I’ve crossed paths with Canadian author, Scott Bury in the past, but we didn’t connect until last year while working on the Lei Crime Series for Kindle Worlds.
I read his novella, Torn Roots and finally got a taste of his writing—excellent! Like me, Scott writes in multiple genres and he has numerous writing projects on the go.
Read more about this multi-talented writer and what he has to offer.
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So great to finally have you here, Scott. Are you a full-time writer or do you have a day job?
I am a full-time writer with a day job—I am lucky enough in my career to have a full-time job as a communications advisor, writing mostly text for websites and social media.
Which means I spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen. I know it’s not healthy for my eyes, so I try to write basic ideas onto paper with a nice, smooth pen.
I tend to write fiction early in the morning and on weekends. My restricted time for this means I have to be strict about making a solid outline before I begin writing the text.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My tendency to procrastinate.
Ha! At least you sound like a procrastinator who is disciplined. What profession other than your own would you like to try?
A geographer who explores little-travelled areas of the world, mapping and documenting them. In other words, a professional traveler, paid to look into places on the map that had always intrigued me. Hey, you didn’t say it had to be realistic!
No, I did not! Do you have any favorite curse words?
I think I say the word “shit” a lot, but it’s hard to say because I’m not really conscious of it. When I catch myself exclaiming in dismay over something that goes wrong, like if I inadvertently erase a whole paragraph, I’ll say something incoherent like “aack!”
I can imagine saying that. Do you have a motto you live by?
Think for yourself, you self-deluded fool. I tried making that into a religion, but no one who believed it would then follow me. Strange.
Indeed. 🙂 Let’s learn more about the writer in you, Scott. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
From the people and the situations around me. Most of my characters are based on people I know well, or amalgams of two of them. And stories in the news, or the situations that friends and acquaintances get themselves into, continually suggest stories and novels to me. Other times, I’ll get an idea from seemingly nowhere. But there’s a situation that could become a story. I have more ideas for stories than I’ll ever be able to finish writing.
What motivates you to write?
The stories themselves. They’re asking, demanding to be written down. So I comply.
Name some of your favorite authors and books and why you like them.
A few years ago, I realized, to my surprise, that I favoured magical realism. Most of my favourite books fell into that category. And I realized that category is just a highfalutin’ term for “fantasy.” Since I was a child, I loved Tolkien, and to a much lesser degree, C.S. Lewis. I felt I could identify with Bilbo Baggins, and of course the world that Tolkien created was fascinated. As an adult, I still like Tolkien, although I recognize the flaws and limitations of his work.
Other works that fit this category include:
Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale—also flawed, but funny, full of vivid detail and interesting if unrealistic characters like Cecil Wooley and Pearly Soames, and of course Peter Lake and the great white horse, Athansor.
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov—what struggling writer would not identify with the Master? And how could you not love a story about the devil’s gigantic black cat riding a streetcar without paying the fare?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude—the definitive magic realist novel, with characters that were so real, I think I know them all.
Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses—Okay, the shock value and the fatwah first attracted me to the book, and I enjoyed the looks on people’s faces when I read it on the subway. But it’s an excellent, fascinating book.
I guess what I like about this genre is the juxtaposition of the realistic—the recognizable world, realistic, believable characters—with the fantastic elements that the characters usually just accept as normal.
I think that’s also the reason I love Ray Bradbury. I do enjoy other books, too.
I love The Maltese Falcon. I also just finished re-reading all of Chandler’s Philip Marlowe novels. I loved them when I discovered them decades ago, but today, I see a lot of flaws. Still, they’re compelling reads.
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of independent authors, and my favourites include Toby Neal, Emily Kimelman, Kathleen Valentine, Alan McDermott, Gary Henry, David C. Cassidy, Elise Stokes, Samreen Ahsan, Frederick Lee Brooke, Roger Eschbacher, Gae-Lynn Woods, Autumn Birt, Bruce Blake, Seb Kirby, —and of course, Eden Baylee.
Ha, charmer! How do you market yourself?
Not from what I see Scott, I think you market better than many authors I know. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about writing?
I have heard a lot of people say “I don’t like writing, I like having written. On the other hand, I enjoy the act of writing. I love dreaming up storylines, thinking about what would happen next in a situation, what a character would do. The least favourite part is reading something I wrote a couple of years ago and recognizing a section that I really should have written better.
I’m with you there. Reading some of my old work is painful, but I believe it means we have improved. On the craft of writing, is it important for you to know the title or ending of a book before you write it?
Title, no. Titles change. Occasionally, I come up with a title first, but that does not happen very often. It did with “Dark Clouds,” my supernatural spy-mystery story, and of course with my spoof, One Shade of Red. But I do need to know the ending before I start writing. Otherwise, what am I doing? Where is this story going?
Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?
I do both. I find that writing goes a lot more smoothly with a good, solid outline, but sometimes, sections are still vague until I start to write them. Other times, I find that the outline just doesn’t work when it comes time to craft the actual words that bring a story to life. And still other times, it seems that the characters themselves tell me “No way would I do that in a situation like this.”
Are you working on another book now?
I have several in mind. First is another Lei Crime Kindle World novella, tentatively titled Dead Lies. It features FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm investigating a “closed room” murder. Following that, I will finish the Walking Out of War trilogy, by describing my protagonist, Maurice Bury’s experience at the end of World War 2: fighting in the Red Army across the Baltic states, Poland and Germany to Berlin, and then his journey after the end of the war to return to his home in Montreal.
Finally, when those are done, I want to return to my first series, begun five (!) years ago, and write the second part of the Dark Age trilogy, the follow-up to The Bones of the Earth. I plan to call it The Triumph of the Sky.
You are certainly busy, Scott! Tell us about your latest book.
The Wife Line is an action-thriller-detective story in the brand new Sydney Rye Kindle World.
People who love the Sydney Rye series by Emily Kimelman want more stories about Sydney and Blue, her rescue dog. Kimelman’s characters are compelling, complex, flawed and heroic. The Wife Line features the three main characters—Sydney, Blue and Mulberry—in an action-packed story that crosses half of Europe.
So if you like Sydney Rye, exotic locations, tons of action and a little sex, you’ll love The Wife Line.
I’m sure I will. What inspired you to write it?
At the suggestion of a friend, I read Emily Kimelman’s first three Sydney Rye and Blue novels and really enjoyed them. Then, Emily asked me to write something for the new Sydney Rye Kindle World. I had a lot of fun with my previous Kindle World novellas. In addition to Jet: Stealth, I also wrote Torn Roots for Toby Neal’s Lei Crime Kindle World. It turns out that Emily also had entries in both those Worlds. In addition to It Takes Two, she wrote Warrior Dog for the Lei Crime series.
I enjoyed writing about Van and LeBrun with Russell Blake’s Jet character, partly because their personalities are based on two people I know well. I wanted to write about them again, and extend the story about the special weapon introduced in Stealth. So the Sydney Rye world was perfect.
It’s great how you’ve written in three different Kindle Worlds. What has surprised you the most about writing The Wife Line?
How characters can take over a story and move it in directions that I didn’t anticipate. To a certain extent, that makes sense when you’re incorporating someone else’s creation, like Sydney. But when my own creations start resisting me, it’s hard to understand.
Buy from Amazon US
|Sydney Rye thought it would be an easy assignment: trail Nigel Willem, a software company executive because his boss suspects he’s up to something with mysterious trips across Europe. Sydney thinks he’s just a boring businessman.
Then Willem is poisoned in his own home. Van, a mysterious young man with long, scruffy blond hair brings Sydney the dead man’s laptop, saying he knows who ordered the murder. The laptop reveals why Willem travelled: he was expediting human trafficking.
As Sydney follows Willem’s trail eastward, she finds more proof about Willem’s underworld contacts in pornography, people smuggling, drugs and murder. But the presence of the unpredictable, aggravating and irresistible Van may be more of an obstacle than a help.
Love the cover Scott, and the blurb is fascinating. Let’s finish with a lightning round!
Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? The hard-drive backup for my computer.
Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? Provence. I went there in 2014, and used it as the setting for the introduction to The Wife Line.
Name a food you can eat everyday. Cheddar cheese.
Salty or sweet? Salty.
Cat/dog/other pet? Two pesky cats: Simba and Cloudy.
Favorite style of music? Baroque.
The best gift you’ve ever received? A kiss from my wife.
Your most guilty pleasure. Dairy Milk Thick chocolate bars.
Favorite season. Winter.
Name something you cannot go a day without. Coffee.
Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
My blog, Written Words, publishes book reviews, analyses of communications issues and writing tips. I welcome comments and questions!
Thanks Scott for sharing with my readers. It’s great to be connected and I look forward to working with you again.
Readers, find Scott at all his virtual homes below. Drop by and say “hi!” He has terrific information for both writers and readers on his website.
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Connect to Scott
Can’t Scott Bury stay in one genre?
After a 20-year career in journalism, he turned to writing fiction. “Sam, the Strawb Part,” a children’s story, came out in 2011, with all the proceeds going to an autism charity. Next was a paranormal short story for grown-ups, “Dark Clouds.”
Army of Worn Soles, published in 2014, tells the true story of Maurice Bury, a Canadian drafted into the USSR’s Red Army to face the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
In between writing books and blog posts, Scott helped found an author’s cooperative publishing venture, Independent Authors International. He is also President of author’s professional association BestSelling Reads.