking, this could be so much better. The story was originally very short, and I had finished and put it aside. But a few years later, I took it out again and thought, this could be so much better. The results of that rewrite are what you’re reading now.
Are you currently working on anymore novels? If yes, can you tell us anything about them?
I’m scared to tell people how many novels I’m actually working on. The two that I’m telling people about are Chester-Shaw, which is the sequel to Reba, and a novel set during the American Civil War that has yet to be titled.
Who are your favorite young adult authors?
I love the classics, L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, etc. But I also read everything by Gail Carson Levine that I can get my hands on, and Meg Cabot is another favorite.
If you had to change one thing about your high school career, what would you change?
One thing about my high school career? That’s tough. I think I’d try to hang on to those friends I had in ninth and tenth grade. We grew apart; they went their way and I went mine, and I wish that hadn’t happened. I’d also have paid more attention to my American History class.
Are you the kind of author that outlines, or do you just go with the flow and see where that takes you?
I’ve tried to outline, I honestly have. Every book I’ve ever seen on writing says that all good authors outline first. But I can’t. It just won’t work for me. I end up creating characters and putting them in a certain time and place and just seeing where they take me. It does make things more difficult, because at times some people refuse to behave, but it keeps everything interesting.
What is a normal day in your life usually like?
The normal days are the best ones. I’ll wake up, and make breakfast, clean up the kitchen, check my email and other accounts then I’ll write until I can no longer ignore my stomach’s rumblings and I need to find some food. Afterwards, I generally get caught up in the goings-on of everyday life, or I’ll go back to my computer to do more research on whatever I happen to be writing. It’s after I go to bed and the entire house is silent that my mind refuses to shut down. Then I’ll end up scribbling in a notebook until my eyes refuse to stay open.
What is your advice to aspiring teen authors?
Anyone will tell you that all you have to do is believe in yourself, never give up, and only write what you want to read. You have to do all of that and more. You need to read what you like to write, you need to find someone who loves you enough to be gently honest and tell you what they really think of your writing. You’ve got to force yourself to be professional when someone tells you what they think about your brainchild. You can’t let anyone squash your dreams, you’ve got to remember that imagination is sometimes more important than knowledge. And you’ve got to believe in your heart that you were given the gift of writing for a reason, even when that reason refuses to make itself known.
Ask yourself a question and answer it. :)
Madison, do you have any siblings? Yes, seven of them. They’re my best friends and my worst enemies. I wouldn’t exchange them for anything. And I am very glad that I’m the oldest!
Thank you, Madison!
Madison has also kindly donated a few bookmarks to give away! Comment in the comments section with your chance to win!