Oct 28, 2014

October 28: Necromancer by Graeme Ing book Tour


Necromancer
by Graeme Ing

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:
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?



Excerpt :

Bar Fight

“My brother was running Gold that night. Died of ’is burns. Yer come to ’elp ’is widow pay ’er bills?”

He swung the flagon at my head. I dodged and it smashed against my shoulder, drenching me. His fist was like a sledgehammer against my stomach and I doubled over, blowing out all my breath. I half turned before a stick cracked on the inside of my knee, knocking out my left leg. I crashed to the floor, sending a chair flying. You asked for this, Maldren, you fool.

The mob closed in. Their dirks remained in their scabbards, but I imagined their fists would do more damage. I made no attempt to go for my own knife or else they would kill me. There was a risk that they might in any case. I tried to roll away under the table but One-eye stamped on the same leg, and kicked me in the kidneys. Pain lanced through me.

“Oh, come on,” I cried, hand clutching my side. “I’ll pay for information. No need to break bones.”

One-eye reached down, grabbed the front of my robe, and dragged me to my feet. I groped desperately for something to hold on to.

“Should’ve brought yer skeleton army,” he said, causing his friends to guffaw.

He smashed his head into my nose. Blood spurted all over us. The metallic taste was disgusting. The room spun around me, and for a moment One-eye had two eyes. He released his grip on my robe as if flicking away a spider, and I crumpled onto the floor again.

“Aren’t you going to cast a curse on us?” someone shouted.

“He’s too craven to fight back.”

I moaned and blew blood from my nose.

“I told you, I’m trying to help. Just listen, will you?”

“I’ve heard about enough from you.” He kicked me in the side again.

I wouldn’t take any more. Lak curse them all!

I grabbed One-eye’s boot and yanked him off balance. He careened into the bargee beside him, and I twisted his ankle as they both went down. Then I slithered under the table and pushed up on it with my back, walking it forward until its edge smashed two of them in the face.

Can’t go down without a fight, but my odds were worse than a virgin in a bikka den.



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.

Buy Links

Author interview

Did you do any kind of research to determine the details of your characters’ lives / lifestyles?

I spend a lot of time working out my characters. For me, story and plot should grow organically from character traits, flaws and motivations or else it feels contrived. After my initial ideas for each character I sit down and tease out their motivations. Why do they want to do this? What happened in their earlier lives that made them the way they are? How would they change if they could? What are their beliefs, right or wrong? What flaws do they have? That done, I stand each character up to every other one in turn. What do they feel about the other person? Love, hate, indifference? Are their goals and beliefs aligned, or in opposition? It's tempting to assume that the protagonist and antagonist have opposite viewpoints, want the opposite things, but I've found that there is greater tension if they actually want the same thing, even if they approach it from a different angle. If they both want the same girl, there's going to be great conflict, right?

            Even though I write fantasy that is nothing to do with our own world, I still do research for my characters. In Ocean of Dust I wanted to understand the roles of the crew of an old sailing ship. How do the officers behave compared to the crew? How do they speak? What might they wear? For Necromancer, I considered business and academic leaders to get into the mind of Fortak, the Guildmaster. My hero is a common man but his apprentice is the daughter of an aristocrat, so how might they react to each other?


The best book/s you ever read?

Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series. (Love her too man!) I grew up on these classic fantasy books and re-read them all regularly. Her dragons avoided every known dragon cliche and she made them fascinating and lovable personalities in their own right.


Who inspired you?

McCaffrey again. She was a master at characterization and evoking genuine emotion from her readers. I studied her books to learn how to use description to best effect, as well as pacing and tension. Steven Brust taught me how to write in First Person POV, which inspired me to write Necromancer. I highly recommend his Taltos books. In sci-fi, I think that Robert Heinlein inspired me the most by his genius creativity and ability to take a single what-if and turn it into a fantastic story. Outside of books, one of my heroes is Sir Richard Branson, whose life teaches us that we can turn our hand to anything if we dream big and perservere. Don't listen to the naysayers!


