March 5th, 1995 marks an important date for Scott Novosel. As a college senior, he achieved his life-long dream and played his first game as a walk-on for the Kansas Jayhawks. In a SI.com article, Novosel “says he has been trying to turn his life into an inspirational story for kids since that day . . .”
And once again, Novosel succeeds! His graphic novel Fieldhouse is a charmer, but I disagree that it’s just for kids. It’s great for all ages and about so much more than basketball.
Novosel turned to Kickstarter to publish his book which allowed him to produce a quality product with full-color, thick pages with a cloth spine and foil stamp. Novosel, along with Sean Demory and CW Cook, will share their experiences successfully using crowdfunding to develop projects, build community and establish buzz at our 2016 Writers Conference.
In anticipation of the conference, Novosel took a few moments to answer some questions:
Introduce yourself. Where do you live and work?
Scott Novosel, currently living in Leawood. I have been speaking to schools and libraries throughout the country as well as working on the sequel to Fieldhouse.
If readers are familiar with you, it is most likely as a KU basketball player, which also happens to be the topic of your book. Tell us a little bit about who you are outside of your basketball career.
I would say I am the man of many jobs over the past 20 years while creating Fieldhouse:
Tell us about your path to becoming an author: What made you decide you wanted to tell your story in writing; what steps did you take to get there; what detours and obstacles did you face; what was the process of getting published like?
From the moment I started for the Big 8 Regular Season Championship game I thought that this story needs to be told because I was the normal kid who somehow made it through. I self-published Fieldhouse so there were a ton of obstacles.
Finding an artist, financing the project, finding a distributor, convincing the distributor to take me on (for 10 weeks I emailed Midpoint Trade every Tuesday with Amazon results).
I did a Kickstarter campaign to finance the making of the book, which was incredible! Could not be more grateful for how that all turned out! I will be talking about this on October 29th at Johnson County Library!
Why a graphic novel—as opposed to a book of just text or other book formats (illustrated, picture, etc.)? How did you find an artist to partner with? What were the dynamics of that collaboration?
I started searching for an artist back in 2005 when I had the idea to turn FH into a graphic novel. It seemed all time-consuming and hopeless until 2014, when I reached out to a cartoonist who had her email on a HuffPost article. She hooked me up with Sam Sharpe, and I could not ask for a better artist for the job! He is just the best! We clicked from the get go. It was such a fun process! One that required a ton of work but was just so awesome!
What has been your experience of being a published author?
Ready to start cranking out more books! For me it’s like when Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile. Then 2 weeks later so many more did the same. I feel like once I got this done, that I can keep on with all of the other ideas I have been sitting on.
What advice do you have for aspiring (-to-be-published) authors?
HUSTLE; Keep Moving Forward; Listen to your inner instinct; If you are gonna stress give yourself a time limit and then be done with it!
Do you have plans to write anything else? Will it be the same format (graphic novel) or something different? Do you ever see yourself writing fiction?
I plan to do the sequel for Fieldhouse, currently entitled Tokyo Dome. It’s about my brother and our time in Japan together. It will be more of a Fish Out of Water story. Will be very fun! I also have two other nonfiction books about Health and Free Throw Shooting respectively.
And finally I have a children’s fiction book that I just have to figure out about the artwork. The story is already written.
You’re going to be part of our Writers Conference the last weekend of October; what can we expect from you there?
My ultimate message to other authors out there is to always keep moving and always keep in mind that there are so many other books out there, so you have to not get down when you get turned down. It’s just the natural way of things. Let those disappointments be fuel for you!
What role have libraries played in your life (as both reader and a writer)?
Libraries have played a wonderful role in my life mostly on the “how to help the creative person” end. They have been an never-ending resource on my path to transforming my visions into reality.
What's your all-time favorite book? What do you like to read?
This one is just too tough because there are so many and such a wide variety. On my school/library speaking tour, I tell students to read as much as they can because it opens up a whole new world out there. I also tell them if they want to think about their future to read as many biographies as they can. It will totally help them to embrace adversity!
What books do you recommend to fellow readers and writers?
Eyeshield 21 - Japanese Manga by Riichiro Inagaki that inspired me to make Fieldhouse into a graphic novel. It’s a fun read and very creative.
Slow Burn - Stu Mittleman and Phil Maffetone have some great information about the difference between a sugar burner and a fat burner.
Outliers - I read start to finish as I couldn't put Malcolm Gladwell's book down.
The Obstacle is the Way - Ryan Holiday created a very easy and very informative book based on stoicism and embracing adversity.
If you could bring one character to life from a favorite book, who would it be? Why?
Sena Kobayakawa from the Japanese manga Eyeshield 21. His character is just the best! He always keeps moving forward, is totally kind to others, gets scared but takes on challenges anyway.
Also, that book inspired me to turn Fieldhouse into a graphic novel! It’s so creative and has points of learning inside. Throughout the book there are lessons on how to play American Football, which the Japanese wouldn’t know about.
So let me flashback to college real quick. When I was working on my master’s degree in Sport Psychology, my professor Dr. Templin, asked our class how we could take all of this wealth of information and package it so people can understand and, more importantly, utilize it. Well, I always had this in my mind when I would coach basketball and personal train.
I had a Eureka moment when I read Eyeshield 21, because I thought I could have lessons of self-improvement throughout Fieldhouse. So for instance there are motivational quotes throughout the book that Roy Williams would make us memorize every day before practice. He would randomly call on someone later in practice and if he didn’t know the quote we all would have to get on the line and run windsprints. I loved those quotes and always thought about them. Well, they are all throughout Fieldhousebecause of the influence of Sena Kobayakawa and Eyeshield 21!
What's your least favorite word?
NO is my least favorite word, yet favorite word at the same time. As a self-published author who took twenty years to produce his first book, I have heard “No” so many times that I decided to make that my cue for “get fired up and find another way! How can I improve and go forward even stronger than before?” is my new definition of “No”.
Which albums, films, and books are you ashamed to admit you love?
I’m definitely not ashamed but I love Pixar movies. Ratatouille is one of my all time favorite screenplays and I just think Wall-E is such a great sci-fi. I love albums, films, and books that make you feel good when you finish listening, watching, and reading!
If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which show would you choose?
Barnwood Builders for sure! I like being outside, an awesome team environment, and creating!