Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Personal Path to Publication - Scott Prussing

Good Morning everyone.  I'm truly excited by today's guest.  We have a writer who is making waves in the literary word with his debut novel, Breathless, and get ready for his sequel, which I understand he is preparing to unleash on us soon in paperback form, Deathless.  Scott Prussing has received 5-star review after 5-star review for his amazing paranormal story and he was among one of the first to respond when I sent out the call for this project.  His personal story is another truly inspirational one.  So, sit back and make sure you have a notebook beside you for don't want to miss a thing!

1.  How long have you been writing?
      I’ve been writing for 20+ years, but not continually. I wrote two mystery/suspense novels back in the mid and late 1980’s, but when I was unable to get them published—despite having a pretty good agent—I stopped writing books for awhile. I spent a few years writing story and game design for computer games and then worked in health education, where I led wellness groups and wrote health and fitness articles.

2.  Are you published and if so, how long have you been a published author?  If not, what’s your plan? 
      I am self-published. My first book, a paranormal romance novel titled Breathless, came out in September, 2010. Breathless is book one in The Blue Fire Saga. The sequel, Deathless, is coming out in September of this year. Breathless is a hardcover book, while Deathless will be a trade paperback. Both are also available in ebook form.

3.  Which route did you choose for becoming published, the traditional route, with an agent, the “indie” route, going directly to the publishers yourself, or deciding to self-publish?
      I had an agent in NYC back in the late 80’s, but he was unable to get my first novel published. I still remember very fondly a letter I received from him after a year of no luck placing my book. He wrote: “I went back and read Unturned Stones a second time—and I NEVER have time to read something twice—and I liked it even better the second time.” He went on to say he did not understand why he couldn’t get anyone to publish the book. After another year of trying, he gave it back to me with his apologies.
      When I wrote Breathless, I was pretty sure I would self-publish it, but I still tried to acquire an agent. I sent out more than thirty email queries, but received nothing back but form letter rejections. Agents are now getting hundreds of queries per month, if not per week, so the odds of being picked up by one are not very good. So I ended up self-publishing.

4.  Why did you choose that particular route?
     I chose self-publishing for several reasons. The first, obviously, was that it was the one certain way to bring Breathless to print. In addition, I had a friend who helped with some contacts for cover graphics and for the interior book layout, and also had a contact for lower cost printing in South Korea. Another friend “invested” in my book, paying for the printing costs. I put all that together with a lot of my time and Breathless was born – a beautiful, 1.5 pound hardcover novel!

5.  How long did it take you to write your first novel?
     It took me eight months to write Unturned Stones, which I wrote back in the 80’s. My most recent novel, Breathless, took about five months to write, plus another month or two for editing and polishing. Unturned Stones is 100,000 words, while Breathless is 80,000.

6.  How long did it take you to publish it?
     It was about seven months from when I wrote the first word of Breathless to when I received the books from the printer. The graphic artist was working on the cover while I was editing and polishing, so once we were both done, it was off to the printer in Korea.

7.  How many times did it get rejected before it got published?
     Breathless got rejected by several dozen agents. No publishers ever saw it. Here’s a quick story I want to share—Breathless almost got “rejected” by an online reviewer. She began her review by writing: “Let me also be honest and say that I was apprehensive to even start Breathless—a paranormal romance said to straddle the line between YA and Adult written by a dude—yeah, I just wasn’t sure what to expect.” Luckily, she pushed her reservations aside and read Breathless. The next line in her review was: “However, let me finish by saying that Breathless was fantastic!” She went on to write a number of other glowing comments. I especially love that “written by a dude” part of the review.

8.  Tell us about your worst rejection letter.
     Virtually all the rejection letters were basically the same. They apologize for the form letter response, say how busy they are (and therefore can’t make specific comments about the book), and end by saying that just because they don’t think the book is right for them, I shouldn’t give up trying other agents, who might feel different.  
Only one agent out of dozens actually wrote something specific about my query (which included a synopsis and the first twenty pages). She wrote that she liked the originality of the idea—in a very crowded and overdone genre—but that she did not feel the story started fast enough. She said it needed to be more “full-throttle” to grab the reader. I was thrilled (and grateful) to finally get a specific comment, and I went back and added an action-filled prologue to Breathless and tightened up the first two chapters.

