Author John Robert Marlow

Who Is He and Should We Take His Advice?

John Robert Marlow

JOHN ROBERT MARLOW is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist, and editor. His latest articles—Rewriting: Three Deadly Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them, and an interview with Jay Simpson (who recently sold his first script for $400,000)—appear in the 2010 Screenwriter’s & Playwright’s Market, published by Writers Digest Books. John’s Self Editing Blog launched in July of 2009.


His first novel Nano was published in hardcover by Forge/St. Martin’s Press in 2004 (“Marlow’s debut is a real page-turner”—Kirkus Reviews; “Reads like a big-budget summer blockbuster”—Booklist), and was honored with the Nanotechnology Now Editor’s Choice Award (“Plausible, scientifically accurate, and timely … the most important piece of fiction written to date”) and declared Book of the Month by Humanity+. (A revised edition of the Nano novel was published in paperback in 2005.)


John’s nonfiction articles and photography have appeared in numerous print and online publications, and cover a wide variety of topics, including BASE jumping, lifesaving medicines, automobile engine buildups, terrorist incidents, robotic surgeons, neural nets, invisible lasers, nanotechnology, and the global security implications of emerging and disruptive technologies. He has interviewed people ranging from businessmen and police officers to Nobel laureate Sir Francis Crick and visionary filmmaker James Cameron.

John is often called upon to render complex scientific and medical topics easily understandable for a general audience. His plain-language Nanoveau column led to his nomination for the Foresight Institute Prize in Communication—the highest honor in nanotechnology journalism.


Since 2001, John has worked as a developmental editor—upgrading the screenplays, novel and book manuscripts of others to the point where they can be offered for sale, and consulting on book-to-screen and screenplay-to-book adaptations. In 2006, John joined the staff of The Editorial Department as a book editor. In 2007, he started their Screen Division and became Director of Development for TED’s Book and Screen Divisions. He also writes the Self Editing Blog for writers.

The above is from his website bio.  After watching the video of his talk at Book Soup in Hollywood, reading the extensive material and interviews on his website, and reading his book, we can say this guy knows what he is talking about.  John’s website Make Your Book A Movie has a must-read interview with screenwriter/producer Terry Rossio.

Terry Rossio

In this lengthy “extreme interview” by Marlow, Mr. Rossio lays out his view of the reality of the entire movie industry as it relates to a writer.  If you can find a more definitive explanation, let us know.  This is something you will want to print out and re-read every six months, both as inspiration for you, if you are a creative person, and a grounding and reality check about the industry you are in.  Book Soup still has signed copies of Marlow’s book.



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