I’m Alive (Ha) + Survey Results

Where the heck have I been?

It’s been a while since my last update. There are reasons for that! Some of you might remember I was going through the ringer last year with vision problems due to Visual Snow Syndrome. Well, around the end of 2021 and into the first few months of 2022, it got so bad I literally could not spend more than a few minutes per day on my computer. (Even though I used all sorts of vision aids/dark glasses etc.) I got multiple second/third opinions from eye doctors who couldn’t understand what was going on or didn’t take my issue seriously. I wore sunglasses indoors because my light sensitivity was so bad. I couldn’t even be in the same room as a TV/computer without experiencing excruciating eye pain that led to constant headaches. In March of this year, I started experiencing daily panic attacks. I couldn’t work, I was terrified of what was happening to me, etc. Finally, my GP prescribed me anti-anxiety medication for the panic attacks.

Believe it or not, that worked for my vision. My vision problems didn’t disappear, but they alleviated about 70-90%. I no longer have to have my computer brightness at 0% and wear sunglasses to look at a screen. I still have light sensitivity, but it’s far less severe and manageable. I believe that losing about a dozen people over the last few years just caused me so much anxiety that I was in denial for. I don’t tend to be an outwardly emotional person, so I must hold everything in until I break (quite literally). Vision problems, I’ve learned from experience and my latest eye doctor who actually cares enough to listen to me, can be neurologically-related to anxiety. Just advice for anyone out there struggling with the same issues I have.

Anyway, because I was freaking out about my loss of work (due to not being able to write), I’ve spent months and months training for and starting a business in something else I’m passionate about: yoga, focused on pain management for people who go through the same things I have. It was something I didn’t need to use a screen for. Now, although I am busy with yoga clients and group classes, because my vision is far better, I want to get back into writing. The last Shapeshifting Seas book has obviously already been in the works, and I have a few other projects I had to temporarily abandon because of the vision issues. So for those of you worried I quit or am going to abandon writing for yoga, no worries. I’ve always been a multi-tasker because I’m passionate about too many things and life is so short.

Survey Results! My readers like the same themes I do: who’da thunk it?

Now for survey results! I made a survey last year that I never got around to announcing to you all called the Genre/Book Preferences Survey. Guess what? So many of you found it and took it that SurveyMonkey is now harassing me to upgrade my account. What are some of the most interesting finds, you ask?

71% of you read fantasy. 65% of you read science fiction. Horror is the least popular genre in speculative fiction amongst my readers (makes sense; although I’ve written it, I’ve yet to publish it, so you found me in a different genre!). Just 39% of you read horror.

Most popular subgenres of fantasy amongst my readers:

  1. Epic/high fantasy 56.76%
  2. Dark fantasy 40.54%
  3. Sword and sorcery 37.84%
  4. Other 35.14%
  5. Military fantasy 27.03%
  6. Grimdark 21.62%
  7. None 2.7%

This is super interesting to me. I am a little disappointed that more of you aren’t interested in grimdark considering one of the projects I’m working on is pretty damn bloody and bleak (features a whole cast of high-level prisoners and lots of psychological horror elements). I was highly inspired by Bloodborne, and I’m a huge fan of Warhammer books/games. I’m still hopeful that some of you dark fantasy lovers would give it a try. Grimdark is pretty niche, but crosses over quite a bit with dark fantasy.

Most popular subgenres of science-fiction amongst my readers:

  1. Dystopian 52.63% Found my New World series readers!
  2. Time Travel 47.37%
  3. Post-apocalyptic 44.74%
  4. None 15.79%
  5. Other 10.53%

There are tons of subgenres of science fiction I didn’t include because I just don’t want to write them. Some of my favorite themes in science fiction (space, space/horror, discovery, etc.) are ones I wouldn’t want to touch with a ten-foot-pole because readers of space fiction tend to be so picky about what they’ll accept, even in fiction. Plus, I tend to be really picky myself about how realistic things are. The research I went through for the Six Elements was intensive and insane, and that was for fantasy, something that many readers accept more liberties in. Still, the Six Elements lore is birthed in futuristic science-fiction, so it was something I felt I had to get right.

I’m really happy to see dystopian at the #1 spot. I love, love, love bleak and dystopian can deliver it in spades. I’ve got a juicy standalone dystopian novel in the works a book or two ahead, so be on the lookout for that if you liked my New World series. 😉

Most popular subgenres of horror amongst my readers:

  1. Humorous horror 52.78%
  2. Creature horror 44.44%
  3. Psychological horror 38.89%
  4. None 22.22%
  5. Splatterpunk 19.44%
  6. Other 8.33%

Holy moly, Batman! Humorous horror is way more loved than I thought it would be, and thank goodness! One of my in-progress works (tentatively titled Godless) is just this, involving demon-murder, a deliciously immature, violent, and flatulence-loving heroine, and her drug-addicted, fallen angel of a mentor who is obsessed with ’90s Gothic fashion trends. They basically go on a mission executing the demons of hell in a quest to get on the good side of the Christian God. I’m a few chapters in and can’t stop laughing every time I re-read what I have. It’s insane and hilarious–but then again, I’m a 12-year-old boy at heart, so I thought maybe it would be way too “out there” for my readers. Who knows? Maybe I’ll publish it eventually and you can decide for yourselves.

Also–I’m really excited about your love for creature horror. If you’ve read my detailed descriptions of transformations in the Shapeshifting Seas trilogy or even The Six Elements, you might have noticed I have a fascination for creature and body horror. My late-brother (died February 2020) loved werewolves and thought Calder and the rest of the shapeshifters from my books sounded so cool even though he wasn’t a reader. I wish so badly that he could’ve seen the cover for Stemming the Tide; he would’ve gone crazy over it. Either way, knowing my readers love creature horror gives me some ideas for future books–ones that I might dedicate to my brother.

