I can now unveil the beautiful cover for The Scroll Thief: a Tale of Ithian , coming 24th February 2009.

It’s by Anne Cain and I could not have imagined anything more perfect for the story.

The cover shows the main characters Malachy and Cerys. It captures my ideas of them just perfectly.

The novel will be released as an eBook on the 24th of February, 2009 and in print about ten months later.


rflong: (Default)
( Nov. 2nd, 2008 10:54 am)

The Coming Soon page for The Scroll Thief just went up here which is really exciting. Check it out!

I love the warning…

And its only 9 days until The Wolf's Sister releases. It's all moving now.

Well, here goes. If I vanish off the face of the earth (at least in the evenings) for a while, I'm stuck into The Scroll Thief. The edits don't look too awful, which is wonderful, so fingers crossed I am reading this correctly and they aren't.


I like this part of the process. I thought I would hate it but its actually really exciting. It's the final polishing (okay, the third last really as there is usually 2nd round and then fine line edits as well) which makes the sculpture complete. I had such a ball doing these for The Wolf's Sister and this looks to be similar so far.

Now I can only hope that by saying this I'm not jinxing it.


In other news:

I wrote a snotty email to Tesco Ireland this morning because our local shop no longer carries Maple Syrup in stock and seems to think that Maple flavoured Golden Syrup (can I hear a YUK?!) is an acceptable alternative.

Can I just say again: Maple flavoured Golden Syrup????????


rflong: (Maggie Cheung Hero)
( Sep. 6th, 2008 09:19 pm)
Things you don't expect. Not a problem, not something that bothers me becuase I've said before I don't have a problem changing things in order to make them better, and I don't have a problem with listening to people who know how to make things better.

So when my editor asked for a title change on The Penitent it shouldn't really have taken me three days to come to terms with it, should it?

Of course, first we had to work out what that new title should be, and how it would effect the blurb (which also had to be simplified) and also the series title.

This took rather more time than expected. I think part of the problem is that when you have worked on a book, or even read a book in a detailed way, you start to have problems seeing it from the outside. Case in point: the previous blurb which my editor and I agreed upon was found to be too complex so had to be re-written.

So anyway, having struggled our way through this, we have finally reached a conclusion. So without further ado I present, instead of The Penitent: a Tale of the Holtlands....

The Scroll Thief: a Tale of Ithian.

Now I just have to edit the thing.
rflong: (Psycho)
( Aug. 13th, 2008 03:29 pm)
So much to do.  Trying to plan it out. Failing miserably. A bit like all the plotting I have ahead of me.

I am meant to be writing on this holiday. There's a short story for The Alter-Ego (as she is fast becoming known) to be in by the beginning of September. There's the sequel to The Wolf's Sister. I'm trying to limit it to that and not allowing the 14 million plotbunnies that have started leaping up in the last day or so.

I finished editing a novella, also for The Alter-Ego and it is now with beta-readers. (Other reader/critiquey people - if you don't have it that's because I'm too embarassed to send it to you. :D If you have it, you know why!!!) I am quite pleased with it and its an advance in that area as it is 20k words instead of 6k and has more of a plot (well it would at that length, wouldn't it?)

My struggle to find books comparable to The Penitent continues. I have narrowed it down to a few and will be hitting the local library this evening to see if there are any copies in stock so I can borrow them and try to speed read on holiday as well as speed-write. Coz' like, I need another thing to do while I'm relaxing.

Don't worry. It's very easy for me to go to my happy place right now...

"2 days to a holiday"
Does no one else want to guess the song?
I've just signed the contracts for my 100k novel The Penitent to be published with Samhain, the same publisher bringing out The Wolf's Sister in November.

The Penitent will release as an ebook early next year (between Feb and April) and then in print about 10 months later.


I've been dying to say something (and have to some people in private) but I got so paranoid and superstitious I couldn't and I had to wait until people came back from RWA and holidays and and and....

Alright, I'm waffling. But I'm happy. I have been trying to get this one out for SO LONG!

Definitely elephants for everyone!

(And I may have used up all of LJ's exclamation marks. Sorry!!! Oops, there I go again.)
Edits are time consuming! And absorbing. I had no idea of the time!

I finished The Penitent last night. With a new prologue and everything. This morning the edits for The Wolf's Sister arrived and also threw some light on the edits I thought I had finished for The Penitent. So it turns out I'm not. But priority to the contracted story.

I'm going to be doing the edits for The Wolf's Sister most evenings this week. So I may be rather quiet.

That said, I may need distracting as well. We'll have to see! :D I'm off on Thursday and Friday with my son*. Things could be hectic as next week I am going to Malta for a conference and I need to get things read for that both at work and home.

