Rosie comes to Worldhoppers Guild on the verge of publishing her 14th novel, sharing excerpts from her last two: Rise Of A Necromancer and Origins of the Tainted Bloodline. Both novels exist in the same world from her best selling Six Elements series, and Worldhoppers is happy to bring you there. Don’t expect rainbows and unicorns, she brings us all into a darker world, full of grit and gore. Learn more about Rosie on her website, read the excerpts on her featured author page, and see some of the incredible artwork inspired by her writing on our art page. But most important, dive head first into one of her novels and bring her worlds to life.
Ryan: Rosie, the first thing that caught my eye about your work was your focus on Necromancers; after all your Six Elements Series puts such a huge focus on the magic. I’ve always had a love for their magic and the creative ways you can build a character around their skillset. What drew you to focus on that class of character?
Rosie: Necromancy is the coolest concept in fantasy, and the people who wield it are, by default, morally ambiguous. As an author who focuses on characters and storylines treading the line between good and evil, necromancy is a gold mine of philosophical questions and moral debates. How can one justify raising and using the decomposing bodies of fellow people for one’s own gain? On the other hand, how can you justify not using necromancy if it could be beneficial to your own survival (as I write about in Rise of a Necromancer) or your country’s military strength (as written about in the main Six Elements series, starting with Fire)? So many fantasy novels focus on making necromancers villains, but why? What makes them villains, and how can we view them from another angle? Necromancy is at its most intriguing when presented as grimy, bloody, macabre, and resourceful to a protagonist who uses it and refuses to view it the same way as the world they inhabit. My necromancer protagonists, Kai Sera from the Six Elements series and Cerin Heliot from Rise of a Necromancer, both wish for necromancy’s legalization. In the case of Kai Sera, however, she finds throughout the series that many put up harsh resistance against her rebellious efforts of spreading this black magic for their own (oftentimes justifiable) reasons.
Ryan: You talk a lot about flawed characters and how important it is to implement those types archetypes into your work. What other focuses do you try to place into building your characters?
Rosie: There are two rules I have when it comes to building characters: they can’t be goody-two-shoes, and they can’t be weak (in mind or spirit). I find nothing in common with characters who aren’t confident or wait for things to happen to them, so I don’t write them. My characters are go-getters. Their flaws tend to reveal themselves as the character comes to life. For example, as a war general and rebellion leader, Kai Sera is sometimes hardheaded and brutal. These “flaws” (put in quotes because I personally find these to be pros) are so interesting to read about that they become part of the story arc and present their own problems and moral dilemmas throughout the Six Elements series until it becomes part character study of a dark heroine. My books focus on the development of flawed, mentally disturbed, traumatized, or otherwise unconventional protagonists; my character-building is so intense because it is such a pivotal part of the story-telling process.
Ryan: Your upcoming novel, Stemming the Tide (book 2 of the Shapeshifting Seas Trilogy) will be your 14th published book. Congratulations! I know first-hand how difficult it can be to work your way through a manuscript and how much work comes afterwards in the editing process – and I haven’t even published my first. Talk to me about motivation. What keeps you writing? Pushing through the difficult times?
Rosie: Thank you! Honestly, my characters keep me writing. Since I’m focused on writing Six Elements Origins books right now, I’m delving deeper into the backstories of a lot of great characters from the main series who deserved more time. Kai Sera is such a badass protagonist that I thought other characters would pale in comparison, but no, they all have their badass moments and personal demons to work through. Cerin Heliot’s backstory in Rise of a Necromancer became my favorite book once I wrote it, and Calder Cerberius (from the Shapeshifting Seas Trilogy) is so traumatized from his time as a slave that going back and writing his prequel about his escape from slavery and adventures as a lizardman mercenary captain on the seas gave me so much to work with. I love these characters with such a passion that it feels like a privilege to write more about them, not a chore. Anytime I suffer from a lack of motivation or creativity, these little bastards call me back because I can’t wait to spend more time with them.
Ryan: I’ve really enjoyed Rise of a Necromancer so far and we will be putting out an official Worldhoppers review. For the readers out there who haven’t experienced The Six Elements series and Rosie Scott’s writing, what can you tell them?
Rosie: My works are definitely unconventional. Don’t expect righteous heroes and villains with motivations that are simply “be evil”. I deal in protagonists and antagonists that are both flawed people with understandable conflicting motivations that often end in blood. There will be lots of philosophical questions explored in my books that readers looking for standard fantasy fare might be uncomfortable asking. I’m a lover of intense gore (so expect it) and writing controversial themes, and I believe in realistic consequences even in fantasy, so there are lots of character deaths, innocent casualties, and moral ambiguity. I find resurrection to be a cop-out, so if a character ends up in giblets, they’ll stay that way (unless they’re temporarily raised from the dead, of course). If this description made you intrigued rather than disgusted, welcome to my bloody club of gritty but relatable fantasy.
Ryan: Thanks for joining us and introducing yourself to the Worldhoppers’ audience. Tell us all something we might not know about you.
Rosie: Most my readers know I’m a huge gamer (after all, my writing inspiration comes from games since I don’t read often), but the types of games I play during writing breaks might surprise you. Out of over 1500 games I own on Steam, two of the top five most-played are from the Mount and Blade franchise (a giant inspiration for the Six Elements series given its army-building elements and focus on besieging settlements), but the other three are simulation. I’m very business-minded (I have a real estate business I started in high school, though my books took precedent in 2017 when royalties overcame rent income) and find it fun to run businesses even when relaxing. The weirdest simulation game in my top five? Euro Truck Simulator 2, where you run a trucking business and transport cargo across Europe on a giant map. That game is awesome and I will defend its honor to my dying breath.