{Guest Post & #Giveaway - US} Ronlyn Domingue: The Plague Diaries

Guest Post by Ronlyn Domingue Author of The Plague Diaries, Book 3 of The Keeper of Tales Trilogy

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I've had the pleasure of working with Ronlyn Domingue over the years promoting her trilogy, The Keeper of Tales. Way back in 2013, I stumbled upon her first book The Mapmaker's War in a Goodreads Giveaway. I was quite entranced by this story, with its folkloric storyline, its gorgeous descriptions and its unusual storytelling style. With my rave review, the author reached out to me in 2014 with her second book The Chronicle of Secret Riven. She even joined me for a guest post (where she revealed works that influenced her unique work). I am happy to be part of her journey as rounds up her trilogy with The Plague Diaries.

After Ronlyn published her critically acclaimed debut, The Mercy of Thin Air*, she squirreled away for several years to work on her next project. What was meant to be one epic novel became a trilogy that can be read in any order. The third book, The Plague Diaries, is out now—the story of a young woman named Secret, fated to release a plague to end an ancient pestilence. Her mythic call involves an arcane manuscript, a strange symbol, and a 1,000-year-old family legacy.

Today, Ronlyn shares how she wrote these books—a method used for thousands of years.


I’m a Virgo, which means my entire life is oriented to do things the most efficient way possible the first time.

Imagine my horror when I received instructions—a feeling more so than actual words—that I was supposed to write my second novel by hand.

“No,” I argued with the book, which wasn’t yet a book, just a bunch of notes and ideas. “That’s ridiculous. Why would I handwrite when it’s so much faster to type? I’ll just have to type it up anyway.”

The book would not relent. Every time I tried to write on a machine, nothing would come. Eventually, I squirreled away in a room with the curtains drawn. In two weeks, 26,000 words spewed forth, on letterpress-quality paper in purple ink.
Sideview of the Mapmaker's manuscript

My debut novel, The Mercy of Thin Air, was written on a computer. The words showed up, and tap tap tap, they appeared on the screen. It was easy to procrastinate on days I didn’t really want to write because I could go back to what I had, shifting commas, tweaking sentences, moving paragraphs.
I had no such luxury with this second book, scribed in bold ink. When I sat to write, I had picked up where I left off the day before. The manuscript became too messy if I tried to noodle with what I’d already written.

What surprised me most was the intimacy. I could sit curled up in a comfortable place and feel the words in a way I didn’t when I was at a keyboard. Mind, words, page, one world.

And it made sense, frankly. My second novel, which became the first in the trilogy, and the two books that followed aren’t set in our contemporary time. In The Mapmaker’s War: Book 1, Aoife, the mapmaker, lives in world similar to the Dark Ages. In The Chronicle of Secret Riven: Book 2 and The Plague Diaries: Book 3, Secret’s world resembles our Victorian era.

Pen and pencil ... 
In each book, there are references to pens and ink, tattered manuscripts and letters and old maps, things created through the direct touch of human hands.

All told, several purple pens, four boxes of Mirado Black Warriors, and a multitude of assorted other pencils gave their dark blood for these books.

In the end, I realized that handwriting the manuscripts didn’t take more time than if I’d typed them. These books had to be written the way they were. I could not impose my modern values on their world, their sense of time, and the way they chose to speak.

An attentive writer bows what the work demands and looks upon the resulting callous on one’s finger as a scar of honor.

About Ronlyn Domingue

Ronlyn Domingue is the author of The Chronicle of Secret Riven and The Mapmaker’s War, the first two books of the Keeper of Tales Trilogy. Her critically-acclaimed debut novel, The Mercy of Thin Air, was published in ten languages. Her writing has appeared in New England Review, Clackamas Literary Review, New Delta Review, The Independent (UK), Border Crossing, and Shambhala Sun, as well as on mindful.org, The Nervous Breakdown, and The Weeklings.

Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and ronlyndomingue.com.

About The Plague Diaries by Ronlyn Domingue*: The astounding, epic conclusion to the Keeper of Tales Trilogy brings together the cryptic prophecy in The Mapmaker's War and the troubling mysteries in The Chronicle of Secret Riven--leading to an unforgettable reckoning between lies and truth. We are all born made of gold. Secret Riven--the mystically gifted heroine who now represses her uncanny telepathic power--works for the mysterious magnate Fewmany as an archivist in his private library. There, she stumbles upon the arcane manuscript that had vanished following her mother's untimely death. She suspects the manuscript contains a profound secret, and she is yet unaware of its link to a thousand-year-old war and her own family's legacy. The tasks before her are clear: Secret must finally learn what Fewmany wants from her as well as the meaning of a strange symbol she's dreamed of since childhood. At last, she must confront the questions haunting her and depart on a quest to find the truth about herself, her dead mother, and her fate--to unleash a Plague of Silences meant to destroy, and transform, the world as all have known it. A dazzling, genre-bending masterwork, The Plague Diaries illuminates the power of our choices, the scars they leave, and the wounds they heal. 



1 paper copy The Plague Diaries by Ronlyn Domingue
Open US

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Giveaway time! . . Do you love a good fantasy and magical story? I have read both of @ronlyndomingue's books in The Keeper of Tales Trilogy and now, book 3 The Plague Diaries is finally out! Don't worry, all books are standalone and can be read individually. Watch for her guest post on my blog soon (I'll post the link in my bio). . . To enter for a chance to win your own copy, all you have to do is follow the steps below. This giveaway is open US and ends on September 20th. The winner will be announced shortly after. 😃 This prize is kindly provided by the publisher. . . . To enter all you have to do is: ✅FOLLOW @guiltlessreader ✅LIKE this post ✅TAG two friends (or more) ✅For an extra entry, repost this pic with the hashtag #guiltlessreading ✅For an extra entry, leave a comment or question for Ronlyn on her guest post GIVEAWAY FACTS: -This giveaway is not affiliated with Instagram or sponsored. Book prize was provided courtesy of the publisher - Giveaway is open US only - Giveaway ends 20 September 2017 - Giveaway accounts are automatically disqualified
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