Finn Fancy Idea-omancy

Posted on 21st February 2015 by Randy Henderson
Randy Henderson's discusses what inspired him to write his novel Finn Fancy Necromancy. In an unusual move, he's in conversation with his main character...

"Wow, these pixels smell like chip shops and curry!" Finn said.  "It's making my mouth water."

"That's because we're visiting a website in the UK," I replied.

"Awesome! I still can't get used to the fact that the matrix is real.  Well, mostly."

"I told you, it's called the internet.  The Matrix means something different than it did in 1986.  A lot has changed during the twenty-five years you were in exile."

"Fine.  Why are we here?"

"To talk about what inspired me to write Finn Fancy Necromancy," I said.

"Dairy, wasn't it?  Why do you eat cheese so late at night?  You know it gives you crazy dreams."

"I think they want something more literaryish."

"Ah," Finn said.  "Well, this is the land of Shakespeare and that other amazing fellow, er, Douglas Adams. You have a ways to go if you're going to impress them." 

"Rub it in."

"Happy to help," Finn replied.  "So, what did inspire you to write Finn Fancy Necromancy?  Besides being a big fantasy geek who loves the 80's, of course."

"Besides that?  Well, I was pretty burned out on research and planning out huge complicated plotlines.  I just wanted to write."


"So, I sat down to simply write a fun scene set in my own world, no research or world building, just humor and magic and action.  What came out was a guy named Finn making jokes while a magical meteor is being dropped on his head."

"Yeah, about that: you couldn't have opened with a harem scene perhaps?"

"I wanted something exciting," I replied.

"Clearly, you've never been in a harem."

I sighed.  "I meant adventure exciting.  Anyway, I liked Finn's voice --"

"Thank you."

"--  so I kept going.  The process was something like: why is this meteor being dropped on his head?  Who is this Finn guy?  I want it set in modern day to minimize research, but the idea of him being from the 80s sounds fun, so he's, uh, been in exile for twenty five years outside our world.  In fact, let's start with him trapped in that Other Realm.  Why?  He committed a crime, sure.  No, he was framed for a crime!  And now he's coming back home.  But something's got to frak with that.  And set him off on an adventure.  Right away.  No pussyfooting around.  And that something is this awesome magical attack.  Pow!  Zing!  Snark! 80's pop-culture reference.  Pow again!"

"Yeah, thanks so much for all the Pow," Finn said.  "I really enjoyed being your magical punching bag."

"Point is, the words flowed.  I had an opening scene.  Then, I just had to figure out the story behind that scene, and a plot to follow it." 

"And that's where you had the oh-so-brilliant idea to bring my family into it?"

"Yeah.  I got the impression the Urban Fantasy genre was filled with a lot of loner tough guys and gals, who at most had a love interest.  I wanted to go a different direction."

"Fine, but, like, Moonlighting would have been another direction.  Those Buffy or Firefly shows you love so much would have been another -- no, wait, I do want love some day that doesn't die or leave me.  Still, I'm sure there's better Other Directions than sticking me with a dysfunctional family of crazy misfits, so what gives?"

"Well, I was watching a lot of Arrested Development at the time, and just thought a family dynamic might be fun.  In fact, my original title was 'The Family Wizness'.  But that sounded too much like they were urologists.  Or wizards, which you're not."

"About that, you do know that when people hear the word necromancer they assume I'm all about raising zombies for world domination or something.  And instead, all I got was the ability to talk to ghosts, and this lousy tee-shirt."

"Buck up, little camper.  Wizards are a dime a dozen."

"You're probably right.  I mean, who would buy a book about a wizard anyway?  Especially in the UK."

"Uh, yeah."  I cleared my throat.

"Seriously, after a million Merlin retellings, probably the last thing that would sell in the UK is a book about wizards."

"I really need to get you caught up on the past couple decades."  

"Oh, I got the big stuff.  Russia never invaded the US.  Cars still don't fly.  People thought the movie Wall Street was an instructional video not a cautionary tale.  I get it.  But back to you sticking me with a whole crazy family: was it just to torture me?"

"Just to torture you?  I wouldn't say just.  Again, it was really more for me to have fun."

"Right, fun torturing me."

"Maybe a bit.  But one of the features I love most in books and television shows are the bonds and interactions between an oddball cast of characters.  I wanted an ensemble cast, not a future Liam Neeson action vehicle (not that I don't love Liam Neeson, and, for that matter, a vehicle that spoke in his voice would be pretty fun to drive).  But the point is, I thought an entire family of magic users would not only be more fun to read, but more fun to write."

"That's because you don't have to live with them," Finn said.

"Fair enough."

"So in the end, it was just about writing the things you love and having fun?"

"Pretty much," I replied.

"Awww.  That means you love me."

"Don't push it."

"Come on, give us a kiss," Finn said.

"Back it up, unless you want me to sing 'Shaddap You Face' for the next hour --"

"Do it and I'll have the gnomes sing 'Fan-Dabi-Dozi' all night."

Uh ..." I held up my hands in surrender.  "What say we put on The Smiths, order a pizza, and fire up the old Commodore?"

"Deal,"  Finn said.  "Just don't get extra cheese.  I know you're writing book two and I don't need you dreaming about the Loch Ness Monster or giant spiders or --"

I quickly looked away.

"No," Finn said.  "No, not spiders --"

I held up a floppy disk.  "Bard's Tale?" I asked.

Finn sighed.  "Sure.  Bard's Tale."



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