Author Feature – The Bone Thief by Claire Buss

The Spice Ghosts have descended on Roshaven accusing Jenni of stealing their sacred bones and are threatening to destroy the city if they are not returned but Jenni the sprite has no idea what they’re talking about.
With the help of her boss, Chief Thief-Catcher Ned Spinks, Jenni promises to find and return them however the skeletal trail leads them into the dark and dangerous waters of the dread Sea Witch.
Ned is out of his depth and frantically treading water while Jenni must fight to avoid becoming catch of the day.
The Bone Thief is the new Roshaven book from Claire Buss.

Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher, slumped his shoulders in dismay at the pile of reports spilling over his desk. Things were not well in the city of Roshaven.
‘And these are all from this week?’ Ned asked as he gestured at the pile.
‘Yes, Boss.’ Willow, a tree nymph and one of Ned’s catchers, nodded her head so vigorously, her leaves rustled. ‘There’s been multiple instances of people claiming their magic has been stolen and a report from the Sailors’ Guild that unexpected sea-related deaths have risen sharply.’
‘Have you spoken with them?’ asked Ned.
‘The Guild? No. We thought it was just their standard report. Was we supposed to?’ Willow bloomed uncertainly.
‘No, not the Guild – the people who think their magic was stolen.’
‘Not yet, but we’ve set up interviews with some of them this afternoon. But Boss… how can we prove if someone’s had their magic stolen or not?’ she asked.
‘The best thing you can do is find out why they think it’s happened in the first place. If we can discover a common element between each experience, then we might be able to pinpoint why it’s happening,’ replied Ned.
He was mildly concerned. In all likelihood, the people who thought they’d lost some magic had inadvertently used more than they expected or had some other ailment that was preventing their ability to cast. But magic skimming, taking small amounts of power from others, was illegal, so if these were legitimate claims, then the catchers would need to find and arrest the culprit before they caused someone permanent damage. Skimming was dangerous for both parties.
‘Let’s hope it’s kids messing about so we can nip it in the bud or, better yet, maybe they all have a nasty cold affecting their casting. See what you can find out.’ He shuffled through the paperwork. ‘Is that everything?’
‘There’s the paper,’ said Joe helpfully. He was Ned’s only fully human catcher, besides himself.
Ned waited for the lad to expand but nothing else was forthcoming so he examined his paperwork pile more closely and sure enough, a copy of The Daily Blag lay between reports. He eased it out of the stack and read out the headline.
‘Death at the Beach.’ He glanced at Joe.
‘There’s a bit more, Boss.’
‘Yes. Thank you, Joe.’ Ned stiffened the paper with a flick of his wrists and read on. ‘Towns and villages up and down the coast of Efrana are reporting an increase in mysterious deaths linked to the ocean. Officials are baffled why it is suddenly not safe in the water and are urging locals and visitors to stay away from the beach.’ Ned read on in silence, but the article lacked any further facts.
‘What do we think – mermaids?’ asked Ned. ‘They’re not exactly the friendliest creature in the ocean.’
Both Willow and Joe shook their heads.
‘True, but they are territorial, and this is happening all over.’
‘Plus we spoke to Pearl,’ said Joe. ‘She said it wasn’t them.’

A Bite of… Claire Buss

What keeps you coming back to Roshaven in your writing? 

I enjoy writing the Roshaven books because of the colourful cast. They are fun to write, fun to listen to and fun to read back to myself when going through the painful road of editing. I also get of lot of enjoyment from other people telling me what they enjoy from reading the books as well, like the fact that they think Fred has a Welsh accent lol. There’s so much scope for imagination, anything can happen – and it often does – Roshaven stories can take you anywhere. 

What were the best, the worst and the hardest things about writing The Bone Thief? 

The best part was making it all up as I went along, which is how I write all my books to be fair. The worst bit was having my freshly minted words picked apart by my Crit Group haha. The hardest thing for me is always the editing. Because I’m a discovery writer and I don’t have a firm plan before I start writing, things often head off in weird directions and plot holes start replicating. The second draft is always super painful as I marry up plotlines, timelines, characters that appear and disappear and I usually end up doing a lot of backfilling but I kinda enjoy that bit as I make scenes more awesome once I know what finally happens in the end. 

If cake was off the dessert menu, what would you go for instead?

Hmmm I’d take my Nan’s rice pudding. I don’t know how she did it but it was always amazing. These days my dairy and egg intolerance make eating out, especially dessert, rather miserable. Occasionally there’s a decent vegan option but not very often. I love, love lemon meringue pie, or at least I used to. 

Claire is an award-winning multi-genre author and poet. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, she went on to work in a variety of marketing and administrative roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and expert procrastinator Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with her debut novel, The Gaia Effect, setting her writing career in motion. Since then, Claire has published twenty-one novels and poetry collections and had her short fiction published in six anthologies. She is also Deputy Editor of Write On!. Claire continues to write passionately and is hopelessly addicted to cake. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter and if you sign up for her Newsletter you will get a free book.

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