Explore here to take a more in-depth look at Scot R. Stone's personal life and the influences behind the books.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is your favorite book and how has it contributed to your writing?
I have been reading all my life, but no single novel or series has had a bigger impact on my writing than the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling is a fantastic
storyteller that reaches many audiences on different levels. It was something that had never been done before and captured the imagination in all of us. Who
wouldn't want to go to a castle for school and ride a train to get there? There are many secrets in her world waiting to be discovered, much like the way I created
The Snowtear Wars. The main difference between my series and hers revolves around magic. I deal more with naturalistic elements and concepts, where Rowling
employs spells and sorcery. I refer to my world as, "A magical world without magic."My favorite book of the Harry Potter series is Book 4, The Goblet of Fire.
The tri-wizard tournament was the highlight of the book for me, but the restoration of Voldemort's power in the graveyard takes the cake. Cedric Diggory's death is
very vivid to me, and really put the series into a darker light. War results in death, unfortunately."
List ten more of your favorite books and what you most enjoyed about them.
1) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Like many young readers, this was the first fantasy novel I ever picked up. I loved it so much I read it back to back. Smaug was
fascinating for me, but Gandalf was by far my favorite character. The only thing I wish is that he used more magic!
2) The da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. This was the best thriller I have ever read. It's not very hard to see why there is so much controversy about this book. The
concept of Jesus having been married to Mary Magdalene and had children is interesting, and makes you wonder how much of history's facts are really accurate.
How many other legends and stories have we, as a culture, accepted as fact that is false? I don't believe Jesus was married to Mary, but it does call into question
that what we think may be fact may not always be reality.
3) The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub. This book, to date, is my favorite stand-alone book by either King or Straub. I mostly just enjoy a good
journey with evil on your tail the entire way. And what a concept about having a werewolf for a friend. Shadowing this idea is Professor Lupin's character in Harry
Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. You can be friends with a werewolf, just make sure you have other plans when the moon is full.
4) The Adventures of Huckleberry Fiinn by Mark Twain. Undoubtedly one of the most widely read books of all time. The character stays with you long after
you have put the book down. What a grand adventure to take a raft ride and see where you end up. A friend once told me the best vacation he ever had was
hopping in the car and driving without any plans or reservations. Now that's freeing your spirit. No strings attached.
5) The Ill Earth Wars by Stephen R. Donaldson. This was by far and away the best book of the six-book series of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever. Many
readers complain about Covenant's character being the anti-hero, but I found this a step outside of the norm, which is why the series has become a legend. To be
honest, I wouldn't want to write a series like this myself, because I want to relate to my heroes. And that's what makes people frustrated about it, I think. However,
I found it refreshing and an adventure of superb fantasy.
6) Magician: Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist. I heard about this series through a fan who recommended it. I was absolutely glued to that book all the way
through. Pug and Carline were delightful characters, but I just wish their names were different. Sometimes I wonder where an author got a character's name from
and thought to myself, Now it seems they didn't try very hard on that one. But, that was a minor flaw in the book. The rest was superb and the idea of the rift
bridges were unique. I was disappointed that Pug disappeared through a rift at the end of the book. I was expecting a more grand finale for his role to end the book
7) Deception Point by Dan Brown. Another book by Brown, and it easily makes my top ten. The idea of a comet from space containing other-world life forms
would have a huge effect on the field of science. Brown cleverly depicts the events leading up to the revelation of this meteor and its contents. And to make things
more exciting, this meteor is the center topic of a presidential race. Outstanding writing and a real page-turner.
8) The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I read this entire series in a week when I was younger. Much like Rowling's work, it was a lightning
rod for religious advocates. This book will one day soon be a movie, and I will be one of the first people in line to buy a ticket. This is another of those books with
a mystical place that can be reached by extraordinary means. Take a stroll through the wardrobe and find yourself in the middle of a winter landscape called
Narnia. You won't be disappointed.
9) Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. This is still Crichton's best book to date. Like with most books, much of the detail was left out in the movie. This story is
another one of those ideas that has never been properly written--until now. Forget every bad movie and book you ever saw with dinosaurs, this one is as good as
10) The Great Tree of Avalon by T.A. Barron. This was the first Barron book I read. He's a Colorado author, like I used to be. Barron's works center around
the mythical wizard Merlin, with Tamwyn being the main hero. The journey takes you through the roots of the Great Tree of Avalon, and then in Book Two,
through the trunk, and lastly Book Three, through the branches. What a clever way to set up the parameters of a journey!
What are your favorite films on the big screen?
Best Romance: A Walk in the Clouds. It wasn't that Reeves's performance was mind-blowing, but where his character finds heaven on Earth. The chemistry
between Keanu and Aitana was very engrossing. I could feel the passion, which is the most important element in any love story. The vineyard was absolutely
stunning. But just so every one knows, the vineyard would not have burned the way it did in real life because the vines are just too green. Not long after I saw this
movie, I took my wife to Napa Valley in California for her 30th birthday. We tried to go and see that actual vineyard, but it was very hard to find and closed at the
time we went. To our dismay, they were only open for appointments--probably because of the movie. If you are wondering, the name of the vineyard was
Mayacaymus. Their wine is out of this world.