Do you have strange writing habits?

You'd have to ask my wife that. I do have to write in total silence - no music, no talking. I use post-it's to  plan my story and I'm a compulsive and detailed outliner, but then I sit down and just write at my computer for about two or three hours and then record my word count on my calendar to track progress. Nothing strange there, is there?  I guess the only quirk I have (which might be common among authors) is that I can get wrapped up in the emotion of certain scenes I write. You might hear me cry out with glee when my hero gains the upper hand, facepalm when he does something stupid, or even sob at my sad scenes. Yeah, I'm man enough to admit that! I like to think that if it can make me emotional then readers will enjoy it, but I don't know how successful I am at that.


Where did you grow up?

I live in California but I'm English and grew up in a rural town close to Oxford. Our town (Thame) had the distinction of one of the highest densities of taverns in a 1-mile stretch, and one of them, The Bird Cage Inn was haunted. No matter how many times they whitewash the cellar walls, bloodstains seep through! Oooh, I need to write a book about that.  When I was eleven we moved to a small town on the south coast, nestled between the two cities of Southampton and Portsmouth. I loved living by the sea. I'm very grateful that I had an awesome childhood.


How did you get into writing?

I first started writing as a pre-teen, simply because I'd been exposed to so many fantasy and sci-fi books and wanted to create my own worlds and adventures. I wrote longhand and tried my hand at screenplays on an old manual typewriter. I wish I'd kept writing. Maybe I'd be a bestselling author today. :) But I didn't. Life and my career got in the way, and it wasn't until my forties that I realized I'd better get back to writing if I were ever to have a shot at being an author. Better late than never, right? That was 8 years ago. It took me 6+ years to write my first book and 2 years to write my second. I don't plan to ever stop writing now - I have way too many ideas that want to get out.


What is your favorite quote?

"Success is dependent on effort." - Sophocles


What sacrifices have you had to make to be a writer?

I used to be a man with many hobbies. I loved to dabble in all sorts of things: electronics, programming, piloting, computer games, hiking, biking, building replica wooden sailing ships... I decided to give them all up to write. When you are married and have a day job, time is a precious commodity, but I'd put my writing dreams on the back burner all my life and decided to make time. It's not easy. Every now and then I feel like indulging in an old hobby, but just remind myself how important being an author is to me now.

            It's tough to come home from work tired, with a fried brain, and force myself to sit back down at the computer and write. It's definitely not my comfort zone, neither are the self-doubts I get all the time I'm trying to concentrate on a scene or character, but "success is dependent on effort". I force myself to remember CJ Lyons' "ABC Theory" of writing: "Apply Butt to Chair." The sacrifice and effort is worth it - writing a novel is the best feeling in the world!


Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Absolutely! The cover matters a great deal, even when looking at an ebook on the Amazon web site. A good cover should be appealing to the eye and grab a reader's attention, be that by color, image, lettering or preferably all three. The style and image should convey genre. You know that a scantily dressed couple in a tight embrace represents romance or erotica, or that a swordsman with a spired city in the background is likely a fantasy novel. I think that readers still judge a book by its cover. When I peruse pages of books on Amazon, I usually gravitate to the ones with intriguing images or titles.


How did you come up with the title? Names?

For Necromancer I came up with a long list of complicated or supposedly clever titles (like Pact of Flame) but there is a tendency these days towards snappier titles. I settled on Necromancer because that single word conveys enough to set expectations for the reader. They can look at the cover and blurb to find out more. Similarly with character names. I like short, easy to remember names that still convey the setting, like Maldren, Semplis, Fortak, Caradan. My bad guys tend to have more guttural sounding names, like Fortak or Farq. In Necromancer, the most mysterious character deserved an exotic name, so I called her Phyxia. Creating names for people, places or things is one of the most fun parts of world building.



Thanks for hosting me on your blog.

You are most welcome  it's my pleasure too
THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY:

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.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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