HOLD ME CLOSER NECROMANCER Review and Author Interview

Hold Me Closer Necromancer
Book One
by Lish McBride
Available Now!

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

Necromancer A Novella
A Short Story by Lish Bride
Includes an excerpt of HMCN
Now available for Free Kindle or PC download!
(Read it!)

Matt’s childhood friend, Ashley, has been stopping by a lot lately. That might seem pretty normal, but Ashley died years ago and now she’s Death.

And tonight she wants waffles and fries.


"This is a SCARy funny book OR a FUNNY scary book, in either case, it is a GREAT book. I LOVE IT." --Sherman Alexie

Hold Me Closer Necromancer- We all know a Sam don't we? Guy living on his own but not up to his potential. Miserable at a dead-end job- in this case a fastfood joint- but who is crazy good people. An awesome friend and son/brother, counter culture, heavy metal or omniverous music lover, skateboard, a lot of running gags and inside jokes type of guy. That's Sam.

But unbeknownst to Sam, he is also a necromancer, and that my friends is some pretty heavy you know what. Having the power over the dead- ala King of the Zombies or Mayor of Deadtown, and having to be constantly bothered by ghosts who have no one but you to talk to, can make for somepretty wack-a-doodle brain scramble. Sam has no idea that he's this supernatural wunderkind until a fellow necromance spots him by total fluke. There must be destiny involved, the fates at play for this meeting to take place because a series of totally random events HAD to occure in order for one of the worst bad guys to meet one of the most underachieving guys.

Soon Sam's entire world is upside down and everything in his life is changed forever. Relationships and truths are not what he believed them to be, and inside him is this dormant and trapped giant of a "superpower". Events literally drag him into deadly and truly scary situations, butwe as readersare introduced to one amazingly constructed and intruiging world of paranormal creatures, mansters, adn all that goes bump in the night.

Told with a healthy does of humor and well actualized cast of characters Sam and his crew comprise one awesome and truely worthy read. I can't wait for the next book in the series- which is rumored to be titled "Romancing the Necromancer", but that can change. So if you love Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, you will enjoy and maybe even love this one, I know I do.

IBT Interviews Lish McBride (Spoilers ahead read with extreme caution!)

IBT: I know you most likely cannot answer this question, but, it is my duty to ask as a new devotee of your Necromancer series: Did Sam really absorb Douglas's powers à la Highlander, or did his own latent and trapped power (the one bound by his uncle) get unleashed instead? Is all that extra wattage coming from himself? Meaning that Douglas is not actually dead but is huddling somewhere Voldemort style getting stronger by sucking
the lifeforce from snakes?

LMcB: Yeah, I totally can’t answer these questions. Okay, that’s not entirely truthful. I am able to answer your questions, but I won’t as it would give things away. You’re just going to have to be patient. It sucks, I know.

IBT: (I know you already answered this question in your last blog post, but I wrote these questions before it posted so sorry to make you answer it again!) Will we get more illumination regarding the presence of the Crow whenever Sam is having a milestone- e.g. there for his birth, and then there for his "necro-corination"?

LMcB: You will definitely see more of the crow. He shows up a bit in book two, though not in any sort of necro-corination kind of thing. Mostly, my inclusion of the crow had to do with the fact that, throughout mythology, they have been linked as harbingers of death. No doubt this is stemming from the fact that they eat some carrion, and so likely showed up at battle fields and anywhere they could snatch an easy meal. Since they have that strong association, I wanted that link for Sam. I don’t know if the crow will meet the expectations people seemed to build after book one, but they will certainly be around.

IBT: Is there really enough Lysol, Clorox Bleach, Fabreeze, and good 'ol elbow grease to de-spookify Douglas's old property? It must be like a very clean version of the House of 1,000 Corpses in there. I can only see bad things for a new necromancer to go live in a place that must be chalk full of bad juju.

LMcB: The next book certainly has a lot to do with Sam dealing with Douglas’s house. First, he has to come to grips with living in the place where he was held hostage. Talk about immersion therapy, right? But also there are all kinds of…things…that Douglas left behind that Sam has to deal with. I don’t think the house was exactly what he expected, and so I don’t know if the issues he faces will be what the readers expect either.

IBT: Ashley, Brid, and Brooke are seriously awesome ladies. A Harbinger, a
tanaiste (or Alpha Pack Leader Lady if you must), and as Sam described her a "devil in pigtails", respectively, where did these chicks come from? Usually there aren't that many great secondary female characters in books, they tend to fall into cookie cutter roles. But these are fully rounded and dynamic supporting characters who I can see easliy as a hero in any other novel.

LMcB: Characters come from all kinds of places. Orginally, Brooke was more of a throw away character—in the first draft she died in a zombie attack and that was the end of it. But as I revamped the plot, she grew into the lovely girl she is today. Ashely actually comes from a short story I did for class (I went to graduate school and majored in fiction). She was one of those characters that sort just came out fully formed. I had an image of this little girl in a catholic school girl outfit and saddle shoes that worked for death and for some reason I found that really amusing. (The short story is called Death & Waffles and you can find a link to it on my website should anyone want to read it.)

Brid sort of developed as a foil for Sam. Sam is a lot like most of the guys I know—sweet, funny, intelligent, and fairly geeky. Not uber masculine for sure. And most of them, over time, have found very Brid-like girls. Also, I think there are some aspects of my own personality in Brooke and Brid—I grew up in a house full of boys—I have three brothers—and I think that adds something to your personality. I’m not sure if any of that answered the question. Anyway, I always think that if you respect your characters and listen to them, they sort of build themselves. At least mine do. You’d be surprised what your characters will tell you if you just take the time to listen.

IBT: Ramon is too adorable for words, the loyalist of friends and resident
funny guy, what can we expect from him and his "special circumstances" in the

LMcB: Most certainly. Ramon is Sam’s best friend and no matter what, those two will just keep on truckin’. I couldn’t separate them if I tried…nor would I want to. You will definitely see Ramon in book two. There’s a little of him dealin with his new lifestyle and a lot of Sam dealing with the fallout of what happened in book one. All of their lives and their world changed in book one and that takes some adjustment.

IBT: What are your key ingredients to a good story?

LMcB: To me, character is number one. You can hang a lot on a good character. Besides, once you have one, they tend to tell you what to do when it comes to plot. And yes, plot is important, but tension and complication, which are also necessary, come out of how your characters handle the plot being thrown at them…and it’s not always what the writer has in mind. I had some set ideas for book one, but when I got there, my characters would shake their heads and go, “No, that’s not the way we want to do it.” And you have to listen to that kind of thing.

When I read a story, I pay attention to these questions:
Do I like the character? Is the plot interesting? Does the dialogue sound natural? What do I get out of it emotionally? What do I learn? Am I engrossed, or can I set it aside and not think about it? Does it make me think?

As for the last one, I’m not saying each book should make you think DEEP HEAVY THINGS. But it should hang around in your mind, even if it’s just you wondering what the next book will involve. What will happen? I don’t care if it’s literary fiction, fantasy, scifi, mystery, comic books, if it doesn’t hit all or at least some of these points, then I probably won’t pick it up again.

And of course let’s not forget the obvious thing—how’s the writing? I’ve been reading a lot of Terry Prachett lately, and what I love about his stuff is that it’s funny, he has great characters, and he has an almost magical way of stating a profound idea in very simple (and often very funny) terms. He makes it look effortless. Good writing should look like it took no work at all…even though we all know that a writer spends days/hours/weeks/months just trying to get it to sound okay on the paper.

IBT: Which of the characters voices came easiest to you?

