10 April 2014

Introducing Icy Sedgwick and The Necromancer's Apprentice


Quite excited to see that The Necromancer's Apprentice is finally out. I've admired Icy's almost whimsical British writing style, reminiscent of C.S. Lewis and Charles Dickens, and her new release delivers as expected. 
See my review for The Necromancer's Apprentice here.
 Here's an interview with the lady herself:


Your train is pulling into the station and you have less than 20 seconds to tell someone you've just met what your novella's all about. Go!
It’s a retelling of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice tale, replacing the sorcerer with a necromancer and the brooms with mummies, and with the addition of a fight sequence involving a double-headed axe and a scythe!
Eufame is a deliciously scary character. Tell me more about her.
Eufame’s a strange character because she’s cast as the villain but I’m not entirely sure that she is. I think she came out of my frustration with the way gender is handled in a lot of fiction at the moment; female characters are either shoehorned in to try and woo a demographic, they’re just there to make the numbers up, or they’re nothing but mothers or love interests. My favourite female character of all time is Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, and she’s this exceptional force of nature, and I wanted Eufame to be a bit like that. She’s the necromancer general, so she holds a really powerful position in the society of the Cities, but she doesn’t like to admit that sometimes she needs an assistant because she can’t be in two places at once.
Why do you think things go so horribly wrong for Jyx?
Part of it isn’t of his own making, but mostly it’s because he doesn’t recognise his limits. He doesn’t come from a magickal family, and he hasn’t been exposed to magickal practitioners before he goes to the Academy, so he doesn’t see the downsides or the risks to using magick. He just sees what he can do, or what he thinks he can do, so he doesn’t stop to think about whether actually doing it is a good idea. He’s not a bad person at all, and he’s not a stupid or deliberately malicious boy, he’s just impatient, and he’s incapable of recognising that just because he can’t do something yet doesn’t mean he won’t be able to ever do it.
Can you tell us more about the mummies?
Death and burial take place in the ‘normal’ way for the ordinary people of the Cities, but people of note, particularly royalty, are interred differently, and the relationship between their bodies and their souls is maintained in case anyone ever needs to consult with them. At the start of the book, the Crown Prince decides he wants to resurrect them all temporarily to form a procession at his coronation. The biggest problem is that if you resurrect them wrong, and don’t provide sustenance for their souls from the Aether, then their bodies are going to seek sustenance elsewhere…
Why do the Wolfkin take such a subservient role? Can you tell us a little more about 
these enigmatic creatures?
The Wolfkin are descended from the dog-headed god of the dead, who is based very heavily on Anubis from Egyptian mythology, and centuries ago they used to live alongside men. Of course, men don’t really like or appreciate anything that’s different, particularly if the thing that is different is more powerful, so gradually men used their superior numbers and ability to legislate to force Wolfkin into more subservient roles as guards. That said, the Wolfkin that work for Eufame don’t strictly work for her, they rather work with her. They have a unique relationship with their souls so it’s only natural that they’d work at the House of the Long Dead. The ones that work for men do so for the time being, but they don’t see that arrangement as being permanent.
What are some of your favourite parts of this story?


 I’m particularly fond of the fight sequence near the end of the book, that was a lot of fun to write. So was the destruction of the lab, which is what prompts Jyx to try resurrecting the mummies to help him to tidy up. I think most of my favourite parts involve Eufame – Jyx might be the main character but Eufame’s an interesting character to spend time with, and she gets some good lines!
Bio
Icy Sedgwick was born in the North East of England, and lives and works in Newcastle. She has been writing with a view to doing so professionally for over ten years, and has had several stories included in anthologies, including ShortStack and Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar & Other Stories.
She spends her non-writing time working on a PhD in Film Studies, considering the use of set design in contemporary horror. Icy had her first book, a pulp Western named The Guns of Retribution, published in 2011, and her horror fantasy, The Necromancer’s Apprentice, was released in March 2014.
Links

2 comments:

David G. Shrock said...

I love Eufame as a villain. She's intelligent and not necessarily a bad person. The Wolfkin are cool, and a joy to read about.

Nice interview.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Thanks!