BOYS received a 5 star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Scott Semegran.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
BOYS by Scott Semegran. It was published June 27, 2015.
What’s the book’s first line?
“The little boy sat on the floor in his room surrounded by his toys–Micronauts action figures, Hot Wheels race cars, Star Wars action figures and vehicles, Evel Knievel doll and motor cycle, Shogun Warriors in various sizes, and a pile of Legos intermixed from various sets.”
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
BOYS is about three young, male characters growing up in central Texas during the 1980s and 1990s: a third-grader, a high-schooler, and a recent college graduate. All struggle with finding love and acceptance, either because their family life is unfulfilling or they are trying to navigate through life on their own for the first time. They long for friendship and companionship and ultimately find it in unlikely places. I put as much humor and raw emotion as I could into each story, allowing the love these characters have for their friends to shine through the darkness that life throws their way.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
BOYS is a compilation of a short story, a novelette, and a novella. It didn’t start as a single project. After completing all three at the beginning of 2015, I saw the thematic thread through all three stories, although it was not intentional. They were intended for different purposes i.e. literary journals, magazines, or a book of some kind. It seemed to me that they would make great companion pieces to each other in one book so I hired a graphic designer for the cover and a couple of editors for the manuscript. As for inspiration, all three stories were inspired by my nostalgia for growing up in Texas. Although BOYS is not autobiographical, it was written with a loving nod to the friendships and connections I made as a boy and a young man growing up in central Texas.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
To be entertained! And to hopefully be inspired.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
Seff, the main character of The Discarded Feast in BOYS, is more resilient than he realizes, more observant than he gives himself credit for, and funny.
If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?
Hmmm, tough question. I think I would like a charismatic, up-and-coming actor to play Seff, someone like Tye Sheridan from the movie Mud.
When did you first decide to become an author?
I decided to become an author the week after I graduated from college. I didn’t want to teach English or be a technical writer. I wanted to write novels.
Is this the first book you’ve written?
No, BOYS is my 6th publish book. My 7th book, SAMMIE & BUDGIE, was released Oct 1, 2017.
What do you do for work when you’re not writing?
I am a webmaster. I was a cartoonist for a while as well and had two comic strips published in various weekly newspapers: Near Oltorf and Mr. Grieves. I focus mostly on fiction now with occasional illustrating.
How much time do you generally spend on your writing?
That depends. If I’m in a writing project, then I try to write whenever I’m inspired which can be up to five days a week (sometimes less), a few hours each morning. I do not force myself to write if I’m not inspired. If I’m inspired, I’ve been known to type 1,500 – 2,000 words a session. But I also need time to rest and decompress, hangout with my wife and children, and spend time with my friends.
What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?
The best part about being an indie is being the boss. The hardest part is also being the boss. Having to do things like typesetting, eBook creation, and marketing can take away from time to create. But I love writing and creating books so these are just tiny gripes.
What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?
Don’t let anyone get in the way of your desire to be creative and write. Keep at it. Don’t be discouraged by criticism. Learn from criticism and grow. And keep writing.
Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why?
Sure, I would. I feel like I have a lot to offer a traditional publisher. I know the entire publishing process inside and out. I’m extremely motivated and would love to learn more about publishing. But I don’t need a traditional publisher to publish my work. I’ve been successful at that all by myself.
Is there something in particular that motivates you?
I’m motivated to create great literature with a lasting legacy. Money has not been a motivating factor. There have been years where I’ve made good money with my books and some years where I’ve made almost nothing. Even so, I still find I have a deep desire to be creative and write. That’s my favorite thing about being a writer: the writing process.
Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?
I’ve loved Charles Bukowski and Kurt Vonnegut since I first read their work in my early 20s, mostly because of their strong, narrative voices. I can read a paragraph of their work and know it’s them. I was also inspired by Burke Breathed (Bloom County) and Gary Larson (The Far Side) as a kid, cartoonists with unique senses of humor and perspectives as well as clever writing and ingenious illustrating techniques.
Which book do you wish you could have written?
Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon knocked my socks off. The main character, Grady Tripp, is from a similar vein to some of my characters, although I could not have written it as well as Chabon. He is a master.