Nicky Peacock is a British author living in the UK and has had short stories published/ being published in five countries: UK, USA, Canada, Ireland and Australia. She writes horror, paranormal romance and supernatural YA fiction. She’s also dabbled in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal Noir, Urban Fantasy and Dystopia. Most of her work is available through Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. She runs a local writers’ group called Creative Minds and you can get in touch with her through the website or on her facebook page and also on Library Thing and Twitter. Her first sole author book ‘Bad Blood’ is available through Noble & Young and is reviewed on the Haunted Eyeball here. She’s a proud member of the UK’s Society of Authors. Catch up with Nicky and her work on her Blog.
Welcome to the Haunted Eyeball, Nicky, we really enjoyed Bad Blood (just see the review) and we’re very happy to have you here. In true Eyeball tradition, we’re going to start at what got you writing in our favourite genre and why.
Haunted Eyeball: Which authors did you enjoy while you were growing up?
Nicky Peacock: Growing up, I was always reading horror, so Richard Laymon, Poppy Z Brite, Anne Rice and the classics like Frankenstein and Dracula. Back then (man, that makes me sound old!) there were nowhere near the amount of choice that modern readers have today. There was no real paranormal romance, and YA were almost non-existent. It’s only been in the last 15 years or so that choice far outweighs my reading time – soooo many great authors and books are piled up on my shelves waiting for me to step into their worlds.
HE: Who are your favourite authors now?
NP: I do like a bit of Charlaine Harris (although the last Sookie book was awful! The rest I’d highly recommend) Keri Arthur, Karen Marie Moning, Rachel Vincent and Rachel Caine. I’m always discovering new authors, so ‘friend’ me on Good Reads and you can see what I’m reading and read my reviews.
HE: Which films, TV and music influenced you in your writing, and daily life?
NP: Again, nowadays we’re spoilt for choice. I love Game of Thrones and how the character politics is just as intriguing as the action. I watch Walking Dead and True Blood and the UK version of Being Human. There seems to be a pretty constant fascination with the supernatural, which is why I love it and can’t help but write my own stories that are wrapped in this paranormal goodness.
HE: What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you?
NP: A lot of weird stuff happens to me! I’ll go with the most recent for you… I grew up listening to ghost stories of when my parents lived in an apartment in a nearby town – some of them were very spooky indeed! Fast forward to a recent conversation with my favorite hairdresser…turns out she grew up in the same apartment! She started telling me the exact same stories I’d heard before about footsteps on the stairs, groceries pulled out of cupboards and stacked in pyramids, Xmas trees pulled over (no matter how you weighted them down) and even phantom mice who tripped traps, but never ate the cheese!
HE What scares you the most?
NP: I find zombies pretty scary – I truly think that they are a real possibility.
I also have no sense of direction so being alone somewhere I don’t know will have me quickly curled in a corner rocking gently back and forth!
HE: Is an audience or genre a starting point for your writing?
NP: A bit of both, but mainly I write what I would want to read myself. I get frustrated when I try to find a book with certain aspect or theme and can’t find it – so then decide to write it myself. It’s how Bad Blood was conceived.
HE: Do you spend long on research, or is research overrated?
NP: I don’t think research should be overlooked, especially if you have some fantastical elements in your story. The more reality you can shoe-horn in, the more believable the whole thing is overall. I did quite a bit of zombie research for Bad Blood: how an outbreak would happen, survival techniques etc. Also the geography of London, tourist sites that are visited along the way; I had to make sure that, although vampires VS zombies is a bit out there, there was some real facts that readers could grab onto.
HE: How do you start a novel?
NP: I tend to start with the main character then work out themes, plot it out, then start writing. I prefer to be flexible as I go, as a lot of the good stuff in my work comes from organically growing characters and how they react in certain situations. There were a number of scenes in Bad Blood that I wanted to include, that just wouldn’t happen because Britannia (the protagonist) was too strong to let me!
HE: Does writer’s block ever hit? How do you deal with it?
NP: I’ve not succumbed to writers block yet – I have about 10 novel ideas lined up to go at and I always end up with another idea along the way. My biggest problem is time. I love reading too and of course have social obligations I have to fulfil (damn that real life!) So it’s more settling down and finding time to write that I have issues with.
HE: Whose writing advice do you really listen to (if any)!
NP: I have a number of local author buddies who I meet up with – I’d always listen to anyone’s advice – whether I take it or not is down to me. But I’m one of those people who don’t make split decisions (I’d be dead in a zombie outbreak!) so take in all the advice I can, roll it around in my head, then decide on a course of action.
HE: Is there anything you wouldn’t consider writing about, e.g. genre, political issues, sexuality?
NP: Not really. I’ve done some more adult stories for other publishers and, as long as it’s there to serve a storyline rather than to be salacious for its own sake – I’m comfortable writing about anything.
On ‘Bad Blood’
HE: Why and how are these vampires different – also, what inspired the magical element of their creation?
NP: My vampires can walk in daylight, they can only die by decapitation and have to sleep 9 hours exactly (when they sleep that is) They are strong, fast and have highly attuned senses – but no other special powers than that. I wanted them as the last magical creature left in the modern world and loved the idea that they would fight against zombies – a scientific creation. So it echoes the theme of science VS magic.
HE: Were there any autobiographical elements?
NP: I have been to the Chamber of Horrors at the London Madame Tussauds so had first-hand experience of what that was like. But the main element that I shared with Britannia was how she tends to live in her own head – a trait that most writers have! You have to learn quickly how to deal with it, or you can end up losing out on real-life opportunities.
HE: Do you feel that the character of Britannia is likable, or should it even matter?
NP: She would describe herself as very unlikeable – but that in its self should make the reader like her. She’s very protective of her country and her people and this alone hopefully makes her a character you’d want to spend time with. As a reader I find the likable factor very important. I’ve read a few books where I hated the protagonist so actually wanted to see them fail, or even die! It’s not a great thing to root for; you want to make characters that a reader would want as a friend in real life – that they enjoy spending time with.
HE: Who’s your favourite character in the book (e.g. apart from Britannia)?
NP: You only get to see a bit of them, but I’m growing rather fond of Tate and Lyle. They play a much more intricate part in the following books and I’m finding that their personalities are really beginning to shine. Tate in particular is very loveable – he’s a consummate good guy trying to be an attractive bad boy.
HE: Are there other monsters you’d like to include in the series and what would you do with them?
NP: There will be more Vambies in the following books. The next book sees the vampires rushing off to the US to try and stop an outbreak there, so they’d be room for both American vampires and perhaps a witch or two.
HE: What are you working on now?
NP: I’m working on a NA urban fantasy book which includes characters seen in my story, Spilt Apart in the paranormal romance anthology, Paramourtal 2. I’m also working on the second Bad Blood.
HE: Any tips for new writers?
NP: Read. Read. Read. And just when you think you’ve read enough, read some more. It weirds me out when wannabe writers can’t name a book they’ve read or an author they’ve liked. You have to know your genre and how to actually write before you run off into the sunset with your laptop and thesaurus!
HE: And finally, do you have a message or thoughts for the lovely readers of the Haunted Eyeball?
NP: I’m always happy to interact with readers – so pop along to my blog and leave me a message on the Bad Blood page.
HE: Thanks for visiting us, Nicky, and we look forward to reading more from you.
Also of interest
- New Release ~ Bad Blood by Nicky Peacock (nobleromancepublishing.wordpress.com)