Today Naomi Clark, author of several books, here to answer a few questions in honor of the release today of her new novella The Necromancer’s Apprentice.
Luckily for me, although all my series fall under the banner of urban fantasy, they’re very different. I love building new worlds and focusing on different aspects of mythology or folklore in each. For example, in my Shoregrave books, the focus is on undead creatures – vampires, ghosts, and wraiths. My Urban Wolf series on the other hand, is all about werewolves, and there’s no other “magical” aspect to the world, which helps keep it distinct in my mind from the Shoregrave books. The Necromancer’s Apprentice is a standalone novella, which means I didn’t have the luxury of builing a massive, sprawling world, and had to keep it quite tight and focused.
I like both, and I like being able to alternate between them. A novella can be a good break between writing longer novels, and I think there’s more room for experimentation and playing around in novellas. They do require a lot of discipline, I think, as with a smaller wordcount, you need to make the plot very tight and make sure there’s no extraneous “fat” to the story. In a novel you can spend more time building up the world, exploring characters, and weaving in different plot threads, and that’s very enjoyable.
As mentioned above, for me it’s a matter of craft. A novella, especially a very short one, has to do a lot of work in not much time, so you have to choose your words carefully and make sure every scene is vital. The same is true of some extent to novels, but with a much longer word count, you can afford a different pace and a larger cast of characters.
I looked into what I think of as “traditional necromancy” – the kind where rituals, chants, magic circles, and preparation was needed to summon the dead, not just abstract “magic.” I really like stories where magic is a tool rather than an end in itself, and characters have to use it correctly to get results. I also did some research into runes, although I already knew a fair bit about them as I learned to read rune stones a few years ago for fun.
I do, although I always feel I shouldn’t! Good reviews are lovely and bad reviews can be helpful, but they’re not really for my benefit, they’re for the readers and I feel like I’m reading someone else’s diary when I read them! I also like to send reviews onto my parents, so I keep track of them for that.
Sometimes, if I have loved or hated a book enough. I rarely review anything that doesn’t really move me one way or the other. If I read something I absolutely adore, I want to share it with people and talk about it with them. If I read something I just didn’t get, I want to see what other people made of it, and reviews can be a good way to start discussions like that.
If you’re looking for more info on me or any of my writing, check out http://naomijay.blogspot.com/ – everything’s there, and hopefully you’ll find something you like! Thank for having me 🙂
About Naomi Clark:
Naomi Clark lives in Cambridge and is a mild-mannered office worker by day, but a slightly crazed writer by night. She has a perfectly healthy obsession with giant sea creatures and a preference for vodka-based cocktails. When she’s not writing, Naomi is probably either reading or watching 80s cartoon shows, and sometimes she manages to do all three at once.
The Necromancer’s Apprentice
All Evanthe wants is to hone her necromancy skills and gain the affections of her reclusive mentor, Morrow. And just when she thinks he might reciprocate her feelings, a face from his past threatens the life Evanthe is working so hard for. Now she’s up against rogue necromancers, smarmy demonologists, and blood-thirsty zombies as she and Morrow fight to protect a secret that could kill them both. Evanthe’s a talented necromancer, but that might not be enough to guarantee her a happy ending.