Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

The Next Big Thing

I've been tagged by author TL Rese to participate in The Next Big Thing. TNBT is relative, of course, since each individual's "next big thing" is different. But, since I'm the one who was tagged here, this NBT post is going to be about me and my upcoming novel, The Nullification Engine, which goes on sale December, 2013. Here's the cover in all its glory:

The Nullification Engine

What is the working title of your next book?

The Nullification Engine. It follows The Five Elements, pretty much picking up right where that book left off.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea for the series as a whole really is a culmination of all of my favorite books, series, and authors . All fantasy, of course, though in this new book you'll see some influence from the seafaring tales of C.S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian via the airship, Griffin, and her crew.

What genre does your book fall under?

That's a tough question because the content really doesn't fall under a single genre. Primarily, it's fantasy. But there elements of steampunk, pseudoscience or science fantasy, and alchemy. One reviewer described the first book thusly, "I'm not at all sure how to categorise this. There are elements of steampunk, there's alchemy, there's a fairly standard form of elemental magic and there's a fair dose of science in the mix as well." The Nullification Engine follows this same formula, so if you enjoyed The Five Elements, you'll like this one too.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When the Nullification Engine is activated, Aaron, Serena, and Ensel Rhe must stop the ancient machine before it destroys Brighton and everyone in it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The entire book, from outlining to finished product, took about 14 months. The first draft itself, maybe 7 months. A timeline might be something like:

  1. Oct 2012 – Dec 2012: Outlining
  2. Dec 2012 – June 2013: First Draft
  3. June 2013 – Sep 2013: 2nd, 3rd, 4th drafts
  4. Sep 2013 – Nov 2013: Editing/proofreading

Keep in mind I have a day job which can occupy anywhere from 40-60 hours/week depending on what's going on at the time.

What other books would you compare this to within your genre?

Probably Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

In a general sense, the inspiration for this series comes from my love of fantasy literature but also from my background as an engineer. I play fast and loose with scientific principles, though, which is entirely on purpose. First and foremost, my writing is about entertaining. The pace is often fast-paced, so I never want that to get bogged down with "hard" science. Besides, hokum is a lot more fun to come up with.