I’m so thrilled to have author Scott Weiczorek as a guest on my blog today. Scott is a talented author and I can’t wait to share him with all of you.
Scott is a professional archaeologist working in the American Middle-Atlantic region. He has written numerous short stories and several full-length novels ranging from science fiction to paranormal mystery to horror. In addition, he writes reviews of books by Independent authors. Samples of his work are available on his blog at www.wieczorekfictblog.blogspot.com.
Hi Scott and thanks for joining us today. Please could you let us know what inspired you to write your first book?
I wrote my first book after an unfortunate turn of luck in my life. After several productive years of employment, my company decided to downsize and laid me off. With a horrible job market, I need some kind of outlet for my energy and I had always written short stories and tales. So I figured, what the hell? I’ll do it. And I did. My first self-published novel Byron: A Zombie Tale came out January 2013. Since then, several of my manuscripts have been picked up by small publishing houses, and I hope to keep growing my writing from there. I’d also like to self-pub a few more works, and we’ll see how that goes, too.
Writing is a fantastic outlet for energy and creativity and always rewarding. So how did it feel to submit your first book to a publisher? What was the most terrifying thing about submitting your first book?
It felt great, and at the same time, like I wanted to throw up. The anticipation of whether or not a publisher would accept my story at me up inside worse than waiting for Christmas morning.
That’s a great way to describe the feeling and certainly quite accurate! Tell me, how did you react to having to edit or make changes to your “baby”?
Overall I had no major issues with an editor making changes to my manuscript. My day job as an archaeologist made me accustomed to the process. In my position, I write a lot of technical reports. However, I did have to call out and correct some misconceptions one editor made on a manuscript. I had to explain that I worked for a time as an adjunct professor and taught the subjects they refuted me on. I have to say, it felt nice to be able to politely tell your editor, “No, that is not changing and this is why.”
That had to be a fantastic feeling! Great advice for authors is that you shouldn’t be afraid to stand your ground if you feel strongly about something in your manuscript. I wonder, does it get any easier with more releases?
Not really. The day job cuts into a lot of writing and editing time. But I keep at it.
That’s the secret… don’t give up! However, is it still just as exciting to have a book accepted?
Absolutely. I still get that Christmas morning feeling with every submission, and I just cannot wait to hear the verdict. When it’s a yes, I feel like I got the greatest shiny new gift! It’s a wonderful feeling!
A bit of an adrenalin rush after all the solitary work… It sounds nerve-racking and fun! Hmm… What is the hardest part of being published for you?
The hardest part of being published for me is the whole marketing thing. I feel that I am terrible at social media. I am more of a one-on-one kind of guy. I can chat somebody’s ear off and make friends, but when it comes to climbing a soap box several times a day and yelling “Hey everyone, look at me! Buy my book!” Not so much. Marketing yourself and your stories is a tough thing to do. But I persist.
We’ve covered social media on the blog and one of the things to consider is that there are ways to build your brand without specifically talking about buying your book. Persisting is key! So, if you were given one wish, what would you do with it?
What would I do if I were given a single wish? I’m not the kind of guy to blow something like that on cash or a big house, or anything like that. My wish is much more mundane, and far more personal. I would use it to bring my mom back for one day. She passed away a few months after I married my wife and I feel that she missed out on so many things—two grandchildren, her son getting his Master’s degree and becoming and archaeologist, and of course, my getting published. There are so many things I want to share with her, and things I want to ask her.
That’s a great wish and certainly better than some would wish for. I’m sure she’s watching over you though. Tell me, what advice would you give an aspiring writer?
The best advice I can give an aspiring writer is to stick with it. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no “Get Rich Quick” kind of scheme to writing. Many of these wild success stories you hear about, are just that—stories. We are writers, we give life to words. Sometimes that life is fact, sometimes fiction.
So true! If you weren’t a writer, what other artistic outlet do you think you’d have?
I used to play the drums when I was much younger. I would spend hours behind the set thrashing away to various metal bands, jazz bands, country, rock, anything I could get my hands on. I listened to it all, and played it all. I had dreams of becoming a rock star. Then again, like I said, I was much younger. Those dreams fell away when it came time to be a responsible adult and do crazy things like pay bills and work full time. I eventually sold my drum set for a few extra bucks and have regretted the decision ever since. One day I would like to get another good drum set. Maybe one of the fancy electronic ones so I can play and not wake up the family. Only time will tell.
You should definitely look into that! I’m sure your neighbours will appreciate a “silent” set too *grin*. Final question… What has been the strangest place that inspiration has struck and how did you deal with it?
