Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Interview with Luke Scull, author of The Grim Company - September 3, 2013

Please welcome Luke Scull to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interview. The Grim Company (Grim Company 1) is published today. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Luke a Happy US Publication Day!

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Luke:  You mean outside of school? Probably at age 20, when I wrote my first module (adventure) for the Neverwinter Nights roleplaying game. I remember it had around 15,000 words, which felt like an absolute marathon at the time. At that point, the writing was secondary to learning how to script and use the game's toolset. It wasn't until the sequel when I discovered I had some actual writing talent.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Luke:  I struggle to write in silence. I like stuff going on around me, which I then do my best to block out! When I'm sitting there all alone my mind wanders. I find I can write well at night, but during the day I'm far more productive on, say, a beach than I am by myself in an office. Weird, huh?

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Luke:  A little of both. I begin with a basic story outline that contains the major plot points, which I then try to connect in the most interesting way possible. Too much planning removes the fun of the writing process. It's a case of knowing that sweet spot between constructing the skeleton of a great story and keeping myself interested in filling in the blanks.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Luke:  I always find going back over old chapters a nuisance. As a game designer I constantly evaluate and tweak, and that means I simply can't leave writing alone unless it's perfect. I'm always judging, analyzing, polishing. This tends to slow me down greatly unless I've enjoyed one of those rare periods where the words seem to flow flawlessly first time around. That doesn't happen often!

TQ:  Describe The Grim Company in 140 characters or less.

LukeThe Grim Company is an epic fantasy about a group of anti-heroes set in a world of long-dead gods, rampaging demons, and immortal tyrants.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Grim Company?

Luke:  I started to write The Grim Company to fill the time after I was made unemployed and my gaming project had stalled. I'd always wanted to try my hand at writing a novel and it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Grim Company?

Luke:  Other than reading a lot, I did little research besides the usual Wiki-mining for subjects I knew little about (e.g., sailing). I had a lot ideas that had built up over the years, so it was mainly a case of plunging right in, establishing my narrative voice, and getting into a rhythm.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Luke:  The easiest character to write was probably Cole. He's an arrogant idiot with a habit of surviving by the skin of his teeth. Somewhat worryingly, it was straightforward for me to conjure up the thoughts and deeds of a self-delusional fool who could alienate everything around him while believing himself the cock of the walk...

The hardest character to write was either Yllandris or Sasha, mainly because they're both female and somewhat damaged.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Grim Company?

Luke:  My favorite scene is the eventual confrontation between two characters who can probably be considered the most noble and likeable in the book. Unfortunately they happen to be on different sides. It a great action scene but also, I hope, quite moving.

TQ:  What's next?

Luke:  I'm still writing Sword of the North, which is the second book in the trilogy. It's a long and complex novel and I want to ensure that it establishes me as a fantasy writer to watch, rather than one who succumbs to that sophomore slump.

I also had a prominent role on an RPG for mobile platforms that is due out in the next 4-6 weeks. I both wrote and designed The Shadow Sun, which is set in a dark fantasy world similar to The Grim Company. It could be the next big thing on Apple devices.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Luke:  My pleasure! Thank you for having me.

The Grim Company

The Grim Company
Series:  Grim Company 1
Publisher:  Roc, September 3, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Price:  $26.95 (print)
ISBN:  9780425264843 (print)
US Debut

The Gods are dead. The Magelord Salazar and his magically enhanced troops, the Augmentors, crush any dissent they find in the minds of the populace. On the other side of the Broken Sea, the White Lady plots the liberation of Dorminia, with her spymistresses, the Pale Women. Demons and abominations plague the Highlands.

The world is desperately in need of heroes. But what they get instead are a ragtag band of old warriors, a crippled Halfmage, two orphans and an oddly capable manservant: the Grim Company.

About Luke
(Text and photo from the Author's website)

LUKE SCULL was born in Bristol and lives in Warminster with his wife. Luke also designs computer roleplaying games and has worked on several acclaimed titles for Ossian Studios and Bioware. His latest project, iOS fantasy game The Shadow Sun is scheduled for release in 2013.

Website  ~  Twitter @Luke_Scull

1 comment: