1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
My fiction career began with an in-class book report written in Mrs. Baer’s eighth-grade English class when, due to a conflict of priorities, I failed to read the book, necessitating an exercise of the imagination. Not only was I not found out, but I snagged a B, better than the C that I received on my last report when I actually read the book. Thus began my life-long apprenticeship as a teller of tales and, some would snidely suggest, as a lawyer as well, but they would be cynics, a race Oscar Wilde warned us knew the price of everything and the value of nothing.
I am the author of the legal-suspense novel, In Deepest Consequences (Medallion Press), loosely drawn on two murder cases from earlier in my career, and the coming-of-age novel Revenants, The Odyssey Home (Moonshine Cove Publishing). I am a recipient of the Mighty River Short Story Contest and the Hackney Literary Award. My short fiction has appeared in Big Muddy, Adelaide Magazine, and Lascaux Review. I will admit to being an attorney in Irvine, California, where my practice focuses upon white-collar crime and tax litigation with my clients providing me endless story fodder. I graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, (where Walter Tevis, author of Queen’s Gambit, was my first fiction professor) and in the upper ten percent of my class from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, where I was a member of the Environmental Law Review and received the American Jurisprudence Award in Conflict of Laws. I can be found at www.scottkauffman.net.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
As I said above, my first novel In Deepest Consequences was loosely based upon two murder cases from earlier in my career. Revenants, The Odyssey Home, was drawn from the death of my late-wife’s uncle in Viet Nam, who is the only member of an MIA recovery team known to have died in combat. My inspiration for Saving Thomas was seeded in a general revulsion arising during some or another election campaign at those politicians who may have served but then try to get elected by trafficking in the dead who never came home. So I started to ask myself a series of what if questions. Such as what if someone had served and suffered but was honor bound never to reveal he had served and suffered and because of it suffered all the more? Which lead to more what if questions. The end result of all these what ifs the book you read and reviewed.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
Saving Thomas explores the age-old themes harking back to the Old Testament and Homer of betrayal, redemption, and ultimate forgiveness. All of us have been betrayed in our lives by those we love. All of us in turn have betrayed those we love. But if we are to come to terms with our betrayals, both those suffered and inflicted, we must move beyond a shattered trust to commence anew. Hope will reveal itself when we reaffirm those bonds of commitment, and it is in our finding a way forward where forgiveness will be found.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I don’t consider myself a genre writer. When a story with legs comes to me, I write it not caring where Barnes & Noble will shelve it. Having said that, I think it was Nietzsche who said melodrama is right versus wrong whereas tragedy is right versus right with no good outcome. I am drawn to tragedies.
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
My villain, Erec Renard. This guy has to have at least a dozen stories to keep a writer employed.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Twitter and Instagram.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Learn from other writers. Revise, revise, revise, then revise some more. Master the rules of Greek rhetoric passed on down to the Romans, lost in the Dark Ages, resurrected during the Renaissance, and rediscovered in England just about the time Shakespeare was penning his plays and King James’s scribes were translating the Bible into English and give their works so much power, mimicking the power of Bach and Handel through repetition and point/counter point. Power you can hear in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream. Perhaps most importantly, remember that being published is someone else’s call. It’s impossible to know what to write to please those someones and may not be where your writing comes from. But someone’s first book changed you. Know there are others waiting for yours.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Are any new books/projects on the horizon?
Next up, Finding Forest: A death-row attorney walks the murderous streets of East Oakland by night searching for the family of the executed client he betrayed twenty-four years before.
About the Author
Scott is an attorney in Irvine, California, where his practice focuses upon white-collar crime with his clients providing him endless story fodder. His short story “Cat Dance” was short-listed for the 2018 Adelaide Literary Award. He is the author of the coming-of-age novel Revenants, The Odyssey Home (Moonshine Cove Publishing) and the legal-suspense novel, In Deepest Consequences (Medallion Press) and is the recipient of the Mighty River Short Story Contest and the Hackney Literary Award. His short fiction has appeared in Big Muddy, Adelaide Magazine, and Lascaux Review.
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3234487.Scott_Kauffman