Twilight Times Feature
with Ardy M. Scott
Interviewer: Lida Quillen
1. Does your creativity express itself in ways other than writing?
Definitely yes! I'm a freelance, graphic artist. I do illustrations for magazines and books; cover artwork for myself and other authors. In September, I re-opened my wood carving business, Fantasy In Wood (carving dragons, wizards, etc.).
2. Do you feel you were creative, even as a child?
Artistic, yes. I loved to sketch. I was an Air Force brat and since my family moved quite a lot (and I was a shy kid), drawing was my form of entertainment for the most part. I never really got involved with writing until university. Man, could I write a mean essay!
3. Could you share with the story behind the story? In other words, how did your writing lead you to your first novel?
I'd always kept a daily journal of everything going on around me, my thoughts, and feelings about those things. I'd never thought about writing a novel until certain events happened in my life. I had the need to write them down. A friend told me these events would make a great novel and after I thought about it for a while I agreed.
4. How did you prepare for the creation of your first novel? How much research was necessary?
Well, when I first sat down to write my novel, I thought there was nothing to this writing business. I had so many great ideas stored in my journal, in my head and on bits and pieces of scrap paper. Wrong! I typed out my name and a tentative title and then couldn't think of anything else to write. Sound familiar? I had to face it, there was more to writing a novel than great character names and a lot of good ideas. I finally sat down with a notebook (yup, like most of us are taught in school) and went through everything I needed to do…characters, location, plot, etc. And then I did the research.
Research is always necessary and I wanted to write a story that people would ask, “Is this a true story? Could something like this really happen in this lifetime?” A lot of what I wrote did happen but I won't tell you what those things were. I researched absolutely everything I wasn't 100% sure of…locations, spirituality, the different gods and goddesses, myths, astral travel…the list goes on and on. The first book took me two years to write and another year to polish it for publishing.
5. What kind of reaction do people have to your writing?
I never told anyone I was writing a novel until I was nearly finished the first draft.
*chuckles* My Mother’s comment when I gave her a copy of my first manuscript was, “You wrote this? A whole book? All by yourself?” Most of my friends and family looked upon my writing as nothing less than miraculous. Of course now that it’s being published they all want a free copy.
My husband is my greatest supporter and promoter. He’s a taxi driver and I think everyone in North Queensland, Australia knows his wife’s novel is being published and where to get a copy of it.
6. Do you find anything difficult in the writing process, and if so what?
I think the most difficult part of writing for me is getting past the too much ‘tell’ and not enough ‘show’. I was once told that my problem was that I don't watch television. I thought, “Duh, what has that got to do with writing?” “Watch peoples expressions…see the fear on faces…actions and reactions…look at the settings…detail…lots of detail. Use your imagination. Show us what’s happening, don't just tell it” No, I didn't start watching television (I really do have a good imagination), but I did the next best thing, joined a writer’s group. That helped more than I would have thought possible. Prophecy: The Awakening had an original word count of maybe 60,000. When I finished all the rewriting, it grew to nearly double that.
7. Do you currently have any writing projects?
I am working on the sequel to The Awakening; “Prophecy: The Final Meet” (at least that is the working title). I am also co-writing a fantasy series with my eldest son called "Mosaic”. The first book in that series King of Whayr is nearly completed.
8. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Don't give up! And by all means, allow someone to read your writing. I know how difficult that can be…our writing is like a newborn child. However, that someone can let you know when something isn't clear or just downright doesn't make sense, and give you some very good suggestions. Lean on them shamelessly, because lemme tell ya, no one writes a book alone. There’s always someone behind the scene somewhere.
Ardy Scott is Publishing Manager for Futures Magazine and Production Manager for Over My Dead Body! magazine. She is also a writer and author of Prophecy: The Awakening, the first book of the Prophecy duo, and co-author of King of Whayr, the first book in the new MOSIAC series. Her article "On Being a Newbie" has been published in three parts by Disceptatio, an e-zine, and in Romance Writers of America/Australia Newsletter.
She currently runs two businesses from her home: FantaSeeWorks Web Designs with her partner in Canada, and Fantasy In Wood (wood sculpting). More, she is also a Community radio personality, freelance artist/illustrator, doing original art, unique cards and cover art for herself and other authors.
Although born a Canadian, Ardy and her husband currently reside in North Queensland, Australia. Formerly of Vancouver, British Columbia, she acquired degrees in Criminology, Psychology and Sociology. She is a qualified Emergency Medical Technician (ambulance attendant), worked part-time as a Private Investigator, and ran a Parent Counselor home for The Ministry For Children and Families. Despite this hectic life, she still made time to nurture the creative talent that is so evident in her works.