Perhaps a Bit of Explanation is in Order

I get a lot of comments on the title of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. Mostly, people just say they like it, which is nice to hear. A few laugh or grimace and tell me that it gets the song Tiny Dancer stuck in their head and I've learned that said laugh or grimace is in accordance with how much that particular person likes Elton John. For those that love him and enjoy the song forever banging away in their craniums, you're welcome. For those who could do without it, my apologies.

Then there's a small portion who apologize for not knowing what, exactly, a necromancer is, and then they tend to look me over to see if I'll admit to making the term up just to make myself look smart. (Just FYI--I never look smart. I can barely dress myself.) People are suspicious of new things and the term, the book, and even myself as an author are new things three times over and so I'm triply suspicious. I do my best to assure them that I am not part of a clever ruse, but in general this does not work. First, I look a little sheisty in general. Second, I kind of am part of a ruse. Writers, on the whole, are charlatans. Oh, we're honest about it and you ask us for it, but that tends to not matter. You can trust the magician to show you a trick, but that doesn't mean you'll trust him with your pocket book, now does it? You trust a writer with your mind when you take up a book--you beg them for a story. But once you're finished reading it, that trust is put away, tucked back into the pages from whence it came. If the writer is especially good, you might wonder how they pulled the trick off. It's hard to see the wires and the mirrors, what with all that misdirection. So writers make people a little uneasy, and except for the rare moments when hands are on pages and minds are filled with words, they are looked upon a little skeptically. You wouldn't let them near your pocket book...or your daughter. Nor should you. We're tricksters at heart and that generally means we're up to no good. 

But I digress. So while I am, in general, making things up, I don't usually make up words. No, wait. That's a lie. Like Mr. T, I make up words all the time. I'm very proud of the words I make up though, so I'll probably tell you about them. At length. Also, they won't be in the dictionary. Necromancy is totally in the dictionary. Look it up, and by "look it up" I mean in an actual, physical, dictionary. Don't just Google it, you lazy monkeys. What am I saying? None of you are going to do that. I only do it out of habit. It's a tiny remnant of my college days. Since I'm an antiquated dinosaur, I'll just look it up for you:

According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (11th Edition) necromancy is "the supposed practice of communicating with the dead, especially in order to predict the future. Witchcraft, sorcery, or black magic in general". 

It's not dirty, as some of you have thought upon first seeing the word. I suspect that connection is due to the word "necrophilia" which is a person that, um, really, really likes dead people. People see the prefix "necro" and think, "Oh, that's the folk that like to snog the dead." When really, necro simply means relating to a corpse or death. (For you word nerds out there, it comes from the Greek word nekros which means corpse.) So when you attach necros to philia, which is a word that "denotes fondness, especially an abnormal love for or inclination towards a specified thing", you get someone who searches the obituaries instead of the personal ads. So necro (or corpse) + mancy (which means divination by specific means) = someone who can talk to the dead and has a reasonable expectation towards hearing an answer. It's that simple.

I know it seems obscure, and I guess to people that don't own stacks of mythology books and cryptozoological who-haw like myself, it probably is. And you shouldn't feel bad about not knowing what it meant. That particular ignorance just means you probably go outside sometimes and do thing like climb mountains and talk to members of the opposite sex. I sit in my dank cave and read books about faeries and the mythological origins of vampires. And I have no regrets because mountains are very tall and dating is very scary.

Anyway, necromancers are less obscure than you think. It's just that they've been so absorbed into our culture that we don't always notice them. Odysseus performs necromancy. As does the Witch of Endor (as in the bible, not as the planet covered in Ewoks). That girl from Ghost Whisper is one. And so on and so forth. The more you think on it, the more you'll find.

This being said, I recognize that my character, Sam, does a hell of a lot more than just talk to the dead. That's because over the years the word, like most words, has become corrupted. It's become a word that envelopes people who have control over the dead, period. The zombie makers. The ghost raisers. That chick from Ghost Whisperer. Some people get it right, but I'm a little more loosey-goosey with my mythology. Because I'm a writer and I make things up. Which is good. It keeps me away from your pocket book and your daughter.