And have the The Wolf's Sister edits completed. So....

Back to work, Long...

*Speaking of son, another classic: While playing pirates with his little sister today, she gave him a piece of chocolate and he replied "Thank you. Now hold still while I shoot you."
rflong: (Plotbunny)
( Mar. 10th, 2008 04:36 pm)
And a whole lot of nothing done...

So, to round it up:

Friday (I think): work work work. Submit The Penitent to the same publisher who is looking at The Wolf's Sister. Well, its the same world. And she asked if I had anything else suitable!

Saturday: (Writing) I typed up/edited about 2000 words of Moy Tura - the whole Nuada among the Sidhe section. Kind of a disturbing chapter altogether, necessary as it is time to up the anti. I know I said 32k in my last post but its actually 43k now. Typing in/editing the Robert Emmett scene. Hmmm. Some people are not going to like me for this one I fear.

(Not writing) We also drove to Belfast and shopped in Ikea. It took HOURS but we came away with six matching chairs. Six actual MATCHING chairs. Never in my life have I owned such a thing! Delighted. And we also bought assorted cushions, napkins, nightlights and a tablecloth. Oh, and a step. Because I am short and certain areas in my kitchen are not!

Sunday: (Writing) Em. Yes. Em. What was that again? Well, I did a little bit on To Regain Heaven. A little. Under 1k. And I am a little disturbed by the new tendancy I have developed to call it To Regain Heave. That's just not right is it?

(Not writing): Took Diarmuid to see a preview of The Spiderwick Chronicals. Excellent movie. Freaked us both out a bit. Then went to Chapters on Parnell Street. I haven't been in it since they moved from Abbey Street and I want to know where they acquired the Tardis to house it in? The place is huge. Just when you think you must be getting to the back of the shop, you turn a corner and there's more. Space/Time rift bookshop eat your heart out!!! L-space lives. Went home, built chairs (3 of them). Very pretty. Watched Ella Enchanted. A lot more fun than I thought it would be.

Today: work work work. I finally have a blurb ready for To Regain Heaven. Now it needs to be made shiny. And I bought a tv corner unit. And cushion covers. Coz... You know... em... Yeah.

Oh, and I may be going to P-Con. If so I hope to see Ladywolf! That would be cool!

So that's it. This evening (brace yourselves) more chair building. Maybe some tv corner unit building. A large g+t, at least.

*sigh* I think i've exhausted myself again.
rflong: (River Bridge)
( Jan. 16th, 2008 09:43 am)
No news from ABNA. The list of semi-finalist is up and I can't find my title in the SF/Fantasy section, so that's not a good sign is it? Also no email from Amazon one way or the other. Apparently, from reading briefly in the forum, there are both acceptance and rejection emails but not for me.

So, thanks for all your good wishes, my friends. Guess I'll be looking elsewhere. :D Now where did I put that lottery ticket...

Ah well, back to the grindstone.

The sequel.  Because sequels sell.

No news.



or why do I do this to myself?

With less than a day to go (19 hours according to the clock on the official website) until the customer voting begins on the ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award) contest, I am now officially starting to get the gitters.

I've been studiously taking my mind off this with things like puzzlebox and the P&E poll  but sometime in the next 24 hours I will find out if the Penitent has made the 1,000 in the semifinals. Not nerve-wracking at all! No sir!

IF it has I will pester you all remorselessly, relentlessly and "ruth"lessly (ha, ha!) so I apologise in advance. The issue of whether people who have not bought something on Amazon.com (as opposed to .co.uk, .fr, .de etc) will be able to download the excerpts and vote has yet to be cleared up, but I expect I will be able to tell you pretty quickly as it is the first thing I will try.

IF I get through!


How will my fingernails survive?! Tune in tomorrow!

(And if tomorrow you sense a sullen silence, you'll know I didn't :D)

Fingers crossed for me guys!

rflong: (Default)
( Nov. 13th, 2007 10:57 am)
 I got my email from ABNA this morning (00:58 this morning - if anyone can work out what time that is in their own part of the word they are doing much better than me!) I reckon it was sent at close of business effectively.

The good news is, the novel is eligible for the competition.

The bad news is, I have to wait until January 15th to find out more. Or realistically, the 16th! :D If I make it through to the semi finals at that point, I will ruthlessly (ha ha, get the pun?) hound everyone in the world for votes! No, seriously. You're going to end up hating me!

Em, I doubt I 'll be very good at this. Does anyone want to be my campaign manager? :D

Anyway, that's the news. I am relieved. And the obscenely obsessive compulsive email checking can now fall back to its normal obsessive compulsive levels.

Other than that, nada!

The email stating whether submissions to the ABNA competition is due at some point today. Actually the mail said "By" the 12th, but who's being picky. Problem is...

Guess what I am doing?

Yes. Checking email. Constantly! And the ABNA website, which is full of lots of people going

"Haven't heard anything yet. Have you?"

"No. Nothing yet. What about you?"

"Nothing here, either."

I promised myself. I really did. I said that way madness lies and swore I wouldn't.

Yet here I am. Grrr...

Captain Impatient Pants has a lot to answer for. As for Captain Paranoia on the other shoulder...

*sigh* I'm going to try to catalogue some more. And not look. I don't want to look.

The main annoyance is there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I mean, this only means I got the margins in the right place and remembered to take my name out. Which I did. I think. See what I mean about Captain Paranoia? It isn't even part of the competition!!! 

Anyway, calming down for two minutes. I have things to do. Which don't involve checking gmail. No sir. Absolutely not going to do that!

Well, the receipt for ABNA arrived today, so they have my files and I am in. Around about the 12th November I should hear if the content and format are all in order. If they aren't there will be some severe kicking of myself going on, but there's nothing I can do there now. My husband is so supportive. He's all on cloud nine now as he told me to sub to ABNA as soon as it came up, which I did, and the next morning all the places had gone. Good, good husband, with lots of faith. :D Let's hope its rewarded!

The whole thing got me thinking about submissions and all the rest. My focus has definitely shifted back to novels of late. I keep intending to sub to anthos or particulary markets, but at the same time the broader canvas just seems to beckon. Now I am talking about writing to write, not writing to be published which are two very different things. I'm not big on writing to be published as a rule. The story or poem usually comes off as contrived. We see it all the time at Haruah. The "literary" part gets ignored and you end up with in your face point thumping which really irritates me. I want to read a story, experience something along with the characters, get lost in the lyricism of a beautiful poem. Not a lecture. 

That said, when it comes to anthologies, you need to follow the guidelines. (When it comes to ANY submission, you need to follow the guidelines!) But I have noticed that most of the ones I have looked at recently are actually pretty broad, leaving it to the writer to create, which is what writers should do best.

I really must get back to doing some Flash challenges, or Short Story challenges soon. I need to get cracking on The Wolf's Sister and try to tie it back together after the extremely useful LH crits. Lots to think about there, but it was well worth doing. Thank you to all who looked!  Sorry it was so long.

Moving ahead with To Regain Heaven. Nearly at the end of Chapter 7 now. First crits back in on Chapter 1. Lots to do I guess. If only I could shift the headcold I could stop using it as an excuse! One of my problems with gaging the length is that I write longhand and then have to type it up. I can be MUCH further along with what I have written than with typing (part of the way through chapter 3 I think) because writing is more fun than typing and typing quickly turns into editing. And that way madness lies. 

I was about 7,000 on the laptop. But I estimate about 17,000 longhand (by counting pages, and having an average word per page). Really should type more, shouldn't I?

A lot of people don't like getting early crits on a WIP, but I do. It helps me to gage where it is going and what else I need to bring out in the story. Of course, you really need people to understand that the piece is a very early draft - they type of thing you could only show to those you trust. That doesn't always work I guess, but on the whole I am lucky with my crit group.

I have a couple of pieces out, a couple of things to prepare for sending out, and one or two to go "What am I going to do with this?"

Then Moy Tura. Hmmm.... There really aren't enough hours in the day, are there?

Anyway, enough waffling on for now. There's cataloguing to be done. Yes, in Italian! Yay!
Having heard nothing back from Macmillan New Writing after the due date, I have now fired The Penitent off to the Amazon New Breakthrough Novel award. Well, you never know!

Muddling through today really. Very tired after the weekend, but it was fun. I will still have to make/buy and decorate a cake for my daughter before Wednesday, but that shouldn't be too much of a trial. We started looking for a bed for her as well. At 3 years old, it seems to be time as she has taken to climbing in and out of the cot in the night!

I'm going to do an edit on The Wolf's Sister again - mainly the same thing I did with the novel, looking for passive voice, weak words and my own personal writing ticks which I now notice more that ever. Turned for example. Everyone is very fond of turning. Turning to, turning from, turning away... It must stop! Also it would be good to get it down to a more manageable length. It is long. But it has gone from Novella to Novelette, so it may be possible to bring it down further. It really needs tightening. But that is true of everything really, isn't it? Until it sells. 