By the way–splatterpunk deserves more love, but I’m happy to see it got a decent amount of interest here. Splatterpunk is my personal favorite subgenre of horror. The more offensive, the better. No limits. Shock me! I remember there was a free short horror story on Amazon that I read years ago. It only had one review, and it was negative, saying that they couldn’t believe the author mentioned necrophilia. That was an instant download for me (haha–and I gave it its first positive review). For anyone wondering, it was literally mentioned, not even delved into with any detail. I believe the story was set in hell. Why set limits there, of all places?!

Top themes that my readers love:

  1. Love/romance 51.35%
  2. Moral ambiguity 48.65%
  3. Survival 48.65%
  4. Vengeance 45.95%
  5. Power and corruption 40.54%
  6. Rebellion 37.84%
  7. Suffering 27.03%
  8. Coming of age 27.03%

I was really surprised to see love/romance as the top theme considering all the rest play a bit more of a role in my books, but I get it. Love is a driver of so many story arcs. As my husband has argued before, the entire Six Elements series was about the beginning to end of a war Kai started for two men she loved, Cerin and Bjorn. It’s far more complicated than that, but I get it. I’m a huge lover of writing sex scenes (hence all the Six Elements erotica I have saved on my computer, haha), but I specifically shied away from writing more than one in the Six Elements because I didn’t think my majority-male readerbase would like it. I wrote the one for strictly story purposes and basically moved on. (Cerin and Kai get up to quite a bit in the erotica I have laying around, whereas the scene I have featuring Calder is super kinky because…well, just because my pervy little lizardman is fun like that.) Still–love as a theme goes farther than romance, and so I understand its widespread appeal.

Over 52% of you prefer character-focused books over plot-focused (me, too!), and over 47% of you prefer plot-focused. Great characters come first for me, so I appreciate this tidbit.

Thank You

Finally, thank you to all my readers who have noticed my hiatus but keep checking for news. Views of my website have done nothing but increased over the last year even though I’ve been away. I appreciate your continued interest more than you know. I’m busier now than I have been in years, but I will never give up writing. I wrote my first book as a toddler thirty years ago and no one’s been able to shut me up since.

-Rosie Scott

Writing Update: Progress

My website is getting a lot of hits recently so I figured some of you might be coming back here to check on me after my last update, and I wanted to share some good news with you!

First of all, my orthopedic surgeon left the carpal tunnel surgery decision up to me, and all other avenues provide only temporary relief, so I am going to be getting two surgeries, one for each wrist. The surgery for my right hand is scheduled for 10/28, and they tend to schedule the other one for three weeks after that. Recovery isn’t as intense as I originally thought. I’d read eight weeks online, but my surgeon seems to think given my age and severity I should feel immediate and/or quick relief. Light typing is allowed within a few days after surgery, in fact, and they told me I should be able to continue my intense yoga workouts within two weeks, which is insanely quick. (Also a relief, since I’ve been working on hand/arm balances in yoga and don’t want to lose my progress!) So that is looking good.

Secondly, someone read my last post about my light sensitivity and reached out in support (thank you), which made me dig even deeper into the issue online. I found one thing I hadn’t tried yet: FL-41 glasses. They are glasses designed for people with photophobia (extreme light sensitivity), which I apparently have. I also was diagnosed with ocular migraines last year, which these can help with. They are sooo much more helpful than the standard “blue light” glasses you can get at the store. I have been wearing them constantly while on the computer or playing a game (console or PC) and I can go much longer before getting headaches and dry eye. Here’s a photo I just took of my FL-41 glasses before the screen I’m on right now:

FL-41 Glasses

For reference, my computer is on the lowest brightness setting in this photo and I have the Night Light settings turned on (this setting yellows the screen and uses less blue light). And these glasses still make this much of a difference. It is helping my photophobia a lot, and I highly, highly recommend that anyone who is suffering from light sensitivity or eye strain try them out. I know a lot of my readers are gamers, too, and trust me, these make a difference! I had been playing my seventh run of Fallout 4 (Xbox One version since I already platinumed it on PS4) and many of you know how neon green is so prevalent in Fallout games (due to the Pip Boy and menu). That color really hurt my eyes. I could barely play more than an hour before getting these. The rose color doesn’t risk the integrity of the graphics as much as you’d think and I got used to them really fast. Then, of course, I had to stop my playthrough because my arms started acting up and going numb/having nerve sparks, so I just can’t win. Haha. At least relief is coming soon for that, too.

The good thing is, between these glasses and having my document color set to gray, I have been able to write here and there. Not for too long given my nerve issues in my arms, of course, but I’m hopeful that after surgery that will change. There are too many story ideas backed up in my head. After Of Monsters and Mutiny, I have three different options on the menu: a grimdark dungeon crawling nightmare (already started), a standalone philosophical dystopian nightmare (oddly, the blurb is complete but the book isn’t started; it’s one of those books that won’t take me long to write considering its crisp storyline and how long it’s been sitting in my head), and an action science-fiction mash-up with a gloriously dark ending that a dream gave me an inspiration for. (I had been really into this dream, got to the dark twisted ending, woke up, and was instantly like, “Oh my GOD, that’s good!” Haha.) I also have an action-horror-comedy book inspired by DOOM that has a few chapters written–and I love every gross, immature, inappropriate moment of it thus far–but I don’t know if that’s the kind of thing I could release. Some fans might be confused, some new people might try it out as an introduction to me as an author and be turned off, etc. It definitely leans into the types of humor that easily offended people would…well, be offended by. I could get cancelled, and knowing me, I wouldn’t apologize for it, so I’d get cancelled again. (Ha.) We’ll see.

