Friday, October 24, 2014

Interview with YA dark fiction/urban fantasy author Nicky Peacock

With one week to go before Halloween, I’d like to introduce you to YA horror/urban fantasy writer Nicky Peacock. She's visiting with us from ‘across the pond’ to tell us a bit about Bad Blood – Battle of the Undead #1 and her personal and writing life.

Let her know you stopped by with a ‘hi’ in the comments below!

Welcome, Nicky. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I guess I’ve always been a storyteller, not in a ‘liar liar pants on fire’ kind of way, although I do work in advertising! When I was little, kids would crowd around me in the playground and I’d tell them tales of blood soaked horror filled with vampires, werewolves, ghosts and more. 

Yes, most would consider me a disturbed child, but my playmates couldn’t help themselves, they’d huddle around me every break time like an ancient tribe feeding off the fear; and that’s how I learned that horror stories hold a certain power, no matter what some might say, everyone is addicted to a good scare, especially if it is somewhat rooted safely in unrealistic beings… or are they unrealistic?

Writing was really a natural progression. Right now I’m obsessed with writing: a YA Urban Fantasy novel, a Paranormal Romance novella series, and several short horror stories! So I’m currently living in a functional fiction coma – and loving it!

Please tell us about your current release.
Bad Blood is a YA horror/ urban fantasy that features vampires VS zombies – it’s a kind of True Blood meets the Walking Dead for teen and adult readers.

What inspired you to write this book?
I love both vampire and zombie fiction and actually looked round for a book which had them fighting against one another, I couldn’t find anything so decided to write it myself.

Excerpt from Bad Blood:
We ran to the hospital. On the way, we encountered hardly anyone, alive or dead. Where were they all? When we arrived at the hospital car park, I understood. Zombies were pack animals. A massive crowd of them were crammed in and around the main building like they were waiting for a concert to start, all barely paying attention to their surroundings and seemingly swaying against the force of gravity. The other thing was the smell. When watching horror films filled with shuffling zombies, the horror came from their ghastly looks—the reminder that death has a tight grip on us all, well, most of us. But what the filmmakers should focus on—if they could—was the acidic rank odor zombies gave off. They had been dead barely twenty-four hours. It took a normal human body at least thirty-six hours to really start to smell, and that was with a vampire’s heightened senses. These guys smelled like they’d been out in the sun for three weeks covered in rubbish and besieged by wily maggots. They were mostly intact, though. Maybe this hospital had been Zombie Ground Zero. Most had turned so quickly their comrades hadn’t had time to feed.

“Maybe we should try a less populated target.” Nicholas twitched his nose and turned away from me to dry retch.

“Maybe you should grow a pair.”

“Maybe you should act like a lady.” He now had his hands on his hips, squaring up for yet another argument.

“Acting like a lady isn’t going to help now, is it? What do you want me to do? Drop my handkerchief in front of the zombies and watch them fight one another to scoop it up for me? Moron!”

“Always to the ‘nth degree with you, isn’t it?”

“Shut up. Look, the doors are holding, and they’re outside, not inside, which means there must be some people left in there alive to have barricaded this place so tight.”

“Or maybe there are just more zombies in there.”

“Well, there’s definitely a blood bank in there, and that’ll help matters no end!”

Nicholas looked thoughtful then nodded. He of course didn’t want to actually say aloud that I’d had a good idea. “So, how do we get past them?”

I assumed it was a rhetorical question, so I started down to the car park entrance, where most of the zombies were mobbing. I opened the outer door as quietly as possible.

“Ladies first,” Nicholas whispered in my ear.

“I thought we’d agreed I wasn’t a lady.” And with that, I shoved him as hard as I could into the throbbing throng of zombies.

(Published by Evernight Teen

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently work on Bad Timing, which is the next in the Battle of the Undead series and also I’m working on an adult historical urban fantasy based on a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale (I know that sounds a bit crazy, but sometimes crazy works, or at least I hope it does!)

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m still not even sure I do. Like most published authors I still have to hold down a full time job – it’s only the top ten percent of authors that get to write for a living – so I guess it’ll be when I’m in that 10%.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Well, I have an office-based job so have my weekends and nights free to write. It’s hard work, and you have to give up certain parts of a normal social life to accommodate it. But it’s worth it. I go to the gym a lot too – I actually find a good work-out can really simulate your mind as well as your body – so I can get a lot of scene plotting and dialogue done while on the treadmill.

I also run a local writer’s group which meet every two weeks. This has been a massive inspiration for me – as the organizer I kind of have to lead from the front to encourage other writers to follow their dreams.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write like I am putting together a movie – I don’t write scenes in order. I think that by writing them out of order you get to write the scenes you are most excited about, rather than have to trudge through to get to them – trudgery (not a word, but should be) makes writing seem like too much work. By writing what you are excited about at the time, you get to continue that feeling about your work and hopefully it translates to the reader.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I did want to be an author. Although I wanted to be slightly richer than I am now! Maybe a movie deal under my belt…

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I love talking to readers and value everyone’s opinion, so if you’d like to get in touch with me you can leave me a comment on my blog.

Thank you for having me and Happy almost Halloween to everyone!

Bad Blood buy links: Amazon UK       Amazon US      Evernight Teen

Thanks so much for talking to us, Nicky! Happy writing!

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