Interview with sci-fi author Scott Burn

Science fiction author Scott Burn is in the hot seat today. We’re
chatting about The Enemy Within.
Bio:
Scott Burn is a former
lawyer turned writer. He is the creator of the science fiction comic book
series AGON and has sold several feature screenplays as well. The Enemy Within is his first novel. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Sarah, three step
children and two toe-nibbling cats. He loves that LA offers biking, hiking,
surfing and skiing all relatively close by. He doesn’t do any of those things,
but imagines he might in an alternate universe. 
Welcome, Scott. Please tell us about your current
release.
Seventeen-year-old
Max has always felt like an outsider. When the agonizing apocalyptic visions
begin, he decides suicide is his only escape. He soon finds himself in a psych
ward under the guidance of a therapist who sees something exceptional in him.
Just as he begins to leave the hallucinations behind, Max discovers the visions
weren’t just in his head.
There
are three others who have shared those same thoughts and they’ve been searching
for Max. Like him, they are something more than human. Each of them possesses
certain abilities, which they’re going to need when a covert military group
begins hunting them down. As the danger escalates, Max doesn’t know which side
to trust. But in the end, his choice will decide the fate of both species.
What inspired you to write this book?
I
work in Hollywood as a screenwriter. While there is a certain amount of freedom
about what you create, if you’re looking to sell it or would like to be kept onboard
for rewrites, you have to be cognizant of the market and what studios are
after. For years I had wanted to write something that was completely mine and
could be, for good or bad, precisely what I wanted it to be. I had been looking
to build a story around the idea of teenage alienation, but didn’t quite know
what it was. Then one day I heard a fascinating tidbit about how NASA knows
precisely how many satellites are orbiting earth at every moment. I thought,
what if one day they found one more than there should be – that led to the
first page of The Enemy Within.
Excerpt from The
Enemy Within:
Clouds
of smoke and ash swirled through the city. Tidal waves of fire consumed every
helix-shaped building that rose into the burning sky. Max watched the colossal
structures collapse with crushing force, shaking the earth.
Agonized
screams echoed around him, but all Max could see through the scorching haze was
the thousands of charred corpses – their arms outstretched as if reaching for
salvation. Brittle bones turned to dust beneath him as he tried to run, but
there was nowhere to hide.
No
one ever survived the inferno – no one except Max, who was forced to watch a
world’s end over and over each day.
*
Cold, wet pavement pressed against his
face. Max opened his eyes to find himself in the alley. Rain deluged the
streets. He winced as he pushed himself upright, his fingernails raw from
clawing at the pavement while in the grip of the last vision.
Max didn’t want to die, but he knew there
was only one escape and he’d take that tonight. Clutching the bolt cutter, he
stepped out of the shadows into the night.
Streetlights reflected on the slick black
pavement as he ran across the avenue to Miller’s Drug Store. A thick padlock
held the rusted gate shut. Using bolt cutters was more challenging than he
imagined. Max strained until the lock split open. The gate screeched in protest
as he slid it aside.
An alarm warning pulsed red through the
window like the winking eye of a Terminator – but it didn’t matter. By the time
the police responded, he’d be gone. Max shielded his eyes and smashed the heavy
bolt cutter into the window. Glass shattered. The alarm pierced the stillness
as he cleared shards from the frame and darted inside through the gaping hole.
The flashlight cut a swath through the
darkness. Cold and flu remedies were lit on one side, toothpaste on the other
as he made his way down the aisle.
With a leap Max was over the pharmacy
counter, scanning the rows until he found Klonopin. He emptied the container in
his palm. Don’t hesitate

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’ve been working on a
Faustian story about a town that makes a deal with a dark supernatural force… then
makes a grave error when they break the deal.
It’s a ways off, but
I’m enjoying it.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
As a kid I wrote short
stories, started a literary journal in college, and underground newspaper in
law school. But I didn’t call myself a writer until I left the practice of law
and sold my first screenplay.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day
like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to
write?
I’m fortunate in that I’m
able to make a living solely as a writer. Sometimes that income happens from
the screenwriting side when I sell a script or get hired to write/rewrite one.
Perhaps it will also come meaningfully from the novel side as well. Time will tell.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I find it hard to write in
a completely still room. I like to have life around me. If I can get to a place
where I don’t even notice the action taking place a few feet away, then I feel
pretty good about what I’m working on. But silence can be oppressive.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A professional
backgammon player.
Anything additional you want to share with the
readers?
If they take the time to
check out the book, I’d love to hear what they think. They can drop me a line
through my website.
Cheers,
Scott Burn

Thanks for stopping by today, Scott! All the best
with your writing.

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