Please welcome S. Cameron Roach – Scott – as today’s Wednesday’s guest. As I said on Sunday, when I posted the review of his book, I met Scott at the art festival in Killeen, Texas a couple of months ago. We were table buddies, meaning our book tables were next to each other. I enjoyed visiting with Scott when we weren’t talking with other folks, and he has a good sense of humor. I asked him for a bio for his appearance today, and this is what he sent:
(short version) I was born, I have lived for 47 years, the when of my death is yet to be determined.
(not as short version) S. Cameron Roach was born a U.S. Navy brat in Virginia but was moved when he was three to San Diego whereupon he endeavored to grow up as best he could. After 18 years, he found himself married to a wonderful woman named Kelli to whom he is still married, and will in fact celebrate their 26 anniversary on this very blogging day, 23 April. Shortly after getting married, he joined the U.S. Army and retired in Texas as a CW3 after 24 years of service, while in that span begetting two sons, Brandon and Christian . Now he questions why he opened his own franchise business, Safe Ship, instead of taking to the open road to pursue his craft of writing.
Scott admitted to me that he doesn’t blog and is not all that familiar with blogging, but he has done quite well at this, his maiden voyage. I do hope he doesn’t mind the navel reference being Army and all that, but he did grow up with the Navy. So grab a glass of tea – it is finally warm enough for tea here in Texas – and enjoy the visit with Scott, author of the YA fantasy The Scrolls of Udanadar.
|Image Courtesy of Kitchen Talks|
|I think another story is brewing.|
Q. What is your fondest childhood memory?
A. When I was in a junior high school choir, my choir competed in the high school division in both the Youth and Music Festival in Vienna, Austria, and the Vancouver World Expo. We won first place in both. The fun part, of course, was experiencing Europe and Canada as a teen.
Q. How did you come to write in the genre you chose?
A. When I was growing up there was no YA genre, we read what the adults read, which was not always appropriate or completely understandable. Then when the YA genre was nascent, it seemed lacking in any substantive meaning or any intellectual challenge to the young reader. In essence, it was bubblegum for the brain. So, at a time when my children were being homeschooled and reading the classics, I decided I needed to write fun fantasy that would not talk down them but challenge them with deep themes.
Q. What are your favorite movies?
A. Serenity, Dragonslayer, John Carter on Mars, Fifth Element, Stargate, and Brave, but I am sure the list isn’t complete, just what I can recall. I can watch them over and over again and still be amused, enjoy, or marvel.
Q. What is the hardest thing about writing?
A. Time, peace of mind, environment.
Q. Where do your stories begin? With character or plot?
A. One feeds the other. A plot makes people interested but character keeps them reading. You can have a mediocre plot and survive only if you have engaging characters anchoring your story. People care about people, especially if they can relate to the plight or situation, and if the dialogue and emotions are authentic. (For a book, not a movie, mind you, at least in my opinion.)
Q. Do you have a pet?
A. Yaahh! Three awesome boxer dogs, the dogs that are closest to being human—Anja (9 ½ yo and acquired in Germany), Kaiser the reluctant pack leader, and Phineas Fogg, a rescue boxer whose rescue name was supposed to be named after the hero in “Around the World in 80 Days,” which is actually Phileas Fogg, but we liked Phineas better, so we kept it.
Q. What is the most interesting job you ever had?
A. The career is the U.S. Army, but what was most interesting about the job was being part of an office hunting down Afghani terrorists who were planting improvised explosive devices to kill U.S. Military personnel. I actually helped to uncover an Iranian intel network stealing US equipment.
In The Scrolls of Udanadar, young Bartholomew Fix, who finds life mundane and meaningless, becomes infected with the spirit of adventure by the bite of the Wandering Bug. He is compelled to seek out an agent of the universe who transports him to another planet to seek his off-world energy and awakens in the home of a great urKa’uun.
There is no magic, only Ka’uun—the energy of creation—and the urKa’uun are its users. Bartholomew becomes an apprentice and learns quickly how to use the energy. He is then sent out on an important mission with the urKa’uun’s other ward, a skilled girl born of the wild-wise Duvar, for the Thousand-Year King is dying too soon. The two must bring back the Scrolls of Udanadar used in his creation as they may hold the answers; failure would bring all-out war between kingdoms of the Realm and with the Urilok, an ancient and fierce enemy.
A simple mission is never so simple so the two find themselves traveling the realm on an exciting quest where they discover danger, a budding romance and humor in the most unlikely places. Once a naïve, self-absorbed boy, Bartholomew grows into a brave hero by learning what it is to sacrifice in order to achieve a higher goal.