Author Interview with Latayne C. Scott
Why did you become a writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I’ve been a writer ever since I could write, literally! I won my first award for writing in the third grade (for an essay on fire prevention—that led me to being terrified of matches until I was a teenager.)
What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?
I had heard people say for years that no one knew who wrote Hebrews, and that it could have been a woman. One day I was struck by an image in my mind—of a woman walking behind a cart that was carrying body parts, the remains of her friends killed by Romans for entertainment. That became the opening scene of my book.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
There’s a real challenge in writing fiction about people in the Bible. How much can your imagination add to the words of Scripture? Is that authentic? I have struggled with this, and wonder if other people who write biblical fiction struggle too. I wrote a blog post about this: Saccharine Saints: Is it Defamation to “Add to” a Bible Character?
What was the most interesting research you had to do for any of your books?
Oh, no question about that! My co-author for the book we wrote about the excavation of the biblical site of Sodom, Dr. Steve Collins, paid for me to go on an archaeological tour of Israel and Jordan in preparing to write that book, Discovering the City of Sodom. Imagine, getting to sit in the chair where David sat, waiting for news of his son Absalom! And see the gate Abraham probably passed through coming from Ur. And see the panorama atop Sodom. And stand where Jesus probably stood in the synagogue at Capernaum. It was glorious. I will never forget those sights.
Are you currently working on any new book projects?
I always have at least three books going. Kregel is publishing a new co-written book, Leaving Mormonism: Four Scholars Tell Why in a couple of months. I have written a kind of a Christian ghost story that’s seeking a publishing home; and I’m also working on a trilogy about the Civil War, a YA fantasy time-travel series, and an essay book.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a book? Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published?
I do have some practical advice for authors who wonder what the process is, to get a Christian book published. This process can take months and years, and if you don’t know that going in, you’re bound to get discouraged. You can read that article here.
What is your favorite work of literary fiction and why? Do you have a favorite literary author?
When I was in college, I ended up taking a class on F. Scott Fitzgerald because it was the only English class that would fit in my schedule, and hated almost every moment of it. We didn’t read The Great Gatsby because the prof thought everyone had already read it. I read it a few years ago and was just completely blown away by it. I sobbed at the end of it.
What’s your writing schedule like? When do you find time to write?
I have a very unique life situation. I have a very good and happy 44-year marriage, but my husband became catastrophically ill 6 years ago and requires care in a facility. Thus I live alone, and I write most of every day except Sunday. God has been faithful to help us through this difficult circumstance, and we praise Him for His kindness to us both.
About the Book
A Conspiracy of Breath is a literary novel that aims to explain the ancient mystery: Who wrote the Bible’s Epistle to the Hebrews? Some scholars say it was Priscilla, the wife of Aquila and co-worker with Paul. The book portrays what it might have been like for a woman –in this case, a Gentile woman—to receive revelation from the Holy Spirit, or “Holy Breath.” It is available on Amazon and from the publisher, TSU Press.
Meet the Author
Latayne C. Scott (Distinguished Christian Service Award, Pepperdine University) writes controversial books. Her newest one, the critically acclaimed novel A Conspiracy of Breath, is based on the scholarly theory that a woman wrote part of the Bible. Her first book, The Mormon Mirage--also controversial-- has stayed in print almost continuously for almost 40 years. She has nearly two dozen other published books.
One notable recent book is about the discovery of the ancient Biblical city of Sodom (Discovering the City of Sodom.) Her first novel, Latter-day Cipher, is a murder mystery revolving around a code developed by the early Mormon church. Both are.... controversial.
She's also won a national award for humor. Her kids say she's not so funny, but she just holds up the prize check.
Video of A Conspiracy of Breath
Thank you to Latayne C. Scott for stopping by Pandora's Box Gazette today for an interview.
Please feel free to comment below to chat with Ms. Scott and enter her book giveaway for an ecopy of A Conspiracy of Breath.