Scott James (S.J.) Varengo was born in 1960, fifty years to the day after the death of Mark Twain, in a city called New York. Two years later he formed a band called The Beatles .
He returned to New York City to attend Fordham University (having been told it was a basketball powerhouse) before transferring to the State University of New York at Potsdam (having been told it was located in the tropics), from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in Art History, which was totally worth it because of how many art questions he gets right when watching Jeopardy.
Varengo loves to read (favorite authors include Craig A. Hart, John Irving, Kurt Vonnegut, J.R.R. Tolkien and an up-and-comer named Ernie Heming-something-or-other), as well as listen to music (when he writes, it’s usually jazz, unless he’s working on a thriller then it might be classic rock or metal – the rest of the time it’s Tasmanian flute concertos), and walk along forested trails with his wife Kim. He lives in Baldwinsville, NY, a suburb of Syracuse, known for its picturesque setting and, unfortunately, for a large number of people wearing red ball caps. He has two adult children of whom he is obnoxiously proud. I mean like… disgustingly proud. He is totally the guy at parties who flips through his phone all night saying, “I have to show you this picture of when my son was 10 and he stuck his cousin in a box that his robot came in!” and he doesn’t even notice that no one has been standing anywhere near him for twenty minutes.
S.J. Varengo has accumulated a literal roomful of awards over the years, having early on learned that the secret to doing so is to study the writers who have previously won those awards and break into their homes to steal them. Here is a partial list of his triumphs:
- Ernest Hemingway’s Nobel Prize for Literature
- A Hugo Award for Science Fiction, formerly in the possession of Isaac Asimov
- A Newbery Medal for Children’s Literature, once proudly displayed by Madeleine L’Engle
- Two Pulitzers, John Steinbeck’s for Grapes of Wrath and a recent acquisition, Harper Lee’s for To Kill A Mockingbird, which became available during the confusion after her passing.
- A National Book Award that William Faulkner wasn’t using anymore.
Of course, there are numerous others, some well-known, some lesser-known, and some that turned out to be absolute garbage, barely worth the risk involved in obtaining them.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s notable that Varengo was the first person ever to complete an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards), completely through the use of larceny. Oh, and, in the case of the Oscar assault and battery; Sally Field is way tougher than she looks.
While his writing style has been characterized as “infused with humor and tenderness in an amalgam that makes it just shy of readable,” his B&E [Breaking and Entering] skills have been praised as “nearly flawless, leaving behind not so much as a teaspoonful of DNA in most cases.”
He has been invited to readings, usually of his rights, in the leading police stations of the U.S. and abroad. His work has been featured on several popular television programs including “Unsolved Mysteries” and “America’s Most Wanted,” and he is a frequent contributor to the “6 O’clock News.”
When discussing his vast array of honors, Varengo is typically humble and gracious to those who no longer possess the awards, calling them “A great bunch of guys and gals who might want to consider updating their security systems.”
To date, he has published Welcome Home, a collection of short fiction, A Dark Clock, Many Hidden Rooms, and A Single Candle, the first three books in the fantasy series, CERAH OF QUADAR, as well as the three volumes of his thriller series CLEANUP CREW entitled The Beauty of Bucharest, The Count of Carolina, and The Terror of Tijuana. He has co-authored several SpyCo novellas with Craig A. Hart, including Assignment: Paris, Assignment: Istanbul, Assignment: Sydney, Assignment: Dublin, and Assignment: London. He also co-authored the latest installment in Hart’s popular SHELBY ALEXANDER THRILLER series, Serenity Reborn.
Varengo’s next novel, Jelly Jars is a literary love story that will introduce his readers to an entirely new side of this talent.
And finally, S.J. Varengo also co-hosts the writing-themed podcast GOOD SENTENCES along with the aforementioned Mr. Hart.