LMcB: I like writing Sam even though he’s not the easiest because, well, he’s nicer than I am. He’s just a sweet guy. I’d say the two that come the most natural are Ashley and Douglas. Which is kind of disturbing, really. I mean, Ashely is easier because her level of snark is fairly close to mine. And she’s a very outspoken character, so I just have to sit back and let her go. Douglas is easy because he’s more like channeling. He is very clear in what he wants and how he wants to achieve it, so again, I just have to sit back and listen. Douglas’s stuff tends to need the least amount of editing. But no one really likes to know that they write psychopaths easily. It’s a little creepy.

IBT: What is your favorite type of hero?

LMcB: When I read, I love them to be, well, human. No one wants to read a perfect character. For example—I’ve never really liked Superman (so many of my friends are going to twitch when they read that statement.) because, well, he’s too perfect, you know? He’s smart and good all the time and damn near squeaky-clean. If it wasn’t for kryptonite, he’d be insufferable. I don’t want to be around the goody-two-shoes all the time. But I do like characters who try to do good, even if it doesn’t work out or they screw up along the way. Like I said, I like characters that are human. I’ll give you some examples. I love Harry Dresden from the Dresden Files books—he’s smart, he’s powerful, but he screws up. A lot. But you feel for him because he’s trying so damn hard to be the good guy. I like Percy Jackson. He’s not the smartest guy, and he knows that. But he’s loyal and has a good heart and he always tries to do what he can, even if he fails most of the time. But he gets up and keeps trying, because he really can’t stomach any other way of doing it. I just read White Cat by Holly Black and I loved Cassel, her protagonist, because he’s kind of a mess. He’s a good guy, only he doesn’t think he is. And he’s had a lot stacked against him—it’s difficult to be a good, functioning, person, when you have no example of that to build on.

Let’s bring in some ladies—there’s been a lot of good female characters lately. I love the main character, Flavia, in Sweetness in the Bottom of the Pie. She’s smart, devious, precocious, and always getting a little a head of herself. And she’s spends most of her time thinking about poisons. What’s not to love? I love Kelley Armstrong’s characters—all of them. I’m not even going to pick. She has a good variety of female characters though and does a nice job of making them flawed and real. I also love Thursday Next from the Jasper Fforde books. She’s well rounded and smart and she owns a genetically engineered dodo bird named Pickwick. Again, what’s not to love?

IBT: As an author how do you respond to those who think that censorship is a necessary evil?

LMcB: Well, I don’t think it’s necessary. I really don’t. I think that, as a person, you should learn what’s good for you to put in your brain and what isn’t—on your own terms. If you don’t know how to do that yet, have someone help you like a parent or a librarian. I was allowed to read whatever I wanted as a kid. If I didn’t understand something, my parents would explain it. If it was a curse word or a racial slur (like in the recent Mark Twain fiasco) then we had a discussion on why those words aren’t okay to say anymore, but used to be used more freely. That’s how you learn. Again, using the Mark Twain example—removing the word doesn’t change history. Instead it takes away from a work and removes a potential learning experience. When you don’t learn from history, you repeat it.

There are many different kinds of books in this world, and there are many different kind of readers. To me, a lot of my stuff wasn’t too scary, but for some it was too much. For others, not a big deal. You can’t anticipate who’s going to be okay with it. You just have to let the story unfold as it does and trust that the reader will put it down if they don’t like it.

IBT: When writing YA, do you find that you censor yourself knowing that what you write in intended primarily for a younger audience?

LMcB: Not really. Sometimes things get trimmed because editors think it won’t interest the audience as much. Like we trimmed some of the stuff with Sam’s mom because it was slowing down the plot and for a lot of teens it would be kind of boring to hear about the stuff new parents go through. But I didn’t cut it. As for language, violence, and sexual stuff, no, I don’t. In fact, I didn’t have any audience planned for book one. I just wrote it. Then someone told me it was YA. My first, and really only, question was, “Do I have to cut anything?” and they said no, that I was actually kind of tame, and it was no biggie. The only time I’ve had to cut a bad word is when it isn’t working for the plot or the moment—my editors are great in that they treat that stuff the same as everything else in the book. If it’s working, they leave it. If it’s not, we rework it or cut it, but it’s never a decision based on censorship.

IBT: A little birdie at ALA Midwinter told me that the next book in the
Necromancer series is called Romancing the Necromancer, is this true? How
many books are planned in the series?

LMcB: Your birdie is wrong, sorry. I think they misheard, which makes sense because I talk fast and I mumble. A lot. Right now, the working title for book two is Necromancing the Stone. That being said, titles change and I never commit to anything until they are actually printing the book.

As for the plan, well, that’s kind of up to the readers. I’ve only been contracted for these two books. If they sell well enough, publishers will let me keep going. I don’t really have it set up like a traditional series. Basically, if you guys keep reading them, then I will keep writing them until I’m out of ideas.

IBT: And finally, if you could have dinner with any three people (living,
imaginary or dead), who would they be and why?

LMcB: Shakespeare—I know, everyone says that. But I think he’d be really interesting and I’d like to find out if he really wrote all his plays or if some of them were by Fracis Bacon or what.

Charles Dickens—but just so I could punch him in the face. I really don’t like Dickens. But I feel that one solid pop in the mouth and we’d be okay. (Kids-violence is never the answer, unless the question is “Charles Dickens.”) And then I’d only let him order things off the kid’s menu. He’s earned that, I think.

And for my third choice—a velociraptor. Is that still a dinosaur? They keep changing them on me. Anyway, I want one so I can train it and ride it every where. If they don’t have velociraptors, I’ll settle for a T-rex.

Winners of this contest will receive:

•A copy of Hold Me Closer Necromancer by Lish McBride.
Contest ENDS 02/28/11 at 12:59 pm                                                        
To Enter :

•Post a comment on this post with contact information.

•For One Extra Entry: Add contest to your blog, twitter, or other site.

•For One Extra Entry: you an add yourself as a Follower of this blog! (Followers automatically get the extra entry.)

 This contest is now closed.


buddyt said...

I like the idea of the humour in the book and if it is really anything like the Harry Dresden series it would be a good read, so please enter me in the giveaway.


Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

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Zombie Girrrl said...

Great interview! And thanks for the spoiler warning, I was on my gaurd against them because I don't want anything given away.
This sounds like a very promising book, I'm really excited to get to know the characters, especially since she said they're personalities were so forceful! Also, the title is one of the best I've seen! Whenever I talk about with my sister (which happens quite often, actually), I always sing it like Elton John.

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Riv Re said...

Ooh! I've really been wanting to read this one! Love your description of him!
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Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

Lara said...

This book looks great!
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Jessica Secret said...

Ooooooooooh. Thanks for the great review and interview, I'd love to win this! I'm a follower.

shutupjessicasreading @ gmaildotcom

debbie said...

That was an interesting interview, I don't think I have ever seen anyone have that reaction to charles dickens.
I would love to read the book.

Sharli said...

Sounds like a cool book! It's a dark topic so it's great that it as humor in it. I love that mix :)

Thank you for the great review and interview!
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jecca said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

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jessica b

Orchid said...

I've heard great things about Hold Me Closer Necromancer and cannot wait to read it.
I don't really care for superman either (I find him to be kind of boring). ^_^

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Llehn said...

I'd love to play please.

Already a follower.


Brodie said...

Fantastic interview! I absolutely LOVED this book. I borrowed a copy from the library and soo want my own so I can reread. It was one of my favourite novels of 2010. Thank you for the awesome giveaway!

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Laina said...

+1 http://bookcontestlinks.blogspot.com/2011/02/february-5th-2011.html
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Denis said...

This book lookes awesome! Thanks for the giveaway.

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Kulsuma said...

Thank you for the giveaway! I would love to read this!

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Natasha Areena said...

Looks like a fun read. Definitely entering!
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abeautifulmadness said...

Sounds interesting!