About N. Scoto Bowen
Scoto cooking up something tasty
Octoreader: Is it true that you have no home?
Scoto: It's not true. I am a resident of New Hampshire. But most of the time I'm traveling to wherever I have a job assignment, previously Europe, but now more in Asia. And I continue with good clients in the U.S.A.
When do you write fiction if writing isn't your daytime job?
I advise C-suite execs in big companies, and I write a lot of proposals and presentations. Fiction is a relief from writing corporatese, and I find time between meetings and between flights.
What kind of story drives you?
I like marginal characters far from the mainstream (the same could describe me). Characters tend to take over the story and make it their own as their desires and ambitions lead them into conflict and risky outcomes Conflict and risky outcomes are abhorred in big business, and my corporate recipe calls for exactly the opposite from the makings of a good story. Writing stories is more entertaining.
How did you start writing?
Before age ten I was reading two books a day, and reading got me started. One of my early characters was a boy with supernatural powers, some years before Harry Potter grabbed that niche. But my uncle steered me away from writing stories toward his idea of more purposeful things.
Your uncle stopped your writing?
He discouraged it. He was the boss in our family. The "N" in my name is for Norman, after him. When I was eleven my family moved from Knoxville to Chicago, so that my dad could work in my uncle's freight business. I was doing well at school, and, by the time I was a teenager, he figured me to take over the business. He planned to die before retiring and I was still a kid, so he was looking way ahead. I loved the guy and wanted to please him, but it didn't happen according to plan. The business got squeezed by higher costs and bigger competition, and, when I was getting my MBA, uncle Norman had to sell the company. He died just three years later. The doctors said it was from cancer, I say it was from a broken heart.
But then you started writing again.
The writing bug never went away. When a story got lodged in my head too tight to dislodge, I would noodle some words on the computer, and words grew into novels. Coming back to Uncle Norman, there is a lot of him in the Cobey Muller books. Cobey takes on fresh goals late in life. I wish Uncle Norman had found new things to strive for.
Can you say anything about significant relationships?
Jennifer has been my love for many years. She's a mountain climber. Heights give me wobbly knees, which puts her life as far from mine as my life is from hers. We are so different, but our chemistry works and our time together is pure happiness. We have no children. She carries a gene disorder that she doesn't want to pass on to kids of her own. We thought about adopting and settling down, but time passed, interesting projects came up, and we never did get into home-making. We get together when we can, on our time off between her mountains and my work assignments.
In New Hampshire?
We have a cabin on a lake. We enjoy it there, and we have some other favorite places around the world. For awhile I kept an apartment in Paris, my favorite city, but Jennifer doesn't like cities all that much, and we found a bed & breakfast near Geneva, high up on the Jura ridgeline, looking across Lac Leman at the Alps. Now, because my work takes me more and more to Asia, we have fallen in love with Maui, where we stay on the flanks of the Hale'akala volcano, with a fabulous view of the Pacific ocean below.
Do you have any vices?
I'm not sure it's a vice, but I am addicted to seafood and go out of my way for some of the special dishes that the world has to offer. I'm concerned about the peril of overfishing, and I don't eat swordfish or the exotic species that the Chinese have decimated. Fortunately, octopus and squid populations are in no danger, and lobster, crayfish and shrimp are farmed in abundance.
When is your next book?
As soon as I can finish it. It's the third of the Cobey Muller novels, and it's halfway into the first draft.
Can readers contact you?
I'm at nscotobowen@gmail.com. Sometimes it takes a few days for me to respond, but mail is very welcome.
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