Arts and Culture

Kentucky native J. Todd Scott spent the last 20 years investigating international maritime smuggling, domestic meth labs, and Mexican cartels as an agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration. He used his experience as an agent to help him pen his debut novel, “The Far Empty.”

Scott — who now lives in Arizona —  returns to Louisville this week for an appearance in support of his book. I spoke with him about his work.

Listen to our conversation in the audio player above.

J. Todd Scott on the connection between his writing and his career:

“The book is not about me or my career or DEA specifically, but it definitely was informed by my 20-plus years of carrying a badge and gun. And I was living in Texas at the time the book was written — I was actually living and working in much of the area the book is set in, so it definitely, the DNA of my career is throughout this book.”

On the transition from DEA agent to novelist:

“I’ve always had an interest in writing and finally tried to take it seriously recently, a few years ago. I have spent a lot of time undercover — doing things like that — and none of that makes me as nervous as being out in front talking about this book.”

J. Todd Scott will be at Carmichael’s Bookstore (2720 Frankfort Avenue) Thursday at 7 p.m. More information can be be found here.

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for WFPL News.