Tom Marlow


Tom Marlow was born in 1951 in Toledo Ohio (holy Toledo!). After his formal education in computer science, he was employed at Ford Aerospace, NASA Ames Research Center in California and as a self employed software developer. During most of those years, he was engaged in writing software in obscure machine languages. After leaving the hi-tech world behind, he started writing in English, a slightly less cryptic language.

Love of sailing and travel have influenced his writing. He started sailing as a pre-teen on an older brother's Sunfish, which was little more than a surfboard and sail. In subsequent years, he sailed aboard larger yachts for thousands of miles to destinations including Hawaii, Central America, BVIs and Greece. His sailing exploits are documented at

He now lives in San Jose California with his wife Naty who shares his love for travel, but not for off-shore ocean passages.

Smashwords Interview

When not writing, what do you do with your time?
Aside from writing, most of my free time is spent on travel. I spend several months each year as a tourist in both obscure and well known locations. I own a small yacht that I've been sailing on an extended voyage from San Francisco to Charleston SC over a period of years, leaving her in distant ports when I tire of the rigor. The voyage is still on-going. Interested readers can follow the progress at

I also like to travel by train. Most recently, I rode the Music Train ( to several great US cities with a musical heritage.

Did I mention I like music? My stereo is on at home for most of my waking hours. I also enjoy cooking. Meals are often prepared listening to rock & roll and eaten while listening to D. Brubeck style jazz, Mozart style classics and George Winston style new age treats.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The first of my favorite books is an easy choice. It would be Pirsig's, Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The second would be Gibran's, The Prophet. The third, McLuhan's, Touch the Earth. The fourth would be McCourt's, Angela's Ashes and the fifth would be Vonnegut's, Sirens of Titan.

Perhaps an unusual list, but I chose each of them because they share a common theme. They are all terribly creative in their premise. There is a specific piece of each that left a mark on me when I read them that I've never forgotten. Despite having read The Prophet nearly forty years ago and Zen about the same time frame, I remember details that still touch a nerve. The fifth, perhaps a surprise to some, made the list for what it had to say about the human condition.

Limiting the choice to five favorites is of course arbitrary. There are so many that if I mentioned them all, I'd run out of time and space.
Read more of this interview.

Where to buy in print


The Queen's Demise
Price: Free! Words: 1,420. Language: English. Published: October 9, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Does the punishment fit the crime. You decide. A tourist is brutally murdered. What would you do?
Obscured by Clouds
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 4,280. Language: English. Published: October 9, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
How much fun can two good friends have with a few beers and a 1960 Mercury Comet? You'll have to read Obscured by Clouds to find out.
Better To Know Where
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 75,310. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Better To Know Where (BTKW) is an exciting look at a sailing voyage in San Francisco Bay. The author brings you aboard his small yacht on an insightful three day voyage through space, time and philosophy. Rooted in aesthetics and the waterfront history of the San Francisco Bay, the novel starts with the basic premise embedded in the title and never looks back.
Blue Zen And Five More Short Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 11,400. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Introducing a full half dozen short stories, some humorous, some poignant. Blue Zen is perfect for those among us with short attention spans or limited time to read. Laugh or cry with the characters. It's your choice.