I am very pleased to have U.K. author, Nicky Peacock, join us today. Not only do we talk about her upcoming book release, but we also discuss the business of writing and publishing. This is a must-read for aspiring authors and indie authors!
What attracts you to write in the paranormal genre?
I’ve always loved the paranormal – growing up, my family told a lot of ghost stories and I think that drew me toward horror books and movies. Paranormal romance has really started coming into its own now too, so it’s nice for me to indulge my romantic side, yet still maintain my supernatural roots.
Are there any noticeable differences between your U.S. readers and your U.K. readers (in terms of what particular stories they like most, how they respond to your work)?
When writing for different countries, I keep in mind the country specific terminology – although we speak the same language, we still have quite major differences e.g. Cookie/ Biscuit, Sweater/Jumper. I once had the line: “They made out like a bandit” in one of my manuscripts and my American Editor asked me why the two characters were suddenly ‘kissing like criminals’; in the UK ‘making out like a bandit’ means you got away with something you shouldn’t! Not ‘Making out’.
Your novel Bad Blood is coming out in 2013 (through the publishers Noble & Young). Tell us about the book.
It’s set in England and sees a zombie epidemic through the eyes of a 4 centuries old vampire called Britannia. She’s not your typical human-loving vamp, so the reader goes with her on both an action packed visceral journey, as well as a kind of emotional awakening. To save vampire kind, they need to save humans, and Britannia must work with another vampire, Nicholas (who murdered her beloved finance) to get survivors to safety – well the vampires’ version of safety!
Vampires vs. Zombies sounds neat! What do you think will set Bad Blood apart from other books with similar themes?
Bad Blood is very character driven. It has tonnes of action and a bit of dark humour in there too. I’ve tried to make the scenes and dialogue as real as possible. As much as zombies and vampires are the stuff of fiction, I’ve attempted to make Bad Blood more as it probably would happen, rather than what we would hope would happen. A few London tourist attractions pop up in there and it also has a liberal splash of romance too.
Speaking of vampires, I heard last year that “angels are the new vampires.” What do you think?
Hmmmm, not sure there. Angels are a bit limited as characters – they kind of have to be good? Although Lucifer used to be an Angel, so maybe there’s scope. I must admit I don’t like them myself as a writer or a reader. I think the TV series Supernatural harnessed the Angels best as characters – they managed to seamlessly integrate them into their own monster mythos. I haven’t read many Angel driven books, so I’ll reserve my final judgement – any recommendations?
My dear, I am up to my eyeballs in vampires, wizards and warlocks, but if I come across a paranormal/fantasy with angels (that is GOOD) you’ll be the first person I tell 🙂 But back to you…Your most recent work, “Jack’s Month” is about the spirit of Jack the Ripper causing mayhem at a U.S. sorority–how did you come up with that story idea?
I always loved the Jack The Ripper case and really wanted to do something with it. Rather than take it back to Victorian England, I felt letting him loose on a modern Sorority would be interesting. There’s more to the story than just Jack doing his thing, but you’ll have to read it to find out…
I’m fascinated with your writing background and your experience in the business. You went into the short story market first before doing full-length novels. How has this helped your writing career?
Well I tried the whole bog novel first – just like most wannabe writers, but rejections coupled with life in general, kept veering me off track. Two years ago I just thought ‘it’s now or never’ and applied my career skills (I work in sales and marketing) to my own writing. I started googling around for publishers and saw the anthology call-outs. Short stories are quicker than novels, so by choosing them, I managed to not only hone my writing skills but also clock-up quite a publishing history. In the last two years I’ve worked with some really talented editors and fantastic publishers and it really helped to have that background on my CV when I approached a publisher with my novel.
Congratulations on your work so far! What advice would you give to aspiring authors or indie authors seeking a traditional publisher?
Submit. It’s one of the hardest thing you’ll ever do, pressing send on that email, but you really have to do it. Research the right publishers, adhere to their formatting guidelines and SUBMIT. If you get a rejection, or even a tonne of them, it really doesn’t matter, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. You can’t please everyone! You might get 10 publishers who don’t like your work, but 1 that will love it! Keep going till you find the that 1!
What has been the most rewarding thing so far about being a writer?
I won’t lie – being a writer is a lot of work, especially if you have a full time job too. But the reward is definitely when you get an email back from a publisher with a contract attached.
What are you currently reading, and who are your favorite authors?
I read a lot and always have a massive pile of books on my ‘to read’ list. I love Poppy Z Brite for a bit of poetic gore and for paranormal romance, Charlaine Harris for her Sookie Stackhouse series. Anthologies are also favorites of mine, as they’re a great way of getting to know new authors. Thanks to Alesha for the interview!
And thanks to you, Nicky. Please join us again when Bad Blood is released! Readers, click on the banner below to check out Nicky’s latest short story in the horror anthology, Year’s End. In case you missed it, I did a review earlier this week of the anthology and gave it a 4.5 out of 5: