Scott Coon is an award-winning short story writer and former U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst.
He served six years, rising to the rank of Sergeant. His service included a tour in Kuwait where he received a First Army Combat Patch and the Joint Service Achievement Award. Now a software developer for a major bank, Scott brings his computer and military experience into his work, along with a sense of spectacle.
His debut novel LOST HELIX, a sci-fi adventure/mystery, is available now. Scott’s first published story, “Firewall,” appeared in Nth Degree Magazine in 2006. His short “Enduring Winter” was a finalist in the Writers of the Future Awards, won Second Place in the New England SciFi Writers Assn Contest 2016, and was published in Bewildering Stories, Issue 849, March 2020.
Scott Coon shares his knowledge of writing with others and helps other creatives do the same. He hosts the Writers of Sherman Oaks Critique Group meetings and National Novel Writing Month write-in events. His YouTube channel and websites provide insights into his work and give advice to writers. His Little Creative Interview series helps to foster learning in the creative community. See his websites for more information.
Your writing journey:
I was born in Los Angeles, but my family moved back to Pennsylvania when I was still an infant. I grew up on the east coast. Then I traveled the world for the Army and traveled America for software companies. Now, years later, I am back in Los Angeles, where I was born but had never lived until now. I share my life with my cats Hank, Logan, and Princess.
Writing began for me in the third grade. I wrote poetry about chess and Norse mythology. With no writers in my life, I have no idea what inspired this. My first submission was an article for “Dragon” magazine. They rejected it of course. But I was on my way! …sort of.
In high school, my senior year creative writing project was an Ann Rice clone. While reading weekly chapters to the class, no one seemed to be listening. But late in the school year, the novel reached a scene where two vampires were sentenced to death by sunlight. As a door opened to reveal their sun-bleached bones, someone yelled, “Hey! Why did you kill them? They never did anything wrong.” I was surprised and flattered. And hooked. I wanted to be a writer.
It wasn’t until 2006 that I was finally published by Nth Degree Magazine. It was a story about a psychic computer hacker. What does that mean? Read it from my published stories page to find out. It includes the several short stories I’ve had published. Bewildering Stories recently featured “The Loneliest Advertisement Bot” and has published a few other stories over the years.
My work is often influenced by my career as a computer programmer and also by my six years as an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army. Both played a role in Lost Helix. My ideas often come from asking the question, “Yeah, but what next?” Terraforming is a recurring concept in science fiction, like in James S. A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes, but what happens when the planet is done? How does humanity go about populating it? The world of Lost Helix is my answer to that question.
Another source of inspiration was the video game Sid Meier’s Civilization. Every time I built the domed spaceship bound for Alpha Centauri, I wondered what would become of it after the colonists stripped it for parts and left its remains in orbit. In Lost Helix, I give my science victory colony ship a second life as a farm, feeding the miners of Stone River.
I continue to write more short stories and novels. See my website and join my newsletter for updates to where to find my latest published works.
Anything else you feel like sharing:
I have been watching some great YouTube channels for writers and I started my own, which includes science videos for science fiction writers.
I also have animated readings of my published short stories, videos about Lost Helix, and links to other YouTubers’ videos about me and Lost Helix. Currently you’ll find my video interview with Charity Bradford. And Lost Helix is scheduled to be reviewed by Scookie Reviews YouTube Channel. Under my Channels tab, you can find links to the writing and entertainment channels I love like Jenna Moreci, Sookie Reviews, and iWriterly. They’re really good and they are free to watch.
Here is my channel link:
Stuck on an asteroid mining facility, DJ dreams of writing music. His dad is a corporate hacker and his best friend Paul prepares to escape to become a settler in a planet-wide land rush, but neither interests DJ.
When his dad goes missing, DJ finds a file containing evidence of a secret war of industrial sabotage, a file encrypted by his dad using DJ’s song Lost Helix. Caught in a crossfire of lies, DJ must find his father and the mother he never knew.
When the mining company sends Agent Coreman after DJ and his guitar, DJ and Paul escape the facility and make a run for civilization. Will DJ discover the truth before Coreman catches him?
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/993588
Bookshop.org – https://bookshop.org/books/lost-helix/9781939844682
Powell’s – https://www.powells.com/book/-9781939844682