Anyway, my arms are tingling and going numb from just writing this, so I need to go back to resting. I wanted you beautiful readers to share in some of my joy after all that stressful nonsense. Take care of yourselves, and keep on the lookout for updates. I will try to get something out there about how everything goes, but I won’t want to risk my healing so we’ll see. Thank you as always for your support!

-Rosie Scott

Writing Update: Focused on Health


Apologies for the quick update, but I wanted to get something out there since it’s been a while and I don’t want you all to think I’m six feet under (considering the last few years I’ve had of constant death, it’s a miracle I’m not, right?).

Long story short: I have two major health concerns right now that make writing extremely difficult. The first: I have been struggling with deteriorating eyesight since late-2019. Before this, I never had any problems with my eyes. It started out as mere nearsightedness and has gotten to the point where I sometimes have to wear sunglasses to be on the computer (and I have the Brightness settings set to 0% and the “Night Light” setting on at all times). I have extreme light sensitivity and floaters started popping up as obstructions to my vision like they’re using my pupils as a breeding ground. I have gotten first and second opinions by eye doctors, both of which claim it’s simply a matter of nearsightedness, mild dry eye, and otherwise “normal” aging of the eye. At this point, I don’t really know what else to do other than limit my time looking at a screen and get used to my new normal. In order to open Of Monsters and Mutiny‘s OpenOffice document tonight, I had to set the document color to gray and use tinted anti-Blue light glasses. Even then, I can’t go long like this before experiencing long-lasting headaches, blurry vision, and eye strain. Just writing this post on WordPress hurts because everything is pure white (despite my computer’s low brightness settings).

The second: I was just diagnosed with bilateral moderate severity carpal tunnel syndrome. I will find out this Friday whether injections or surgery are in my near future. This came as a less of a surprise, since I’ve been writing books since I was a toddler (on my grandmother’s typewriter, no less) and gaming like it was a full-time job on both PC and consoles since I was four. It was bound to happen. I hope surgery is suggested so I can get it over with and hopefully get back to normal. Even if that is the case, it takes weeks to heal, so I’ll be pretty screwed when it comes to doing anything with my hands for a while.

Anyway, I wanted to keep you guys updated because you deserve to know what’s going on. Some of you may have noticed from my activities/posts on other platforms that I’ve started doing non-writing activities more often. I learned vegetable/fruit gardening this past year, for example, and have started multiple training programs to become a yoga teacher (I’ve been a yogi for years; it may come as a surprise that someone who loves ripping apart bodies when writing gore also loves healthy, working bodies, haha). None of this means I’m giving up writing. I’ve just been experiencing so many adverse side effects from working on a computer that I need to diversify my actions more often for my own health.

I’m not sure why all this is hitting me now, but I’m trying to learn how to adjust to keep doing what I love. If any of you have eye strain and/or extreme light sensitivity, I’d love to hear what kinds of things you do to deal with it, especially if I’ve missed something here. And for all of you who have no health issues relating to how you use tech: enjoy it while it lasts, and take as many precautions as you can now to avoid eye strain, posture troubles, and other concerns. You are not immune!

Stay healthy, and I will try to keep you updated as I juggle all this!

-Rosie Scott

The Morose Fisherman + Writing Update


Thought I’d share something I came across a little while ago online that reminded me of Cerin. I mean, what does one get for a quiet, sarcastic, brutal necromancer who loves to fish? How about a nice fishing cap to help shade that beautifully delicate pale skin? Maybe even one with a ridiculously long bill?

I found this hilarious because it really did remind me of my favorite broody necromancer. I’d even buy it for him if he was…you know, tangible.

Speaking of my favorite “broody bois”, as I call them, my school break has begun and I am a woman of my word. Typing away as a particular broody and bloodthirsty lizardman (Captain Calder “Long Dong Silvers” Cerberius) on Of Monsters and Mutiny (Shapeshifting Seas Trilogy Book 3). I think I already let you guys know the entire outline is complete (the extremely succinct outline is 1,220 words by itself, and that doesn’t include other notes of things/scenes to include). I am super excited to get deeper into this thing, because I have some fantastic things in store for this book:

  • The largest beast battle in the Six Elements universe yet in terms of the beast’s actual size, environmental scale, and number of combatants (yes, including the two giant beasts from Earth, Six Elements Book 2). Yes, it will be on the sea, and yes, it will be during a beautifully dangerous storm. The badass cover art portrays this sea battle. I can’t ****ing wait.
  • Answers to the many questions you likely have about Neliah Clevon’s character development, in case you are like my husband and viciously shipping her and Calder while demanding answers for her mysterious behavior.
  • Many more explosions and the destruction of property, thanks to Koby’s love of offensive alchemy.
  • The exploration of multiple locations never before visited (the uncharted beastlands make their first ever visual appearance here, and one particular ‘lost city’ just might be visited before its brutal destruction, wink-wink).
  • The most brutal kill of a friendly character I’ve ever written in terms of gore and method. (And yes, I know one of the deaths from Stemming the Tide (Shapeshifting Seas Trilogy Book 2) was brutal, but this one just hurts to even think about.) Figured I might as well give a character I love a gory death I love to make his/her legacy memorable in more than one way.

Anyway, that’s just a teaser of things to come. I’m back to work in 3…2…1…

First in Series Sale + Update

From 8:00 a.m. on April 8, 2021 through April 13, 2021, I have a first-in-series sale! The Resistance (The New World Book 1), Fire (The Six Elements Book 1), Rise of a Necromancer, and Origins of the Tainted Bloodline (Shapeshifting Seas Trilogy Book 1) will be just $0.99 or 75% off! Pick them up now if you don’t have them already. Consider this an anniversary present from me to all my readers for some reason (ha). My husband and I just celebrated 16 years together on March 31 (that’s half my life I’ve been with this man!) so I’m feeling rather celebratory.

Death is stalking the young…

As many of you know from reading my updates over the last few years, I’ve experienced a lot of death. I have only let you guys know about the closest family members (four deaths) over the last two years, but there have been many others (family friends and acquaintances) that I have grieved through. Only two of these many deaths have been people over the age of 40. Within the last week, I recently learned that the only childhood best friend of mine I still spoke to was a victim in an accidental (and negligent on behalf of the shooter) shooting by her boyfriend. She had just turned 33 and left behind a daughter and three loving pets. She had a wonderful career as a dog trainer and was well-known in her field in our local area. Meanwhile, her boyfriend is undergoing criminal charges.

I’m more in shock than anything. I have experienced grieving so many deaths over the last few years that even one of a close friend fails to elicit a stronger reaction from me. I am a little concerned about how this is affecting me. I am already someone who isn’t outwardly emotional, but death seriously affects me. I suffer from serious intrusive thoughts; when it came to my brother’s death last year, I kept wondering, “Did he know he was dying? Did he call for help?” Now, with my friend’s recent death, I wonder, “Did she panic in her last moments? Did she plead internally not to die? Did she think of her daughter? Her friends? Her unrealized goals?”

This obsession with death, grief, and its resulting impact that I have always had (hence all the casualties and psychological trauma in my books) is growing ever larger considering all the tragedies of the last few years. I am not a risk to myself, in case you are concerned, dear readers. I feel more and more accepting of death with each person I love who passes. The only negative way this has affected me is now I get way more concerned when one of the few people I still have with me expresses illness or injury. I used to be the kind of person who thought, “Take some ibuprofen and get over it!” Now, I’m instantly concerned and wanting to make sure it’s not something that will kill them, because death is a real possibility for any of us at any moment.

Let’s end this section on a positive note. Readers, take it from someone who has lost so many people recently that I have few left: appreciate those you love while they’re here, because you may never get the chance again. Like I said, so many of these losses have been young people. People I grew up with, or even those much younger than me who had barely even started working as adults. Causes of death have included suicide, overdose (multiple), accidental shooting, and illness. To make matters worse, I had even reached out to the suicide victim a few years ago letting him know he could call me anytime since he was going through a rough time and I knew what that was like. To know he decided to end it all without reaching out to anyone hurts. You can try to read the signs, but some people work hard to make themselves unreadable. Guilt is unwelcome during grief, and thankfully, I have no reason to feel it. Still, don’t let life get in the way of letting those close to you know what they mean to you. Most of my readers are around my age or younger, and so you might feel this is irrelevant to you. Trust me, at the age of 32, I never thought I would be going to as many funerals as my grandparents used to each year as their friends died off naturally to old age. Yet, here we are. I am an expert at writing and reading eulogies at funerals, and I’ve only had two years of practice.

Writing Update

You guys already know about the balance I’m going through between school and writing. I took a break around Christmas to write. Ended up relaxing a lot and gaming instead while I worked up the motivation. I decided to start another class for the next term (early March). Within a week before class started, BOOM! Motivation hit. I completed the massive outline for Of Monsters and Mutiny (Shapeshifting Seas Book 3), and then I pushed through a chapter in no time.

Then class started again. Ha. It’s statistics, too, so it’s taking up all my time. It’s hard to write literature when I’m pumping out 19-page mathematical reports in a week’s time.

You’ll be happy to know that this has done nothing to remove my motivation, though. I really love the Shapeshifting Seas Trilogy and can’t wait to get back to it (something about Calder and Koby’s friendship makes me feel at home in these books, and the gore from Calder’s maulings is much welcome to a gorehound like me). I am taking another break to write that starts in late-April, and I am considering making that break much longer and/or permanent. Book sales have been really good lately, and there’s a book-related development in the works that may make things even better for me (I’ll announce it only when things are certain). I might go back to writing full-time depending on how things go–as long as I can limit myself so I don’t turn into an over-achieving workaholic again, I should be fine. We’ll see–and I’ll update you as things progress.

Thank you all for reading. I appreciate your emails; they keep coming through and it’s awesome to hear from my readers, even if it’s only to sympathize over tragedies you guys have experienced since some of you are going through the same grieving process I am. We’re all only human–and it’s refreshing to be reminded of that sometimes, since it means we’re not alone.

-Rosie Scott

History is awesome, demented military tactics, and book recommendations

This will be a different kind of post. As you might know, I’m not a huge reader myself. As a little girl, I used to read 2+ books a day. As I grew older and started writing what I wanted to read, I stopped having to look for it! That’s probably why, as an adult, I read maybe one or two books per year not authored by myself. However, lately I’ve realized I still love to read; I am just interested in different genres now. I have read seven books in the last month. Genre? Historical non-fiction. This is not a new obsession; I have been a history lover for nearly thirty years, particularly of ancient/medieval times and military strategy and siege warfare. If you’ve read The Six Elements series, you already understand how this has influenced my work, but for the rest of this post, I will describe particular influences and how it shaped the characters, worlds, and epic battles you’ve read and loved. (Careful: some light spoilers may follow, but I’ll do my best to alert you to them.)

Childhood History Fascination + Favorite Historical Figures

Genghis Khan, the badass, as depicted by the artist Thahn Tuan

As I learned about various historical figures as a little girl, I became fascinated by the context in which these figures developed and grew. Some of my favorite historical figures are Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Joan of Arc, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Oda Nobunaga. Most of these figures are either controversial or are considered anti-heroes; Genghis Khan, after all, slaughtered millions, Attila murdered his own brother for power, Joan of Arc is rumored to have been driven and ruined by mental illness, Napoleon’s over-confidence led to the death of thousands of his own troops in the Battle of Waterloo, and Nobunaga was known to brutally eliminate any opposition. I learned from a young age that the atrocities or controversies these figures involved themselves in were not only common throughout history, they were expected or necessary for the person’s success. This is part of the reason I became so obsessed with the darker side of humanity before it became pivotal to my art: the most successful figures of history tend to be controversial.