9.  What was the best news you ever got in your writing life and how did it make you feel?
     The best news is something I’m continually getting—feedback from readers telling me how much they love Breathless and how they can’t wait for my next book. Truly, the feedback from readers has been absolutely amazing—beyond anything I ever expected. Numerous positive reviews feel pretty good, too.

10. What’s the worst piece of advice you ever got?
     A pretty good friend whose judgment in books I usually trust, told me the cover of Breathless was all wrong. The large majority of people love the cover, so I’m glad I didn’t listen to her.

11. Now, tell us the best!
     "Write a sequel to Breathless.”  MANY readers told me that. My dedication in the sequel is “To the many Breathless fans, whose enthusiasm made this book necessary.”

12. What’s the one thing you would want an aspiring writer to take away from your personal path to publication?
     Perseverance is the key. There is a way for everyone who wants to to get their book out there. Hardcopy or ebook. Self-publishing, Print on Demand, Indie publishers… or, if you get really lucky, a mainstream publisher. Do it for the fun and the reward of knowing you have provided enjoyment to however many fans you manage to attract. Do NOT let rejections from agents or publishers make you give up your dream, but do consider any advice they give you.

13. Where can we read your blog?  Buy your books?  Connect with you on facebook?  On Twitter?  Your website?
     Signed copies of my books are available at Reviews, summaries, reader comments and more are available there as well.
      Ebook versions are available at and
      Fans can find my books on Facebook at Breathless Fampires and Breathless Vampire Book. My Twitter account is Breathless Book.    

Weston College freshman Leesa Nyland has been fascinated by vampires since she was three years old. That’s when her mom started acting weird, refusing to go outside during the day and insisting the sunlight hurt her skin because she’d been bitten by a one-fanged vampire.

But fascinated doesn’t mean Leesa believes. Any more than she believes in blue fire, people who live for centuries, and kisses that can kill. When her beloved older brother suddenly disappears, she is forced to confront all these and more. She also has to figure out what to do about her mysterious new boyfriend. She knows Rave likes her a lot—so why won’t he kiss her?
As Leesa draws closer to finding her brother, she faces some gut-wrenching decisions. Should she risk her mom’s life trying to “cure” her? Should she continue seeing Rave, after he reveals his dangerous secret? And most terrifying of all, should she make the ultimate sacrifice—give up her humanity—to save her brother?

After rescuing her brother from the caverns of a vampire coven and helping to cure her mother of a vampire bite, Leesa Nyland hopes she’s done dealing with all things supernatural. All she wants to do now is enjoy college life—and to figure out how to kiss her vampire hunter boyfriend without his magical fire burning her to a crisp. She doesn’t think that’s too much to ask.
So she’s not too happy when she begins dreaming of rotting bodies emerging from their graves, and she likes it even less when the terrifying dreams begin to come true. When objects around her start moving seemingly on their own accord, she figures that’s more than enough. It’s a good thing she doesn’t know about the powerful vampire who has sworn vengeance against her…                  
Don't both books sound so fantastic? Make sure you friend Scott on facebook....he loves to connect with new fans and followers. And you can get signed versions of his books as well, contact him to find out how! Stay tuned to the blog for more amazing authors and have a great day!


  1. Scott is an amazing writer, and a great guy to talk to! I cannot wait to get my hands on book 2-I only wish it was hardcover...

  2. I was shocked after reading this to find that Scott never mentioned his e-book called "Tangled Webs." It was a very well written mystery/suspense novel that was published by "Smashwords" in April 2010. After reading the first 50 pages, which were available as a free download, I bought the book. It was great. I LOVED Breathless and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Deathless. I'm sure it will be a great book, because Scott is a great writer.