At 17 years old, Scott Carss has to be the youngest author I’ve met in the Inkshares community. His story, The Adventures of MONOMAN, turned heads when it first hit the site, demonstrating a clever wit with its simple pitch that offers a new perspective on a classic super-villain trope: the dramatic monologue.
His participation in the recent Draftshares event earned him an interview on this blog. Read about Scott and his approach to the craft, then head over to the page for The Adventures of MONOMAN to stay up to date on Scott’s work.
About The Adventures of MONOMAN:
Gordon Anyen is your average everyday college student-except he’s not at all-because at night he roams the streets of a lonely southern Florida city as MONOMAN, a hero with the ability to force others to monologue. What he lacks in skill he makes up for in determination; which he will need if he’s to survive when a hidden threat relieves itself to the world.
Allen is a down on his luck thug who would like nothing better than for the world to forget his existence. Unfortunately for Allen, he’ll soon find that running from his past is a lot more difficult when it comes looking for him. What he has in skill he makes up for with his lack of determination to ever make it big, which he’ll need if he wants to avoid everyone else in the city-who seem to have other plans in store for him.
Bolt is one of the newest members of the Union of Superheroes; the world’s largest superhero organization. With her mentor slain by a vicious super villain; Bolt swears revenge, pledging to do whatever it takes to bring the killer to justice. However, it’s hard to achieve your goals when nobody will give you the respect you deserve. Or you might just lack enough experience and knowledge gained through age to know how to deal with these issues
A myriad of betrayals, lies and secrets await these unlikely compatriots as they struggle to stay alive in the seemingly innocent city.
Q: You’re a very young author (17 years old!). How long have you been writing, and how did you get into it?
A: I’ve been writing for a while, but it’s mostly been for school. I’d say that as with most people it was reading that got me into writing. After reading so many other amazing stories I just wanted to get my own out there as well. I wrote the first chapter of The Adventures of MONOMAN in grade 10, but I only started working on the rest of it in November.
Q: Is MONOMAN your first fiction project? If not, what else have you written?
A: It’s my first fiction project that’s gone anywhere. There have been times in the past where I’ve tried to write books only to fail to get past the prologue. My solution for this problem was to not write the prologue until the entire first draft of The Adventures of MONOMAN was done. I mean, I’ve written school projects, but those are what they are.
Q: I love the idea of The Adventures of MONOMAN. How did the idea come up?
I’m pleased to hear you like the idea. As for how it came up I don’t really remember the specifics of the situation now. I just thought it would be funny to have villains monologue for an actual reason for once instead of clichéd writing.
Q: If you could give MONOMAN the “Marvel movie” treatment, who would you want to cast as Gordon?
A: This is actually something I’ve thought about before and come up completely blank. To be honest I have to admit that my actual mental image of Gordon is kind of vague and not really as he is described in the book. The other main characters are a little more defined for me, but I’m still just as bad at coming up with actors for them. The only person in the draft I can think of an actor for is Hardline (who shows up in chapter four). I’d cast Freddy Wong in his role.
Q: Have you done any research while working on MONOMAN? If so, what’s the most interesting thing you’ve uncovered?
A: The only actual research I did during the draft was on handguns for Allen to use. Although, I have learned some interesting things when talking to my brother. Actual discussion:
Me: I’m thinking of having a super villain duo called Cloak and Dagger in my book.
Brother: Like the Marvel heroes?
Me: Damn it…all the good names are taken.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about MONOMAN? It can be about characters, the world, magic (such as it is), interesting science-fiction doodads, etc.
A: I have to say two things for this question. First of all my story isn’t actually set on our earth, things are slightly different about. (Other than the superheroes of course. I’m talking about geography and history.) For example; Wales is in control of the British Isles and Comoros is a super power. The second thing is that I’ve actually thought of back stories and super powers for a bunch of the random heroes and villains that are mentioned. For example; the villain Metric—who’s mentioned in chapter one—can warp reality by converting things between metric and imperial. What I mean by this is that say a piece of lead had a mass of 65 kg which is around 143 lbs; he could make that piece of lead have a mass of 143 kg. He could take that same piece of lead later and change it back or make it have a mass of 315 kg. He can do this with any form of measurement, (distance, volume, whatever). So someone a mile away becomes only a kilometer away.
Q: How did you come to find Inkshares?
A: I found Inkshares thanks to the Geek and Sundry hard science fiction contest. I didn’t have a hard science fiction submission (The Adventures of MONOMAN just wouldn’t work-I thought about it.) but I put up what I did have. I really loved the idea of Inkshares which is what drew me into it despite my inability to enter the contest. I found the site Inkshare because of mistypes.
Q: You were one of the most active participants in Draftshares commentary—which drafts did you find particularly compelling, and why?
A: I actually only commented on about four drafts; I had so many comments because I spent several hours editing them. I was actually pretty surprised when I found out I was the top commenter. I chose the drafts I picked because they had said yes to hard critiques. What else can I say? I like to edit stuff. It’s just something I’ve always found enjoyable, although I still prefer basic writing more. I also looked at the draft Exile, Magus which seemed pretty neat, although it was already very polished so I didn’t really go in depth on it.