Another type of history I was fascinated by, siege weaponry and warfare, grew due to video games. At the age of 10, I developed a blueprint for a castle keep on graph paper (modeled after one in Age of Empires II, my favorite video game at the time) and started building it from scratch in the woods behind my house. (I didn’t get very far, having only started on its base, but I did chop down a small tree for lumber by myself. Considering I was ten and super tiny, I was so proud of this. Ha!) I picked up a few books on siege warfare around this time, but they were mostly informational picture-type books (think the Smithsonian). Most of the strategies I developed were instead through strategy video games. I remember failing a lot of missions when I’d start a new game just because I wanted to try various strategies and understand why they failed before restarting with a new strategy. It is through this failure that I learned what worked, but more importantly, why it worked.

History and Military Strategy Seeps into My Art…

Guard from Half-Life 2. Their oppressive demeanor and attire directly inspired government guard outfits worn in The New World series, including the voice-changing masks. Image courtesy of Valve.

When I started The New World series, all I knew was that I wanted to write a dystopian series that went further into oppressive territory than any dystopian I’d ever read (1984, Fahrenheit 451, The Giver, to name a few). I had a concept for the world and one of its characters, and nothing else. I also had a love of gore and hyper-violence that I’d never tried connecting with a published work before (only in stories written as a kid). Combining the two, I had my entire concept. An oppressive world, an authoritarian futuristic American government, and assassins for main characters who used a variety of weapons (daggers, crossbows, pistols, and whatever they could get their hands on) to fight back against their oppressors with as much violence as they were met with. These books were heavily inspired by the Half-Life series of video games, but as the series progressed, the higher the stakes and the more territory the Resistance gained in their fight against the government, and tactics changed from espionage missions to full-on military planning, sieges of political buildings, and civilian insurrection.

History influenced The New World series in a lot of ways. When I came up with the concept, it was 2012 and I was pissed off at the rights American citizens had lost due to the excuse of security since the 1990s. I wrote the series as a continuation of real American history–where I fully believed we could go as a country if we aren’t willing to stand up for our rights now and at potential risk of our own lives. This is a huge part of the reason the series ended as it did with such a gut-punch of a provocative message. Without spoilers for those of you who haven’t read it, The New World series is not a normal series about characters on a journey from A to B; it is instead a series about the shortsightedness of humanity when they ignore the trials and triumphs of history, and the futility in fighting for people who refuse to change themselves even at the risk of their own lives or freedoms. The New World series is, in effect, a love letter to history and what will become of us if we do not learn from our past. Most fan mail I have received for this series tells me it makes them think of the future and how to avoid the situations I wrote of. My advice? Learn from the past and act in the present. We are currently living in tomorrow’s history, and we can only direct the future today.

The Six Elements series was written next, and the only reason I created its characters and world was because I wanted to destroy most of it (ha). The Mount & Blade franchise of video games, where you essentially lead sieges as a war general and train, equip, and fight alongside an army, led to the Six Elements. I love the games to pieces, don’t get me wrong, but they are based on medieval weapons and warfare only, and I wanted so badly to write about devastating magic used tactically in a military setting. I developed Kai’s character on many of the historical war generals I have come to admire, though her main military strategy (overwhelm and overrun with absolute power and numbers) is based on my own preferred strategy. Essentially, I dabbled in military strategy in The New World series, but the only reason The Six Elements exists is to showcase it.

Battle of Thermopylae, the famous David vs. Goliath battle between the Persians (large force) and Greeks (small force, included the Spartans) which directly inspired the Battle of Highland Pass

The Battle of Highland Pass (from Air, Book 4) was the first battle I ever planned out beforehand–yes, even before Fire, Book 1, was written. In fact, I developed Eteri’s landscape to support it, using its cliff-sides as natural barriers. The “pinching” strategy of the enemy army, thus filing them down in size, was directly inspired by the Battle of Thermopylae, where a vastly superior force in numbers was held off for days by a defending force only a fraction of its size. (This battle first inspired a particular scene in The Calamity, The New World Book 5, where Melanie Adams and Billy Johns fight off dozens of bloodthirsty guards using two pistols, lots of ammo, and a hallway.)

Many of the decisions for Six Elements lore were made in order to have realistic diplomatic/military squabbles throughout the series, mirroring similar resource demands throughout history. For example, Chairel’s monopoly on magic would only be a reason to fight if it had realistic consequences on its geographical neighbors. Hammerton’s dwarves were reliant on and fearful of magic, keeping them fairly compliant in military and diplomatic matters with Chairel; Nahara desperately needed water mages due to its location (desert) and its natural “fauna” in the form of giant beasts (Spoilers for Earth, Book 2: Mantus, who could only be defeated using water to reveal itself, and spoilers for Stemming the Tide, SST Book 2, Basa’ran, who absorbed the nutrients and water of Nahara’s northern region, creating the Desiccated Wastelands and depleting the country of what once was a reliable historical water source after the beast’s migration and settlement in the Golden Era).

Quick Side-track: I realized I just inadvertently proved once again how deep the Six Elements lore goes outside the novels, because the information I just released about Basa’ran has never been stated before. A friend of mine who reads my books even commented about how Basa’ran’s emergence in Earth was awesome, but seemingly random. Nope! There are reasons for everything in my books. Basa’ran has a history in this universe, and the big boy also has future roles to play. After all, the beast changed Nahara’s landscape. After his migration in Earth, things would change once again. Natural water sources will reemerge, soil composition will replenish over time, the ecosystem will evolve, and Nahara will look quite different in books set in the Immortal Era. 😉

Demented Military Strategies Planned for the Six Elements but Not Used…

If you’ve completed the Six Elements series, you’ve likely read my author’s note and understand things originally ended much differently. There are two particular military strategies I originally planned Kai to use in Life, Book 5, back when she was a little more demented.