Best Comedy: Galaxy Quest. This movie is obviously a take-off of the Star Trek series, but was really well written. The laughs never stopped and outside of Aliens,
this was Sigourney Weaver's best role as an actress. You can tell in her interview during the making of the movie that she really enjoyed the part. That can make all
the difference in the world for a character coming to life on the silver screen.
Best Drama: Under the Tuscan Sun. This movie says, "Go find yourself," to me. "Find what makes you happy." We too easily are drawn to the normal nine to five
jobs when we get out of college, and before we know it, we've spent half our lives doing something we really don't enjoy. One day either it wakes us up or we
wake up from it. Yes, folks, it's called the mid-life crisis. Henry David Thoreau was right on the mark when he said, "The mass of men lead quiet lives of
desperation." Ten years ago I would have not thought much about this movie. But after I worked in the corporate world for eight years, it really hit home. Diane
Lane's performance was the best of her career.
Best Action/Adventure: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Harrison Ford was my favorite actor growing up, which is why this movie still tops my list. Sean Connery's role as
Indiana's father in the third movie was perfect casting by Spielberg as well. The desert chase in Raiders is the moment that stands out strongest in my memory. Who
could forget Ford clinging to the front of a truck with the grill about to give way?
Best Historic: Titanic. James Cameron's epic was brilliantly captured. I am not a huge Leonardo fan, but this part he did perfectly. This is one of those gut-
wrenching stories that you can't bear to watch the ending of, but are obligated to out of respect for the lives that were lost. It was classy that Cameron asked for a
moment of silence at the Oscars when this movie took best film of the year. I was in Boston one year when a section of the Titanic's hull was on tour. It gave me the
chills to look at such a vivid piece of history hanging before me. I also met some of the family members who were related to those who died onboard. It was a great
honor for them to share their stories of their loved ones, and I enjoyed every minute of their time.
What music do you write to? What about when you're not writing?
I listen mostly to classical and jazz stations. I can't be banging my head on the keyboard to heavy metal when I'm trying to write complex scenes. It just doesn't
work. The music has to be soothing and a background filler to block out all other noises in the house. Tchaikovsky, Bach and Vivaldi are my favorite masters and
for Jazz I prefer mostly a good dose of Norah Jones. My wife keeps stealing my CD, though. When I'm not writing, I have a pretty broad listening band. I can
listen to almost anything. There is no one set genre of music I prefer over another. I like music for specific songs.
What are you working on now?
I am currently reediting the entire Snowtear Wars series. As far as new works go, I have started a new series revolving around a Chicago paleontologist. That’s all
I’m going to say.
Where did you originally come up with the concept of The Snowtear Wars? Will there be other Elvana books beyond this series?
Believe it or not, from one of my wife's garden magazines. I saw a picture of a flower called a snowdrop. That's when the wheels started turning and I thought,
"Can something so delicate cause nations to go to war over it?" Once I realized what could make that happen, the answer was a resounding, "Yes!" And so the
world of Elvana began to take shape. I built the world from the ground up, starting with geography, topography, the countries and finally the cultures and
characters. I had the rough outline of Book One complete in a single weekend, but that changed dozens of times as I began to write and develop the story line.
I will one day return to Elvana. I'm just not sure when. There will be more adventures for the Yawranans. I look forward to that day, and also looking back to see
how far I've come in my career at that point.
Give us an insight to your writing routine. What makes you tick and how do you generate new ideas?
I usually write early in the morning to lunchtime or late at night after everyone goes to bed. I prefer nighttime if I can stay awake long enough to churn out 4 or 5
pages. People always ask how I find time to write. You just make it. It's a hobby until you land your first contract. Then, hopefully, you start making some money to
turn it into a career. I drink a lot of soda and eat a lot of candy as I write. That's probably not the best diet for a writer, but it's what works for me. Finding the
smallest things to motivate you is a challenge. There are days I think, "I really don't want to do this today." But then I look at Rowling's books sitting on my desk
and say, "Well, maybe at least a couple of pages." It's very easy to procrastinate. But it can also be just as easy to motivate yourself if you find the right things to
make it a fun experience.
New ideas come to me as I'm writing current projects. Sometimes they are generated while I'm driving down the road, working in the yard or exercising. I hardly
ever get ideas from radio or television. These are "no thinking" activities. Therefore, my mind tunes ideas out. If I were a non-fiction writer, the story might be
different. But fantasy is its own beast and takes a lot of original thought to conjure up things that have never been done before. I do like to take some existing ideas
and put a twist on them. For example, dragons are draguls in my story line. The name change alone makes people think immediately about The Snowtear Wars.
Another example would be Sequoias, which are Sequeras in my book. You still come to the same mental image when you read these words because they are so
closely related, but the word change itself is what separates my world from others.
List other interesting facts you wish your readers to know about you or your writing.
