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Arkansas pioneer era is setting for Professor Marlow’s first novel

February 5, 2014
By cnp
Posted in Communication Studies

University of the Ozarks Professor Dr. Greta Marlow took advantage of latest publishing techniques to self-publish her first novel, "His Promise True," a work of historical fiction that takes a look back at the pioneer days of Arkansas.

Marlow, professor of communication, has taught at her undergraduate alma mater since 1990. After establishing her own publishing company, she released "His Promise True" in November 2013.

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It was a project that took almost a decade to complete.

"I’ve been working on the book for nearly 10 years, with about seven of those years spent editing and trying to find an agent or publisher," Marlow said. "Several times I thought I should just make this a ‘drawer novel’ and move on to something else, but I just couldn’t do it."

Marlow said she decided to publish the book after receiving encouragement from Nancy Dane, another Ozarks alumna and the author of the "Tattered Glory" series of Civil War novels.

"Nancy read the book and then invited me over to her house and spent more than an hour convincing me I should go forward with publishing," Marlow said.

Marlow set up her own publishing company, EMZ-Piney Publishing, and set about self-publishing "His Promise True." While the process was not always simple, Marlow said she enjoyed every minute of it.

"I loved doing the research for the historical background of the story, about everything from the territorial papers for Arkansas Territory to what kind of underwear people wore in 1820," she explained. "I loved the writing and getting to know the characters. I loved editing and seeing just how lean and efficient I could make a paragraph or sentence without losing meaning or emotional impact. Although the publishing aspect had some real frustrations for someone like me who is not a good ‘details’ person, I loved doing the layout and getting a glimpse of what the final product would look like. I loved designing a cover. I loved holding the proof copy in my hands."

Marlow has already started writing a second book, which will follow the lives of the same characters. She is also considering ideas for a third book.

"I have ideas for probably eight other stories in my mind. If you see me on campus and I don’t seem to notice you, don’t take it personally; I’m probably in the nineteenth century!" she joked.

Marlow’s book is available for sale on Amazon. She is also planning a book signing later this month at Hastings bookstore in Russellville, Ark.

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University of the Ozarks Professor Dr. Greta Marlow (left), shown at a recent book signing, published her first novel, "His Promise True," in November.