Getting Ready for CampNaNo

So Camp NaNoWriMo is next month. I wasn’t thinking about doing it, but then I got invited into a cabin by some people in my writing group and the next thing I know, I’m making a (mock) cover for the profile. Because I like making book covers and the like.

And here it is!

The Necromancer's Daughter mockup

I haven’t got a proper blurb yet, but it’s about a girl who, after seeing both the ghost of her neighbour and the Greek god Hermes, is sent halfway around the world to live with her biological father – who, by the way, turns out is a) not dead b) a necromancer – to begin her training as an “agent of the underworld”. Along the way there is ghost romance and getting the kids in her new class possessed by spirits of the dead. Oops.

Think Meg Cabot’s The Mediator meets Greek and Maori mythology (amongst others).

I hadn’t been on the site in years, so my profile was a bit of a shock. (I saw one project and was like, “… I have no idea what that is.” There was no blurb, no text, no nothing. Just the title: The Most Bitter and Sweet of Fruits. I am so very confused.) So now I am working on making a proper profile for The Necromancer’s Daughter.

Cover: Done.

Playlist: In the works.

Blurb: Who knows when that will happen.

Excerpt: Here it is! (Completely unedited or anything. D:)

I didn’t know the man was dead at the time. But then again, neither did he.

Dr Apollonius – the greatest necromancer you’ve never heard of – calls it ‘the Haze’. It’s the veil that falls between the eye and the mind, the mist that keeps you from seeing what is right in front of you. For the living, it’s rational explanations for strange lights in the night and blurred figures moving in the corner of your vision. Those icy fingers trailing down the back of your neck? Why, they’re nothing more than your imagination and a cold spot in the room.

And for the newly dead, such as Mr Laughlin? The Haze is a complete refusal to acknowledge any evidence of your own demise.

It was an unusually bright and warm day at the end of August, the day Mr Laughlin died, so the sight of him sitting in his favourite chair beneath the rata tree was no surprise. Even less surprising was Mrs Laughlin’s prize-winning burman cat – the Grand Duchess Cecilie Auguste Marie – pointedly ignoring his attempts to pet her in favour of the fantail that was mocking her from a safe height.

Mr Laughlin turned at the sound of my sturdy black shoes on the footpath. “Oh, hi, Melanie. How was school today?”

Looking back, it is hard to think that I missed that he was dead. But the Haze was still upon me, too: he looked solid and normal, save for a soft shine to his skin – and that was simply brushed aside as the sun on his winter-pale skin. Like the majority of people living in our little street, the Laughlins were both Pakeha, and Mr Laughlin one of the palest of the lot.

“Fine.” I gestured with my hockey stick at the cars that filled both the cul-de-sac and the Laughlin’s driveway. “Are you having a party?” Now that they were both retired and their children out of the house, Mrs Laughlin liked to invite friends around for high tea. Mum was a frequent a guest, as long as her nursing hours allowed it.

Mr Laughlin, on the other hand, liked to escape outside.

He merely shrugged and went back to trying to get Duchess Cecilie’s attention. The cat looked over long enough to toss him a disdainful glance, then returned her attention back to that fantail. It chittered and danced away, tail twisting this way and that.

We stood there in awkward silence, the only sounds the light wind blowing through the rata tree, the plaintive mews of Duchess Cecile, and, of course, the song of that lone fantail. It ended not in words but the arrival of a car. The beat up old Toyota pulled straight onto the perfectly manicured lawn.

I fully expected Mr Laughlin to go marching over and give the driver a piece of his mind. Or comfort his daughter, who emerged white-faced and trembling with eyes red and puffy, as she ran inside without even a glance in his direction.

His reaction was completely non-existent.

The little hairs on the back of my neck were standing on end. “Is everything all right?” Mr Laughlin would never ignore his daughter if she came to visit, and would most certainly drop everything if she looked upset.

Mr Laughlin turned. A little frown formed a crease in between his eyebrows. “Oh, hi, Melanie. How was school today?” It was the exact words he had greeted me with minutes before, right down to the inflection of the ‘Mel’.

Despite the warmth of my uniform’s woollen jersey and the blazer on top, I shivered violently. And then the Haze came back down over my eyes and I went inside my house, thinking perhaps it was not as warm as the bright sunshine might suggest.

If you’re doing Camp NaNo, let me know so we can cheer each other on. 🙂


Catherine is a writer, reader, and general internet person from New Zealand. As well as designing book covers, she is one of the editors for Bibliodaze and one half of the vampire-themed podcast The Bloodsucking Feminists.

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Kiwi. Writer. Reader. Graphic designer. Video games enthusiast. Bloodsucking Feminist and co-editor of Bibliodaze . Knows way too much about vampires than is healthy. Doesn't care.

Works in Progress

The Cantia Covenant
The Necromancer's Daughter

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