I am a writer and avid reader of romances particularly historical romances. Please join me on my journey through time
Please welcome Graeme Ing author of Necromancer.
Graeme will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host. Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win. Use the rafflecopter code below to enter.
by Graeme Ing
For Necromancer I started with the simple premise of what if they were heroes, protecting the people from undead, rather than the cliched trope of wizards in a dimly bit basement, poring over dusty tomes to summon creatures for evil purposes. To that end, I wanted a young necromancer. Maldren’s voice came to me very easily, mandating that I write it first person to bring out his sarcasm. As a foil, I wanted a spirited female who in many ways is superior to him but he’s too cocky to notice. I wanted to give her a big secret… (spoiler alert) Thus was Ayla born. I love her character. Ironically, I think my sidekicks are richer characters than my heroes.
I like to have a clear theme in my books, and for Necromancer I picked betrayal. Next, I wanted to populate my world with an unusual selection of creatures so I called upon mythology (ghouls, wights, wraiths) and created several of my own (grak, revenant, Locthar). Usually I create my plots by scribbling down ideas and events and then analyzing them from each character’s perspective: Why would they do that? How would they react to that? What if she did this instead?
So I iterate in on my story from various angles: settings, creatures, characters, events and themes.
Other than a bizarre imagination? 🙂 I grew up studying maps and geography and I think that will always come across in my writing, as will my love for astronomy. I like my worlds to have multiple moons and even multiple suns. As a world traveller, I love to immerse myself in alternative cultures: the food, the drink, the clothing; and you’ll find a lot of food in my books. Luckily, writing fantasy doesn’t require any particular expertise other than being able to write of course. Being a nerd helps tremendously! As a geek, I like to think my sci-fi will be tech-savvy and believably futuristic.
While writing fantasy will be my bread and butter, I plan to branch out into sci-fi, urban fantasy, steampunk, cyberpunk, romance and any mash-ups of these genres. I have a time-travel thriller in the wings that might just feature dinosaurs. I have sequels planned for Necromancer and my debut fantasy, Ocean of Dust, as well as another book set in the sinister city of Necromancer, but concerning a swordswoman slashing her way through villains to save her daughter. And then I have plenty of peculiar worlds floating around my head that are begging to be put down on paper. I hope readers enjoy the adventurous ride if they choose to follow my writing.
Maldren from Necromancer. He has an easy-going, confident attitude, which is admittedly cocky and sarcastic. I can see myself as a young and bold necromancer, protecting the city from sinister creatures from beyond the grave, exploring the dark labryrinthine passages of the undercity, blasting ikky things with my spells. Not your average 9 to 5 for sure! As the hero, I would of course attract all the girls and woe betide anyone who messed with me. Bring it on. OK, so I’m getting a little carried away now.
My writers group is awesome. We’ve been together 6+ years now and can be brutally honest in a constructive manner. They tell me if my dialog is stilted, my characters wooden, or if I’ve taken the easy route with a scene instead of digging deeper to find hidden emotions and levels of nuance. I get weekly feedback on whether my scenes are working or are verbose, or confusing. Such regular feedback helps to keep me on track or make adjustments early if something is falling flat. My books are better for their assistance. I love them all.
The best advice was to keep writing. Don’t get hung up in endless promotion or second guessing, over-analysis or comparing myself to others, but just move on and write the next book. Bestsellers out of the gate are rare. For most people, success equates to writing a LOT.
I haven’t really received bad advice – most advice works for some people and not others and so isn’t actually bad. If I had to pick a bad tip it would be to price novels at 99c. I’m talking full-length novels, not novellas. Readers are probably dubious about the quality of novels that cheap. Don’t undervalue your work. Of course don’t overprice either. Personally, I think that $2.99 to $5.99 is a sweet spot for ebooks.
I’m a compulsive outliner. On Necromancer, the whole plot was planned ahead of time, including character traits, motivations and inner conflicts. I planned where each reveal will occur, the passage of time, all sorts of things. I have glossaries of character names, descriptions, spells, objects, ikky creatures, food and drink. I drew street maps of the city and its underworld. I like to know where I’m going, to reduce the chance of a wrong turn or writer’s block. Of course none of this prevents the first draft from deviating from my outline, as I think of new ideas or learn more about my characters and their desires. Generally, every few chapters I will revisit my outline and amend it for any such deviations. I know it sounds overly rigid to many muse-driven writers, but it works for me. Everyone has their own technique.
I have an all-time favourite series: Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern. I grew up on those books and have read them over and over dozens of times. McCaffrey put an inspired twist on the tired dragon trope, and her dragon personalities are every bit as real and believable as her people. All of her characters are so well written, so nuanced, that they bring out the strongest emotional reactions from me, even making me cry in places. Yeah, I’m man enough to admit that! Isn’t that special when books affect you that way? I can only dream that scenes in my books might elicit physical emotions in the reader.
I’m working on a romantic fantasy loosely inspired by Arabian Nights. It’s a serial of 3 novellas that follow a young princess on her quest for love and self-determination. I’m really excited about them, and at the same time terrified at how well I can pull off a romance from the female POV. I guess readers will tell me! I’m going to release all 3 novellas back to back in mid 2015.
My two favourite shows on TV are Big Bang Theory, because I’m a total geek and nerd and have to confess that I have obsessed over many of the things those guys do; and Walking Dead. I’m a zombie fan but what makes WD special is the deep characterization and the clear indication that other people are more of a threat than the actual zombies.
Definitely, Maldren the Necromancer hero would be played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers of Dracula fame. I love actress Emily Kinney (from Walking Dead) and she’d be great as Ayla, the feisty necromancer’s apprentice. I can see Cate Blanchett as Phyxia, my elfin immortal. Viggo Mortensen would be awesome as the imposing wraith-necromancer Caradan. What about Willem Dafoe as the mean old Guildmaster, Fortak? Oh, I so want to see this movie now.
Thank you so much for featuring my book and for the great questions. 🙂
A primeval fiend is loose in the ancient metropolis of Malkandrah, intent on burning it to a wasteland. The city’s leaders stand idly by and the sorcerers that once protected the people are long gone.
Maldren, a young necromancer, is the only person brave enough to stand against the creature. Instead of help from the Masters of his Guild, he is given a new apprentice. Why now, and why a girl? As they unravel the clues to defeating the fiend, they discover a secret society holding the future of the city in its grip. After betrayals and attempts on his life, Maldren has reason to suspect everyone he thought a friend, even the girl.
His last hope lies in an alliance with a depraved and murderous ghost, but how can he trust it? Its sinister past is intertwined in the lives of everyone he holds dear.
Can only evil defeat evil?
“This is dangerous,” I whispered. “I know what I’m doing.”
Did I? I handed her the lightstick and crept forward, nudging loose stones with my boot to clear the way, never taking my eyes from the archway. The room was filled with heaps of rubble. The spectral rope snaked behind a huge fragment of a fallen buttress lodged against one wall.
Come out, come out, wherever you are.
I drew a sizable ball of magic from my core and blasted a massive Dispel into the room, bathing the entire area in a purple flash.
The grak leaped onto the ceiling, sending rubble clattering in all directions. It scuttled toward me, upside down, hundreds of barbs along its ten legs clinging to the bare stone ceiling. A razor-ridged carapace protected an abdomen the size of a barrel, yet the thing stretched eight feet in length, counting its forked, bony tail and oversize head. Two spheres of flylike eyes reflected a distorted version of my look of horror. Saw-toothed pincers clacked repeatedly and its antennae quivered, probing the air in front of it.
I stumbled backward, my heart thumping in my ears.
Kristach. I’d hoped it’d be smaller.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Graeme Ing engineers original fantasy worlds, both YA and adult, but hang around, and you’ll likely read tales of romance, sci-fi, paranormal, cyberpunk, steampunk or any blend of the above.
Born in England in 1965, Graeme moved to San Diego, California in 1996 and lives there still. His career as a software engineer and development manager spans 30 years, mostly in the computer games industry. He is also an armchair mountaineer, astronomer, mapmaker, pilot and general geek. He and his wife, Tamara, share their house with more cats than he can count.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GraemeIngAuthor
Twitter: @GraemeIng https://twitter.com/GraemeIng
Apple iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/necromancer/id909909878
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