N. Scoto Bowen discusses one of his newly released fiction books The Dagger With Two Blades and how traveling the world for work has inspired his writing.
SFK- How long did it take you to write this book?
NSB- About a year to write a final draft of “The Dagger with Two Blades,” plus months more with Jeanne for copy editing.
SFK- Where do you get the information or ideas for your book from?
NSB- I see great art where so-called cultured individuals scorn to look, and that’s the underlying theme of “Barely Ecstatic” and “Masterwork.” For “The Dagger with Two Blades,” my life in the trans-global world of big business underlies the gap between national jurisdictions and international finance. That gap allows all kinds of chicanery, legal and illegal. Add in the elements of true love and a criminal empire, and you have the basis of “The Dagger with Two Blades.”
SFK- What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
NSB- That strong characters can take control of the story and sometimes surprise me, when I’m supposed to be in charge.
SFK- What kind of feedback have you received on your writing?
NSB- Writing for business is part of my livelihood, i.e. the feedback goes into my bank account. My fiction prose has earned many kind words. My fiction topics have caused some head scratching.
SFK- Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
NSB- I don’t think about “fiction” as an abstract. Each new novel that I read brings insights and possibilities to mind, but nothing singular.
SFK- How do you select the names of your characters?
NSB- They come at night when I am trying to sleep.
SFK- What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
NSB- With the internet, research on specific topics is a click away. But sometimes research means going and seeing. I do that too but can’t quantify the footwork.
SFK- What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
NSB- Writing women characters is easier because averagely women are more interesting than men.
SFK- What does literary success look like to you?
NSB- It would be good to tell you later, but I’m not hoping for more than some satisfied readers. The word “literary” makes me uneasy, because it sounds loftier than me or my writing.
SFK- Is there any place in the world you would love to travel and write a book?
NSB- This may sound pretentious, but I have been to most of the places that I would like to go and have spent time writing in most of them. Venice and Paris, for sure, but also Hong Kong and the great plains, mountains, and deserts of western USA, New England harbors, the French side of the English Channel, and the Alps near Lac Leman. Hawaii has the best weather and some of the finest long views in the world.
SFK- If you could go back in time and give yourself some advice what would that be and would you have listened?
NSB-I could have told myself to stop the bus and get off, but the ride was so interesting that I would have refused. Anyway, I never did and here I am.
SFK- If you could time travel, where would you go and what would you want to accomplish?
NSB- In the industrialized world, we are freer of disease and fear than at any time in history, so I wouldn’t want to go back in time. But we are entering a new world of big data, artificial intelligence, and automation that encroaches on our independence, along with strident voices, enabled by the internet, that insist on their own individuality at the expense of any other. I fear for what I would find in the future. Better to stay in our own time.
Art and ambition intertwine as themes of Scoto’s fiction and recognizing that his life is not ordinary, he is drawn to outsiders of all kinds. Scoto started writing stories before he reached his teens, but a family member steered him away from writing into a career in business. Writing and releasing 3 fiction books simultaneously has thrust Scoto into the literary where the topics for his books are drawn from traveling the globe on job assignments. His three books are The Dagger With Two Blades, Masterwork and Barely Ecstatic all available online and independent bookstores. You can read more about his work on his publisher’s website.