What motivated you to write your novel?
With the impact of social media on our lives today, do you see the events you write about as possible in our near future?
Yes. Maybe not this specific story, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see an Internet corporation abuse its power in the future. Everything in my novel is possible today. All that’s missing is motive.
Do you think society has become too dependent on social media and the Internet in general?
What do you think would happen if suddenly social media were unavailable?
Mass chaos. Anarchy…. Ok, maybe it wouldn’t be quite that bad. But people would be really, really pissed.
How did working as a journalist inform/guide your fiction writing?
I wouldn’t have been in a position to write this story if not for my career. And once I decided to go for it, I was able to draw on my industry knowledge, sense of story, and reporting skills to shape the plot. It was much harder to allow myself to let go as a writer, but I eventually managed to overcome my reticence.
What would you say is the single most dangerous threat to society today, technologically, physically or otherwise?
A black swan—something totally unexpected. I’m spouting off about social media, scientists are warning us about global warming, and pundits have us terrified of ISIS. But I’m guessing we haven’t given much thought, if any at all, to the single most dangerous threat to society. History has shown that it’s usually the unforeseen events that throw us for a loop.
Do you have any exciting adventures from your reporting career you’d like to share?
Roaming around the southern Mexican state of Chiapas in a VW bug, dodging military checkpoints as we tried to locate Subcommandante Marcos during the Zapatista rebellion in January 1994. We never found him.
Your bio mentions you speak “rusty Mandarin.” In my book, any Mandarin would be exceptionally good. Where did you learn it?
I taught English in Taiwan for a few years. Once I (finally) developed an ear for Mandarin’s tones (it ain’t easy), I managed to pick things up fairly quickly. By the time I left, I could get by in day-to-day conversation. It’s been so long now that “rusty” is a charitable description of my Mandarin.
And now for the deep philosophical question that seeks to discover the true thoughts and imaginations of Scott Allan Morrison. You are marooned on a desert island with only coconuts and raw fish for your sustenance. What two books, one beverage, and one other thing small enough to fit in your pocket would you want to have with you?
Catch-22, In Cold Blood, a margarita (I insist on being marooned on a tropical desert island), and a fold-up, pocket-sized machete (they have those, right?)