The Book Monsters are very excited to welcome Melanie Card. Melanie is the author of Ward Against Death.
Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.
But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.
However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…
Describe your book in five words or less.
Murder + Necromancer + Undead Assassin = love
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer, or did you just kind of fall into it?
It’s funny, I think I should have known I was going to be a writer but it took me a long time to realize it. Back in grade school I can remember being asked to draw a picture of what I wanted to be when I grew up and one year I picked writer (previous years it was babysitter – I had a really awesome babysitter in those years.) I was even writing novels in grade school during journal writing class and I spent most of my allotted time on the family’s Commodore 64 writing stories instead of playing video games. You’d think I would have figured it out from that, but I fell into a different direction in high school, found music and theatre and ended up studying psychology in university. It wasn’t until I was faced with that big question, “what am I going to do when I graduate,” that I sat down and realized I always came back to writing. I might set it aside for a month or a year. I might get distracted by boys and friends and other things. But I always came back to writing. I was a writer, and while I could look for a more financially stable career, I would always be a writer.
What was the research process for "Ward Against Death" like for you?
I think I went a little overboard with research for the book. I live in a university town with two major schools situated here and I made use of their libraries researching medieval and renaissance surgical practices. What fascinated me was how advanced medicine was in the Middle East during the end of the 10th century. A man named Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi wrote extensively about his medical practice and procedures and developed his own surgical instruments.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing "Ward Against Death"?
Not including all that fabulous research? It’s heartbreaking sometimes to gather all this fascinating information and know if you included it all you’d have a whole chapter of research—which isn’t what the book is about. I had to satisfy myself with taking one of Guy de Chauliac’s procedures and incorporating it into the storyline.
What book are you currently reading?
I’m about to finish Fallen by Lauren Kate and going to start Cast in Chaos by Michelle Sagara.
What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
I’ve been asked a whole variety of wonderful questions since I started doing interviews for Ward Against Death. I wouldn’t say that there’s any one question I’ve been wanting someone to ask, so I’ll give you a strange fact instead: when I was ten or eleven I went through a word of the week phase. One of the words was borborygmi. And I finally got to put it in a book!
Want to find out more about Melanie and Ward Against Death? Visit her at: