Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Monday everyone. Today I've invited author RF Long to join me. Her new release Soul Fire comes out tomorrow from Samhain and I can't wait to get my hands on it.



Ruth, if you could please tell our readers something about yourself.


Hi! I'm R. F. Long. I've published a novella "The Wolf's Sister" and two novels "The Scroll Thief" and "Soul Fire" with Samhain. An additional novella "The Wolf's Mate" which is a sequel to "The Wolf's Sister" is on the way early next year.




I live in Ireland and that informs an awful lot of what I write. I've always loved fantasy and legends, which really meant that even from a childhood I wanted to write not just stories, but fantastic stories. Loves of my life include (in the order they arrived) Robin Hood, King Arthur, Zorro, The Lord of the Rings, my husband, my children, Captain Jack Sparrow, and a black cat called Atlantis. There's something of a theme there, I think.





Can you tell us about your latest release Soul Fire?

"Soul Fire" is a bit of a departure for me. I had always written fantasy set in other worlds and civilisations. But "Soul Fire" is a paranormal romance, set in the English countryside. It grew out of my love of folklore, particularly Irish fairy stories. The fairies in Irish folklore, particularly the Sidhe, are not the cute little winged figures that the Victorians gave the world. They are more like Tolkien's elves in a lot of ways, although with a darker, sinister side. Dominant, handsome, and more than a little bit dangerous to humankind, they live alongside us, hidden and even those who seem kindly to humans can quickly turn on them.

An old Irish belief is that when the angels warred in heaven, some refused to pick a side, preferring to see what the outcome would be. After the Fall, those angels were expelled, came to earth to live among mankind but hidden in their own Realm, and became the Sidhe. They were not good enough for heaven, nor bad enough for hell. In "Soul Fire" the world of men, which they call the Iron World, is just as dangerous to the Sidhe as theirs is to us. They also consider humans to be dangerous, hense the Sidhe saying: "Iron born and iron bred, trust not iron, it will see you dead."


Here's the blurb:

Rowan Blake could really use a magic wand to keep her struggling art gallery afloat. But the faerie key she stumbles across is far from a lucky charm. It’s a magnet for danger, and by touching it she’s unwittingly put herself in the middle of a war between the forces of light and dark. And in the arms of its rightful owner, Prince Daire.


While searching for his brother, Daire finds himself trapped in the Iron World with a mere mortal woman who ignites his passion like no other. Each stolen kiss deepens their attraction and sends him spiraling closer and closer to the edge of his inherent dark desires. Desires that act as a homing beacon for the Dark Sidhe, who are intent on forcing him to fight on their side.

The longer he lingers in her arms—and in her bed—the closer his enemies get to her door. And the greater the risk that the gateway to the Faerie Realm will shift, destroying not only his power to protect her, but his very life.
--
Daire and Rowan were enormous fun to write, as was Aynia, the leader of the Dark Sidhe, and Daire's former lover.



Who or what inspires your writing ?

Gosh, so many things. As I mentioned above legends, myth and folklore act as great inspirations to me. I've recently been working on a book which uses English folklore, and links into the Germanic roots of many of those stories as well as the Celtic legends.


The thing which struck me the most was the way these stories intersect, as if, by telling stories our ancesters were able to work out problems, issues and methods of interpreting their world. From race to race similar stories exist, often with similar resolutions and themes, which makes me believe that we aren't so very different after all.


Music also acts as a great source of inspiration to me. I usually have a song or piece of orchestral music I associate with a book. In the case of "Soul Fire" it is Within Temptations' "Mother Earth". It captures the romance, the mystery and the danger that run throughout the story. And my husband. Though it might embarass him a bit, there is a strong element of him in every one of my heroes.







Besides writing what other things might you be doing?


I work full time in a library with lots of rare and unusual books. And we have two small children. So I'm usually tied up with one or the other - work or home. I also enjoy making bead jewellery and recently made some pendants based on the magical key which Daire wears in "Soul Fire". I'm hoping to hold some giveaways upon the release of the book. So keep in touch, they're pretty. Life tends to get pretty hectic, but I get great support from my family and friends so if I need to withdraw to the writing cave, I usually can. :)


What attracts you to writing in the paranormal genre?

I love the paranormal becuase anything can happen. Anything at all. But as opposed to fantasy, paranormal brings that wonderous element into our world and makes it real. I also think that in paranormal stories the problems faced are just so much bigger, and more world changing, so huge that they really are life and death issues. And when people are faced with things like that they get a chance to show how truly heroic they can be.

It's as if we're looking at life on a much bigger screen, therefore we can see all the details.Paranormal heroes also play a part. They tend to be much larger than life. The things they deal with force them to be more guarded in their approach to love. The best part of a paranormal romance for me is when his guard first slips, when he finally shows that he loves the heroine, even if he does not consciously want to.

That's magic and it gets me every time.


Any advice for the aspiring writer?


The best thing any writer can do is "write". It's as simple as that. Even if you are not sure of what you are doing or where you are going with a story, keep writing. You can go back and make it shine later on, but if you sit there staring at a blank screen because you're looking for perfect magical words from your muse, you'll probably still be sitting there staring at a blank screen at the end of the day. Most of the technical bones of writing can be learned, people get ideas all the time that are inspired, but the actual persistence and dedication it takes to write a whole story down (be it novel, novella or a short story) is the thing that I believe makes or breaks an aspiring writer.

The key is in the title: Writers write.

Only by sitting down and doing just that will you be a writer. It doesn't matter if you plan every scene or fly by the seat of your pants. You've got to write. Once you have a first draft, it helps if you can step away from it for a while and come back to it fresh in a week or so. Then go through it and read, looking for anything in the plot or with the characters that doesn't make sense. And then you re-write.

But if the screen stays blank, you'll have nothing to re-write. So get those words down!


Who or what inspires your writing ?

Gosh, so many things. As I mentioned above legends, myth and folklore act as great inspirations to me. I've recently been working on a book which uses English folklore, and links into the Germanic roots of many of those stories as well as the Celtic legends. The thing which struck me the most was the way these stories intersect, as if, by telling stories our ancesters were able to work out problems, issues and methods of interpreting their world. From race to race similar stories exist, often with similar resolutions and themes, which makes me believe that we aren't so very different after all.Music also acts as a great source of inspiration to me. I usually have a song or piece of orchestral music I associate with a book. In the case of "Soul Fire" it is Within Temptations' "Mother Earth". It captures the romance, the mystery and the danger that run throughout the story.And my husband. Though it might embarass him a bit, there is a strong element of him in every one of my heroes.


Besides writing what other things might you be doing?


I work full time in a library with lots of rare and unusual books. And we have two small children. So I'm usually tied up with one or the other - work or home. I also enjoy making bead jewellery and recently made some pendants based on the magical key which Daire wears in "Soul Fire". I'm hoping to hold some giveaways upon the release of the book. So keep in touch, they're pretty.Life tends to get pretty hectic, but I get great support from my family and friends so if I need to withdraw to the writing cave, I usually can. :)

Can you share the links to your web or blog site so readers know how to contact you?


My website is www.rflong.com and there's a generally news blog there. I'm also to be found on Livejournal - http://rflong.livejournal.com - and on Twitter - @RFLong. I love to hear from readers so please don't be shy.

Thanks for visiting Paranormal Romantics, Ruth.

12 comments:

R F Long said...

I just wanted to say thanks so much for having me here today. I really enjoyed the questions!

R

theladywolf said...

Nice interview Ruth. You are so prolific. I'm really going to have to get you down here to give me a course in time management.

Kim Rees / Kim Knox said...

Great interview, Ruth :) And Soul Fire's cover is just beautiful *sigh*

RKCharron said...

Hi :)
What a great interview! I am looking forward to the new book. Also I will keep an eye out for the pendant contest because I really want one. :)
Love From Canada
twitter.com/RKCharron
xoxo

Rebecca Royce said...

Great interview! It was so awesome to learn more about RF Long. Nice job too Annie.

Ella Drake said...

I love myth and legends, too. Can't wait for your new release.

R F Long said...

Thanks everyone.

If there are any additional questions, feel free to ask them! :)

Kim, I love that cover too.

R

J Hali said...

To work in a library full of rare and unusual books... how do you do it and not stay on a day-long 'break'?

writermomof5 said...

There is something about Celtic myths and legends that inspire the imagination. I can't wait to read this book. It sounds intriguing.

Thank you so much for sharing about your life and writing. : )

R F Long said...

J Hali: who says I don't? LOL! Seriously though, I love my job. I was recently in Madrid (just got back on Saturday) for a conference - visited the National Library there and saw some wonderful things there - a 16th century "map" of the moon, a Rembrandt etching containing a self portrait and a page of a letter by St. Teresa of Avila! If you'd like to see some pictures of the city (not the treasures sadly) stop by my website or LJ. They went up today.

R F Long said...

writermomof5: You're very welcome! :)

Rae Lori said...

What a great interview! Great post, Annie and congrats on your release, Ruth!