Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
My mom got me into reading sci fi and fantasy in elementary, and by the end of third grade I’d read the Lord of the Rings cover to cover. I remember my teacher saying I read at the twelfth grade level LOL…
I always wanted to do what those authors did – painting whole worlds that other people could escape into. Pern, Trantor, Majipoor… so many pretty worlds to visit. Only there were no gay characters – no one like me. Well, there were those green dragon riders…
So I decided to write sci fi and fantasy that included a real diversity of characters.
What inspired you to write your book?
I wrote my first novel just out of high school, and it will NEVER see the light of day. LOL… But my second one did get sent out to ten big NYC publishers. It was a fantasy/sci fi hybrid story about a world called Forever, and it was roundly rejected. I kinda stopped writing for a couple decades. When I finally ventured back into the waters, I picked up the story, and decided to tell the origin tale of Forever. And so “The Stark Divide” was born.
What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
The main theme that runs through book one is redemption. This is especially true for Ana’s journey from ship’s doctor to villain to almost godlike status. But the book is also about hope – that somehow we will find a way to go on, even if everything seems lost. That’s a recurring theme in a lot of my work.
What drew you into this particular genre?
My mom’s sci fi shelf. She was a member of the Science Fiction book club, and new sci fi and fantasy books arrived at our home with an alarming regularity. She has these big shelves in what we called the spare bedroom, and they were double-stacked with her books. After I finished Lord of the Rings, I devoured Pern and then the Foundation, and just about everything else she had. I was hooked.
If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
Oooh. I’d ask Jackson what he found out about the Divine. He was the first religious character I included in one of my books, and he was less so than his wife Glory. But he was also the first to make the leap to seeing the Divine in the bio minds that ran the Dressler and eventually all of Forever. I’m a bit of an agnostic myself, but I remain open to the possibility of something greater than us, and this was my way of exploring that possibility.
What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Facebook. I’m on Twitter and Instagram, but I’ve never been able to reach the numbers of folks in the way I can with the site. That said, we have a bit of a love-hate relationship. I don’t like a number of their company policies, and have been in Facebook jail a fair number of times. But at the moment it’s the best way to reach people in the way that I need to grow my readership.
I also like Prolific Works, specifically for growing my email list.
What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Stick with it. I wish I had never stopped. At World Con in 2018, I attended a panel with an author who started when I did but never stopped, and who now has an amazing career as a sci fi/fantasy author. It was a wake-up moment, but despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to build a time machine yet. So I have to make the best of where I am now.
What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
So many things. I am currently shopping my novel Dropnauts to a bunch of agents with an eye to finally snagging one of those NYC publishers. It’s set in the same universe as The Stark Divide, and tells the tale of what happened back on Earth after the Crash.
I’m also writing a new novel tentatively titled “Twin Moons Rising.” It’s set in the same universe as “The Last Run” and is another fantasy/sci fi hybrid. My short story “Tharassan Rain” (out on sub to a number of spec fic mags) is also set on this world.
And I’m subbing a bunch of other shorts as well.
Once I finish this book, I’ll probably return to Liminal Sky (The Stark Divide’s universe) and start telling the “middle” stories – the ones between the Ariadne Cycle (The Stark Divide, The Rising Tide and The Shoreless Sea) and the Oberon Cycle (Skythane, Lander, and Ithani).
Thanks so much for having me on your blog!
About the Author
Scott spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Ushered into fantasy and sci-fi at the tender age of nine by his mother, he devoured her library of Asimovs, Clarkes, and McCaffreys. But as he grew up, he wondered where the gay people were in speculative fiction.
He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would write them himself.
His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently–he sees relationships between things that others miss, and often gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He transforms traditional sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.
He also runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband, Mark, sites that bring LGBTIQA communities together to celebrate fiction that reflects queer life and love.
Facebook Profile: www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/
Author Website/Blog: www.jscottcoatsworth.com
Dreamspinner Page: www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_1189
QueeRomance Ink Author Page: www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/
Goodreads Author Page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