J. Scott Coatsworth’s The Homecoming
If you haven’t had the opportunity to read anything by J. Scott Coatsworth, then you truly need to pick up a copy of one of his stories. The Homecoming is out already and is a book I already have waiting for me to read. If you enjoy science fiction, then you definitely want to check this story out. Scott stopped by for a fabulously fun interview. After you read his answers to my crazy questions, read all about the book and an excerpt that makes you want to know what happens next. At the very bottom enter for a chance to win a copy of the book.
Amanda C. Stone: Good morning Scott! I’m so glad you stopped by today.
J. Scott Coatsworth: Hi Amanda… thanks so much for hosting me on your blog. 🙂
ACS: There is magically 25 hours in a day. What would you do with the extra hour?
JSC: That’s easy – I would write. My husband Mark and I run our own business, so we’re doing that 18 hours a day. It’s always a challenge to find time to just sit down and write, and I’m just bursting with stories. I could probably write a whole novel in a year with that extra hour.
ACS: Oooh! I kind of want to find a way to make that work because a whole novel by you? I might just have my mind blown a little bit here. You are on a deserted island and can have only one book with you. What book would it be?
JSC: Can I take a trilogy? If so, it would probably be the Lord of the Rings, the books that got me interested in writing in the first place. But if it was just one book, it would probably be one of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. She showed me you could mix and match genres with her dragons in space, and I’ve tried to follow her example ever since.
ACS: I freaking LOVED Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. Going to have to go back and read some of her older stuff that I loved so much. If you could snap your fingers and have an invention to do anything you want, what would you want it to do?
JSC: I’d make a machine that could read my thoughts and transfer them into words on the page – eliminate the keyboard and mouse and brain-to-hand-to-paper… just imagine new worlds and stories, and have them come to life on the page.
ACS: That would be fabulous! Though I definitely would like the option of turning it off. Not everything that goes through my head should be written down for all posterities sake. Who would you want to have as a stripper at your birthday party?
JSC: Jon Hamm from Mad Men. Just to see if the rumors are true.
ACS: What rumors? Hmm… Though I may be party crashing to find out the same thing. What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?
JSC: That would have to be rattlesnake. My Dad killed one once when he was hunting, and he brought it home and decided to cook it four ways – BBQ, boiled, baked, and fried. And yes, it really did taste like chicken.
ACS: Oh wow! I don’t know if I’d ever be adventurous enough to eat rattlesnake. Though now that you’ve told me it tastes like chicken maybe? Thank you for stopping by! I loved having you.
JSC: Thanks again for hosting me – great questions. One you didn’t ask… why did I become a writer?
ACS: Well, I guess there’s time for that last question. Though don’t tell anyone I let you ask your own question!
JSC: I don’t think I ever actually did. I think that when you are a writer, it’s because you can’t not be a writer, if you know what I mean. You have stories, and you need to tell them. It’s as simple as that. 🙂
ACS: Perfect answer and so true!
When his own world is destroyed, Aldiss and his crew barely manage to escape, leaving friends and lovers behind. What was meant to be an exploratory trip back to the home world turns into a mad dash for survival.
When they awaken from stasis on Earth, which was abandoned by humanity five centuries before, they must quickly learn about their new home. While exploring the region around the ship, Aldiss meets Hari, a shape-changer, whose people harbor secrets that might cost the crew their lives.
Hari reached the edge of the woods just in time to see Neru crouching to leap at the two-legs. Young fool.
He gathered himself and jumped after Neru, knocking him aside as his teeth reached for the two-legs’ throat.
Neru turned and snarled at him, backing away toward the woods.
Hari stood firm, ears back, hackles raised, and drew the corners of his mouth back to reveal his teeth. Back off, Neru.
The whelp shook his head and grinned with the brashness of youth, until Hari leaped at him and nipped his ear. With a surprised yelp, Neru turned his head, deferring to Hari’s strength. As you say, brother. There was a cockiness to Neru’s look that unsettled him.
The other wolf backed up slowly then turned to disappear into the woods.
Hari caught a glimpse of Mavi watching from the shadows. The old wolf snarled, and slunk off after her son.
What do you seek, old mother? Hari wondered, watching Mavi’s silver-tipped tail flicker into the darkness. It was clear where Neru’s courage and cunning had come from.
Hari turned back toward the two-legs. He was holding a strange stick, not unlike the one that Hari’s grandmother had shown him in the wolf dream.
But it was his face that caught Hari’s eye. He knew that face. The two-legs’ eyes were white-gray, and his jet-black hair was swept to the side.
Despite the danger, he shifted in the manner only a few of the clan are able to do in the cold. He grew quickly taller and less hairy but no less muscled, and stood naked before the two-legs.
They stared at each other for a long moment. Hari felt an immense attraction washing over him. He saw in his summer form that this two-legs was beautiful. His own body responded to this… man… in an unexpected way, seeing and feeling things his winter form could not. Hari leaned forward and sniffed the stranger, drinking in his musk. It smelled enticing. Strangely familiar.
He sensed the two-legs stiffen, and to reassure, him, Hari licked the man’s neck.
The two-legs was trembling now like a young whelp, so he tried something else. He took the stranger’s face in his hands and kissed him.
The shaking slowed, and then the man was kissing him back. Hari was hungry for him, like a starving wolf at the end of a long, hard winter.
It is not the time for this, the keh whispered in his ear.
He broke contact and turned away, ashamed that he was betraying his Clan, and for lust. An emotion of his summer form.
“I’m sorry,” he said to the two-legs, without looking back. “It won’t happen again.” Even he was not sure if he meant Neru’s attack, or the kiss.
He shifted back into his winter form and loped off into the woods after his pack mates.
About J. Scott:
Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci-fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid-twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.
Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.
Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.
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