Philip Stott was born in England in 1943. He studied at Manchester University, where he obtained B.S. (with honours) and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering. He lectured at universities in Nigeria and South Africa and carried out research in the analysis of geometrically nonlinear structures. He shared the Henry Adams Award for outstanding research in 1969. While lecturing at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, he studied biology. After leaving Wits he joined an engineering consulting firm. His ongoing interest in all aspects of science led to studies in mathematics and astronomy with the University of South Africa and, later, to four years of part-time research with the Applied Mathematics Department of the University of the Orange Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
After many years as a firm atheist, he was converted to Christianity in 1976. Following several years of studying the conflicting claims of secular science and Scripture, he actively entered the Creation/Evolution debate in 1989.
In 1992, he was invited to address a conference in Russia and since then has lectured, addressed conferences, and taken part in debates in eastern and western Europe, America, Canada, and southern Africa. Venues have included the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), a UNESCO International Conference on the Teaching of Physics, and the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Philip Stott is married to Margaret (born Lloyd). They have two children, Robert and Angela; and two grandchildren, Sean and Julie. They live in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
You can read more about Philip and his novel, Another World, at http://nordskogpublishing.com/book-another-world.shtml.
Thank you for this interview, Philip. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I am a very fortunate person. I have a wife, two children and a daughter-in-law who are pure joy and two grandchildren who are just as much of a joy. I have had the opportunity of traveling to many places, meeting many wonderful people, doing lots of interesting things and best of all, coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ. For a long time all my writing was technical (much of it still is). I only started writing fiction when I was in my thirties.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
“Another World” is about the count-down to the flood. We find ourselves in a high-tech world with very advanced scientific knowledge. That might come as a surprise to anyone used to the story that man was not much more advanced than a monkey in those days. But there is evidence that before the flood the level of technology may have been even higher than ours. It is a world that has fallen into moral decay, and the hero, Noah’s son Japheth, has a hard time with gangsters, human traffickers, corrupt police, dishonest businessmen and thugs of every description. He does come across a few very fine people though, and they help him get through to where he needs to be before the storm breaks.
Who is your intended audience? Have you been able to crossover into other audiences as well?
“Another World” is aimed mainly at Christians. I hope to encourage people to think seriously about what the Bible says. I guess most people think of the flood in terms of the childrens picture books we coloured in when we were kids. Old Mr Noah on the deck with a shepherd’s crook, a giraffe or two with their long necks sticking up over the deck and some nice calm blue water for the ark to sail on. I don’t think it was like that at all. It was absolutely terrifying. And all the work it took to build the ark; constantly facing the ridicule and hostility of a generation given over to violence and wickedness of every kind. But I hope non-Christians will read it too, especially those who shrug off the flood and say it must have been a fairy tale, there is no way it could have happened. We see how it could very well have happened – in fact, how it probably did actually happen.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
With all the evidence I could unearth pointing to an advanced high-tech civilization, and the only real guide to the social scene being the Bible, it seemed as if the only genre possible was “Scriptural Science Fiction”. I don’t know if this is the first novel in this genre, but I think it is perfect for the story.
Do you ever experience self-doubts with your work?
At first I was concerned that anything I wrote that was not specifically what the Bible said might not actually be true, and I would be deceiving people. But I soon convinced myself that it is quite clear it is only a novel trying to show what the pre-flood world was like. After I got over that hurdle I enjoyed writing “Another World” more than anything else I have ever written.
Where do you write? Do you have a favorite place?
I write wherever I can open a laptop, but my regular place is at my desk at home. I like to get up at about 4am and write before anyone else gets up. I write best when the only sound is cocks crowing in the distance.
What kind of research did you have to do during the writing process?
For “Another World” I did very little research while actually writing. I relied on about twenty years of research and lecturing all over the world. Noah’s flood has been one of my major interests for a long time! I did re-read the first few chapters of Genesis now and then to check I was not going off into things the Bible shows to be false. Since it was published I have come across some clues that the pre-flood world may have had some even more advanced things I had not known about. Maybe if I had started writing a year later it would be even more high -tech!
Who is your publisher and how did you get accepted by them? Did you pitch your book yourself or go through an agent?
I was fortunate in that the top people at Nordskog knew and liked my book “Vital Questions”. They were interested in publishing “Another World” before they saw the draft. I have never used an agent, but it is probably a good idea to check out the possibility.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
Unfortunately, with the book published in the USA and me living in South Africa I have not been able to take part in the usual promotions that surround a new release. A great pity to miss a wonderful opportunity to meet people “in the flesh”, but I hope to meet people on the web instead.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
I personally have found that my books sell well when I travel around giving lectures.
What’s next for you?
I am working on a book about cancer – its causes and cure.
Thank you for this interview, Philip. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
You can find out a lot of interesting and valuable stuff at my site scripture-and-science.com. It is part of the Reformation Christian Ministries web site. You can also visit the publisher’s website at http://nordskogpublishing.com/book-another-world.shtml to read more about the book.
You can purchase Phillip Stott’s book, Another World, at Amazon or order through any of your local Virginia Beach bookstores.