Scott Sigler describes literary trends, creating safe scare

Photo courtesy of Amy Davis Roth

In a book industry largely comprised of paranormal thrillers, Scott Sigler’s books have earned a following through The New York Times best-selling novels such as Ancestor and Infected.

On Sunday, Scott Sigler visited the beloved Changing Hands Bookstore to sign books, answer questions from fans and introduce his latest novel, Nocturnal. Sigler spoke with The State Press on the phone to share his history as an author and talk about his presence in the literary world.

The State Press: What do you think will be the next big trend in the book industry?

Scott Sigler: The really big genre right now is the young-adult dystopian stories like The Hunger Games. It’s almost impossible to say.

Women make up the majority of book buyers and creators, so we’ve had a big wave of paranormal romance. Now, we’re having female-driven dystopian stories. It will probably be something in the romance area.

SP: What drew you to the sci-fi thriller genre?

SS: Using actual science as part of the story helps create plausible terror. Real science makes the scary parts. I can see this actually happening when I go to work. I think that resonates with the readers and lets them believe deeper in the story, which adds to the willing suspension of disbelief.

SP: Which book has been your favorite to write so far?

SS: It was probably Infected. I’ve been working on that for 10 years. I did probably 20 revisions. When I finally got the book out in hardcover, it was definitely an I-have-arrived-as-a-writer moment. It was fun.

SP: What made you decide to become a writer?

SS: I’ve always wanted to do this. I’ve known this since I was in third grade. It’s always been a calling for me. The biggest reason was when I saw the 1976 version of “King Kong” as a little child. I was crying and wanted to leave, but my dad forced me to stay. When we left, I asked him when we could see the movie again.

At that early age, I fell in love with the concept of a safe scare. I wanted to do that to other people.

SP: How do you combat writer’s block?

SS: I don’t really get writer’s block. I get an opposite problem: too many ideas at once. What helps me is carefully scheduling things so that I’m always trying to finish a project instead of starting 27 projects and finishing none of them.

SP: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

SS: Find projects that you can actually finish and rewrite them, and then move onto your next project. You get a lot of experience by writing and editing a story. Don’t work on the same book for five years. You’ll get better at what you do as you go.

SP: What can fans expect from you next?

SS: The next book will be called Pandemic. It’s the final book in the trilogy, which includes Infected and Contagious. We continue to give away free audiobooks every Sunday at scottsigler.com.

Finally, we have a young-adult series that is called the Galactic Football League series. That will be in paperback in August. We’re looking forward to having that in stores and seeing how well that does.

 

Reach the reporter at lrogoff@asu.edu

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