Ward Against Death
Thank you Reagan for inviting me to be your guest. I'm so glad to be here. I'd love to introduce the city where my story WARD AGAINST DEATH takes place.
As a writer I’m often told “write what you know” and I always have to roll my eyes at it (just a little bit). I write about bringing people back from the dead because... We'll I know nothing about bringing people back from the dead. But, making zombies and other creatures aside, even as a fantasy writer, I still sort of write about “what I know.” Although, I suppose it's more like “what shiny thing has caught my interest.” The city where WARD AGAINST DEATH takes place is an example of “Oh shiny. I'm going to add that to my story!”
The book takes place in Brawenal City in the principality of Brawenal. I've very loosely based the area on the Mediterranean and came across these fantastic pictures of Southern Italian coastal cities. The cities curl along the slopes and pour down to the edge of sea. And out of these images Brawenal (at least the above ground of Brawenal) was born.
A fortification, the Prince's palace, sits at the highest peak (the leveled top of a once live volcano) with its defendable wall surrounding it. Every castle needs a fortifying wall doesn't it? As the city expanded (pouring down the side of the mountains slope to the sea) new walls were built, creating different areas some more wealthy than others that I’ve called the city rings.
For Brawenal's underground, I took inspiration from two different documentaries. One about the tunnels beneath Paris and one about ancient sewer systems. I loved the idea of a rich “underground” and incorporated the idea into the book. And, of course, because I'm allowed magic in my world, I developed the idea of a type of stone, activated by heat—in this case the heat of the dormant volcano—to provide light while my characters were running around in the sewers.
And my last example in Brawenal of including things that’s I've come across is the Holy City of Veknormai on the outskirts of the city. Veknormai is a cemetery of white sandstone and marble monuments. They vary in size from small marker flat against the ground to full size mausoleums. While visiting the Caymen Islands I noticed small cemeteries by the beach, with white sandstone and marble sarcophagus filling each the tiny plot, sparkling in the sun. My guess for the above ground burial is because they’re too close to the water to dig down and put in the sand (which tends to shift). Those rows of bright white tombs was unlike anything I'd seen before. I couldn't resist and had to incorporate it somehow.
So, in truth, I do sort of write what I know… some of the time. (And no, I really don't know anything about bring the dead back to life.)
Thanks for joining me today. WARD AGAINST DEATH takes place in a setting that combines different things that I’ve come across. What interesting things have you noticed, around home, on TV or the internet, or in your travels, that you think would be neat additions to a fantasy world?
Excerpt- Her eyes narrowed and her hand snaked under the pillow. “It’s not wise to enter a lady’s
bedchamber without her consent.”
Ward plastered on his calmest, gentlest expression. The newly wakened dead often
assumed they had just roused from sleep. “You’ve been unwell.”
Her icy blue eyes examined him, her gaze jumping from his face, to his wig, to his jacket,
and back to his face. “Unwell? Is that what my father told you?”
“In a manner of speaking.” She wasn’t acting the way she was supposed to.
Noblewomen, particularly those around his age, were usually demure or aloof—not suspicious.
“Well, I’m fine, and I’m sorry my father troubled you.” She threw back the covers, sat up,
and stepped onto the thick rug. “Now go, be a good doctor, and tell my family I’m healthy and
sleeping.” She punctuated her last word by pulling her nightdress over her head, revealing a
slim waist, athletic muscles, and pale skin marked with the purple bruises of livor mortis along
her back. And no other clothes.
“But—” He flushed and spun around to face the wall. “What are you doing?” No. Wait.
What was he doing? He’d seen a dead naked woman before. Just never like this.
She chuckled. “I’m going for a walk.”
“A what? No—You can’t.” She really wasn’t acting the way she was supposed to.
“I beg to differ.”
The situation was spiraling out of hand. Damn it, he had to take control. He was the
necromancer, she the newly awakened. She was supposed to listen to him.
He turned to confront her. Thankfully, she was fully dressed—in men’s clothes, but at
least she was dressed. “Listen, I—”
She slipped her hand under her pillow and removed a sheathed dagger.
Great Goddess! She kept a dagger under her pillow? Ward inched toward the
door to block her escape without appearing obvious, although he had no idea what he’d do if
she fought him. Why did he always get stuck with the difficult corpses?
I have an ebook copy of Ward Against Death to giveaway by Melanie Card, this giveaway is open internationally and all you need to do is..
Leave a comment below with your email address and why you want to read this book
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Winner will be announced on August 9th