Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Necromancer's Candle by Randy McCharles

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The Necromancer Candle: And Two Additional Tales of Contemporary Fantasy

Genre: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Paperback, 212 pages Expected publication: September 15th 2014 by EDGE 0 ISBN:1770530665 (ISBN13: 9781770530669)
Publisher: Hades Publications (EDGE Publishing)

DESCRIPTION

A collection of three new novellas by Canadian Speculative Fiction author Randy McCharles.

The collection includes:

  • The Necromancer Candle
  • Full House
  • Merlin’s Silver

Story outlines: The Necromancer Candle Cassidy’s family has a secret. An ancient, ugly candle passed down through the generations until it is has been all but forgotten. But now someone is looking for it, or so Cassidy thinks. A victim of terminal brain cancer, Cassidy no longer trusts what she sees. But real or imagined, the upheaval of her life is moving quickly toward an end where Cassidy's greatest wish is to die on her own terms. But is that long enough to solve the mystery of the necromancer candle? Full House When Jonas loses his job on the same day a neighbor is murdered, he finds his days at home more challenging yet rewarding than he ever imagined. Against a backdrop of healing family relationships and expounding upon life with his poker buddies, Jonas finds himself pressured to solve the murder. But the more he learns, the more Jonas sees that this is no simple murder, but a mystery that has spanned centuries. Merlin’s Silver Joan gets more than she bargained for when she buys an expensive tea service at auction to shake up a lackluster marriage. It seems the tea service is sought by black magicians who will stop at nothing to get it, with only a peculiar little man named Odds Bodkins standing in their way. But who can Joan trust? The mysterious voice on the phone offering to buy the tea service? Her best friend Sally who offers to take it off her hands? Or Odds Bodkins, whose designs grow more unfathomable by the hour?  

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Randy McCharles is active in Calgary, Alberta's writing community with a focus on speculative fiction, usually of the wickedly humorous variety. He is the recipient of several Aurora Awards (Canada's most prestigious award for speculative fiction), for works including the novella Ringing in the Changes in Okotoks, Alberta which appeared in Tesseracts 12 (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing) and was also reprinted in Year's Best Fantasy 9 (David Hartwell and Kathryn Kramer, ed). Additional short stories and novellas are available in various publications from Edge Press, Anansi Press, and Reality Skimming Press, including the 2014 Aurora Award shortlisted titles: The Puzzle Box and Urban Green Man. Randy's first full length novel, Capone's Chicago, will be available in May 2014.

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
The Necromancer’s Candle is a collection of 3 novellas, each with its own inspiration. These were all stories that I wanted to write long before I started them. For the first story, for which the collection is named, I wanted to write a story with a Job-like protagonist where everything that could go wrong, does. To bring it to our current century, I gave a 16-year old girl terminal brain cancer, had her father run away, and her mother murdered. And that’s just how the story starts. Have no fear; like the story of Job, it has a happy ending. For the second story, Full House, I’d always wanted to write a story where the protagonist spends his evenings playing poker with his buddies, just to see what they would talk about. To give them things to talk about, I include lots of family issues and a murder down the street. For the third story, Merlin’s Silver, I wanted to write a story about an innocuous, everyday item that causes all Hell to break loose. I achieved this by following a bored housewife who buys a silver tea service at auction hoping that the frivolous purchase will get a rise out of her husband. What she gets is her house transformed into a hole in the ground and the story continues from there.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
I am a relatively fast writer, but because I am also a very busy person I binge write, Before this year I only wrote on 3 or 4 long weekends a year. Various drafts of The Necromancer’s Candle were written over 2001-2005. Full House was written over 2006-2008. Merlin’s Silver was written over 2009-2011. This may seem slow, but I was also writing dozens of short stories over the same period. I didn’t decide to do anything with the novellas until 2012, when I pitched the collection the Edge Publishing. 2 years later the book is in print.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
The ability to create something that is truly my own. Every story comes from the heart and soul of the writer, just as a painting comes from the essence of the artist. A story is a reflection of the writer.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?

Not enough time to write. J Life always seems to get in the way.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
I’m not interested in being someone else, but if I had to, it would be an actor performing action/adventure scenes for a movie. It doesn’t matter who the actor is. It would be like bringing a story to life.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
Well, you made me get out of my seat and go look. I discovered and emptied some cans of pop from 2012 (a flavor I don’t drink). The rest of the fridge looked fairly safe. No new life forms growing or anything like that.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
Longer fiction, most of which will continue to be contemporary fantasy. I retired from my day job in January and now spend considerably more time writing. In the past year I wrote my first full-length novel, which will be available from Tyche books in August, 2015 – Much Ado About Macbeth. When drama teacher Paul Samson decides to put on a High School production of Macbeth, he forgets that it isn’t just The Scottish Play, it is The Cursed Play. And Paul soon learns just how cursed. After grappling with his principal, the PTA, his family, and his students, he must contend with witches, ghosts, and skeletons from his past. The show is destined from the outset to end badly, but no matter how desperate or dangerous circumstances become, Paul cannot cancel the play. Theater has but one rule and one rule only: the show must go on.

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