It’s Author Interview Thursday! I’ve said it before but I just have to say it again ‘I Love Author Interview Thursday!‘ On my journey as a children’s book author, I have been so blessed to come across highly creative, passionate, hardworking and talented individuals from across the nations of the world who have left a positive impact on my life. Today’s special guest leads a life that could easily fit into a Hollywood film. He co-authors children’s books with Liam Lusk (who was our guest author a couple of weeks ago) and lives in South Korea even though he is originally from California in the United States. He is a school teacher and an avid traveler and listening to him, you almost wish he was your teacher when you were back in school or you could go to one of the many exotic places he’s been to. Without further ado, please join me in welcoming Scott Worden.
Tell us about the latest book you’re working on or recently published?
Liam Lusk and I are working on a business idioms book for ESL/EFL learners. Many of my students and probably Liam’s as well have a strong desire to learn idioms and we wanted to find idioms that are useful in both the U.K. and the U.S. As many Koreans call English a “global” language, we want to make sure the idioms they learn can be used in most places they go to. We’re also planning on writing a general idioms book that’s full of expressions common in both of our countries.
What can a reader expect when they pick up a Scott Worden book?
The two books I wrote by myself are about traveling. I really enjoy going to different places, experiencing the culture, eating different types of food, and meeting new people. I wrote those books for my passion for those things. The children’s books co-authored with Liam are books that need to have excellent illustrations. We want the children to have not only a good story but for them to have pictures that will make them happy. Let’s be honest. Kids love pictures so we need to make sure our illustrations are of the best quality.
How did you get into writing children’s books?
Being that I used to work with kids and Liam Lusk (my friend who is a co-author), we came up with some ideas. We thought we could write something that kids would love and for parents do enjoy as well as they read the books to their children. Not only would we be making a bit of extra income, but we would be having fun while doing it. That made it a very easy decision for us to write children’s books.
The biggest advantage of co-authoring a book is being able to share ideas. Sometimes Liam comes up with something that I would have never thought of. Sometimes something pops into my head and Liam agrees with it. We both can discuss if the idea is a good one and if we both agree, we continue. If neither of us agrees, we move on. That’s a great advantage of being a co-author. The biggest disadvantage is to keep each other focused on writing the book. It’s easy to get lazy and not want to continue writing, so we have to prod each other to get our work done. However, that’s also an advantage because if one of us is behind in our work, the fire is lit under us and we get it done.
Do you believe in writer’s block and what do you do to overcome it?
I totally believe in writer’s block. I remember doing creative writing assignments in middle school and high school and there came to a point where I just couldn’t think of anything at the moment. I then realized that I just needed to take a break, relax, and listen to music. Sometimes the work becomes tiresome and then it’s not fun. I have to keep it in perspective that I enjoy doing this and if I can’t think of anything at the moment, I will just come back to it when I have some different ideas in mind.
What has been your most successful marketing method for promoting your books?
I believe the best thing is to sell quality at a reasonable price. Liam Lusk and I have come across some books that are written poorly or too short at an expensive price. It frustrates me to see junk in the indy author market because it ruins the customer’s experience and it damages the indy author’s reputations. Therefore, I will consistently write quality at a very reasonable price. It’s a win-win situation.
What were some of your favorite books as a child?
My favorite all time children’s book was “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”. I think I read that book over 100 times. Not only was the story fascinating but the pictures made me constantly keep going back to that book. My mom also bought the 1970 children’s book series “Sweet Pickles” which was about a bunch of different animals that lived in the town named Sweet Pickles. The stories had morals to them and for each book, it had a map of where all the characters lived. The writer of that series was a pure genius.
I was so excited to publish my first book that when I did, I did a very poor job of proofreading my book. I just wanted it to be done and be on the market to say that I accomplished writing a book. It was embarrassing because I told many of my friends and family about the book and then I later found so many typos, punctuation errors, and grammar mistakes. If I could go back and do that again, I would. However, I learned a lot since then and double and triple check my books before I publish them now.
Did you always want to be a teacher and what does it take to be a good teacher?
That’s a difficult question. I like teaching especially teaching adults but if I could write more and teach less, I would do that. I’m hoping to become a full time writer and a part time teacher in the future. But if that doesn’t work out, then I’ll continue teaching and getting better at it. Either way, I want to be the best at whatever field I’m in.
What has been your worst day as a teacher?
I used to teach elementary and middle school students from 3pm-10pm in my first year of living in South Korea. I taught elementary students during the day and taught middle school students from 9pm-10pm. Being that middle school students in South Korea went to regular school during the day and then went to the academy at night, they got tired and bored easily. My worst day was teaching and seeing none of my students paying attention to me and all of them just looking at the desk. I then realized that teaching overworked middle school students was not my strength. I later found my calling: teaching adults that wanted to learn.
Toy Story or Shrek?
I’m a sucker for sentimentality. When Woody said goodbye to his friends on Toy Story 3, it made me shed a tear or two. The movies were well done, full of humor, and made me think about life. Shrek is hilarious too but Toy Story has a special place in my heart.
What do you love best about living in South Korea?
The first thing is definitely the food. Any country where meat is an important part of the cuisine, you can’t go wrong. Also South Korea is very safe despite what most people in the U.S. think. I have never felt in danger while walking at home at night. Being a man definitely helps but in South Korea, I feel a lot safer walking alone at night than I would in Los Angeles. Next, I’ve met wonderful friends at church and wonderful students. Finally, the public transportation is amazing. It’s cheap, clean, and almost always on time. It’s wonderful.
How would you say ‘Reading is Fun!’ in Korean?
I definitely miss my family. It’s a bit hard only being able to see my family once a year and for a short two-week visit to L.A. I hope I can be able to visit them more often down the line if not move back permanently in the not-so-distant future. I also have a nephew that is going on three years old and I want to see him grow up.
Your job affords you the opportunity to travel a lot. Where is the most exotic place you’ve been to and what did you love about it?
I went on a missions trip with my church members last year to Siem Reap, Cambodia. I really loved that country. The people were beautiful and despite some of them being very poor, they were so happy and laid back. The food was really tasty as well and I could get a delicious dish for just over $1. We also travelled to Ankor Wat and it is by far the most amazing place I’ve been to. The Great Wall of China was good, but Ankor Wat was much more impressive.
What can we expect from Scott Worden in 2013?
I hope to write two idioms books with Liam Lusk and write a travel book about the best places in Southern California. I lived there for 27 years and I think I can share some experiences of wonderful sites to visit.
Where can fans and readers of your books discover more about you and connect with you?
You can find me on my blog: http://laseoulguy.com or you can find me on Twitter. My twitter handle is LASeoulGuy.
Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the publishing industry?
Don’t give up so soon. Work hard at developing your network of author friends. They can help you with great advice and with editing your books. Also, don’t expect to make a lot of money right away. You need to keep working hard at it. Most importantly, do it because you love it. Don’t do it for the money. You may make a good amount of money or you may not. If that’s your only motivation in writing books, you might have to try another field.
Thanks for spending some time with us today Scott. There are many things you’ve said today that will strike a chord with many people. For instance, you touched on the fact that we shouldn’t see writing as primarily an income generating activity but rather to have the mindset that first and foremost, I write because I love to write. I also have to agree with you on Toy Story Please visit Scott’s website at the link below where he shares so much and you can discover more about him.
Scott’s Blog – http://laseoulguy.com
Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/Scott-Worden/e/B00A13YK8O
Scott’s Twitter Page – https://twitter.com/LASeoulGuy