Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Interviews and a Writing Update

imageI don’t do  many general update sort of posts anymore, as lately it seems I’m busy writing. It’s a good problem to have, right? Currently, I have three projects ongoing. More on that below. But, first, some other news.

An Interview and a Shout-Out

I’ve done one interview in the past month or so over on Judy Goodwin’s My Writerly World site and a blog shout-out on Michael Brooks’s Cult of Me blog. I want to thank both Michael and Judy for having me. The interview was a good opportunity for me to talk about my writing philosophy, along with current and upcoming projects. The shout-out was me talking about this blog, its evolution, and where I'd like to take it into the future. Go check each of them out.

Assassin Without a Name Sale

If you’ve been following along, you may have noticed that each week for the past month each Assassin Without a Name title has been on sale for 100% off. 100% off means free, of course. This week The Goddard Affair is on sale at Amazon until 9/22. Get it while you can.

Writing Update

Last, I have a few projects in-progress at the moment.

The first is Thief’s Gambit, the next Assassin Without a Name story. The rough draft is about halfway done and it’s currently sitting at 20,000 words. That puts it into novella territory in terms of length and, when all is said and done, it will be the longest story of the series to date. My goal was to have each story get longer and longer, which was to be expected as the plot continues to grow more complex and involved. So, I’ll be quite happy with the fifth story coming in at something like 30,000-40,000 words.

Meanwhile, in other Assassin Without a Name news…

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I’m working on a short piece for a kickstarter campaign promoted by Ragnarok Publications called BLACKGUARDS: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues, which will feature my favorite assassin character. This is a submission/approval process, so there’s no guarantee my story will be accepted for the publication. However, worst case scenario I’ll have another story to fit into the series. This one would fit into the timeline somewhere after Thief’s Gambit.

And, third, I’m also working on the next Alchemancer novel, The Inversion Solution. Given the other work I've been putting into my Assassin series, this one has not gotten the attention it deserves. I expect that to change real soon, though, as this becomes my primary focus.

Ask the Author on Goodreads

Ask the Author is a new program on Goodreads where readers can ask any author who opts into the program any question they like.

Want to know what I'm currently working on? When the next Alchemancer book is coming out? Why the Assassin Without a Name doesn't have a name (can't guarantee I'll give you a satisfactory answer on that one as it would involve spoilers)?

Visit my Ask the Author page and I'll gladly answer anything you throw my way.

Here's a couple of stock questions I've already answered:

Ask the Author: Scott Marlowe

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.