"Scott Bourne: Path of Exile" appears in print in ISSUE 06 of SUSPEND Magazine available to purchase here.
The following is an excerpt of the published interview and feature as it appears in pages 38-41 of ISSUE 06.
Last month I was in my local skateboard shop and like most trips, found myself flipping through random skate magazines while chatting with my friend. On this specific day, I was checking out Huck Magazine, when I stumbled upon a re-released interview from 2008 with Scott Bourne titled, “An American in Paris.”
I knew the name, and remembered the skating. My memory of Scott traced back to his former days as a professional skateboarder, when he lived in San Francisco and rode for Consolidated Skateboards (around 1999). The interview piqued my attention when I read Scott had moved to France to write and that he had just finished his first novel. When I finished reading the interview, I wondered whether Scott was still writing or not. I went home and searched online and was pleasantly surprised that he still was, and to add to that he was also modeling.
After a mutual friend put me in touch with Scott I found that the timing was perfect for an interview. His new book titled Orgy Porgy: Short Stories and True Tales was a few weeks away from release. In one of our first email correspondences, Scott sent me a sample of four stories from the book. After reading the first story, I was hooked and left wanting more. When asked about the inspiration for the articles, Scott has said:
“I went where I wanted and danced about with the words. Each piece drew heavily from my life in Paris and the travels I did. I wrote about anything from war to a chance encounter with a transvestite who invited me to fondle her naked breast, which I joyfully did.”
For this issue, Scott shared one of his short stories titled “Pixie Dust” from Orgy Porgy with SUSPEND. [Turn to page 148 to read it.]
EVAN: I love “Pixie Dust”! It is a common story of moving out and yet it has a magical, and romantic element to it. What is your favorite story in the Orgy Porgy collection and why?
SCOTT: "Oddly enough that may very well be my favorite. Short and sweet and at the same time it embodies Paris for me—a place where the most common thing becomes romantic. This is the essence of the city and something I really wanted to capture in my writing."
Reading Le Fanfaron, and thinking about your personal exodus from America to Paris reminds me of Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller. Which writer has had the biggest influence on you?
"I love Miller but his Paris is definitely not my Paris—the prostitutes, the poverty! I live in the midst of models, Haute Culture, behind the scenes at the ballet and bad bars by habit not necessity, but he certainly is one of my favorite writers and I cannot say that his novels did not attract me to this city. On the flip side, my life here is far more beautiful and romantic than anything I ever read about this place. With all that said it is important for me to keep in mind that I have been very blessed!"
What are you going to start working on next?
"I am in the middle of several projects; a couple children’s books, one of which Andrew Pommier is illustrating. I also have a screenplay circulating that’s looking for a home, a second novel with an editor, and Todd Bratrud and I are working on a book, which is 50 verses of Apocalyptic bliss accompanied by his drawings. Not to mention I am in the middle of writing a book of shorts that I will be calling Short Stories From the Long Road, that basically chronicles my youth, friends, influences and the real life boys that I have modeled my characters after. I am also trying to wrap up a book of poetry that is now 200 plus pages..."
When you think about your progress and development as a writer how have you changed from when you first started until now?
"I don’t know that my style has changed much but I have certainly developed what I would call a “craft”, where as before I was just a “scribbler”. I would put the pen down and just let it go. There was a certain innocence in my writing, which I believe I still have, but I have really worked on the craft…the editing and expansion. Before my writing was spawned on by a need and now it is much more based in desire! I am not writing one thing and although I like the novel best as a format…. I also enjoy exploring other ways to use words!"
When you were skating, did you write? I’m curious: when did you start getting excited to be a writer?
"I learned to read very late, but as soon as I did I began keeping journals. I have been writing journals since I was about 15, but my first published stuff was a column Mark Whiteley gave me at SLAP [Skateboard Magazine] called Black Box, which I wrote for more than three years. From there, other publications approached me. I owe a ton to Mark since he was one of the few people that time pushing me in a positive way. Although I almost never do magazine work now, it was a great way to learn the discipline it takes to be a writer!"
I am curious about your perspective on modeling and fashion? I ask this because we are both involved in the fashion industry now, but we grew up skateboarding with no real background in fashion. When I first picked up high-end fashion magazines I was drawn to the intelligent articles, and the fact they were creating art, and that their creation was never intended for the masses. Now that you have been around the industry, have you developed an appreciation for certain elements?
"For me, it’s really important to keep perspective between my life and that of the publications and clients I work for. When I model I know I am involved in a fantasy and I live it to the fullest, but in all honesty, what you see on the page is not the life I want for myself. Much like professional skateboarding, what the magazines give to the world is not at all what it appears to be. As long as you keep this in mind it’s a wonderful place to be and I can say I have certainly developed a taste for nice clothes and materials, but much of what I like I could never afford; I have only been exposed to it because of the industry. Nothing is like having Alessandro Sartori measure and fit you for a suit. When you are in it, you plain and simply cannot help but feel successful, strong, handsome and powerful—because you are! That is what a finely tailored article of clothing does."
Purchase ISSUE 06 to read the entire interview and feature with Scott Bourne: