What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* 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.
What was your inspiration for writing Necromancer?
* I started writing stories even before I became a teenager. I devoured every fantasy and sci-fi book I could find, and not surprisingly my stories were very derivative, and not at all original. Once I started college, studying, career and life got in the way of my writing and I largely put it aside. I wish I hadn’t - I’d always dreamed of becoming an author.
* In my mid-forties, I started dabbling with a story that became my first book, Ocean of Dust, and my passion for storytelling returned in force. It took me 6 years of hard work to write that novel, but then I was hooked! I had a hundred story ideas swimming in my head.
* Necromancer was a book that begged me to write it. I’d always been fascinated by the necromancer character, except that I wanted to flip the usual trope on its head. I’d read so many books about ancient, malevolent wizards poring over forbidden tomes in the dark of night, and chanting lengthy spells to summon evil creatures to help them take over the world. No, I wanted a young hero. I wanted a necromancer that was trying to protect humanity from the monsters that crawl out of the dark.
* Maldren’s voice came to me so easily - a cocky, sarcastic youth who needed a lesson in humility. His dry wit demanded that I write the book 1st person, so that I could capture his deep thoughts on the page, and I think that worked well. Most readers tell me they enjoy the voice of my main character the most.
* I noodled over many plot ideas. I wanted a tale of betrayal; I wanted a secret society; a frightening, seemingly unstoppable creature; and I wanted Maldren’s apprentice to be a feisty girl - that’s Ayla. Yes, I love tension! She’s also more than she appears. That goes for many of my characters actually. It was important to me that the setting oozed with a sinister and foreboding mood, so I created Malkandrah, a city full of narrow alleys and “Dickensian London” tenement buildings.
* The inspiration for Caradan, the insanely powerful and murderous wraith that is central to the plot, came from watching countless Dracula movies, and reading Lovecraft. I wanted a brooding menace that seemed to reach through time itself. But not a vampire. No vampires were staked in the making of this book. :)
* Phyxia, the elfin seer, was a character that came to me late in the process, when I was considering a mentor for my young necromancer hero. She’s aloof and mysterious with frustratingly enigmatic advice, and I love that! I had such fun writing her character.
* So you can see that out of that tiny germ of an idea to write about a necromancer, I layered on material inspired from all sorts of places.
* What of the future? There will be more books about Maldren and Ayla. Not immediately, but I will definitely return to them. I have some neat ideas. I’m also planning another story set in Malkandrah about a swordswoman, and I think it’d be fun if Maldren, Ayla and Phyxia make cameo appearances, don’t you?
* Thanks for hosting me and my book on your blog. :)
A look into the story
* 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.
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Thank you for joining us here today, Graeme Ing! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.
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