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It’s still important to stay home and stay six feet away from others as much as possible to control the transmission of the novel coronavirus.

To help break up the feeling of covisolation, BestSelling Reads authors continue the live readings from their books. Last week, Scott Bury read from his first published novel, the historical fantasy The Bones of the Earth.

The Bones of the Earth

The Dark Age, eastern Europe: the earth has decided to rid itself of humanity with earthquakes, volcanoes and new plagues. Civilizations, even the mighty Roman Empire, crumble under the pressure of barbarian waves that are fleeing worse terrors.

Rejected by his own people, pursued by a dragon, young Javor heads for Constantinople, the centre of civilization, looking for answers to the puzzle of his great-grandfather’s dagger and the murder of his family.

On the ancient, crumbling Roman highway across haunted, deserted Dacia, Javor rescues the beautiful Danisa from a human sacrifice. He cannot help falling in love with her. But Danisa has her own plans, and when she is kidnapped again, Javor has to wonder: what is the connection between his dagger, his lover and his enemies?

For the duration of the Covid-19 crisis, you can buy it on sale at Amazon.

Or download it for free from

Scott Bury

can’t 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.”

The Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, came out in 2012. It was followed in 2013 with One Shade of Red, an erotic romance.

He has several mysteries and thrillers, including Torn RootsPalm Trees & Snowflakes and Wildfire.

Scott’s articles have been published in newspapers and magazines in Canada, the US, UK and Australia.

He has two mighty sons, two pesky cats and a loving wife who puts up with a lot. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Learn more about Scott on his:

Website   |   Blog    |  Facebook    |   Twitter

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Genre Wars by Frederick Lee Brooke and Scott Bury

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collateral damage hi res cover (2)

Fred:

You’re an author who has written in four or five different genres, isn’t that right?

Scott:

I don’t feel constrained by genre. While my first book, The Bones of the Earth, is often called “epic fantasy,” I wrote it to break a lot of the conventions of epic fantasy. My second book, One Shade of Red, is a spoof of 50 Shades of Grey and is unabashedly erotic. I have also published some short stories that could be called “urban paranormal,” but are ultimately love stories. And there’s the children’s story, Sam, the Strawb Part.  My work-in-progress is a novelization of my father-in-law’s time in the Red Army from 1941 to 1946.

Fred:

Do you feel as though you have a different set of readers for each of your books, or do your readers cross over right along with you?

Scott:

I don’t think that my readers cross with me. I don’t have a huge following, yet, and those who liked my first book, I don’t think have read the second. So from a marketing perspective, it’s probably not smart to hop across the genre boundaries that way.

Fred:

Yet you feel compelled to do it anyway? Why is that?

Scott:

Bones of the Earth   by Scott Bury

I just have ideas for stories and characters that I want to write down. Part of what drove The Bones of the Earth was my frustration with the repetitive fantasy genre, with the same tropes being invoked to the point of cliché. But most of the inspiration was a desire to write a story about dragons for my two boys and to incorporate both of them in it.

Sam, the Strawb Part was inspired by my younger son when he reached that stage where kids mumble and slur their words, and he also became very rough on things like bicycles.

Whether those stories fit into one genre or another just isn’t part of my writing process.

So Fred, what genre do you feel you write in, if any? When you’re asked “what kind of books do you write, in five words or less,” how do you respond?

Fred:

I have a lot of trouble with the whole concept of genres. Take some of those old classics you read in high school or college — like The Great Gatsby. Murder mystery? Why not? What makes it literary fiction? What about Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? It’s a mystery, it’s a thriller, it’s a love story, it’s a saga, it’s literary fiction.

As a reader, I’m looking for a good story, good writing, interesting characters. This can happen in a Stephen King horror novel like Insomnia just as well as it can happen in Christine Nolfi’s Treasure Me. That being said, it’s helpful to me as a reader to know from the book blurb (or the cover design) what the main genre of the book is. But I like to be surprised and discover hints of other genres within the main one.

Scott:

You didn’t answer the question.

Fred:

FrederickLeeBrooke_DoingMaxVinyl1-200x300Sorry! My three books – Doing Max Vinyl, Zombie Candy, and Collateral Damage are mysteries. A case gets solved in each of them, although they are unconventional stories, to say the least. People who are expecting a hard-boiled PI or a mirthless police procedural are not going to be satisfied with my books. I am going for humor as well, the kind that arises from absurd situations and people betraying each other. My new release, Collateral Damage, comes closest to a traditional mystery since there is a murder. But even in this book, the love triangle is more the essence of the book than the mystery.

Scott:

I also dislike genre definitions. Who came up with them, anyway? And then, it seems that if you choose to write within one, the conventions of the genre can be limiting to the writer — especially if you listen too closely to the “beta reader” critics. When I posted a sample of my first book to one reading circle online, I got responses like “This is very well written, but it doesn’t ‘feel’ like YA fantasy to me.” Well, it wasn’t supposed to — I consciously tried to break the boundaries of genres.

When it comes to crossing genres, I hope to bring readers with me — to expose people who read strictly in one field to ideas from others.

Fred:

Who are some authors who have changed genres and brought readers with them? Stephen King comes to mind, but I’m guessing he had lots more readers for his horror classics than for the more recent books.

Scott:

Ray Bradbury never stayed within the science fiction genre, but redefined it to fit his stories. And one of my favorite Bradbury books is Dandelion Wine, which is definitely NOT s/f.

Fred:

That’s interesting. Afraid the only Bradbury I’ve read is Fahrenheit 451. But for me the question is: would the same readers read his sci-fi books and then go and read Dandelion Wine as well?

ScottScott:

I think they did. Bradbury had a unique and strong style, and that, I think, was part of the appeal. His readers were loyal. So when they saw another Ray Bradbury book — back in the days when publishers promoted their authors — readers reached for it.

Fred:

I think we’ve hit on a core question for readers of the blog, Scott, namely: can they think of any author they love whom they have followed into a different genre? Carl Hiassen also writes children’s books, but I said to myself, why bother? I don’t want to read children’s books by Carl Hiassen.

Scott:

You might, though, read one to your kids. That may have been Hiassen’s strategy, but I suspect that he just felt like writing a children’s story. And writers who do things like that may be the key to breaking down those artificial barriers between genres.

Let’s turn this discussion over to the readers, particularly those who prefer one or two genres over others: what would tempt you to read outside your favorite genre?

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UseThisScott Bury is an editor, journalist and author based in Ottawa, Canada. His books include One Shade of Red and The Bones of the Earth — both of which break the rules of two very different genres.

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