Biography

 


JUSTIN SCOTT

is the author of more than thirty thrillers, mysteries and sea stories including The Shipkiller, Normandie Triangle, and A Pride of Royals.

PAUL GARRISON

is Justin Scott’s main pen name under which he writes modern sea stories (Fire and Ice, Red Sky at Morning, Buried at Sea, Sea Hunter, and The Ripple Effect).

Time Magazine called The Shipkiller “a superbly written thriller” in which Scott “limns his driven people as stylishly as his boats”; the Denver Post suggested that Scott was to yachting what Dick Francis was to horse racing; and the Thriller Writers of America listed The Shipkiller in their anthology Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads—alongside Theseus and the Minotaur, The Odyssey, Beowulf, The Bourne Identity, and The Hunt For Red October.

Scott writes the Ben Abbott detective series set in small-town Connecticut  (HardScape, StoneDust, FrostLine, McMansion, and  Mausoleum), of which Marilyn Stasio wrote in the New York Times, “(Ben’s) sardonic views on his self-important neighbors . . .give this sophisticated series its unexpected  and wholly delicious tartness.”

Scott collaborates on the Isaac Bell detective adventure series with Clive Cussler (The Wrecker, The Spy, The Race, The Thief, The Striker, The Bootlegger).

Justin Scott and Clive Cussler

Justin Scott and Clive Cussler
Photo: Barry Campbell

He has been twice nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award by the Mystery Writers of America. He is a member of the Authors Guild, The Players, and the Adams Round Table. Scott’s glasnost mystery, The Widow of Desire, and his Hong Kong turnover thriller, The Nine Dragons, were both Literary Guild Dual Main Selections. Normandie Triangle was a Featured Alternate. Reader’s Digest presented a couple of his novels as “Condensed Books,” no small delight as Scott has often said as the Digest was not only the most generous house in the publishing industry, but also threw the best parties, by far.

Fire And Ice was reviewed by People Magazine as “One of the best thrillers to steam into view for some time.” Kirkus gave Garrison a starred review and called him “a high talent.” And the Denver Rocky Mountain News wrote, “Paul Garrison is in the vanguard of adventure authors rediscovering what Jules Verne and other eighteenth-century writers knew:the oceans hold plenty of suspenseful potential.”

Red Sky at Morning, Buried at Sea, Sea Hunter, and The Ripple Effect, and Fire and Ice are now available as Kindle eBooks.

Red Sky at MorningBuried at SeaSea HunterThe Ripple Effect

Garrison went ashore, recently, to write a thriller series based on a Robert Ludlum character (The Janson Command, The Janson Option). Publishers Weekly greeted it warmly: “Robert Ludlum (1927–2001) would have been proud of Garrison’s fine thriller that picks up where his The Janson Directive (2002) left off.” PW went on to say: “That Janson is a complicated character makes him more interesting than most action heroes, while Kinkaid proves a capable sidekick. A number of swift, unexpected plot twists will leave Ludlum fans eager to see more in this franchise from Garrison.”

Kirkus, too, welcomed him into Ludlum territory: “There’s sufficient knife work, sniper shots, RPGs, private jets, helicopters, betrayals and corporate machinations to satisfy every armchair covert agent.” And the Houston Chronicle warned, “Garrison has a knack for grabbing the reader by the throat.”

 

A Family of Writers

Scott was born in Manhattan and grew up on Long Island’s Great South Bay in a family of professional writers.

His father, A. Leslie Scott, wrote some 250 Western novels—under a variety of pen names, a penchant for which runs in the family—and reams of poetry.

Justin Scott's father

The writer’s father, A. Leslie Scott, Western writer and poet, on West 76th Street in New York City in the late 1940s.

His mother, Lily K. Scott, wrote novels and romances as well as short stories for ”slicks”* and ”pulps”*. His sister, Alison Scott Skelton, is also a novelist, as was her late husband, C.L. Skelton.


*The difference between glossy thick paper, and cheap newsprint.

 

Justin Scott's family

The writer’s writing family embarking from New York’s Pier 90 on the SS UNITED STATES in 1974:  my sister, novelist and poet Alison Scott Skelton; our mother, novelist and short story writer Lily K. Scott; and Alison’s husband, actor, director and novelist C. L. Skelton. Of the short ones in front, Alasdair Skelton is now Geology Chair at the University of Sweden and Justin Skelton, an actor in Edinburgh.
An Avid Researcher
Justin Scott: first research

First Research Trip: Justin Scott and Alison Scott Skelton observing New York Central Railroad trains passing under Riverside Park, circa 1950.

