I first met Scott Doornbosch in 2003.
I was at the Magna Cum Murder conference in Muncie, Indiana, waiting for the elevator with my buddy Robert W. Walker, ready to head up to my room for some Jack Daniels because the hotel bar was too expensive. Scott was standing there in the lobby, looking out of place, so I asked him if he wanted to join us for a shot of whiskey. He agreed, and has been following me from writing convention to writing convention ever since.
Whenever I ran into Scott, I hounded him to finish the book he was working on. I did this for eight years.
I'm happy to say that Scott's first novel, Basic Black, is now live for Kindle and Nook at $2.99, and in print via Createspace for $13.95.
Joe: Let's get the maudlin stuff out of the way first. You were recently diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. What's the prognosis?
Scott: I started chemo in February but in April they told me it wasn't working. I just started a new treatment that was just approved by the FDA. My doctor has high hopes for this new drug. If anyone else out there is dealing with this same issue and needs to talk, they can always e-mail me at scottdoornbosch(at)aol.com
Joe: Where did you come up with the idea for this book?
Scott: This was actually supposed to be the third in the series, but after completing the first two I went with this one for the first book. I don't really know why for sure. I guess I just liked this story line the best for the debut novel.
Joe: How long did it take you to write Basic Black?
Scott: This book took 5 years to write and it's all your fault. After meeting you and partying at the conventions I let the writing slip. I was having so much fun and meeting so many wonderful people and so many personal obligations got in the way that I let the writing fall by the wayside. About a year ago I couldn't justify spending the money to keep going to all these conventions just to party. I decided it was time to either do it or give the whole thing up. At that point I really only had about 20,000 words. In less than two months I had added another 60,000 and was finished.
Joe: What is your feeling about self-publishing?
Scott: I am thrilled about self-publishing. I know many people might not consider me a real writer for going this route, but I'm very excited about the whole project. I had never given it much thought in the past, but after attending the last writing convention I thought about it more seriously and decided it was the way to go. Mainly because the publishers that were represented at the convention weren't for me. Not one of them were giving advances for the books, some of them weren't even interested in putting up a version on Kindle and there were so many other restrictions and limitations put on the writer that I didn't even bother to pitch my book to any of them at that convention. Then the more I heard about this route the more I was convinced. You of course were one of the first to convince me, but I also found many other authors I know doing the same thing now. I was amazed when I found out how many of them were turning down huge advances to publish their next books themselves.
Joe: Are you working on a sequel?
Scott: There is a sequel in the works called BLACK TIE AND TALES, but it still has a long way to go. Even though it was one of the first ones I wrote, I joined a writers group and found out that I had a lot to learn. So I am in the process of re-working it. That brings me to a bit of advice which was not part of the question but I feel I have to say it. Newbie writers have all heard this, but you really need to find a writers group. You will be amazed to find out how much you don't know. And yes, you need a writers group even though your mother told you your book is wonderful. If it wasn't for joining a writing group, BASIC BLACK would never have been in any shape to be published. Joe, you of all people know how bad that first draft was, and I thank you for not destroying my ego after reading it.
Joe sez: In the interest of full disclosure, I have a personal interest in this situation. When I heard about Scott's cancer, I knew there was a potential time issue involved. Holding your first book in your hands is one of the true joys of being a writer, but if Scott had pursued the legacy route, he might not have had that opportunity. Since he's getting creamed with medical bills, and had no knowledge of how to self-publish, I covered the cost of this and did everything for him, hiring a proof reader, formatter, cover artist, and layout artist. I did this without Scott asking me to, and he makes all the money from it.
I'm not admitting this to show the world what a generous guy I am. Scott simply needed someone to step-up and help.
You can help, too, by buying his book. Kindle and Nook for $2.99. Print for $13.95 via Amazon. Feel free to spread the word.
Scott's a dear friend, and not doing so well. Please keep the comments upbeat.