  1. The Invasion of Hallmar – The Halls of the Dead, one in each dwarven-run city, was a piece of dwarven lore I only created for one purpose: to exploit it strategically. By Book 5, Kai was planned to be over-powerful, at least a little insane and becoming more so with every minute, and willing to win at all costs, no matter how barbaric. The latter half of the Six Elements series was originally meant to be “let’s watch the most powerful mage ever destroy the world”. Because–well, because that’s awesome. Ha. The Invasion of Hallmar ended up being super interesting for its strategy utilizing dwarven mines, stealth, and mind-control of siege weapon engineers, but what I originally planned was for Kai to use psychological torture as her main weapon. Though the strategy wasn’t set in stone (the hows or whens), I planned on Kai routing the majority of Hallmar’s citizens into its massive Hall of the Dead, trapping them inside, and then raising the corpses of their stored loved ones to massacre them. This is why I created the lore that Halls of the Dead are so massive and dwarves are so respectful of their dead (embalming procedures, more fearful of necromancy). It was all so this horrifically demented and awesome strategy would work: a well-kept supply of corpses + exploiting fear and low morale = a city easily taken. 😉
  2. Hammerton’s Siege of Trebuchets and Corpses – The steampunk-esque side of the dwarves was not originally intended, but given the introduction of certain types of technology (cannons) I could not use trebuchets in any strategy (cannons make trebuchets irrelevant). Due to my obsessive love of trebuchets, I wanted a siege in Hammerton (had not decided the city before the plans changed) to pose a huge inconvenience to Kai by way of sturdy walls and stubborn dwarves who refused to capitulate. After a while of storming the walls with stone, I planned on having her command her soldiers to gather corpses (from the current siege and previous sieges) so she could start flinging them over the walls. Once inside, the command would be given to raise the corpses, thus destroying the city from the inside-out as the dwarves who refused to open the gates were massacred by their own brethren.
These beauties would only be cooler if they were flinging some corpses. (Source)

If you don’t know much about medieval history, number two in particular was a common tactic used during sieges. Normally, corpses were flung over walls for two reasons: one, resources for projectiles were running low, and/or two, it lowered defenders’ morale. It is a fantastic medieval siege tactic; I just thought it would be made a little more devastating with necromancy.

History Book Recommendations

The reason this whole post came about was due to some fan mail I received from a reader who was so excited to see his love of historical military tactics replicated in a fantasy setting. I’m used to discussing video games with fans, but this was the first time I realized some of you might actually be lovers of history like me, too! I hope this post was interesting for you, as I tried to link my love of history to how it has affected the characters and worlds you know and love.

Most of the books I have been reading lately are related to holy wars. Religion is the cause for many wars and countless deaths, and it is fascinating to read about how many people willingly gave their lives to a man-made war for a supernatural deity. To a great extent, the historical non-fiction books I love the most do their best to explain the historical context around these figures and why they believed so strongly in their actions. The following recommendations are wonderful introductions to holy war history for any of you not yet well-versed:

I hope I’ve sparked your interest in history! I might include more history references in my future posts now that I know some of you are interested, especially since it is so influential for my books. I hope 2021 is going better for you than the scourge that is 2020.

-Rosie Scott

Christmas Sale + Update!

Christmas Sale

From 8:00 a.m. on December 23, 2020 to December 30, I have a Christmas sale starting which includes a book that has never been on sale before! Fire (The Six Elements Book 1), Rise of a Necromancer, and for the first time ever, Origins of the Tainted Bloodline (Shapeshifting Seas Trilogy Book 1) will be just $0.99 or 75% off! If you haven’t picked up your copy of one or more of these, now is definitely the time.

New World Series + New Dystopian Fans

I’m not sure exactly what sparked this, but there has been a drove of sales of my first published series, the gritty dystopian thriller series The New World. Oddly, most of the sales have been paperbacks. If you are a fan of my special oppressive style of dystopian and you’re concerned because all you see on the website right now is fantasy, don’t worry. I haven’t abandoned the dystopian subgenre as a concept; in fact, I have one book tentatively titled The Male Experiment that I have been itching to write for sometime now. Its blurb and cover concept are all ready; it’s just the book that needs written. Thank you, my new dystopian fans, for picking up my books and I hope you’ll stick around for more; if the psychological PTSD concept of The New World series is part of what intrigued you, I promise you all my characters in my fantasy books go through serious psychological challenges. It’s kind of “my thing” as an author.

Dystopian is the only genre I write that I also read (I’m not a fan of fantasy books other than mine, only fantasy video games, and while I wrote a lot of horror as a child I’ve never published it). I love dystopian. But my fantasy books are what pay the bills, so I got caught in a whirlwind of creativity there. I foresee The Six Elements being important to my career for a long time yet, but I desire to balance out these releases with other genres in the future (science fiction, horror). Other than The Male Experiment, I also have a grimdark duology (a morbid mix of dark fantasy and dystopian) in the works. After the third Shapeshifting Seas book is out, I will likely work on something non-Six Element related for those of you itching to try something new or different of mine. If you ever want to see what kinds of ideas I have in the pipeline, check out my Upcoming Book Releases page.

