The Scroll Thief
Love is the wiliest thief of all.
A Tale of Ithian
Malachy and his sister rely on his talents as a thief to survive the dangerous streets of Klathport, former capital of the once-great kingdom of Ithian. Stealing a few papers should have been a simple job. Instead, it nearly costs their lives and throws them into an improbable alliance with a shape-shifting official, a desert tribeswoman, and a healer of enchanting beauty.
Cerys is far more than a simple healer — and the roots of her mission go deeper into the past than anyone can know. She needs Malachy’s skills to recover a stolen scroll, one that can be used to rewrite history and, in the wrong hands, release the dark powers of the Demon Realm.
Her mission was supposed to atone for a dreadful, long-ago act. Instead, it unleashes a chain of events which sees them pursued through city and desert by the fearsome Dune Witch and a killer known only as His Lordship. Romance, tragedy, and adventure blend in a tale of a magical land on the brink of war, and five unlikely allies who, by putting their lives — and their hearts — on the line, have the opportunity to finally set things right.
But at a terrible cost.
Warning: Contains scenes of graphic violence and torture, captivating magic and beauty, two dashing heroes, three gutsy heroines, several love stories and a heartbreaking sacrifice.
Now…here’s our guest!
I’ve stood in the eye of a hurricane. It’s an astonishing feeling. Everything goes quiet and still, almost peaceful, but at the same time there’s an air of charged expectancy, of waiting, an undercurrent of tension. There’s more to come. It’s not over yet.
A bit like the moment after your book is published. You’ve written it, dreamed of it, slaved over it, cried over it (especially if you happen to be me), bitten your nails to the quick waiting to see if it’s accepted. Then comes the excitement of edits, rewrites and the art forms. The thrill of getting that first version of the cover. Things go in waves, one after the other. All the time, building to a crescendo.
Publishing day, celebrations, a glass of wine perhaps, champagne if you’re lucky, and maybe a nice meal with family and friends.
The eye of the hurricane. It gets so quiet immediately after publication that maybe you wonder if it ever actually happened at all. You wait, sometimes for ages, to see if anyone mentions it, or better yet reviews it favourably. And sometimes that means waiting, and waiting. Nothing in publishing moves fast, and you can’t force people to tell you what they thought (apparently…huh!). So you wait, because you must.
So while this happens what is a writer to do? Poke around the internet? Eat smelly cheese and hope for the best?
Well, to be honest, the best thing you can possibly do is the one thing that actually got you into this position in the first place. Write. Start a new story, start a whole series of stories. Write some articles, or blog about your process. But write, write, write.
Nothing helps sales of a published book as the publication of another, and while a writer does some advance promo on a forthcoming title, readers may look for another title they haven’t read.
But one very important reason remains paramount for me. Namely sanity.
I can go without writing for about a week. Not a lot more. I’m not entirely sure why, but as soon as I order myself to take some time off (and I have to, fairly frequently thanks to certain underlying workaholic tendencies I do my best to ignore in everyday life), the ideas pop up. It’s another eye of the hurricane moment — between projects, just before something grabs me and we’re off on another adventure in words.
A phrase I’ve heard in publishing is “hurry up and wait”. I’ve heard it about air travel too, but it’s not so amusing there either. Hurry up, meet that deadline, get those files sent in, polish it until it shines… and wait.
I knew from a very early age that I was a writer. Not that I wanted to be a writer, but that I was a writer. I didn’t want to write so much as needed to write. I’ve written all my life… all right, made up stories all my life. Sometimes that’s the same thing!
One thing that always strikes me about writers is that many of them are exactly the same. There’s a sense of not actually having a lot of choice in the matter. Stories come and go. Some of them just keep coming back until you make an effort to get them down on paper. Some of them start strong but then slip away, perhaps forever, perhaps for a later time when the writer is better able to tell them. Some can never quite be grasped, no matter how hard you try. But they are always there. My own, and others. I am a pain to watch films and TV with, either guessing the ending, or making up my own version in my head.
So if I ignore the stories, and try to stay in that quiet eye what happens? Generally they just get louder. Or worse, suddenly there are so many plot bunnies arriving that it’s impossible to concentrate on just one anymore even if I want to. The key with everything is to savour the moment of quiet and then dive in again.
Back into the hurricane.
About R. F. Long
R. F. Long always had a thing for fantasy, romance and ancient mysteries. The combination was bound to cause trouble. In university she studied English literature, history of religions and Celtic civilisation, which just compounded the problem.
She lives in Wicklow, the Garden County of Ireland, and works in a specialised library of rare and unusual books.
But they don’t talk to her that often.
You can learn more about her and contact her through her website: www.rflong.com.