the thief's

IRDA Winning Author Joel Manners on his book: “If you think Ocean’s Eleven would be improved by some swords and magic, this book’s for you.”

Indie Reader Discovery Award

The Thief’s Tale was the winner in the Fantasy category of the 2019 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.

Following find an interview with author Joel Manners.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

The Thief’s Tale, soon to be released!

What’s the book’s first line?

“A slim shadow clung to the sheer surface of the tower.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

When an audacious burglary goes spectacularly right, Wyn expects her young life to change for the better.  Glorious infamy and the respect and adulation of her underworld brethren will, at least, buy her a few drinks, and just might convince the other thieving vermin to keep their knives to themselves for a while.

But when her new-found reputation attracts the worst kind of attention, she is forced to take on an impossible heist, working for a vicious killer named Quinn, a man she has feared and hated since she was an orphan fighting for food on the streets.

The job takes Wyn across the sprawling city of Kuray, where the high born hold galas in their opulent  mansions while crews spread murder in the tangled streets, where coin and quill are as much weapon and armor as a knight’s sword and steel, and where arcane Devices, magical instruments as powerful as they are unobtainable, are the ultimate loot.

Faced with the destruction of everything that holds meaning to her, Wyn vows to pull the greatest job of all, to beat Quinn at his own brutal game.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

Really, it was the main character, Wyn.  I was exploring her past and became completely engrossed with what her life must have been like as a young thief in the big city.  I love a good heist, and when I realized I had one to tell, I had to write it.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

Wyn is absolutely the bravest and most compassionate person you’ll meet (although she would be the last person on earth that would ever see that in herself), even though she has every reason to be bitter and cruel.  And her quick-witted irreverence finds joy and wonder even when the world seems dark.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

If you think [the movie] Ocean’s Eleven would be improved by some swords and magic, this book’s for you.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

That’s a tough one. Ideally, I would go back in time and cast Keira Knightley from “Bend it Like Beckham”.  Today I’d cast Daisy Ridley.  Both actresses have the lean, fierce look that is needed to play Wyn, and could pull off the transition from scared loner to confident young woman.

Is this the first you’ve written?

The Thief’s Tale is my third novel.  I have also written the first two books in a series that is set in the same world as The Thief’s Tale, called The Martyr’s Blade and The Martyr’s Tears.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I am a computer game designer.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

I try to get in two hours a day during the work week, and on the weekends I write until I feel guilty about how long I’ve been in my studio.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

The best part is hearing from the readers. Hopefully it’s because they enjoyed the book, but just knowing that there are people sharing the adventures of the characters is amazing.  The hardest part is simply finding enough time to write all the stories you want to tell.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?  

I don’t know much about what that would change about the way I write, so it’s hard to judge. I’d love for the books to get the exposure I think they deserve.  I suppose it depends more on how a publisher could help me make my stories better.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Neil Gaiman, Kurt Vonnegut.

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