Check-In Interview: Mark Lawrence

Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence publishes June 3, 2014.

Can you hear that? That is the sound of much rejoicing! Mark is responsible for the Broken Empire trilogy, a dark series beginning with Prince of Thorns and featuring a fantastic if vengeful anti-hero in Jorg Ancrath. Every week that passes, word of mouth gets this series into new readers’s hands and now Mark has a large fan base that he must keep happy with new work — or pay the price Jorg-style!

For this Check-In Interview, I decided to focus on Mark’s new book, Prince of Fools. It is set within the same world as Broken Empire but the trilogy will be told from a new point of view.

Here we go! Checking in with Mark Lawrence:


Shawn Speakman: PRINCE OF FOOLS publishes on June 3rd. It has been featured on many “cannot wait for these books” lists. Where are you at in its publication process? Still writing? Editing? Copy editing? Proofing the final pages? And how did you acquire the cover modeling services of soccer star and celebrity David Beckham?


Mark Lawrence: I finished writing the book in January last year. I think the editing was completed last summer (there was a 6 month break – it didn’t take long to edit). I finished writing the sequel this January and my editor has been editing that book (as yet untitled) and hopefully we’re pretty much finished there. Right now I’m writing the last book of the trilogy and I’m 15,000 words into that.
The UK cover is by Jason Chan who did the Broken Empire covers and our ‘hero’ Jalan Kendeth just shows us the back of his head. The US cover is by Chris McGrath and he always seems to show faces (I think he works from photos of models). And yes, the guy on the cover does bear a remarkable resemblance to David Beckham, though people have also said he looks a bit like a younger more handsome more hirsute version of me too.

Shawn Speakman: The story of Jorg Ancrath has captivated readers and word of mouth is making that story a must read for everyone. How does PRINCE OF FOOLS work into the Broken Empire trilogy? And do you worry that readers won’t embrace Prince Jalan Kendeth like they did Jorg?

Mark Lawrence: The Red Queen’s War trilogy runs in parallel to Jorg’s story, covering the same period of six years and criss-crossing the same continent. Jalan’s path occasionally crosses Jorg’s and they interact with many of the same characters, though ones that may have played minor roles in Jorg’s tale play major ones in Jalan’s and vice versa.
I don’t want readers to embrace Jalan like they did Jorg … I want them to embrace him in a whole new way! I guess everyone is a touch nervous about a new book, be it with a new character or not. I don’t feel any more worried releasing Prince of Fools than I did any of my other books. I’ve already far exceeded my expectations in terms of success and I’m grateful for it – people will like my next book or they won’t.

Shawn Speakman: You are one of the hardest working writers, not only for words written per day but your social media presence. How do you find a balance between writing and online publicity? And what cool publicity things can we look forward to? ARC giveaways? Early excerpts? Possible tour events for PRINCE OF FOOLS?

Mark Lawrence: Social media doesn’t feel like work to me. If it did I wouldn’t do it. It’s fun, but I don’t think it makes a big difference to success – that rides on the words between the covers, not on forums or facebook. I don’t try to find a balance. I do as much writing and as much ‘internet’ as I want and it hasn’t proved difficult to write a book a year. If I were failing to meet deadlines then yes, I’d have to focus and cry off facebook/twitter/reddit until I was back on track … hasn’t happened yet though.
I’ve just given my last Prince of Fools ARC away – we’ve had a bunch of contests etc. I’m hoping to release an excerpt soon. Tour events are out though. Apart from when I’m at my day job (research scientist) I never get more than 3 hours off from caring for my very disabled youngest daughter – and I still have to be on hand for lifting – so if it’s not within 5 miles of my house … it ain’t happening!

Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence will publish on June 3, 2014! It is the first book in a new trilogy. If you haven’t read the Broken Empire trilogy, this might be a great place for you to begin your foray through Mark’s work!

But why wait? Read Prince of Thorns now and make your way through the next two books in preparation for Prince of Fools!

Visit Mark on Facebook and Twitter!

Which author would you like me to check-in with next?

speakman-shawnShawn Speakman is the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban/epic fantasy hybrid novel bestselling author Terry Brooks calls, “a fine tale by a talented writer.”

He is also editor and contributor of Unfettered, a fantasy anthology featuring some of the best writers in the genre. When Shawn isn’t lying for a living, he runs The Signed Page and Grim Oak Press.