Halo Scot is the author of the Rift Cycle, a science fantasy with grimdark, psychological horror, mental illness, and LGBTQ themes. The series seeks to normalize all aspects of the human experience while aiming to break stigmas surrounding mental illness, substance abuse, grief, and sexual orientation. His website can be found at haloscot.com. He's on Twitter at Halo_Scot. Many thanks for taking the time to answer these questions!
How long have you been a writer?
Halo Scot: I’ve always written stories — though most of them were horrid — but I really started getting serious about writing a few years back. I tried a bunch of different careers/hobbies, but none of them stuck in the way writing has.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Halo Scot: For me, it’s the only activity that makes sense of a nonsensical world, and the only activity that completely fulfills me.
Are you a full-time writer? If not, what's your day job that helps pay the bills? If yes, how do you keep the process fun instead of feeling like it's...ugh...work?
Halo Scot: I wish I was, but I am not. My day job is web development.
What's your favorite genre to read - and why?
Halo Scot: I am a science-fiction and fantasy fiend. I love the possibilities these genres present, the way they stretch your imagination and break all preconceptions. It keeps me open-minded, I like to believe.
Share some works that were influential for you - and why?
Halo Scot: RED RISING by Pierce Brown, VICIOUS by V.E. Schwab, and NINTH HOUSE by Leigh Bardugo are all huge influences for me because of their brilliant, unorthodox approaches to character and ability to marry strong action with strong emotion.
What drives you to write? What do you get out of it?
Halo Scot: It’s immensely therapeutic for me. It quiets my mind and anchors me in a way nothing else does.
Are you powered more by character inspirations or plot ideas? Why is that?
Halo Scot: Characters, definitely. I always need to relate to the people in the story, or I find myself quickly losing interest. They need to be “alive,” in a way, and I need to care about what happens to them for the story to be impactful.
What do you do for fun? Interesting hobbies?
Halo Scot: Photography and running are my two main hobbies outside of writing.
What advice do you have for would-be writers?
Halo Scot: Do whatever works for YOU. There are tons of people preaching one method or another, but the truth is that only YOU know what will work for the story that only YOU can tell.