 

Before becoming a writer, Scott worked at a variety of jobs: he drove boats and trucks, built Fire Island beach houses, tended bar in a Hell’s Kitchen saloon, and edited an electronic engineering journal. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in American history. In addition to his Garrison pen name, Justin Scott has written mysteries as J. S. Blazer and Alexander Cole. He has traveled extensively while researching his novels.


Research for Russian novels, A Pride of Royals and The Widow of Desire

Justin Scott in  Leningrad

Justin Scott researching his Russian novels, A Pride of Royals and The Widow of Desire, in Leningrad in the winter of 1980.
Justin Scott in  Leningrad researching A Pride of Royals

Researching A Pride of Royals: with the Russian cruiser Aurora in (then) Leningrad in 1980.

 

The Russian cruiser Aurora, moored as a museum ship in the Neva, lived to see her birthplace change names from St. Petersburg to Petrograd to Leningrad and back to St. Petersburg. She survived the Dogger Bank incident and the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 and Baltic patrols in World War One. Her sailors took part in the October Revolution of 1917. In World War Two her six-inch guns defended her city against invading Nazis.


Research for Sea Stories


Wielding a sextant in an attempt to fix a position more precise than: North Atlantic somewhere between the Canary Islands and Antigua, 1989.

Post-Atlantic crossing in a sloop-rigged 49-foot Hallberg-Rassy, 1985.

Sailing aboard staysail schooner Tin Hau in around Hong Kong Island race - won that year by a brave windsurfer.

Captain Billy Titus suggesting that the author watch the sails more than the compass. Scott names most sea captains in his behalf Bill Titus.

The Empty Eye of the Sea and Red Sky at Morning


Researching Red Sky At Morning aboard McAllister tug, one of six landing aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy for New York’s Fleet Week, 1998.

Captain Kevin O’Conner and Chief Engineer Ed Dougherty of the Offshore Monarch towing ten-thousand ton barge across the Gulf of Maine, in 1992 as the authors prepares to write The Empty Eye of the Sea.

McAllister tug about to hook onto a very large container ship in the Port of New York while the author is researching The Empty Eye of the Sea and Red Sky At Morning

Offshore Monarch towing ten-thousand ton barge across Gulf of Maine 1992

Research for The Nine Dragons (The Hong Kong Edge) and Fire And Ice.


Steaming up Shanghai’s Huangpu River aboard Chinese motor vessel from Hong Kong 1986, researching for The Nine Dragons and Fire And Ice.

Li Xia and John, generous guides to Shanghai and Sushou in 1986 where Scott researched The Nine Dragons (The Hong Kong Edge) and Fire And Ice.
Justin Scott in Hong Kong's Peninsula Hotel working on The Nine Dragons

Living at Hong Kong's Peninsula Hotel while researching and writing The Nine Dragons.

Pretending not to photograph camera-shy Kowloon lady in Mao garb, Hong Kong Harbor, 1986.

Research for Normandie Triangle


SS Norway maiden voyage Oslo, Southampton, New York. Author aboard researching Normandie Triangle, 1980.
 

 

Scott has been fortunate to have had wise and generous mentors: Donald E. Westlake, Lawrence Block, Brian Garfield, Robert Ludlum, literary agent Henry Morrison, and his own father, whose westerns were the first books he read. 
Mohonk House Mistery Weekend

Mohonk Mountain House Mystery Weekend, hosted by Don Westlake and Abby Adams in the mid 1980s.
In the group: Justin Scott, Susan Isaacs, Peter Straub, Knox Berger, Evan Hunter, aka Ed McBain, and Chris Newman.

Justin Scott and Brian Garfield

Justin Scott and Brian Garfield

Justin Scott and Lawrence Block

Justin Scott and Lawrence Block

Justin Scott and Donald E. Westlake

With Donald E. Westlake in Hawaiian shirts in Columbia County.

 

Justin Scott, Paul Garrison, J. S. Blazer, and Alexander Cole live in Connecticut with Scott's wife, filmmaker Amber Edwards.
Amber Edwards & Justin Scott

Amber Edwards & Justin Scott homeward bound from Ohio, Midnight, 2012.

Amber Edwards & Justin Scott

Amber Edwards & Justin Scott in London on their second date, about to see Anthony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre..


E-mail:  benabbott@aol.com
Website: www.justinscott-paulgarrison.com