On several occasions, I have had inspiration strike me while listening to music on my morning commute. At the time, I drove more than two hours each way for work and could seldom afford to take one, let alone both, hands from the wheel to write it down. So I would keep playing the song over and over and over to keep the idea fresh in my head and to expand upon it. Upon arriving at the office, I would type like mad to sketch out the story, some major plot points, characters, etc…, and then print it out without saving. I happened to work for one of those companies that monitored everything you did on their computers. So when I would get home, I would transcribe it into my archive of story ideas.
I worked for one of those companies too… I love that advice… using the song to keep the idea fresh. It’s such a useful tip!
I really want to thank Scott for joining us today. Please check out his latest release, Witness Through Time.
Until next time,
When Glory Parker moves to the bucolic locale of Cragg’s Head Cove, Maine, she uncovers a mystery that has remained unsolved for more than fifteen years—the disappearances of four college students with the perpetrator still on the loose.
As the mystery unfolds around her, she becomes aware of her strange new ability to pierce the veil of time.
Can Glory solve the mystery before more people disappear?
Visit Scott Weiczorek on Amazon
The glow of her headlights caught a gleam of metal ahead in the distance. A car was pulled over to the roadside. Could it be Jim? Did he decide not to head in to the station, but to wait for her? As she approached, the car came more clearly into view—definitely not Jim’s.
Parked askew, it appeared the driver had pulled over in haste. The car’s headlights remained on, but its taillights sat dark. She couldn’t understand why someone would drive and abandon a car in such a dangerous way at night.
Against all her instincts and better judgment, she pulled off the road, grabbed her cell phone, and shut off her car. As it sputtered to a stop, it became apparent the other driver hadn’t turned his engine off. Had something terrible happened? Its occupants couldn’t be too far away. She reached into her center console and removed a flashlight before stepping out into the chilly night air.
She dialed Jim’s number, hoping he still had his cell phone handy, but groaned at the dead air against her ear. A glance at the screen told her all she needed to know—no bars. How could that even be? She’d just received a text from Jim mere moments ago. She sighed, debating whether to drive a little further up the road to find better reception, or a phone booth. But something tugged at her; people probably needed help, and she couldn’t just leave them here. With a shiver flitting up her spine, she stuffed the phone in her pocket and closed her car door.
As she stepped toward the embankment, the hackles stood on her neck. Something about the whole scene seemed wrong. Except for the low idle of the car, an eerie solitude settled about the place; not even the tree frogs croaked their mating songs in the night.
A scream pierced the stillness. She knew the sound—it didn’t belong to any kind of animal; it belonged to a woman. She pulled her phone from her pocket. She dialed Jim’s number again—still no reception.
Whipping her flashlight around, she pointed it to where the sound came from. Of course, it needed to be down the embankment. She slipped her phone into her pocket again; she would check for reception again later.
With a deep breath, she made her way down the steep roadside to the leaf-littered forest floor below. A quick examination of the slope as she went revealed another fresh path cut through the leaves, and snapped branches. Someone had crashed through here at high speed. Another scream caught her attention—a female voice, and definitely in trouble. Glory broke into a sprint, following the voice. She ran through the woods, branches whipping her face and brush grabbing her ankles.
“Somebody! Help me!”
The girl’s scream sounded loud and clear. Something crashed in the leaves ahead, followed by a groan and sounds of struggle.
“Let me go, you bastard.” The girl’s voice echoed through the woods.
“Shut up!” The angry voice belonged to a male.
As her feet crashed through the leaves, she heard something like a meaty thud.
Glory stopped dead in her tracks, reached for her phone, and dialed 9-1-1. She pressed send—nothing again. Crap! She must still be in a dead spot. The irony struck her. If she didn’t do something soon, then this would certainly be a dead spot for the girl. She needed to help—one way or another. Glory crept up, extinguishing her flashlight. She followed the sounds of struggle pierced by the girl’s sobs and squeals.
“Yeah,” said the male voice, “you go ahead and cry. Ain’t nobody gonna help you.” Glory could hear from the sound of his voice that he was enjoying himself.
The girl wailed, her voice carrying through the barren trees. The sharp clap of an open-handed slap echoed through the dark. Another wail flew into the night.
Glory could see the pair on the ground. The mousy young brunette girl lay on her back with a young man of average build atop her. He wore a backward baseball cap and Glory couldn’t see his face. They wrestled around as he tried to pin her hands at her sides. She wriggled her hand free and tried to punch him, but he grabbed her wrist, trapping it again.
She scanned the ground for anything she could use as a weapon. Ten feet to her right, lay a long, thick branch, about four-feet in length. Her heartbeat thrummed in her ears. Sidling like a crab, she slid her phone in her pocket and picked it up, creeping toward them.
Before she could reach them, though, the male straightened up, bellowing in pain. He clutched a hand to his face. Blood covered one of the girl’s hands.