People often ask what inspired me to write a novel. I’d already been a successful teacher, coach, and college administrator, but I didn’t become a published author until the age of forty (not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you). But I always answer the question with the same two words: Stephanie. Meyer.

Yes, I owe my writing “career” to Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight saga. I hadn’t read the books, but my wife and I saw the first Twilight movie when it came out just to see what all the hype was about. After the movie ended, I turned to my wife and naively said, “This was based on a bestseller? I can do that.” After all, every Barnes and Noble bookstore was just constantly filled from floor to ceiling with books. So, apparently anyone can write a novel, right? I mean how hard could it be?

I quickly learned the lesson of “look before you leap.” I knew nothing about the craft of writing fiction, and I cringe at the thought of my first draft that I sent to agents and publishers in those early days. After countless rejections, a profound thought occurred to me: maybe it’s me and not them.

So I began to study the craft. I read books on character development, deep points of view, emotion beats, and the subtleties of dialogue. I joined a critique group of authors and editors.

Over time my writing got better, much better. And along the way I found what works for me: writing in the pre-dawn darkness at my kitchen table with a steaming cup of coffee and my iPod. Coffee and music are non-negotiable. Have to have them. In addition to the caffeine jolt, I’ve found that the right music can really help with the flow of writing. If I’m writing an action scene with some great conflict, then I’m amping it up with “Let the Sparks Fly” and “War of Change” by Thousand Foot Krutch. Those songs give me a total adrenaline rush and really help me feel the actions of my characters. For romantic scenes, there’s nothing better than “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star and The Sunday’s cover of “Wild Horses.” If I’m trying to tackle a difficult, emotional scene, I’ve found nothing works better than instrumental movie soundtracks. My personal favorites are “That Next Place” by Thomas Newman and “Let Me Sign” by Robert Pattinson (yes, THE Robert Pattinson from Twilight). And last but not least, if I’m writing a scene in which my really cool villain, Seth, is making an appearance, then there’s only one song that works – “Black” by Kari Kimmel.

So, after five long, humbling, arduous years later I’m finally a published author. Thanks, Stephanie Meyer.

Scott

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Scott works in state government and is the author of several short stories and the recently published young adult paranormal romance novel, Sunrise. He lives in the suburbs of Austin with his wife and two precocious daughters – who enthusiastically assist him in his search for the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter.

Scott can be contacted through his blog at https://abelstories.wordpress.com/

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Sunrise-200x300Eighteen-year old Parker, big brother, and high school quarterback, dreams of glory on the football field. But on the night of the shooting, his entire world shatters. In a chilling span of sixty seconds, a mass tragedy wreaks havoc upon his life, family, and community.

Although hailed a hero, Parker is horrorstruck to discover an incident from his past was the motive for the killings and that he was the intended target. When someone threatens to get the one that got away, Parker finds himself hunted. Help comes from an unexpected source…an angel named Marie.

A spunky, impulsive guardian, Marie is dedicated to saving Parker at all costs. When confronted by a sinister nemesis who covets Parker’s soul, a desperate struggle is waged over Parker’s fate. With time running out, Marie must face her growing, but secret affections for Parker that she can no longer ignore. Affections that will force her to make the ultimate decision—sacrifice herself and all that she believes, or lose Parker to the darkness forever.

Buy: Sunrise