My favorite holiday is Christmas, which is why I chose to make my first book unrelated to The Snowtear Wars a Christmas one. It's the fastest book I have
written to date, which I completed in less than six weeks. It is also the novella that landed me my agent. That book taught me not to put all of my eggs in one
basket. You don't know what can make your career if you are willing to branch out and try new things.
I think the one area of writing where authors commonly stumble, is their book signings. I have seen, on multiple occasions, where an author has poor sales, simply
because they are not willing to interact with customers. Most people, if given the chance, will just walk on by your table without acknowledging you. You must have
an opening line to draw someone in so they can learn about your work. The other part of that problem is that many authors are introverts. They want to be
published and make money, but don't want to put in the proper effort it takes to be noticed. I think this root goes back to the most common fear among all people:
fear of public speaking. Luckily, I love talking to people. Some of the most fascinating conversations I've had in my life have been with fans. One young gentleman
told me he recently lost a friend. He was very sad about it, and I understood where he was coming from. I, too, had lost several friends right after high school.
Those type of incidents do play a major role in our lives because they are so profoundly impacting. Later I told this young man that I named one of my characters in
Book 4 of The Snowtear Wars after his friend as a tribute. Watch for the name Jason Fork, fans. Life is fleeting, and it is at these turbulent times in our lives we
must decide what to do at these "forks" in the road. They could be some of the most important decisions we ever make.
Scot R. Stone's comments regarding his new novel The Hollows of Candlewick, Book 3 of The Snowtear Wars.
Q: What were the main objectives you wanted to accomplish with this book?
A: There was much to explain from Books One and Two, and I needed to make it feel as natural as possible when those explanations came. I also wanted to
something extraordinary that would affect the characters and take the series in a whole new direction. It's also important to make a book as consistent as you can
throughout, balancing action, conversations and plot revelations in every area. That's not easy to do, and I hope the fans will think I've accomplished that.
Q: How have you grown as a writer since the first book in the Snowtear Wars series?
A: First, I don't think a writer should ever be complacent with his or her writing. They must always look for ways to improve. It's the only way your work will
continue to be successful, one book after the other. I've become a much better editor of my own work and don't have to depend as much on others to help clean it
up before it goes to print. I hate the editing part of the process, even though it is, in my opinion, the most critical phase that will make or break a book. Victory
Crayne, a new editor I have met through Behler, has been one of my biggest influences for helping mold my work to be better as the series moves on. I owe a great
deal to her insight. I think the more you write, the better you become, as long as you are willing to keep your mind open to suggestions.
Q: Did you accomplish all of your goals with Book Three?
A: I think so. Hollows was the most complex book to write so far. There were a lot of things that had to be explained from Books One and Two, which meant
careful plot weaving. Once again, I've also tried to put twists on old ideas to make them new. The mangler is one for instance, and the fans will see what I mean
about that. There is also a new Tournament that takes place in the book. I love the competition!
Q: Tell us a little bit more about your new series.
A: Unfortunately, I wish I could. Authors, as people know, heavily guard their ideas until their books are released for publication. There are a lot of scam artists out
there, who will steal your ideas in an instant if you're not careful. All will be released in time. Just know that I'm always at work, producing something new for the
Q: Do you have any new characters in Book Three?
A: Yes. There always should be new characters in a new book. It helps make the story line interesting and throws it in a different direction that the readers didn't
expect. As always, surprises await.
Q: How difficult is it to market yourself?
A: Very. It takes a lot of research and repetition, which generates word-of-mouth. I always tell my readers that if you enjoy my novel, don't sit on it! Please pass
the word along to others you know who are fantasy lovers. It will only help ensure my career will grow and that they can continue to look forward to more of my
Q: How hard is it to take criticism?
A: I've grown pretty thick-skinned. It's a must in this field. Don't assume your work is too good to be improved upon. Be patient and listen to advice. You will be
thankful for it in the end.
Q: What books have you read recently that you enjoyed?
A: I enjoyed Book Seven in the Harry Potter series, but there was a lot of work to be done yet in that novel that wasn't. The publisher released it prematurely, and
I think the series will suffer for it for a long time because of it. Rowling is still making mistakes in her writing that she should be well past by now. I think she's a
wonderful storyteller, but how she delivers her stories needs work. I don't think she should've revealed any of Harry's future at the end of the book. Or, at the very
least, she should've delivered it with better writing and emotion. It felt rushed. Overall, the book was satisfying.
I think Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy was outstanding. I also like Cornelia Funke's Inkspell and Terry Brook's Landover series.
Q: Is the complexity of the Snowtear Wars series bigger than you expected it to be?
A: Yes. You have to be careful not to leave any loopholes open and always have to be asking yourself questions that the readers would. You have to be tough on
your work or you will be bashed on the market. So I put my mind through the wash before I am satisfied I have covered all my bases. I think by the time the series
is all said and done people will be able to appreciate the scope of the work and how much work was invested in it to make it successful.
Q: Is there any new advice you can offer to authors trying to get published?
A: Always study what has been done before you. Don't decide to just jump in without doing some research. Read books in your genre that you plan to write in.
Read the best and you will become the best. But keep one thing in mind, leave yourself open to try the unknown, the authors aren't as well heard of. They might just