Friday 2 August 2013

Interview with Nicky Peacock

Nicky Peacock is an author of YA and adult paranormal romance, horror, urban fantasy short stories, novellas and novels.  She also co-runs the Creative Minds Writing Group in Corby, which Sue Moorcroft & I have attended on a few occasions.

Nicky graciously agreed to sit down for an interview with me.

MW:  Thanks for agreeing to this.  To start off, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
NP:     Hi Mark, and thanks for having me here! Well, I’m a relatively new author. I was first published just over 2 years ago, but have had a number of horror and paranormal romance stories published since. My first novel, Bad Blood is now out through a US publishers and is a YA horror. I work in marketing as my ‘day job’ and also run a local writer’s group based in Corby, Northamptonshire called Creative Minds.

MW:   When did the writing start and what spurred it for you?
NP:     I’d always had a desire to write, ever since I was a little girl, but only started taking it seriously a couple of years ago. The major turning points that spurred me on was: creating Creative Minds and spending time with similar minded individuals, and having my first acceptance - which was for a story called ‘Fountain of Flesh’ that is included in Dark Moon Publication’s ‘Vampires!’ anthology.

MW:   What made you choose horror as your preferred genre?
NP:     I just love the deliciously dark options that become available to a writer in this genre. When I was a teenager I read the Poppy Z Brite books ‘Exquisite Corpse’ and ‘Lost Souls’ and fell in love with the idea of trying to make grotesque images beautiful. As a writer Poppy Z Brite has the uncanny ability to do this and I so wanted to have that skill myself. I also have a rather dark mind which does lend itself to supernatural shenanigans, murder and mayhem and, to be honest, I’d find it incredibly boring and difficult to try and write a contemporary book

MW:   Do you enjoy hardcore/extreme horror (I’m not a big fan of it myself)
NP:     I suppose it depends on my mood. I'm not a big fan on long drawn out horror so I do prefer my scares punchy and quick. I think there's a fine line between gross and being frightening.

MW:   When writing, do you ‘cast’ your characters for a potential movie?
NP:      I do. I love Pinterest and find it a great tool to gather research photos and info on characters. I think it also helps with developing the characters into 3 dimensional people. Actors become who you want them to be, so are never really the people their fans perceive them as. Mostly, I can look at an actress or actor and think, 'Hmmmm I bet they're like this in real life' and they're probably not - but my view of them creates that character - instant character mix!

MW:   What project are you currently working on?
NP:      I'm working on a YA urban fantasy at the moment, but also a more NA one too. I'm a multiple manuscript kind of girl so often have 2 or 3 novels on the go at once. I'm also working on a short story for an anthology for Horrified Press which is proving quite interesting, the editor sent across artwork to inspire the story and it pushed me to come up with something I'd have never found on my own.

MW:   What, in your back catalogue, would best represent your work if someone wanted to have a Nicky Peacock sample?
NP:     Great question! I'd guess I'd have say Bad Blood is more 'me' than anything else as it wasn't bound by an anthology theme. However I leave a little piece of me in every story - so I guess all of them represent me as an author in some way.

MW:   Do you do much research into your stories?
NP:     I have. I love the research aspect and I always find that, with stories that have unbelievable aspects, the more you can make them real and believable with facts the better. I do a lot of research for my day job, so I'm pretty good at finding out information and asking people questions to obtain the knowledge that I need.

MW:   Any advice for new writers out there?
NP:     Sounds silly, but actually write something and send it out into the world! I meet so many writers who complain that they haven't been discovered yet, but upon further digging, gather that they have neither finished anything or contacted publishers! There are soooo many opportunities now available out there for writers with big publishing houses not only introducing eBook only lines but also relaxing rules about non-agented submission, that there really is no excuse. If you want to be a writer - spend some time, learn your craft, and send your work out.

MW:   Someone comes up to you, saying they want to get into the reading side of the horror genre.  Which writers would you steer them towards and why?
NP:     I'd recommend my lovely friend Mark West! But I think that the question needs to be asked - what genre of horror? There are so many sub-genres now. For traditional horror I'd say Richard Laymon. For more graphic I'd say Jack Ketchum. For all things paranormal Kelley Armstrong.

MW:   Thank you for that!  So what’s next for Nicky Peacock?
NP:     Well, I'm working my little supernatural socks off on my books and am spending some time doing book reviews and interviewing other authors. I'm a nosy person and avid reader myself - I've discovered virtual book tours and am doing one for Bad Blood (you can check out my progress on the dedicated page at my blog)

Nicky on the Web

And this is Bad Blood, Nicky's novel...

“I am Britannia. I am your protector. I will fend off the hungry hordes of undead hands that reach toward you. I am your steadfast defender. I will stand between you and the zombie masses as they try to taste your flesh. I am strong, unyielding, and dedicated to your survival. All I ask from you… is your blood.”

A five-hundred-year-old bloody game of vengeance will need to be put on hold if vampires are to survive the zombie uprising. Britannia and Nicholas, bitter enemies and the only two surviving vampires left in London, have to work together to save un-infected humans and deliver them safely to a vampire stronghold in the Scottish Highlands. Unable to drink the zombie ‘bad blood’, the remaining vampires need the humans to stay alive. But will the vampires tell the survivors who they are and what they want from them? Will Britannia be able to hold back her vengeance for the greater good? Is survivor Josh the reincarnation of Britannia’s murdered true love? And can she bring herself to deliver him to the ‘safe’ hold? Survival instincts run deep, but bad blood can run deeper.

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