"Memoir is a written expression of learning through living." - F. Scott Service
Having lived his life as a self-described, "confused, whimsical adventurer and drifter with a gift for being hopelessly lost within my own imagination," Scott has settled into a life-long dream of being a full-time author. But it wasn't a direct, well-aimed trail.
Having earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional/Technical Communication and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, he enlisted with the United States Montana Army National Guard in 2000 as an E-4/Specialist. The advanced rank was due to his college education and aviation background. His military occupational specialty was Aviation Pneudraulics Specialist (68H).
In 2003, he was attached to the 151st Aviation Regiment from South Carolina and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was stationed at Camp Anaconda, near Balad, and served for fifteen months. Upon returning to the United States in 2005, he filed for, and was granted, Conscientious Objection status, the first to do so in Montana Army National Guard history. He was Honorably Discharged shortly thereafter as an E-5/Sergeant, which was awarded in Iraq. Regarding his decision, he's often said, “It was the only way to salvage what was left of my soul after that abysmal sham of a war that was perpetuated by the relentless military industrial complex and corporate greed of the United States.”
When asked about why he initially joined the military, he's said, “I joined because I was desperately seeking direction after graduating from college. I thought it would be a good opportunity and career builder. What I found was very different from the glorified version of military service that’s all too often portrayed in America. There’s nothing glorious about war.”
For his time spent with the military he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the National Guard Achievement Medal. Regarding his decorations, he laughs and says, “I never really understood why they actually gave me those medals since I don’t believe I have the mentality to be, what could be called, a model soldier. I can be very willful, but I had a duty and responsibility to those around me. I did my job and regardless of how I've floundered in life, I don’t like to do things half-assed.”
Scott began to take his life-long dream of becoming an author seriously in 2013, after spending many years coping with the post-traumatic stress he had inherited from his experiences overseas. During the pre-deployment phase of his tour of duty, he decided to chronicle his daily life as a war time soldier in handwritten journals. It was these journals that later served as his first memoir, Lines in the Sand: An American Soldier’s Personal Journey in Iraq. Epistolary in structure, it was self-published two years later in 2015 after being rejected by numerous traditional publishers. Regarding the rejections, he's stated, “The book business can be extremely difficult, I knew that and was ready for it, but the final decision to leave the traditional publishing world was when I received a rejection letter from an agent saying that he thought I had a very powerful, moving, and emotional story to tell… that I was a very talented writer, but he couldn’t sell my book because it was too real for the American public to digest. I thought to myself, 'Too real? I don’t even know how to interpret that. That’s it. I’m going my own way. I've never been one to buy into what may or may not be fashionable.'" The book received modest attention.
His second book, Playing Soldier, was finished in 2020, again self-published. Since, his books have won Readers' Favorite Five-Star Awards and have been featured in Publishers Weekly magazine, as well as others. Lines in the Sand: An American Soldier's Personal Journey in Iraq was awarded the Pacific Book Review Star for a Memoir of Excellent Merit. Playing Soldier won the 2021 IndieReader Discovery Award for Memoir. It also placed Finalist in the 2021 National Indie Excellence Awards for New Nonfiction, the Book Excellence Awards for Memoir, the Wishing Shelf Book Awards for Best Cover Design and Adult Nonfiction, the Independent Author Network (IAN) Book Awards for Autobiography/Biography, the N.N. Light Book Awards for Memoir, and won the Honorable Mention Award in the 2021 Readers' Favorite Book Awards.
When not attempting to be original and take himself too seriously while scratching out his thoughts on a computer screen, he enjoys gardening and cooking as well as playing ukulele, backpacking, and bike riding. Being an avid explorer, he has spent time in all but two states in America and is always on the lookout for someplace new (he just never thought it would be Iraq and Kuwait as his first international travel destinations). On his list of new places are Pitcairn Island, Easter Island, Stonehenge, Leap Castle in Ireland, the Hobbit village in New Zealand, Hunyad Castle in Romania, and the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula.
He lives in New England with a talented social worker (who also happens to be his EIC) and Jerome... a trouble-maker unless he's purring for an evening snack.
A few quotes he prefers to live by:
"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value."
- Albert Einstein
"The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively."
- Bob Marley
"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different."
- Kurt Vonnegut
For New Nonfiction
For Best Cover Design and Adult Nonfiction