Science fiction and fantasy novels published by an Isanti man have been climbing the charts for Amazon.com’s bestselling books.
Scott Rhine of Isanti is a self-published author of five e-books and paperbacks, with a sixth due out this summer.
“I love writing because it’s like reading,” he said. “I get as much fun out of laughter and surprise as anyone. It’s the little details that pop up.”
His latest book, Dreams of the Fallen, recently sold nearly 200 e-books in one week. On a recent free giveaway promotion, it hit #4 on Amazon’s epic fantast list and #67 on overall fiction.
Dreams is the sequel to Doors to Eternity, which Rhine did not give away for free. When he gave away over 3,000 free copies of Dreams last week, the first book hovered between #16 and #20—about one in 14 people wanted book one to go along with it.
“I seem to have hit a niche with the fantasies,” Rhine said. Cambridge Public Library ordered a complete set of his books, which should now be available for borrowing.
Working from home programming for HP for his day job, Rhine said he’s found a creative freedom in writing he doesn’t experience from the computer programming he’s done for years.
He started writing when he got laid off in 1992. In one week, he wrote 80 pages of what later became Doors to Eternity, which came out this past January. In the last year, his writing has taken off. May 1 was the anniversary of becoming a self-published author. Over 1,500 copies of his books have been sold in that first year.
Rhine focuses on selling e-books by direct publishing through Amazon. That way, he has complete control over his work and controls the prices. After writing and editing the books himself, his wife Tammy, an English major, edits them. Finally, he hires a line editor to do a final read-through and edit.
His favorite part of writing is creating characters, Rhine said, saying his characters very much have minds of their own.
“I have a good ear for dialogue, and I’ve mastered pacing,” Rhine said. “I have not yet mastered the art of trimming out the totally unnecessary, because I want to give you the feel that you belong to this group of friends. And when you have a group of friends, there’s background chatter, there’s things going on in everybody’s life.”
Ultimately, he hopes to retire to write full time in a few years. At 48, Rhine admits he got started a bit late, both with having children and writing books. His wife Tammy works as a counselor in downtown Isanti, and the couple have two children; Pierce, 10, and Emily, 7.
Scott Rhine’s books include The Scarab, Foundation of the Lost, Jezebel’s Ladder, Doors to Eternity, Dreams of the Fallen, and, due out this summer, Sirius Academy. They can be purchased at www.Amazon.com.