Amused Authors

An Interview with R. F. Long: Author of The Scroll Thief by ~ Me ~
February 28, 2009, 7:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Scroll Thief

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.

How long have you known you wanted to write? Was it a life long dream or a more recent decision?


I think I can honestly say that I always wanted to write. I remember making up stories for myself as a child and my made up games were always incredibly complex. I notice my children, especially my son, doing the same thing now which is scary! 


I first wrote seriously in secondary school, then in college, but I never really pursued publication (one or two attempts perhaps) until I switched jobs a few years ago. I went through that dreadful plateau of rejections which were close but still now and then, last year, made a breakthrough. While there have been times when I questioned my decision to write, and my ability to write, when I have written very little or never finished something, I have always been writing something, from short poems to long fantasy novels.


I understand you have a new release. Could you tell us a little about The Scroll Thief?  What inspired the idea for this book? 


The Scroll Thief: a Tale of Ithian released from Samhain on the 24th February. It’s an epic fantasy, with a heavy dose of romance, action, adventure and some swash-buckling sword fights. The story started off life as a short story about a thief. It ties into my novella The Wolf’s Sister in that it is set in the same world, but in a country south of the Holtlands. When I was initially working on the world building for the Holtlands, I started trying to think outside what was then “the box” of fantasy literature. Many fantasies have a medieval European type setting and at first I was doing the same thing. The introduction of the Fey’na race changed that for me in The Wolf’s Sister. Much of that novella, and The Scroll Thief concerns the impact of one race upon the other – with individuals in The Wolf’s Sister, and with war and religion in The Scroll Thief.


A number of years ago (I’m not saying how many) I spent my honeymoon in Andalusia, the region of Southern Spain which for most of the middle ages was rules by Arab Muslims (Al-Andalus). It is a fascinating area – Granada, Jerez, Seville, Ronda – and left a lasting impression. The architecture and gardens are so fabulously beautiful. The atmosphere of the place just stayed with me so when I came to write about Ithian I knew what I wanted to capture. We spent a day in Granada, most of it in and around the Alhambra Palace, the Generalife Gardens, and the Palace of Carlos V and many locations in The Scroll Thief such as the Royal Palace of Ithian, Selima and the Marian District are largely based on these experiences. Andalusia is a beautiful, inspiring place. I will really need to go back again, soon!


I was also lucky enough to travel to Malta last year for a work related conference and again, found it an inspiring place. These sort of areas, where the European and Islamic worlds meet, fascinate me. Perhaps its coming from Ireland, where over time so many cultures have just been absorbed one after the other, but I find the combination and blending of different cultures invariably produces something wonderful.


What are your long and short term writing goals? 


At the moment I am working on a novel called Moy Tura Echoes, a Celtic Urban Fantasy where the Gods of ancient Ireland never went away, and neither did their enemies. This one has been a pretty complex piece to write, one which I have found quite a challenge, but I am nearly at the end now. I am also planning a third part to The Wolf’s Sister called The Wolf’s Destiny, having recently completed part two, The Wolf’s Mate.


 Long term, I have a number of novels planned, some set in the Holtlands, some in Ithian, but most in entirely new worlds. I love world building. Its like exploring fantastic places and then writing about them. So many ideas can be sparked from the simple question “What if?”


What attracted you to the fantasy and paranormal romance genres and do you think you will ever venture into any other genres? 


In Fantasy and paranormal romance, we get to see human beings (and non-human beings) pushed to their limits, and examine the core drives and needs which can lead people to do extraordinary things. That’s what attracts me. There are no small problems, and while shades of grey may appear, there are still extremes all around them. In order to save the world, or win your true love, half-hearted measures won’t do. I like the sheer “bigness” of fantasy stories, the element of struggle and sacrifice which permeates the best of them. When something is painted large on a canvas, its easier to see the minutiae, the details which can be overlooked in everyday life. Also a dashing hero, and a gutsy heroine just set the blood pumping a little bit faster.


 I write in whatever genre the story wants to be in. True though, most of my stories will have a supernatural element. I’ve also been known to pen a contemporary romance or two.  I’d love to work on a historical as well, at some point, but I’ve yet to find the exact period I want to explore (although reading Ariana Franklin recently has stirred my interest in 12th century England, and I’ve always had something of an obsession with Robin Hood). I love reading mysteries and thrillers too. I’ll give most genres a go at least once. I might not let anyone see some of the results, but I’ll give them a go.


And finally, do you have any other upcoming projects you would like to tell us a little about?


During the summer my novel Soul Fire will be released from Samhain – drawing on Irish folklore rather than mythology, it tells the story of a Sidhe Prince trapped in the iron world of men and the woman who helps him, whom he comes to love. This is more of a traditional paranormal romance, but I hope the fantastical elements I have brought to it give it a new spin.


The Wolf’s Sister continues to do very well and has garnered some lovely reviews. Both this and The Scroll Thief are available from Samhain.

R. F. Long can be found on LiveJournal and at her Website. The Scroll Thief is available here.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I just want to thank Ruth for being good enough to allow me to interview her. 🙂

Comment by Dara England

Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

Seized Cars From $100, Boats, Real Estate, Collectibles And Jewelry. Government And Police Auctions Online

Comment by Nikki

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