On Writing

My last update detailed just how hard I’ve had it this year. Between that update and this one, my family has experienced yet another loss; the third of 2020 and the fourth within a year and a half. Honestly, I’ve become a little numb to death and grieving. At a certain point, I keep thinking, I have to have lost so many people I’ll have no one left, and then I’ll have nothing else to lose. My mindset in this sense is absurdly similar to Cerin’s in Rise of a Necromancer. This is why I love writing the way I do and involving myself in character psyches. You never know just how close you are to breaking or losing it like your favorite anti-heroes. When you think about it, the average person is so close to snapping into insanity from just one twist of fate or tragedy, and that is both terrifying and intriguing. Maybe that’s why I write about mental breakdowns so often. Normal people are boring. 😉

Anyway, my latest college term has ended. I somehow maintained my 4.0 GPA (yay!) and my break has officially started. It is time to see if I have the mental acuity to get back into writing. I won’t be the working powerhouse I was in previous years when I worked 100-hour weeks (honestly, that’s inhumane, now that I look back on it), but I’m going to make an effort. I currently am splitting my time between three jobs (real estate, writing, and a part-time gig I picked up as a supplement for school), so I will be forced to write in shorter bursts. But no matter what happens, I will keep you updated here. My first concern is finishing the Shapeshifting Seas Trilogy with its final book, Of Monsters and Mutiny. Its phenomenal cover art is on the wall behind me as a source of motivation. Calder is a disturbed and intriguing badass and the friendship between him and Koby is, I’m convinced, the best and most layered I’ve ever written. Their story deserves its final chapter. When I’m this psychologically damaged from grief and loss is when I think I write as Calder the best, so now’s a better time than any.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all. I hope your year has gone better than mine, and let’s plan on 2021 reviving us all.

-Rosie Scott

Where have I been? + Huge Black Friday Sale

Where Have I Been?

It has been months since I last posted. I apologize profusely. I would be lying if I said I’d meant to. The truth is that I completely upended my life months ago because I felt lost, unsupported, forgotten, and thoroughly depressed. As much as I wanted to write, I felt no motivation to. I love writing, but the stresses of the “public figure” aspect to it can be crushing when you pile on all the grief, loss, and depression I’ve experienced since July 2019.

It is almost 8:00 in the morning and I haven’t yet been to bed, so I’ll keep this short. I won’t go into many details…basically, I gave up writing many months ago due to everything I was going through. I went back to school to completely change my career. I have been working multiple jobs and going to school full-time over the last few months. Until a concerned fan emailed me a few days ago. He acknowledged my losses and told me Rise of a Necromancer was the best fantasy book he had ever read. Suddenly, there was a light at the end of that endless dark tunnel. That support, compassion, and acknowledgement means the world to me.

I cannot make any promises, but I am requesting to take a break from my school for the next term. I am going to try to write full-time again. It might not work. I may find it’s no longer viable for me. Either way, I can’t go back to working as many hours as I used to because I know it’s not healthy or sustainable. Still, I want so badly to continue writing books for you and for me. There are so many ideas–both in the Six Elements universe and out of it–that I feel a burning desire to explore. I want this. Being an author was always my dream career since I was a little girl. It still is, but the realities of being an author are oftentimes hard to reason with. I also have to be realistic and honest about doing what is best for me. Either way, as I approach this rocky journey I will keep you updated here.

Black Friday Sale

From 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 24th to 12:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 1st, five of my books are going on sale (two on my pen-name). Fire, Rise of a Necromancer, and The Resistance (all Book Ones and/or series entry points) will be just $0.99, or 75% off. This is the first sale I’ve had in a year, so if there’s a book listed here that you’re interested in but haven’t picked up, do so now! Given recent events I don’t know when I’ll do this again.

Thank You

Finally, thank you so much to those of you who have stuck by me through these tumultuous times. For those of you who have supported me with buying my books or leaving reviews throughout this time, it means so much to me. If you have been checking the website and wondering where the heck I’ve gone to, I do appreciate it. I used to post regularly and I have spoken about depression/suicide before, so I know it’s scary when suddenly updates stop coming. I am grateful for your support and concern. Like I said earlier, it was only due to one particular fan’s overwhelming support and empathy that I am motivated to try again. This proves your support really does matter. Authors are only human.

2020 has been a shitshow of a year, so I am aware many of you may have had your own heartaches and tribulations. I am empathetic and hopeful we can all move past it and grow from these experiences, hopefully together. As always, if you ever want to share with a friendly ear, my comments/email are open.

Expect an update around Christmas or the beginning of 2021, as that is when this school term is over and I’ll re-evaluate writing full-time. I have my document for Of Monsters and Mutiny saved and ready. I don’t know what the future holds for me and my books, but I am going to try my best to make it a good one.

-Rosie Scott

Trying to get back to normal after a string of family deaths

Life itself read my last post and decided to throw more my way. Just two weeks ago, I experienced the third loss of a close loved one in the last year, and attended yet another funeral last Wednesday in the midst of this pandemic. My family currently awaits updates from my last remaining grandparent, who is quarantined with COVID-19. We are not allowed to visit him, and due to poor hearing we can’t talk to him over the phone. I’m beyond numb to death, end-of-life sickness, grief, and bad news at this point. Before the last year, I’d only attended one funeral and one or two services in my entire life. Now, here I sit at my computer desk, with all that remains of three loved ones nearby: an urn of ashes, and two separate vases of dried, dying funeral roses from two different funerals. My brother’s services were three months ago, yet I can’t bring myself to throw out the drooping roses. It’s not like he ever saw them. Perhaps I have an attachment to them because his funeral was the last event I will ever attend for him, and that strikes me as a lie. There are countless birthday parties and holidays I remember spending with him, but his funeral is the last there will ever be. Now my grandmother’s funeral roses are beside my brother’s, fresher and redder but slowly losing their perkiness. Before long they will turn into ash like everything else.

