GUEST INTERVIEW – NICKY PEACOCK
Today I’m doing my first guest interview with the author Nicky Peacock. Nicky writes horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and supernatural Young Adult fiction. That’s a wide selection of genres – but it’s just a part of what she’s written. Nicky also writes science fiction, fantasy, paranormal noir, urban fantasy and dystopian fiction. Her stories have been published in over forty anthologies in five countries, the USA, the UK, Australia, Ireland and Canada.
In 2013 her first YA novel Bad Blood was published by Noble Romance’s YA imprint Noble & Young. Bad Blood is a story of a four-hundred-year-old vampire fighting against an uprising of zombies.
Nicky also runs a local writers’ group called Creative Minds Writing.
QUESTION 1: Hi, Nicky. Why did you want to become a writer?
NICKY PEACOCK: I think, like most writers, it was to tell stories. I always loved to read, but sometimes found it difficult to find the stories I wanted – so I started writing them myself.
QUESTION 2: Yeah – I did that too. Every writer is deeply influenced by the work of others they enjoy reading. Which writer has had the most influence on you?
NICKY PEACOCK: I have a wide variety of fav authors, growing up I was fascinated by horror and was drawn to the works of Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite. I think you have to be careful though, as a writer (especially starting out) that you don’t just become a poor echo of your favourite writers’ work – you then end lost in the realms of fan fiction.
QUESTION 3: That is a danger – but copying the work of writers you admire does help you learn – as long as you don’t do it for too long! Here’s my next question. If your house was burning down and you could only take one book with you, which book would you save?
NICKY PEACOCK: I know I’ll get hated for this – but I’d take my Kindle. It has more books on it than are on my shelf and it’s backed up – so if there’s smoke damage, I’m still good! I’d also grab my beloved memory stick, as it’s got on all my music and writing – back up people, you know it’s right!
QUESTION 4: Being a writer can be hard work, especially when you are starting out. What advice would you give new writers?
NICKY PEACOCK: Unfortunately there are no short cuts, you can only really learn writing by doing it, like most things in life. You have to put pen to paper, finger to keyboard and get on with it. I’ve met a lot of ‘writers’ in my time who don’t actually write anything at all! The best advice I can give is ‘knuckle down and get it done’. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work and you have to sacrifice parts of your life to include it in – but anything that’s worth having is hard work.
QUESTION 5: Often finding somewhere to sell a story is harder than the writing of it. What resources do you use to find good paying markets?
NICKY PEACOCK: I use Horror Tree and Dark Markets. There’s a great database called Duotrope (although you have to pay for that now). However, if you are just organised and keep a spread sheet of all the publishers you want to work with and keep an eye their submission pages for call-outs, then at least you are giving those publishers what they are looking for at the right time – which is half the battle.
Also, a bit of an odd tip is to join Netgalley, it’s a review site for publishers. Not only do you get to read and review free books, but you also get valuable publisher contacts and can see the genres they are interested in before their books are released to general market.
QUESTION 6: Horror Tree is a useful site. I’ve found new markets for my writing there. You have an impressive publishing history. Would you like to tell me about that?
NICKY PEACOCK: To be honest, I still don’t see my published history as impressive, I just submitted a lot of short stories (I actually became quite obsessed with it for a time.) Short stories are a great way to cut your teeth as a new writer, not only do you get to learn the craft of writing by actually writing, you get to work with publishers and editors and also build up a CV ready for when you sell that novel.
QUESTION 7: What horror films and TV shows do you enjoy?
NICKY PEACOCK: Oh, sooo many at the moment. I really like ‘The Strain’ and ‘Walking Dead’. I’m a big fan of ‘American Horror’ and am looking forward to ‘Freak Show’. I also just watched the whole box set of the first season of ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ from Netflix – really addictive! I love ‘Game of Thrones’ (although who doesn’t?) and am curious about the new series of ‘Gotham’ – as I’m a DC rather than a Marvel girl.
QUESTION 8: In your horror fiction you have to scare readers. What scares you?
NICKY PEACOCK: Oddly, quite a few things. When you have an over active imagination, you can manage to scare yourself more often than other people! One thing that really gets me is being lost. I think it stems from when I was little, but the thought of driving or even walking around somewhere I don’t know on my own scares me. When I go some place new I have to do a dry run with a friend or family member – it’s odd, but as long as I’ve been somewhere at least once, I’m good.
QUESTION 9: What made you want to write your novel Bad Blood?
NICKY PEACOCK: I love vampires and zombies in literature, but rarely found them together. So I decided to see what would happen if I pitted them against one another – a monster of magic against a monster of science with humans caught in the middle. Once my characters were fleshed out, it almost wrote itself!
QUESTION 10: What are you working on right now?
NICKY PEACOCK: At the moment I am working on an urban fantasy retelling of a Hans Christian Anderson tale for an adult market. I’m also beavering away on the second book in the Bad Blood series, Bad Timing.
FINAL QUESTION: Where can readers find you online?
NICKY PEACOCK: I’m everywhere!
You can check out Nicky Peacock’s novel in the UK here:
Nicky Peacock is also at these web addresses:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NickyPeacockYaBooks
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Nicky-Peacock/e/B007UH2ACW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_4