Anne Leonard

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Anne Leonard


My Progress

7/22: Now at 107,500 words, which is within my writeathon goal. 1-2 more chapters to write, plus any falling action. Some self-realization going on with one of the 3 MCs now:

Her cravings had always been for knowledge and for friendship, and her needs for life and safety. She had not sought wealth or power. She had not even sought love. Until her father died she had been content in her quiet circumscribed life, a pocket of air under the sea that was Karolje and the country. Beside a person like Sparrow, she had been a field mouse, nibbling on the grass and ducking into her burrow when a hawk flew overhead. That was not the person she wanted to be now. Not the person she even could be now. Violence and death had changed her. And who she was, she didn’t know.


Ch. 20 is roughed out, and I’m on to 21. Here’s what’s going on:

He had no knife, only his hands. And his face and his name, which could save them or kill them, depending. He wore a red priest’s robe, which was a disguise of sorts, and Anza wore the grey trousers and tunic of a novice. Her beautiful hair was gone, shorn and burned, a scant inch or so remaining on her head. She looked about thirteen. It’s only hair, she said, it will grow back. He grieved for it anyway.

About Me

Writing Sample

When Karolje became king, he ordered rooms in the library to be mortared shut. Sometimes Anza imagined the insides of those rooms, dark, the books and papers ravaged by mice, the furniture and floors thick with the dust of a dozen years. Karolje had expelled most of the masters and locked nearly all the buildings. In the College now there were three masters and barely sixty students, who studied under the ever-watchful eyes of Karolje’s soldiers. The city had once had numerous printers and booksellers, most of whom had abandoned their shops or turned to some other business or been killed.
Moonlight silvery-blue on the square and the library made her hesitate. The white harpy droppings streaking the roof tiles were bright. Rumil bumped into her. Jance looked back and said, “Are you about to quit?”
“We aren’t going to be inconspicuous,” she said. They had all drunk too much raki, but she remembered to keep her voice down.
“I have the bloody key,” he said. “All we have to do is cross the square. If the guard sees us, we keep walking.”
“You’re male. You’re allowed to be out after midnight.” Of the students, only eight were women.
“Shut up, both of you,” said Rumil.
They did. It was fall, a crisp coolness in the air that the raki dispelled nicely internally and left pleasant on the skin. Jance walked forward, confident, arrogant. That was the trick, of course; if you looked like you were skulking, you were much more suspect. She put her hand on Rumil’s forearm as though they were going to a party and followed. She hoped Rumil would not take the gesture to mean anything else.
No one stopped them. They walked up the steps to the library portico. It was too dark to see any of the carvings on the door. Jance said, “Don’t crowd me,” and Anza and Rumil backed up.
The key scraped against metal as Jance tried to fit it into the lock. Then came the snick and the turn. He pushed, and the door opened. The familiar library odors of wood and paper and age drifted out.

What I Write

Right now I’m working on a fantasy novel about a despotic king and the attempts of his wife and sons to escape his power. The novel also includes a resistance movement. The write-a-thon writing sample is from the beginning of the novel.

When it’s finished I hope to start writing some Weird West fiction and will experiment with the novella form.


Twitter Handle



Moth and Spark, a novel (Viking/Penguin 2014)

Write-a-thon Goals

Writing Goals

Write the last 15,000 words of my novel in progress and/or work on revisions (if I hit the end before the write-a-thon).