MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MJ SCOGGINS!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
~M J Scoggins, The Dharma Trilogy, are paranormal suspense, the second series, The Here After Series, is a Post Apocalyptic Romance
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
~In the first series, the characters just started talking in my head, and I started writing it down. I listened to their stories and started to put them in order.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
~I have always been intrigued by the paranormal. I refuse to believe that we live in a world without magic, I’m not talking about card tricks and making things disappear, I’m talking about true unexplainable phenomenon.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
~I researched several different faiths, looking into their demonology and their lore. I wanted it to resonate with all readers, not to single out any specific faith, or make it lean toward one or another.
Can you tell me about your Series?
~The series starts out with a woman looking for answers, she has not been able to find help from any other professionals, so as a last ditch effort she searches out the Dharma. When the Dharma take over the matter, they find the womans problems run deeper than they could imagine.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
~Haunted, the first book in the series. I feel it embraced a strong camaraderie, between the Dharma crew, I feel it also eased people into the world, it is still our world, but it showed there are still things that we haven’t discovered yet.
Was it always meant to become a series?
~After I had written about three quarters of Haunted, I found that I wanted to continue it. There would be too many questions left unanswered in the first book. This became a multifaceted story, so many points of view that were fighting to get on the page.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
~ I am an Engineer in my day job, I usually work a 10 hour day, so I write before work, during my lunch break, and after I get home for work. I like to get at least 4000 words a day. Unfortunately there are days when life takes over and I don’t get time to write.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
~I do actually, its called Departed, it will be the first book in the Here After Series.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
~Names have a deep meaning in my books, each of them resonates with the characters personality, and almost defines them in some form or another.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
~ I am dipping my toe into the Romance Genre for this next series. it is set in a Post Apocalyptic future, where firearms have not existed in many many years, and scavengers roam, searching for any materials they can use to bring in creds. When one of the scavvers comes across a mortally wounded man, he intrigues her with a tale thats unbelievable. Yet this tale could lead to riches beyond her wildest imagination.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
~ Editing, the writing part is easy, and I enjoy weaving a tale that leaves the reader asking, What! and Why?
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
~ I enjoy making book trailers, and I believe if they are done right, they can be truly intriguing
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
~That is a very difficult question, there are so many different situations that could take that mantle.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
~ getting to interact with the readers, I love talking with them about their theories, and where they think the story is going to go. I love seeing their reactions to the characters.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
~ I dont know where I’m gonna be in two weeks, I have no idea where I’m gonna be in ten years, I would love to be living back in the same state where I grew up, with my amazing wife, living on a small ranch with a few animals, still writing captivation novels.
Have you always liked to write?
~ I have always loved to write, in highschool and through out my time in the Navy, I wrote poetry, it was usually sequential, and would build off the works before it.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
~ Just write, everyone has a story, few are able to put that story down, so dont hold back, and just write. Put your heart into it, give it all you’ve got, and when you don’t think you can write anymore, just keep writing.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
~ I have always been good with my hands, and I am constantly having to find things to do to occupy my mind, I actually have at any time between 3 and 5 works in progress, only about 1 in 3 will ever see the light of day,
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
~ I do read the reviews, at least the ones Ive gotten, and so far they have all been positive, but I am waiting for my first 1 star review. I wrote the Dharma Trilogy, knowing that they wouldn’t be for everybody, and some of the content might actually offend people. It is not my intention to offend them, but at the end of the day, my works are works of fiction, you have to suspend reality a little bit when you read them. If they don’t like it, I am fine with that too. I will still be grateful that they gave my books a fair chance.
What is your least favorite part of the writing / publishing process?
~Its all a process, you take the good with the bad. Getting the cover right is probably the worst. Having to set the DPI and not lose the layers or the depth.
What are you working on now?
~Right now, I am working on Departed, the first book in the Here After Series.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
~The world was different, I am now a captive. I am no longer in 2017, and that woman, Elise, she sold me into slavery. I always knew the future would be darker. A third world war, what happened to the rest of my family? I wonder if I have descendants in this time. I shook my head, there will be time for me to ask those questions, but for now there is only one thought in my head.
~Walking back toward my garage, I had to deal with the typical scavvers leering and calling out to me, “Hey babe, nice ass. Why don’t you come over and sit on my face.” One called out to me, so I sauntered over to him, pulling my knife. I brought my knife up to his throat. “Is that because your nose is bigger than your dick?”
Swallowing, the man choked out a quick apology. Turning, I strode away, back down the alley toward my garage.
Knocking on Earlas door, I shook my head. The door slid open, Earla stood there his face grim. “What do you want? Where’s the new highborn?”
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
~I have always been fascinated by science fiction, the future, its still full of promise, theres still a chance for a better today, if we look to tomorrow.
Where did your love of books come from?
~I was injured a lot as a child, and living where I did, in the middle of nowhere, hours from the nearest town, so the little town library was the one place I could go where I didn’t have to worry about breaking any more bones.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
~Stephen King, Sherilyn Kenyon, J.R. Ward, Christine Monroe, all of them have influenced my writing in one way or another, given me motivation to keep writing.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
~Balor, and Wade from the Dharma Trilogy, there are a lot of qualities that those two characters have that I admire and hate. I basically thought, if I could make two characters that resemble the best and worst of who I am and who I was, what I have gone through, those are the two.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
~ The writing energizes me, I usually hit my rack at night, and my mind refuses to shut down as it moves over future plot points, and where the story is going, but at that point I’m usually too exhausted to write anymore, so I just let it float around in my mind until I can get to a keyboard.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
~Being at home, I enjoy writing at work in the chaos, there is an intense pressure when I am in my building. Its always there, but as long as I am on site, I don’t have any anxiety. At home I have to worry about being called back to work, so its more difficult to write at home.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
~I try to keep it as original as possible, as readers we get into these ruts, or on this trail if you will. We tend to look for the same story with a new package. I want to give them a new journey to experience. I want them to start a new path, and maybe find a new genre to enjoy.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
~I am friends with a host of authors, they are amazing people, Christine Monroe, shes such a sensitive soul, even though she writes intense dark romance, she can brighten up a room just by walking in, shes my alpha for everything I write. Author Mona Moore, I like to bounce ideas off of her, and see her thoughts. Daisy St. James, she enjoys coming up with fresh ideas.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
~How to endure and succeed, when the world is against you.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
~This is only my second interview, so I really don’t know. I am new to all of this, I am just happy that people are interest in my books.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️