Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
I’m Scott Bury, and I’m 114 years old. Or at least, sometimes it feels like that.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Winnipeg, and have lived in Thunder Bay, Ontario; Montreal; Toronto and now Ottawa.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have a BA in Communications from Carleton University in Ottawa. I now live with my understanding wife, two mighty sons and two sleepy cats.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I havejust published my 13th book, Wildfire. It’s the first volume in what I plan to be the Wine Country Mysteries.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have always written, as long as I can remember: little stories, poems, outlines, and the beginnings of a lot of unplanned novels.
I love making up stories. Some get sparked by a news story I read or hear, some by something I see. I often get inspired by travel to interesting places. These can spark beginnings of stories, or suggest interesting characters.
One thing I like to do is imagine an interesting character, like the witch’s son. Then I like to add my friends and family members to the story, just to imagine how they’d react.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
As I said, I think I’ve always thought of myself as a writer. In high school, I started a school newspaper. I also published a little magazine of science fiction and fantasy in highs school. I wrote many of the stories in that, and got my friends to write others, or to illustrate them.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I wanted to write a story about dragons for my two boys. Then I came across a statement, somewhere — which I for the life of my have not been able to find again — that someone worked out that, had they been real people, Beowulf and King Arthur would have died in the same year: 535 CE.
Then I came across an essay called “Catastrophe,” which described the eruption of Krakatoa in 535, and how the resulting global dust cloud blocked the sun for a year. That led to crop failures and famines around the world, which caused civilizations to crumble in Europe, Asia and Central America. The author, Daniel Keyes, even linked that to the origins of the bubonic plague.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The Bones of the Earth refers to dragons, symbols of the most basic power of life on Earth.
Wildfire, my latest book, was inspired by my trip to California last fall. I was invited to a mystery writers’ conference in Russian River, in Sonoma County, in October. My wife and I decided to make a vacation of it. We spent a few days first in San Francisco. Then on October 8, when I went to pick up my rental car, I saw news reports about wildfires sweeping across Napa and Sonoma counties.
Highways were closed and the air was filled with smoke as we drove to the conference, which was thankfully not in the fire zone. But even during the conference, the skies were hazy with smoke, and ash fell on the hotel grounds. As one participant said, “That was once someone’s home.”
It was my wife who suggested a book set during that season. And the result is the first Wine Country Mystery.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I try to make my writing as un-challenging for the reader as possible. But that is challenging as a writer. I work hard to avoid passive sentences and clichés, and to use descriptive language to bring the reader right into the story. This means spending a lot of time finding my own way to describe things.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The fires themselves were absolutely real, and the evacuations. The falling ash and the smoke in the air are things that I experienced.
I also put friends and family into the story. That was fun!
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t have to travel, but it sure helps craft a realistic, believable story. I travel before the process. I did the same thing with my first mystery, Torn Roots. This is a mystery/thriller set in Maui, Hawaii, and the main character was a geologist. As I started writing it, I realized I knew nothing about the geology of Maui. So my wife and I took a trip to Maui, where I did a lot of research. I feel this helped me in my descriptions of not only the land, but the flora, the animals and the culture, as well.
And as I said above, it was a trip to Sonoma that inspired Wildfire. While not essential, the first-hand experience made a big difference.
I also set a lot of my action thriller, The Wife Line, in parts of Europe I had visited before: Provence, Austria, London.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The one-and-only designer, photographer and author David C. Cassidy.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes: trust yourself.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I admire independent authors, who create new stories not constrained or pushed by commercial publishers. These include:
- Samreen Ahsan
- David C. Cassidy
- Bruce Blake
- Raine Thomas
- Autumn Birt
- Seb Kirby
- Alan McDermott
- Caleb Pirtle III
- DelSheree Gladden
- Toby Neal
And many more.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Gary Henry, who does a great job editing my books.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It has been my career since 1986, when I started my first job as a journalist.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
To authors, reviews are like wine: some are sweet, some have a lot of acid. But you can never have enough.
It was a reader featuring the twins John and Jane, and their big brother Dick.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Injurious injustice based on prejudice makes me cry — for example, the systematic oppression of First Nations people.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Peter Abelard; I would love to discuss with him the value of skepticism and the literal belief in religion.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I like stories that push boundaries, and have high production values: Vikings, Game of Thrones, Dark, Stranger Things, The Shape of Water, Lord of the Rings, stories like that.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
So hard to choose—there are so many great foods to eat, colours to see, music to hear. When it comes to music, my choices are wide. I tend to avoid pop, and listen to music with some kind of edge—whether that’s Bach or Leonard Cohen, or anything in between.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Maybe I would teach adults to read.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Amazon Authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/Scott-Bury/e/B007Z4BXGY/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1