The time it was about Pyromantic

Posted March 16, 2017 by Stacee in Giveaways, Interviews | 4 Comments

I’ve been a fan of Lish McBride for a while.  She writes some of the best snark and banter there is and I’m always eager to see what she comes up with next.  Firebug was definitely a favorite and when Pyromantic came out, I couldn’t read it fast enough.  Thankfully, when I started bugging Lish about an interview, she accepted.

Before we get to her answers, let’s check out the book!

Title: Pyromantic {Firebug #2}
Author: Lish McBride
Pages: 336
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Pub Date: March 21, 2017
Find it: Macmillan | Indiebound | B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Ava is having a rough time. Getting rid of Venus didn’t set her free she’s still Coterie. Her new boss seems like an improvement, but who knows if he’ll stay that way? The Coterie life changes people. And since Ava’s currently avoiding her friends after (disastrously) turning down a date with Lock, well, everything kind of sucks. And that’s not even taking into account the feelings she might have for him.

But when a mysterious illness starts to affect magical beings, it’s up to Ava and her team to stop its spread . . . or else one of them might be next.

Sounds good, right?

1. Please give the elevator pitch for Pyromantic.

I am 100% garbage at these. Seriously. But I’ll give it a shot.

Ava’s had a rough life–as a firebug, she can start fires with her magic. Which would be cool, except she’s forced to use it to enforce the will of the Coterie, a magical mafia. But at least she has her friends, right? Only she’s kind of screwed that up, too, and there’s been a regime change at work and everything is pretty terrible. And now something is making dangerous creatures go berserk and it’s up to Ava and her team to stop it, before it takes one of their own.

(This is way too long for an elevator pitch. I told you I’m not good at them.)

2. Where did the idea come from? 

Book ideas are usually an accumulation more of an “ah ha!” for me. Some of the book is just fallout from Firebug. Ava’s trying to repair the rift she’s made with her old friends, while also trying to learn how to handle new friends (she’s not so good at the friend thing.). As for the plot, I can’t say too much because I don’t want to give it away, but I’ll say a lot of the inspiration was due to articles I was reading about bats in Maine and White-Nose Syndrome. And then there’s the kelpies. I was writing in a short scene with them at the request of my friend Claire, from Scotland. When I got on Twitter to let her know about the kelpies, another author, ML Brennan, made some kelpie requests of her own and well…now they are delightfully strange and take up a rather large portion of the book.

3. Why do you love Ava and why should we root for her?

Ava is awkward and often blunt and impatient…which is definitely shades of me. But she’s also funny and loyal and well-meaning. She makes good friend choices, which is definitely a good skill set.

4. There is a pretty large cast of awesome characters. Excluding Ava, who is the easiest and hardest to work with and why?

Hm. None of them are hard to write, if that’s what you mean. Easiest would likely be Ezra because his motivation is always really clear. Ezra, for the most part, just does what he wants, when he wants. It’s kind of fun. I know you said Ava doesn’t count  but, she was probably the hardest simply because she is the driving character of the book and therefore simply takes more work to peg just right. I also really love writing Olive, because there’s something fun about a dangerous, knife-wielding child.

5. What was the weirdest thing you googled while researching?

Oh, man. I was just talking to several other authors about this–we all decided that we have to be on some sort of government watch list after the things we’ve Googled. For this book, I think it’s a toss up between the exact process of cremating a body (temperature, what happens to the bones, etc) and parasites that change the behavior of the host. (That is a rabbit hole that I don’t recommend you go down, ever.)

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes. 

Surreal. I spend the next hour calling my husband, mom and my brothers to tell them. No one fully believes it, though they are excited. That’s pretty much it. It’s still really surreal, to be honest. I was honestly more excited about getting the actual contract 3-4 months later, because I don’t trust anything good until it’s in writing.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

The TARDIS, sun block (I burn like nobody’s business) and something that makes fire.<

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

Just so you know, this question makes me really anxious. I am now hyperventilating into a paper bag. Who can answer this question? Because I can’t. TOO MANY BOOKS.

4. What book character would you want to date and who would you want to be your BFF?

The problem is, I read a lot of fantasy, and in fantasy, best friends often get murdered or die horribly. I’m actually rather surprised that I don’t have a ready answer for this question. I am now staring blankly at my bookshelves and whispering to them that they are all my friends.

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

I got a lot of really good advice pre-pub. Like how getting a book deal wouldn’t solve all of my problems–it only exacerbates them, really. That there would be a lot of stress. A lot. The money is slow and sporadic. That book two is always the worst to write. So I was fairly prepared, even though you really don’t get it until you go through it. I wish someone had told me to get an accountant right away, though, so let’s go with that.

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Huge thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question}

I get in my car, drive to another city, and start over. I then check out a lot of self-help books from the library, because I have to learn to really love myself before I can attract someone who treats me right and deserves me. I have to learn to become Team Bella because I can join anyone else’s team. I pick somewhere fairly sunny, because vampires are nothing but trouble. Then I take some business classes and decide to open up my own bookshop and maybe get a cat. HAPPY ENDINGS ALL AROUND, PEOPLE.


Lish McBride is the author of funny and creepy Young Adult books such as Hold Me Closer, Necromancer; Necromancing the Stone; Firebug; and Pyromantic. She has published short stories in the Normal School,, and the anthologies Cornered, What to Read in the Rain, Freaks & Other Family, and Kisses & Curses. She got her BFA in creative writing from Seattle University and her MFA from University of New Orleans. Lish is also currently a bookseller and event host at Third Place Books, a giant thriving indie bookstore just outside of Seattle. Her first book, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults title, Morris Award finalist, and won the Scandiuzzi Children’s Book Award. While she has no long term goals for world domination, she would like her own castle.


Huge thanks to Lish for taking the time!! Make sure you’re checking out her website, following her on Twitter and Instagram, and adding all of her books to your Goodreads TBR.

Now, having had a chance to read Pyromantic? I’ve got one up for grabs.  Book will be coming from TBD, giveaway is international and additional rules are here.

**Good Luck!!**

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4 responses to “The time it was about Pyromantic

  1. As always, lovely interview post Stacee :D Eee. I liked book one a whole bunch. And I cannot wait to read this sequel. <3 Been waiting so long, lol :) Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3 But gah. I have no idea which animal I would want to be, lol. I have always liked lions. But I have always wanted to fly.. ahh! I just had the perfect thought. I want to be a dragon :D

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