Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Fantasy World of Author R. F. Long

As part of my Around the World Tour, I would like to introduce author, Ruth Long, a writer of sword and sorcery, urban fantasy, paranormal romance for adults, and young adult readers.


Welcome Ruth.

 Ruth Long

How many books have you written and which of these are your personal favourites?

Gosh, I’ve almost lost count at this stage. I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. Of the ones that have made it to publication, or will get there soon – I’ve written six novels and two novellas. I write fantasy romance as R. F. Long and fantasy for Young Adults as Ruth Frances Long. I’ve two coming out this year – one paranormal romance and one YA.

It’s hard to choose favourites though. I suppose if I had to it would be my paranormal romance Soul Fire and my Young Adult fantasy The Treachery of Beautiful Things. That is, until the new ones come along… 😉

 I see you live in Ireland. Are you able to network with other writers there?
Definitely. Ireland has a thriving community of writers in all genres and they’re very supportive of each other. Sites like help us all keep up to speed. And of course, as a country, we’re rather famous for our sociability. Twitter helps a lot too. I spend a lot of time on Twitter (@RFLong).


 Has Ireland inspired you with your writing?

Right from the beginning. Irish myths and legends are a great passion of mine. They are such an amazing source for a writer. Our legends are deeply embedded in our landscape and our lives. Every hill, every river, every valley seems to have a story connected to it. More directly my forthcoming YA book, A Crack in Everything, is based in Ireland, and deals with a lot of Irish fairy folklore, especially the idea that the fairies were angels expelled for refusing to take a side in the war in Heaven. It’s due out in Autumn 2014 from O’Brien Press.

There is also a certain humour, a way of using language, and weaving stories together that is peculiarly Irish, and I tend to run to that sort of lyricism at times. Thank goodness for good editors! 😉 We like things to be beautiful, we like things to be tragic and above all we like a good story to hang it all on.

The Treachery of Beautiful Things

From your web site I see you have an agent. Many writers dream of having an agent.  What have been the advantages for you?

I wouldn’t want to be without my agent, Sallyanne Sweeney, for a moment. I can’t make head or tails of legalese and she is fantastic when it comes to contracts. She negotiates for me and lets me get on with the creative side of writing. She helps with edits, reads my work critically, lets me bounce weird and wonderful ideas off her and gives me someone to contact in times of blind panic. She’s really encouraging and supportive. Having one professional person to do all that is a godsend.


 Are you a member of a writing association?  Do you think it is important to belong to a group when first starting out as a writer and why?
I’m a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Children’s Books Ireland. Writing tends to be a solitary pursuit so contacts made through groups like these are really important. I’m also a member of online sites such as Romance Divas, and I’m part of a critique group with a number of writers I met there. This is more personal group in that we read for each other, listen to the upsets and rants we would never want to make public, and constantly support and encourage each other. Life is hard so you need friends who understand what you’re up to, why the voices in your head won’t shut up or do what you tell them and how that’s perfectly normal. Plus getting to know other writers means finding out about loads of awesome new reads.


 Do you prefer to read a paperback or a Kindle?

I alternate between the two. Some books I have to read on paper, but the convenience of ebooks is really attractive too. I had a Sony reader for years, but recently got a Tablet so I have the Kindle reader on that. It’s also very handy for proof-reading and critiquing for friends.  My day job as a librarian, often dealing with rare books from the 15th and 16th centuries onwards right up to brand new publications, tells me that print books aren’t going anywhere, but there’s no reason why the two can’t happily co-exist.

 How did you learn to be a writer?  Did you attend creative writing classes or have you always had a natural ability.

I’ve always wanted to tell stories, from when I was very little. And fantasy was always my genre of choice. I learned to read early and soon read my way through the junior library and headed into the adult library. Romance came a little later in life but as I read I discovered that if a story didn’t have a romance in it, I usually made one up myself. I found that I tended to put characters together in my mind whether it was there in the story or not so I suppose romance stories were always in the offing. I’ve done one or two courses, mostly online, and I learned a lot through membership of online writing groups and through critique groups.


What kind of books do you read? Who is your favourite author?
All sorts, from fantasy and YA to thrillers and crime novels, Historical, both fiction and non-fiction. I think writers should devour books as well as produce them. Reading widely teaches you about storytelling. It’s an advantage of life as a librarian, especially when I worked in the public libraries. My favourites are Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I’d read them forever. But I tend to be more of a fan of individual books than specific authors.


 Do you have another book in progress toward 2015?
I have two coming out this year – a paranormal romance called The Mirror of Her Power from Taliesin Press, and my YA fantasy A Crack in Everything. So I’ve edits for them in the offing. I’m already working on the sequel for the A Crack in Everything, called The Hollow in the Hills, and then I’ll start on a sequel for The Mirror of Her Power. Of course, I’m never just working on one thing, so I have two other stories I’m whittling away at in the meantime. I’m going to have a very busy year.


 Where do you see your writing life within the next ten years?

I’m happy to just keep on writing. It would be lovely to be able to make a living from writing full time but I don’t think I’d ever want to give up my day job. So enough to be comfortable I suppose. I hope to grow my readership and still be able to vary the type of stories I tell.

