When I was a publishers’ sales rep, I represented Douglas & McIntyre, a company that at the time published several books written by Stephen Bown. Dennis and our neighbour Rodger especially enjoyed reading sample copies I brought with me to Bequia. I was pleased to discover Stephen is still writing and publishing historical biographies and non-fiction and invited him here to tell you about his latest!
What is your latest release and what genre is it? White Eskimo: Knud Rasmussen’s Fearless Journey into the Heart of the Arctic – Historical biography
Quick description: White Eskimo is the first full-scale biography of the visionary Danish explorer and ethnographer who unveiled the culture, the language and the life of the Arctic – for lovers of adventure, remote cultures and timeless legend.
“This compelling book is a marvelous tribute to an extraordinary explorer and the lands and peoples that made him great.” Wade Davis, author of Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest.
I am a critically acclaimed author of eight literary non-fiction books on the history of science, exploration and ideas. I take a biographical and narrative approach to my writing, using the techniques of fiction writing – strong storytelling, creative language, emphasizing people, their decisions, actions and motivations – to tell factually and historically accurate stories. I believe that people and their behaviour never change, only the context is different. My lifelong interest in history is fueled by the lessons to be learned from studying the successes and failures of history’s greatest thinkers, leaders and innovators, those who challenged conventional thinking and entrenched power structures to change their world. My previous book was The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen.
I live in Canmore in the Canadian Rockies with my wife and two kids, and enjoy hiking, skiing and mountain biking when not writing.
What are you working on now?
Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on the World’s Greatest Scientific Expedition, about the Bering expedition across the Pacific to Alaska in the 1740s, and the scurvy, shipwreck, starvation and eventual survival or some of the members – an incredible true story.
Stephen’s reading recommendation:
Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, by Mark L. Winston. I was on the jury for the Governor General’s Award in 2015 and this is the book we chose as the best in the non-fiction category. It is a beautifully written exploration of honey bees, nature, the environment and our place in the world by a leading naturalist and researcher.