I haven’t been forcing myself to work set hours for obvious reasons. I have Of Monsters and Mutiny (Shapeshifting Seas Trilogy Book 3) up in a document right now. I’m not as far in it as I’d like to be given recent events, but I won’t give up. I wanted to update you guys because I realized I haven’t in a while, and I imagine some readers notice that and think the worst. Usually tragic events cause me to write more (heck, my beloved Thomas died on July 1, 2019, and I’ve published three books since then including on my pen-name), but there’s only so much one can take before you hold your hands up in bitter surrender.

Like I said, my grandfather’s situation is volatile, so it’s possible tragedy will come to pass a fourth time in less than a year. No matter the outcome, I will update when I can. Calder’s story isn’t finished yet, but it deserves to be, so I’ll keep heading in that direction. If anything, all this emotional whiplash keeps me grounded in Calder’s headspace. I wouldn’t be able to describe these emotions/situations so effectively if I hadn’t been through them…though that isn’t an invitation for more.

Thank you guys for being patient as I traverse this difficult time. I hope you and your family/friends are safe and healthy, and let those close to you know how much you care. You never know when you’ll never get another chance.

-Rosie Scott

Here’s a contemplative post that devolves into offensive humor, but at least there’s a book update

This Rollercoaster We Call Life

Thank you all for your patience and understanding over the last few chaotic months. Some of you reached out to me to express your sympathies over the passing of my brother last month, and I greatly appreciate it. Nothing will bring Rocky back, and nothing can make this easier on the many who loved him. Still, sometimes it helps to remember that we’re all in the same boat. Some die young. Some are dealt injustices that others never deal with. The rest of us are left to pick up the pieces and try to put the puzzle back together. Life is rarely fair, nor does it make sense most of the time, and it refuses to cave to our wills in terms of planning. Sometimes, bad things just happen and we are reminded how small we are in the world when we realize we are powerless.

Oddly enough, going through a lot of dark times in my life is what drives me to write such dark themes. I am obsessed with the fact that a life can drastically change in a millisecond due to decision-making (good or bad) or situations outside our control. I am an extreme optimist now, but there was a moment in my pre-teens when I tied a noose around my neck and took a step off a chair that I intended to be fatal. Thank the gods the suicide attempt failed (and this was as a result of extreme bullying in the early 2000s, so no need to be concerned now), but the fact remains: the same person who once decided life wasn’t worth living loves it now. That doesn’t mean I’m immune to negativity, of course; hell, losing two people I love dearly over the last year has put me through the roughest patch I’ve had in a while. But still: this idea that life can be both stunningly beautiful and outrageously cruel is one I often mimic in my books because it fascinates me. The unpredictability of life is what makes it worth living, even when things like loss, depression, and fear threaten our happiness.

Book News

I’m bringing all this up now to link it back to book news–which I know is what you’ve all been waiting for. I’m currently self-quarantining due to suffering some symptoms of the coronavirus, so it’s giving me a lot of time to game and plan. While putting an absurd amount of time in Farming Simulator 2019 (74 hours in a week, DON’T JUDGE ME), I’ve been outlining Of Monsters and Mutiny (Shapeshifting Seas Trilogy Book 3) and linking all sorts of pre-planned situations together. I re-read Stemming the Tide a few weeks ago and fell in love with it all over again. I love being inside Calder’s head. He’s so disturbed and traumatized that it’s interesting to explore. This is the second time I’ve explored severe PTSD in a main character; for those of you who are fans of mine only through the Six Elements series and/or universe, if you like my attention-to-detail when it comes to character psyche, I recommend trying my New World series (dystopian war thriller). That series is dedicated to the development of PTSD in an assassin who fights it off in her own head as she fights against an authoritarian American government. Whether she’s successful or not and how much it costs her is something you’d have to read the books to find out, but the New World series ending is my favorite I’ve ever written, so I’m biased. Ha.

Anyway, just know that Of Monsters and Mutiny is in the development stages. My releases may come out less often now, but I promise I’ll never become George R. R. Martin. 😛 Besides, like I said in my last post, I’m dedicating this book to Rocky, so it’ll be out before you know it. My brother loved hearing about Calder’s badassery and seeing him in artwork.

Seeking Cover Artists!

Speaking of artwork, I’ve had a hard time reaching my cover artist these past few months, so I’m on the hunt for dark fantasy artists whose art style is similar to that on the covers of Rise of a Necromancer and the Shapeshifting Seas Trilogy. If you are an artist or know an artist who is interested in developing book covers with me, send contact information, commission prices, and links to art portfolios to rosiescottbooks@gmail.com. I do have timing requirements and other things we can discuss, but I’m super easy to work with and go above and beyond to support my artists. This offer will remain even if I get into contact with my existing artist–I often have too many requests for his schedule, so I’m always on the lookout for artists I can hire on a semi-regular basis (a few times per year). It should be noted that I will not only work with artists getting started in the industry, I kind of prefer it. I’d rather give work to a skilled unknown who needs experience, as long as that person is talented, honest, and professional. No cover design experience necessary–only the artwork is required, as I have a graphic designer who does the rest. 🙂

Follow Me on Instagram (Or…You Know, Don’t)

Last but not least, just tonight I started posting on Instagram if any of you are interested in following me there. Honestly, I joined the site years ago to get my daily fix of sparkly car porn and never planned on posting, but I thought, “Why the hell not?” I figure I’ll mostly be posting cats, memes, cats, book-related things, cats, vidya games, cats, and maybe the occasional travel photo if I ever can go anywhere again. *Shakes fist at sky and yells, “CORONAVIRUUUSSS!!!”*

I will not be posting anything political, but my sense of humor is so dark and inappropriate that I can’t promise not to offend anyone. In fact, I promise to be a good girl and cross a few lines. Within my first five posts, I’ve already insulted babies. That’s bound to offend somebody, but babies are sooo overrated.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned, stay safe, and wash your hands often, you dirty bastards.

-Rosie Scott