Friday, March 4, 2011

Checking Out "The Other Side of Life" with Author Jess C. Scott!

 When I first heard about The Other Side of Life by Jess C. Scott, I was intrigued.  I love LOTR, I like Sci-Fi and social commentary, and above anything else, I am game for a new story with a unique premise.  So, elves and humans going treasure hunting to save the world, all set in a bleak future. . .  it definitly piqued my interest. 

Turns out, Scott is a DIYer to the nth degree and on many levels.

So, I am happy to have here with us today the author of The Other Side of Life, Jess C. Scott!  Welcome, Jess!

In your own words, what can you tell us about this first book, and the trilogy as a whole?
Thanks for having me today! I’ve included a blurb and summary of the trilogy below.
SUMMARY (The Other Side of Life, Book #1): A thieving duo’s world turns upside down when an Elven rogue uncovers the heinous dealings of a megacorporation.
SUMMARY (Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy): The trilogy is basically the result of a brainstorming session I had in 2008, where I scribbled the words “cyberpunk” and “elves” together. I thought it’d be a cool concept (to blend urban fantasy with contemporary themes like materialism and cybernetics). 

Cyberpunk: I'm not sure this is a word that everyone will be familiar with - can you define and expand on it for us?

According to Britannica, 'cyberpunk' can be defined as a science-fiction subgenre characterized by countercultural antiheroes trapped in a dehumanized, high-tech future.

I put together a short 'cyberpunk' page for readers who'd like to know more!  

(Note from Linds: I really reccommend you check out the page - chock full of information).
What inspired you to write this?
I’ve always loved the fantasy genre (elves and dragons, especially). I wanted to try and do something new, while still maintaining a relatable storyline.

Artwork by Jess
One of the things I really liked about your book was how very definite both Nin and Anya are as characters.  Can you share any inspiration behind them?

 I guess I wanted both characters to have a 'cool factor'. I think the biggest inspiration was to bring both characters together via the 'cyberpunk underground' scene (since they both come from very different backgrounds -- Nin is a classic high elf, while Anya is a human thief /college student). They both have a rebellious streak, as some of their values are in direct conflict with the mores of the respective societies in which they live. 

At first, I thought the title was ambiguous, and after reading the book a little, I thought it was beautiful.  It works on a few different levels, doesn't it?  Can you tell us a little behind the thought process for it?

Glad you liked the title! It was quite a long and convoluted process (having all the elements come together -- from the title, to the characters, storyline, names, themes, etc.). I used the title The Other Side of Life based on a friend's suggestion -- the title did actually influence several of the themes and elements in later drafts of the book. The title provided a lot of concepts to ponder on and develop (life vs. death, elves vs. humans, materialism vs. spiritualism, etc.). 
Who do you think this will appeal to and why?
I think this will appeal to adults or young adults seeking cyberpunk themes (not hardcore sci-fi), and a love story (not fluffy romance). I cross several genres (which might irritate cyberpunk/sci-fi/fantasy purists), and I tend to take a more serious than light approach to love (which might irritate readers who enjoy the escapist elements of the romance genre). 

 Jess C. Scott
You seem to have a wide variety of professional experiences, particularly creative ones – which do you feel most in tune with and why?
I think I feel in tune with all of them (web design, art, music, writing, etc), though writing is the one that has the greatest “hold” on me as a person. I enjoy expressing myself through various creative mediums, but writing is the one that engages me the most (and it suits my drives, interests, and temperament!).
You decided to go the self-publishing route - why, and what has been your reaction so far?
I spent 6 months discussing my first book with an interested editor, before he left for another publishing house. I’ve always liked getting things done, so between self-publishing and making my work available, or continuing to pursue a route with a lot of external resistance, I chose the former once I felt ready to do so (in mid 2009). I figured that I didn’t have much to lose. 2011 has been good so far, and I intend to stay focused on production (I have several projects lined up for this year). I greatly enjoy the speed and efficiency of self-publishing/indie publishing. 

Artwork by Jess
Can you give us a short bio?
Sure! My bio is usually a variation of the following paragraph:
Jess identifies herself as an author/artist/non-conformist. Her literary work has appeared in a diverse range of publications, such as Word Riot, ITCH Magazine, and The Battered Suitcase. She is currently working on several multiple-genre-crossing projects, including her trilogy featuring cyberpunk elves.
What books really knocked you out when you were in your high school and college years (and why, of course)?
1984, George Orwell (wicked, stylish, depressing, awesome-tastic)
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov (wicked, stylish, amazing wordplay, exceedingly deviant)
Edgar Allan Poe Anthology [I can always rely on Poe’s work, even (or especially) during my darkest moments]
Dragon’s Bait, Vivian Vande Velde (short and sweet, well-written, nothing but enjoyable reading)
Roald Dahl’s books (his talent and imagination know no bounds…)
What are you up to when you are not writing?
Listening to music (Red Hot Chili Peppers, currently), exercising, reading, keeping my workspace organized…
Can you give us a preview of book #2?  A favorite blurb, a title or short synopsis?
The title will most likely be The Darker Side of Life. I recently decided on a name for the dark elf that will be appearing. I’ll take my time writing the text (currently working on some outlines), which is likely to include an authentic love triangle. 

Thanks so much for joining us, Jess!  Be sure to check back here on Monday when I will post a review on Jess's YA book, The Other Side of Life

The trailer is longer than most, but rad.


  1. Great interview.I have yet to hear about this author and series. I will look into the books.

  2. I have never heard of this series, terrific interview.

  3. Anyone who loves Roald Dahl is fine by me...I love her eclectic reading tastes :)

    Fabulous interview!

  4. @Savy - I had a good time reading it. It's different from what's out there right now, but I have a feeling that we are going to be seeing more books with this sort of tone to them.

    @Babs - thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    @Melissa - there is a strong argument in this one for being environmentally responsible. I think you would like it!


  5. Cyberpunk? That is a new and crazy interesting genre! I'm a huge fan of LOTR too, so I love the idea of a book that incorporates elves, especially in such a unique way. Fabulous interview!

  6. The first book I tried reading in this genre was a DNF for me. Now I have all kinds of negative impressions of it.

    But it is a genre I want to go back and explore. Thanks to Jess for clearing up some of my misconceptions with the cyberpunk page.

    Fantastic interview. I'm already intrigued by the author's approach to love with more serious themes. And of course, I always enjoying checking out an author's reading list.

  7. Great interview! I saw you raving about this book on Goodreads. And thanks for linking to that page! I've never heard of cyberpunk before so I'm going to go and read now more about it.

  8. And the copy for the Kindle (and other ebooks) is only $2.99!

  9. I love trying new genres and cyberpunk is a style I have never read before. Great interview :)

  10. I loved the interview! I'll definitely be adding this to my TBR list :)

    Also, the music for the video was a little spooky, but it seemed to fit with the story.