Monday, July 8, 2013

Ward Against Darkness Blog Tour: Interview with Melanie Card

I am unbelievably excited to have Melanie Card here for an interview today as part of the blog tour for the second book in The Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer, Ward Against Darkness! I have been looking forward to this sequel from the moment I closed the first book, so it is an immense pleasure to get to interview Melanie, and the biggest thanks to her for taking the time to answer my questions! Also, be sure to check out the giveaway Entangled is hosting in conjunction with the cover reveal!

About the book:

The last thing Ward de’Ath wants is more trouble. On the run from both the law and the criminal underworld, Ward and Celia flee Brawenal City only to stumble into the mansion of a powerful evil necromancer. And when Ward discovers the man possesses a dangerous grimoire, his duty leaves him no choice. He can’t allow the necromancer to keep the grimoire. But the mansion is filled with monsters—human and undead—and Ward has no way of telling who’s friend or foe. The only person he can trust is Celia who dominates more of his thoughts and feelings everyday. But there are still laws in the way of anything but friendship. She’s still dead and he’s still alive . . .
So, necromancy. That's not one you see too often, though a topic I'm personally fascinated with (I'm not a crazy person, I swear!) What inspired you to write about a "reluctant necromancer"? 

Thanks for inviting me here today, Rachel. If you’re crazy for being fascinated with necromancy than I must be, too. Perhaps it’s the romantic in me who wants to explore characters and relationships that transcend death. The Reluctant Necromancer series was inspired a little bit by the idea that we usually see necromancers as villains. And I wanted to know what would a good necromancer be like? Are there good necromancers? How could necromancy not be evil? With questions like that, I came up with Ward, a young men who, as much as he doesn’t want to be in the family business of necromancy, really has no choice in the matter. 

Now that you're about to release the second book in this series and are no longer a "debut author", how does the experience compare? Is writing and releasing a second book easier than a first? 

I might be a little strange, but I never really thought of myself as a debut author or that being a debut author was any different than any other type of author. So I haven’t really noticed much of a difference. As for easier, I’d say writing and releasing a second book has been equally challenging to writing and releasing the first book. The catch is, all the challenges are different. 

What are some of your favorite books, or books that have influenced you as a writer? (Or both!) 

As a fantasy writer, I’d have to say Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy has had an enormous influence on me. Not just in the sense that I read it and was inspire (although that happened as well) but that it’s influenced so many fantasy writers and by reading in the genre you can’t avoid that influence. I think I was also strongly influence by mythology and fairy tales. It might explain why I started reading fantasy in the first place. 

But I’d say my strongest influence has been Mercedes Lackey. I first read her when I was twelve and was hooked. She’s an extremely prolific writer (also does a lot of co-authored works) so over the years there has been a lot to read. I can remember standing in the book store when I was thirteen looking at Mercedes’s books thinking, I want to do that. I want to write books like that. 

A lot of reviewers, myself included, have loved how Ward and Celia seem to balance off of one another so well. Did you write them as they came to you, or were their personalities and banter developed over time? (Either way, it's terribly fun!) 

 Ward and Celia showed up fully developed. I can plan how a scene will go, start writing it, and inevitably Ward will do something or Celia will say something and they’re off, taking the scene in a completely different direction. I have a love/hate relationship with this. I love that these characters are so alive and surprise me, but I do like to plot my books and they always force me to take half my plot and toss it out the window. 

What book(s) are you most looking forward to reading this year? 

There are so many (and I’m so behind in my reading). I’m looking forward to Michelle Sagara’s Cast in Peril. I need to check out Guy Gavriel Kay’s River of Stars, and M. L. N. Hanover’s Graveyard Child. 

And... Can you tell us one random, silly fact about yourself? :) 

Only the house plants I’ve named have ever survived for more than a few months.

About the author:

Melanie has always been drawn to storytelling and can’t remember a time when she wasn’t creating a story in her head. Her early stories were adventures with fairies and dragons and sword swinging princesses.

Today she continues to spin tales of magic in lands near and far, while her cat sits on the edge of her desk and supervises. When she’s not writing, you can find her pretending to be other people with her local community theatre groups.

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