SALT LAKE CITY UT February 6, 2016
“It’s an exciting sequel, a fascinating story, that I read from beginning to end very quickly,” says WiDo’s submission editor Allie Maldonado. “Scott increases the development of the principle characters, Crik and his friends, as they continue in their search for freedom from slavery.”
Chased across the wild by the King’s guard, Crik encounters more of the Northern Reaches and sees the truly magical and terrifying nature of this world, with spectral Shepherds, man-eating Rukmush, and the ancient giants of the earth. But nothing frightens Crik more than when he is betrayed and two of his friends are captured and returned to Ungstah. Their rescue is dependent upon one person. Durgan, former Captain of the King’s Guard, now wanders the Waste as a Downer. There are murmurings of uprising among the Downers and the city is in lockdown. Hunted by a gang, Durgan searches for any sign of his son. What he discovers is just how black the powers of Sulfus truly are. He is forced to make a decision, one that may lead to all-out war.
“I’ve always known how I wanted the Downer series to end,” Keen states. “Over the years, however, new subplots and ideas have emerged. So I am currently planning out the third book, aligning and meshing the new ideas with the old ones.”
Keen has a first draft of another book he plans on returning to once he has completed the Downer series. He is also finishing up a play he hopes to produce in a few months, perhaps starting a theatre company in the process.
After Scar of the Downers was published, the author realized that part was only the beginning. “Much of the difficult work comes after you are published. That, I believe, was the biggest adjustment,” he says. “Not only do I have to balance my writing with my everyday responsibilities, but I now need to focus on marketing. Thankfully, I’ve been able to have several book signings and library and school visits to connect with readers and other authors, mostly because of connections with friends in my area.”
He carves out time for writing by setting aside time in the late afternoon or early evening. “When my wife gets home from work, I seclude myself into the bedroom and begin to work, where I spend two to three hours writing. I’m still homeschooling and being the stay-at-home dad to our four daughters, and so my days are pretty full. Finding the time and energy to work can be challenging.”
Maldonado has this to say about Keen’s writing: “Scott makes a reader care about his characters, and his world-building techniques are fantastic. You’re transported so completely in the story world of the Downers and Ungstah that when you come up for air, it’s hard to remember where you are.”
Scott Keen lives in northern New York, and is a stay-at-home, homeschooling dad to his and his wife Liz’s four girls. He has an MFA in Script & Screenwriting and, when not with his family, spends most of his extra time writing/editing his books, blogging (scottkeenbooks.blogspot.com), and occasionally directing a local play.