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Interview: Philip Stott, Author of Another World

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Born in 1943 in England, Philip Stott studied at Manchester University, where he obtained a B.S., complete with honors and a M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering. Throughout his life, Mr. Stott spent much of his time working, studying and lecturing in South Africa and Nigeria.

Philip Stott spent many years as a firm atheist; however, he was converted to Christianity in 1976. After which time, he combined his love of science with scripture, studying the conflicting claims of secular science and Scripture, he actively entered the Creation/Evolution debate in 1989.

At present time, Mr. Stott resides in Bloemfontein, South Africa with his wife, Margaret. They have been blessed with two children and two grandchildren. You can visit Philip Stott at Nordskog Publishing to learn more about him and his latest book, Another World.

Please tell us a bit about your book: Another World — characters, plot, etc.

Another World is a novel about the run-up to the flood. The main character is Japheth, one of Noah’s sons, and the story is about his struggles and adventures in a world where corruption and violence have taken over. Much evidence shows that the pre-flood world was not primitive, as is often thought today, but was highly developed and scientifically advanced. The early post-flood civilizations, like ancient Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia looked back on it as the “Golden Age”. Japh moves in this high-tech world among crooks, gangsters and thugs — and just a few honest folks, like Malech and his beautiful daughter Malala, and his brother Shem’s father in law, Professor Zalomo, a scientist and inventor.

If you could meet, in person, any of your characters, who would it be and why?

Professor Zalomo, without a doubt. I have always been a science and technology person, and the chance to talk to him about the amazing things which we can only glimpse from the odd piece of evidence here and there would be fantastic.

If you could fictionalize yourself and put yourself in any situation, how would it play out? Could you give us a scene/scenario of such an occurrence?

I don’t think it would be a good idea to try. If I fictionalized myself I’d probably be winning the world motor racing championship, or winning the Second World War single handed by some brilliant invention or strategy, or something equally silly and uninteresting to anyone but me. I think it would be better stick to characters I could allow to fail now and then.

Do you have any particular habits that you do while writing? Places you write the best, foods, drinks, etc that help set your “writing mood”?

I write best in silence. I get up at 4:00 in the morning, sometimes even earlier, and write while everybody else is asleep. There is a German proverb, which says “The hour before dawn has gold in its mouth.” For me the two hours before dawn have words in their mouth. I write at other times too, but it is always between 4 am and 6 am when things go best for me.

What are you reading right now?

Right now I am reading The World’s Great Chess Games. Before that I read a book on Soil Mechanics. I read a very wide range of books.

Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books?

Frank Piretti, I particularly like Piercing the Darkness, but most of his other books (except House) are also good. Ted Decker — Blink and the Black, Red, White trilogy stand out. I like the writings of Wilbur Smith, Kurt Vonnegut and John Steinbeck, even though I don’t always agree with the political and moral messages they portray. O.Henry is my favourite master of the short story, and Hugh Walpole of the long story; his “Herries Chronicles” are a treat.

If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Moses. I would like to ask him about his first book, Genesis. I suspect it contains some source material carried with Noah on the ark. I would love to know more of the details.

Okay, here are a few “get to know you better” questions:

Please share with us a favorite memory.

The first time I was invited to Russia, just after the iron curtain came down, I had no visa. A group who had contacts in the Russian Consulate tried everything they could think of to get me one, but all they could arrange was for the procedures to be speeded-up to give me a visa in two weeks in stead of a month. The conference I had to address was only four days away. The bus I had to travel on left within hours. With two friends, one of whom knew the Ambassador, I went to the Russian Embassy but we got no visa. Dejected we went to a coffee bar to drown our disappointment in hot chocolate. We decided to pray and ask God to take over where we had failed. I had a valid visa in less than half an hour.

Please describe a perfect meal — including menu and those present.

The “perfect” meal which stands out in my memory was on a beach near Cape Town. My children and I had just spent the afternoon on a boat, fishing. Each of us had made a fair catch. We lit a fire of driftwood and cooked our ultra-fresh fish over the coals. I can’t remember food ever tasting so good, and the atmosphere was pure contentment.

What are some of your favorite ways to relax?

When I can find the time I like to build and fly model airplanes. I also like archery. I’m not into competitions, I just do it for fun and exercise. I make my own bows and arrows. When I’m not feeling so energetic I like to read and listen to music.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I live where I live now to be near my family. Before I had a family my favourite haunts were in the Canary Islands. I suspect that if I did not have a family that is where I would want to live.

If you could only read books by one author, who would it be? *I know, this is an inconceivable thought, lol.

An easy one to answer though. There is only one thing I read every day, that is the Bible. So my choice is for the books that God himself authored.

Share with us a few of your dreams. Also whether they have been fulfilled or are still a work in progress.

One of my childhood dreams was to fly in a model aerobatics competition at “the Nationals.” Surprisingly I never dreamed of winning, just being good enough to take part. That dream was realised when I was about 50 years old. Another dream was to gain a Ph.D. I came close to getting one in Applied Mathematics in the late 1970’s but left to do missionary support work before the thesis was finished. I later gained one in Theology, but I still hope to get another one in Engineering.

What are some of your guilty pleasures?

I love to look at beautiful things – people, horses, trees, flowers, paintings, buildings, scenery … – and I sometimes feel guilty about not getting on with something “useful” instead.

If you could leave the world with one piece of advice, what would it be?

There is nothing in life which compares with knowing that you are doing God’s will, and seeing Him act in confirmation. Just about everything else ends up empty and disappointing. So strive to please God rather than yourself.

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