Ned Marcus

I was born in NW England but have lived in different parts of Europe and Asia for the past thirty years. I’m now based in northern Taiwan. I write fantasy and sci-fi. My first series (Blue Prometheus) began in the London Riots of 2011 but quickly moves to an exotic planet of magic. My second series (Orange Storm) begins when intelligent but hostile life comes to Earth.

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What’s the average word count for the books you write and how long does it take you to write your average book?

My novels range from 65,000 to 98,000 words, and it usually takes me 1-2 years to finish a novel, although my first novel took much longer.

What do you find most difficult about writing a book?

Speed. I write slowly.

Which self-publishing platform do you like the most and why?

Amazon because so many people use it. Kobo because I like the platform and e-readers. I also use Apple and Barnes and Noble. In the future, I hope to sell on my website.

Would you publish with a traditional publisher if they contacted you? Why?

For fantasy and sci-fi, probably not (I like the independence). If I ever write nonfiction, then probably yes.

How many unfinished or unpublished works do you have?

I have a novel waiting to be published (Orange Storm). Apart from that, I have about a dozen short stories and novelettes that are waiting to be finished.

Do you prefer creating stand-alone books or series?

I like both, but I’m writing in series at the moment.

What does success as a writer look like for you?

I have many definitions of success. The obvious one would be to sell enough books to drop all other jobs and focus on writing books. Improving as a writer is another, and of course, having people around the world read and enjoy my stories.

Writing can be a lonely job. Do you take any special steps to ensure you remain part of the world?

I teach part-time at a local university. I also run a very lively fantasy and sci-fi writers’ group in Taipei.

Constantly sitting and writing can be physically debilitating. How do you take care of yourself, physically?

I practice kung fu. I also use a kettlebell.

Of all the characters in your stories, which is your favourite?

My favourite character is Lucy Thomson. She was the first character I developed. She develops a lot through the series, learning natural magic as well as developing the ability to speak to animals. She also gains confidence in herself as the stories progress.

Have you based any characters on real people? If they found out, how did they respond?

No, I’d never do this. I think it’s too limiting.

What’s the best thing about being an independent author? The worst?

The best thing is independence. The ability to write whatever stories I want. I can choose which editors I want to work with, the book covers, and pricing of my books. The worst is that marketing is so tough.

Do you make a living selling your books?

No. I do make enough to pay some of my bills.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Read a lot; write a lot; and just keep going.

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