Interview with Thomas Scott, Author of State of One
08 Nov 2022
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write State of One: A Virgil Jones Mystery Thriller?
State of One is the 15th Virgil Jones Mystery-Thriller novel, and like all the other books in the series, it is but a chapter of a much larger over-arching storyline. The main protagonists, Detective Virgil Jones (along with his adopted brother, Murton Wheeler) are special investigators for the Major Crimes Unit, working for, and answering to, the governor of the state. Each book in the series is a stand-alone novel, of course, with a complete and satisfying ending. In other words, there are never any cliffhangers.
While the books can be read in any order, most readers tell me they prefer to start at the beginning of the series to better witness the character growth. All of my novels, including State of One, are very character driven. There’s plot, obviously, but it is used mainly to demonstrate the complexities and nuances of the individual characters… both the good guys and the bad guys. State of One, and the entire series is described as mystery—thrillers, but at their core, they are really love stories in their own unique way, which I find very fitting because love is at once mysterious and thrilling.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of State of One: A Virgil Jones Mystery Thriller, what would they be?
Great question. I watched a documentary not long ago about that little ol’ band from Texas. If you’re not familiar with the tagline, I’m referring to ZZ Top. In the documentary they speak of playing for hours on end doing nothing but variations on “Shuffle in C.” While that’s not a song, it sort of captures the flow of my books… easy to read stories with a lot of (almost endless, actually) possible combinations and outcomes.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
My favorite genre is mystery thrillers… the same genre in which I write. I also like to read as much non-fiction as time permits.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
James Lee Burke’s Every Cloak Rolled in Blood is the only thing on the pile right now. It seems I’m due to go book shopping pretty soon!
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
I don’t think I could limit myself to a single scene without giving something away, but I will say this: I have two very favorite parts of any novel I’m writing. One is the very beginning. There’s nothing more satisfying (and sometimes horrifying) to sit down, type Chapter One, and then watch and wait to see what happens. The blank canvas is always fun, even if it is sometimes a little scary, sort of like a haunted house at the amusement park. But once I get rolling and the characters begin driving the story, it is an absolute joy. Of course the only thing better than all of that is the ending… to watch it all come together in ways I often never anticipated.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
Not really. I mean… I’m sort of a quirky guy anyway, so even if I did it’d all seem normal to me.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Yeah… I find myself constantly trying to “let go.” Ram Dass wrote: The whole trip occurs in an unfolding process of which we have no control.
He was obviously speaking of our lives here on earth, and I’ve found that statement to be very true, especially when it comes to writing novels for a living.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
That there are 14 novels before this one, and countless others on the way. I try to write each book as if it might be my last.
Thomas Scott is the author of the new book State of One: A Virgil Jones Mystery Thriller
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