It's a high fantasy story, set in the Holtlands, but earlier than A Dream of the West and The Penitent. It was the first "short" story I wrote after A Dream of the West and suffers from the aftermath of a mammoth novel. That said, I am very fond of it. And I adore the characters involved.

LH has a challenge on at the moment to write a story about a character who plays a minor role in something else you have written. That is giving me lots of ideas for another Holtlands story - two characters in particular spring to mind. One is a guard in River Holt - I wrote a story about him before which kind of crashed and burned, but could do with some ressurection. The other is Bareda, who is a minor character in both novels, but not really a minor character as she connects each of the novels, and the planned novels. 

He he, get me. I sound like these stories are out there for you all to read and they aren't. One day perhaps and then you can go "So THAT'S what she was talking about! She actually DID make sense. And we just thought it was Post Traumatic Birthday Party Disorder!"

I wrote more on Moy Tura Echoes - not much admittedly, but it is starting to look less daunting. I think I may have to skip a bit ahead and then backfill, but that's nothing new. So long as I get something down on paper, that is the main thing.

May Queen is ticking along.

I think I have too many projects going at the moment! But at least I kind of have a writing plan. I may even submit something again soon. You never know!

I've been back at work this week, hence the silence. Playing catch up. It has been going pretty well apart from

(a) a bizare computer ghost on one of the library PCs which causes multiple windows to open sometimes (40-50 instances of Internet explorer) , creates folders for no reason and wipes out favorites. Problem is, it seems to be only persecuting one of our users.

(b) the case of the missing Codex - a historian working here found reference to a provincial chapter of 1909 and wanted to see the documents. My boss and I found more about this Chapter in one of the historical works written by someone who lived here, including a reference to the Actorum Codex 1871 which was noted as being housed in the archives here. Imagine our surprise as neither of us had ever heard of it! We had a search yesterday and lo! it appeared in a cupboard right where it should have been. Still can't remember seeing it at any point before but that's old books for you. Great name, isn't it? I feel it will be lifted for an Ayredale library story someday soon.

(c) A LARGE number of donations snuck in under the radar while I was away so I have to sort them out, decide what we need and catalogue them. Luckily we have some room left.

In honour of the return to libraryland I found one of my Orang-utang pictures (taken at Dublin zoo earlier this year) It's one of my favorite pictures - It's also the picture on my phone - and I am very proud of it. I got some wonderful shots in France as well. I will have to post up a few soon. But my Orang-utangs above are still my best I think.

Not news on rejections or acceptences. I subbed Come and Play and The Bonny Lass O' Fyvie last week - not sure if I mentioned that. I was planning to take [personal profile] nephele up on her very fine offer (look at her blog, especially if you are a YA writer - go on, you have 2 more days)  but as May Queen is not yet finished I can't really and I don't think I'll be able to pull another 25-40k words out of somewhere in two days! Shame, as I would love to give it a go, but she does specifically ask for completed novels. And I don't think, by any stretch of the imagination that The Penitent could be described as YA!!! :D

Nothing from McMillan yet. It's starting to look like it has been rejected. *sigh* So, I'll give until the end of the month and then start thinking about what else I want to do with it. Still trying to keep the fingers crossed for an 11 hour miracle.

That's it for now. The library calls.

rflong: (Default)
( Jul. 12th, 2007 11:05 am)
Amazingly enough I collapsed into bed last night and slept like a proverbial log. the only thing that disturbed me was my son coming in this morning and leaving the door open so all the light from the window on the landing flooded into the dark cocoon of our bedroom. We still have not managed to get a curtain up there. We will. I have both curtains and material to make a blind, but have not yet managed to organise the actual making/putting up of curtain rail.

Looking forward to the wedding on Saturday, but I have accidentally managed to schedule a truly hectic day for myself tomorrow! Ah well. 

The main problem with having sent the book off is that I seem to have totally exhausted my ability to concentrate on anything for more than 30 seconds. I have turned into a goldfish. I'm meant to be cataloguing a pile of donations and just cannot focus on it for more than a second - not even enough time to open the library system and do some searches!

I am setting a very bad work practice example. Luckily there is no one else here to see me! :D

My son is at an art camp run by my sister this (and last) week. They are having their exhibition today so my husband and I plan to meet up there during our lunch hours to see it all. Looking forward to it, but it could be rather mad if I remember these things rightly (I used to work there too when I was a teenager).

rflong: (Default)
( Jul. 11th, 2007 11:02 pm)
I need it so badly I can hardly type straight.

I have sent The Penitent off to MacMillan New Writing.

I think I had better go and have a lie down now...

I never let them hang around for long!


Now back to the Penitent!



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