 As an author, what is your next big ambition?

To write the best book I possibly can. Always. To do credit to the stories that come into my head and get them to print in as perfect as way as I possibly can.

If I’m going to go for the full fantasy wish-fulfilment answer – I’d dearly love to see one of my stories on film.  😀


Thank you Ruth, it was a pleasure to hear your story.  You are an inspiration to all.


Please go to Ruth’s web site for more information  or leave a COMMENT below




Filed under Uncategorized, Writing



I first met author Sally Jenkins as a member of She has recently entered the world of e-publishing and I wanted to find out more about her. Welcome, Sally, to my blog.

1. How many books have you written and which of these are your personal favourites?
I have five books available on Amazon Kindle plus a couple of manuscripts that ‘didn’t quite make it’ sitting on my hard-drive. Maxine’s Story, the first in the Museum of Fractured Lives(, series is my personal favourite. It’s about young love – those feelings that we all experienced as teenagers when we really fancied someone. But, unlike most people’s love affairs, the consequences of Maxine’s short relationship with Kaspar are far reaching…

Sally Jenkins Karen's Story - The Museum of Fractured Lives - Cover imagesml

2. What research did you find most difficult for your books?
Most of what I write requires little or no research but I can think of one exception. The short story, Replacing the Empire, which is included in the collection One Day for Me – 8 Award-Winning Stories, tells how Wallis Simpson got cold feet on the morning of her marriage to Edward VIII. The scenes in the story are fictitious but I wanted accurate historical facts in order to give the tale authenticity. The internet was a great boon in researching the names of both the royal wedding photographer and Mrs Simpson’s bridesmaid. I also managed to include in the story some actual quotes from Wallis Simpson. The story achieved second place in the Snapshots of History Autumn/Winter 2012 Competition.


3. Do you prefer to read a paperback or a Kindle?
I like the Kindle because I can adjust the font to suit my eyesight and read without the need to my find my glasses! But I love browsing in my local library too and always bring some ‘gem’ home with me. So I still read ‘proper’ books as well.


4. How did you learn to be a writer?  Did you attend creative writing classes or have you always been a writer from leaving school – Tell us more.
I started a general creative writing correspondence course when my eldest daughter was a toddler (she’s 22 now!). Through that I started having success with magazine articles and then short stories. This gave me confidence and I abandoned the course to focus on short stories for women’s magazines. I attended a couple of one day courses on this genre and met Helen, who became my writing buddy. We now exchange work every fortnight for critique – this a wonderful discipline for making me produce something regularly! I am now moving towards longer stories, unsuitable for the magazines’ requirements, hence The Museum of Fractured Lives series.


5. I hear you have published with various magazines. Is this how you began your writing career?
Readers’ letters and articles were my very first successes and then I moved on to short stories.



6. How do you prefer to promote your books?
I think promotion is the hardest part of e-publishing! I promote via my blog ( mainly. I also belong to a couple of writers’ forums (including MyWritersCircle) where I post any news to do with my books. When I have a special offer I use some of the multitude of websites and Facebook groups that publicise free and discounted e-books.


7. Do you specialise in one genre or do your prefer to write general fiction.
I would classify my writing as ‘women’s fiction’ but I’ve had good reviews from men as well so maybe it’s ‘women’s fiction verging towards unisex’!


8. What kind of books do you read?
I enjoy crime and thrillers. I’ve just finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – I enjoyed it but thought the second half was much more gripping than the first.


9. Who is your favourite author and why?
One of my favourite authors is Elizabeth George who writes the Inspector Lynley stories. I like the contrast in character between upper-class Lynley and his down-to-earth sidekick, Barbara.


10. Where do you see your writing life within the next ten years?
That’s a difficult question! More of the same I think – I enjoy the control of publishing without the constraints on story length and genre that a mainstream publisher would impose. And I’ll continue the magazine writing too – flicking through a publication and seeing my name in print still gives me a thrill.


11. Now you have published what is your next big ambition?
I’m aiming to slowly grow the length of the books I write, this is to allow for increased character development plus more twists and turns in the plot. So ultimately I want to be creating full-length novels.


12. Do you like animals and if so do you have a pet of your own?
Animals aren’t really my thing. My children were always desperate for a dog but I refused on the grounds that it would be lonely whilst we were out at school and work. But the real reason was I didn’t want to walk it, groom it and clean up after it – maybe I’m just lazy! We do have a goldfish named Reg – but that’s the limit of our menagerie.


13. Have you any advice for writers who wish to publish an e-book?
Edit and polish the manuscript until it shines! Do not be one of those shoddy e-publishers who’s just out to make a quick buck – very few people get rich e-publishing. I am in the middle of writing ‘Kindle Direct Publishing for Absolute Beginners’ – so my advice would be to get hold of a copy when it comes out next month! Sign up to my mailing list ( and I’ll drop you a line when it’s available.

Sally Jenkins A Writer On Writing -Fiverr



Thanks Sally I am sure folks will enjoy reading all about you.  I wish you every success in the future.

If you have any questions for Sally please  COMMENT in the  box below



Filed under Writing