Interview: Melanie Card

NRR: Can you share with us how you got started in writing?

Thank you Nocturne Romance Reads for inviting me here today. I got started in writing back when I was in public school. We used to have “journal writing time” but I wasn’t interested in writing about myself, not when I had all these stories racing around in my head so I turned it into “novel writing time.” I owe a lot to two teachers who didn’t scold me and in fact encouraged me to continue telling stories in my journal. When “journal writing time” was over for the day, but I wasn’t ready to end the story, I’d try to leave it on an exciting moment and write “to be continued.” Those teachers started asking questions and giving guesses about what would happen next, and my story just kept going and going.

Of course, it wasn’t until I was in university when I finally realized that writing really was the career I wanted (I took the scenic route to my career choice and tried a bunch of different things before settling on writing). A part of me wonders if I should have just known because of those early days that I was going to be a writer, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t explored other options.

NRR: What authors/books inspired your career?

There are so many authors and books who have inspired me. When I was in public school I was reading books like the Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, Birth of the Firebringer by Meredith Ann Pierce, Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce, and Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey. These books got me hooked on fantasy. As I grew older I found writers like David Eddings, and Raymond E. Feist, who turned me onto epic fantasy. And then I discovered books by Guy Gavriel Kay, and Patricia A. McKillip who inspired me with their use of language, that it could flow and have a rhythm. And in Ms. KcKillip’s case, that language itself could create a sense of ethereal magic.

NRR: How were you inspired to write Ward Against Death?

At the time I was inspired to write Ward Against Death two things happened. The first, I was pondering the question: in what situation could a necromancer be good instead of evil?—because sometimes I like to play around with expectations. I liked the idea of an unexpected hero, but I wasn’t sure what form he’d take. And the second thing was watching Tim Buton’s Sleepy Hallow late one night on TV. Johnny Depp's portrayal of Ichabod Crane was quirky and endearing and determined… and he got the girl! And out of that my hero, Ward, was born. 

NRR: What is your guilty pleasure?

TV. I’m sure I watch too much of it. But I’m picking up storytelling techniques and new ideas. Really.

NRR: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Just keep writing. Finish a book, make it the best book it can be (at that time – because we will always be growing as writers and we could be constantly rewriting the same book) and send it out. Then start the next book. 

NRR: Can you share with us the storyline to Ward Against Death? Of course no spoilers.

Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…

NRR: What is next in the works for you?

The second book in the Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer series. The adventures of Ward and Celia continue with more undead creatures and evil necromancers.

Thank you for joining us!

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