Sunday, January 20, 2013

Author Interview & Giveaway: Scott Cramer

We are excited to welcome author, Scott Cramer, to the nest today. Scott stopped by to chat and he was kind enough to offer up FIVE ebooks to be given away. Be sure to check out the giveaway details at the end of this post.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: How long have you been writing? 

Scott: Forever and a day. In college my friends and I were planning a road trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and then at the last minute I got a very high fever and had to cancel. (I was majoring in Chemistry. See my response below) Maybe the fever melted something in my brain because I started writing poetry, and I've been writing ever since. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Can you describe your novel in five words? 

Scott: Never give up. Never. Ever. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Where did you get the idea for this novel? 

Scott: I wanted to go big, high concept. The dystopian genre lets you go super big. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and Homecoming by Cynthia Voight (not dystopians) are two novels I have always really liked. In each book the young main characters faced incredible odds and took dangerous journeys. In thinking through my story and plot, I wanted to increase the odds and raise the stakes. Having everyone over the age of 15 die in an epidemic, I thought, would drop my characters in a gut-wrenching, perilous situation. Meanwhile, they would have a clock ticking inside of them. They’d die when they reached puberty. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Which character is your favorite to write? 

Scott: Night of the Purple Moon offered several new writing challenges for me. I had never written anything in third-person or through the eyes of a 13-year old girl. 

 In the early stages of writing about my main character, Abby, I asked my two daughters lots of questions about puberty and growing up. And then, as so often happens when creating characters, Abby took on a life of her own. I no longer needed to ask people questions or do Google research. Abby told me what she wanted to do, how she would act… 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What was the road to publication like for you? 

Scott: Traditional publishing? Using a baseball analogy, I struck out. Had an agent, went to all the big publishers, but nothing came of it. 

 Self-publishing? It’s very easy to put a book into the world. It’s another thing to have readers know it exists. Obscurity is the enemy. But I would do it again in a second. The connections I have made with readers and bloggers has been, literally, a dream come true. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Which authors inspire you? 

Scott: A better question might be…which authors humble me? Hundreds and hundreds. A lot of times I can’t get into a story because I become enamored/intoxicated by sentence construction. How did he/she do that???? 

 I read a recent story about Ursula Le Guin and I keep going back to this excerpt from one of her short stories: 

 A tongue of the tide ran up the sand between them, crosscurrents drawing lines across it, and hissed softly out again. The horizon was a blue murk, but the sunlight was hot. "Ha!" Phil said, and picked up a fine white sand dollar. He always saw the invaluable treasures, the dollars of no currency; he went on finding Japanese glass netfloats every winter on this beach, years after the Japanese had given up glass floats for plastic, years after anyone else had found one. Some of the floats he found had limpets growing on them. Bearded with moss and in garme nts green, they had floated for years on the great waves, tiny unburst bubbles, green, translucent earthlets in foam galaxies, moving away, drawing near. "But how much Maupassant is there in The Old Wives' Tale?" she asked. "I mean, that kind of summing-up-women thing?" And Phil, pocketing his sea-paid salary, answered, as her father had answered her questions, and she listened to him and to the sea.

The above is incredible! Just one more humbling experience. 

 I find that I am very influenced by the voices and styles of fiction writers, so I tend to reach non-fiction a lot. I love to read mountain climbing books, stories of people living alone in the wilderness, real-life survival stories. . . Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing chronicles one of the greatest survival adventures ever. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What is your favorite bird? 

Scott: During a bike ride last summer, my daughter and I each came up with our top-five list of favorite birds. 

Here’s my top six: 
1. Baltimore Oriole 
2. Magpie (our chicken) 

3. Gold Finch 
4. Cardinal 
5. Hummingbird 
6. Crow 

Crow got added to the list after I saw a TV program showing that crows are incredibly smart. Hawk got knocked off the list when we started keeping chickens. I've never seen an owl, but that would be a huge thrill. 

 This or That? 
- Spring or Fall? Spring. My dream is to follow spring around the world. I live near Boston, east coast, USA. I would start in the state of North Carolina in February and work my way north, keeping pace with the bloom of flowers. Then in August I would go to western Australia. I’m not sure which way I’d go to follow spring, but I would go that way. 

 - Call or Text? The people who get emails from me must think I am semi-literate and can’t spell. I think that I invest so much effort and energy in working on fiction that when it comes time to sending an email or text I have no more energy to focus on grammar or spelling. I almost never re-read emails before sending, and if I do have to re-read an email I often cringe at what I’ve written. All of which is to say, if I have an opportunity to exercise my vocal cords or my typing muscles, I’d probably go with the former. 

 - Chocolate Milk or Hot Chocolate? When I think about how much chocolate milk I drank as a kid…and translate that into pounds of sugar…well, I consumed a lot of sugar. So I’m going to pass on this question and simply admit I try to stay away from sugar until I eat a candy bar and then it’s off to the races and I hope we don’t have too many on hand. 

 - Cat or Dog? I love our cat Misty-Duck. She sits on my writing desk. She wakes me up at 4 a.m. I never get angry at her. I get up at 4 a.m. and feed her. She is getting old and I think she forgets she has eaten and she wants to eat again at 4:20 am. I don’t get mad. If I have gone back to bed, I get up happily to feed her.

 We have a dog, too. I love Harry, but not as much as I love Misty-Duck. 

 - Math or Science? The funniest joke in our house is that I have a degree in Chemistry. But I seem to know nothing about Chemistry and I have forgotten math. My wife is a fifth grade math and science teacher and every now and then I help her correct tests. I am really really impressed with what fifth graders know. Had I pursued a career in Chemistry I would have been the world’s worst chemist, though maybe I would have had some crazy, creative idea that won me the Nobel Prize. On the other hand, my study of chemistry turned me into an excellent cook. That’s another joke in our family. I’m the only one who believes that.

About The Book

Abby Leigh is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple, unaware that deadly bacteria from a passing comet will soon kill off older teens and adults. The lightning-fast epidemic sweeps across the planet when the germs attack the hormones produced during puberty.

On a small island off the coast of Maine, Abby must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her -- adolescence.

We have FIVE eBook copies of Night of The Purple Moon up for grabs. The winner will be able to choose their preferred eBook reader format. Thank you, Scott, for providing the books for the giveaway. This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY! In order to win you must:

* Be 13+ years old
* Fill out the Rafflecopter below

The giveaway runs from January 20-27. The winner will be contacted via email on January 28. 


  1. I love stories about epidemics and such, haha. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. great giveaway! why i want to win this? sounds like a cool book to read! that's good enough by me! :)

  3. NIGHT OF THE PURPLE MOON looks like such an exciting read. A great story line.


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