So I’d like to give a huge shout of thanks to author Nicky Peacock for joining me for today’s interview. Welcome Nicky!
[NP]: Thank you for having me on your blog Stephanie!
[SK]: You are so welcome! I recently featured you on my blog for your release Bad Blood. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
[NP]: I always try to include themes in my work – there are quite a few in the Battle of the Undead series, but probably the most important to me is – working toward the greater good. We all have petty issues with certain people in our lives, but the bigger picture should mean more – and this is the main plot device for Bad Blood. Our protagonist, Britannia is having to work with her sworn enemy, always unsure as to how long the fragile peace will hold and how much control she has over her own temper.
[SK]: Cool. Are your experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
[NP]: I always include aspects of reality in everything I write – it can make even the most unrealistic worlds and characters feel a little more real. I often attribute one of my own traits to my characters – Brit definitely has my dry sense of humour, she’s also got a stubborn streak 10 miles wide (but mine is only nine miles wide!)
[SK]: Ha! Awesome. She sounds like a great character. What books have most influenced your life most?
[NP]: Probably far too many to list! I loved the early work of Poppy Z Brite growing up and read all of Anne Rice’s books. Angela Carter’s work is amazing, I have a particular love for her Bloody Chamber, it came into my life at just the right time to nurture my dark imagination. I’m always discovering new authors, especially nowadays; it seems thanks to eBooks we’re living in a golden age where new voices are more likely to be heard.
[SK]: If you had could pick anyone, which writer would you consider a mentor? Why?
[NP]: Hmmm, I never really had a mentor. I kind of wished I had though. I was such a ravenous reader growing up, I have a massive list of writers that I loved and whose books I savoured. If I could have chosen anyone, it would have probably been Kelley Armstrong, as she has been the most consistent in her work through the years.
[SK]: What’s the most enjoyable book you’ve read this year? Why?
[NP]: Hands down, it would be the ‘Asylum of Fairytale Creatures’ by Sebastian Gregory. An amazingly dark book which is both funny and disturbing. I’d recommend it to anyone. Just don’t read it before you go to sleep!
[SK]: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
[NP]: Sebastian Gregory is pretty new (as authors go) it seems that the road to getting a book out is always a few years in the making, so by the time it hits shelves the author has been around fora while. I have just started reading the Molly Harper books and have recently found Jeffe Kennedy, Jenn Bennett and Annie Nicholas – all of which I’d have on my top ten authors I’ve read this year.
[SK]: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
[NP]: It was always there. I think perhaps it started in the womb! My mum had always wanted to write, but life and kids kind of got in her way. She’s always been my most ardent supporter and, when I need it, my toughest critique!
[SK]: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing your latest story to life?
[NP]: Research was limited in the first book, but I’m having to delve a little deeper into history in the next one, Bad timing. I think my biggest hurdle, and one I perhaps share with a lot of writers who are still working full time in other industries, is time. It’s a hard slog to include writing and editing and then promotion into a ‘normal’ schedule, yet still have some semblance of a life too. I had to make certain sacrifices to have the time to breath life into the characters and tell their stories.
[SK]: What’s on your main character’s playlist?
[NP]: I listen to music whilst writing so I have a massive playlist for each book I write! But if boiling it down to just Britannia it would be:
- Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
- Sex Pistols – God Save the Queen
- Young Guns – Bones
- Linkin Park – A Light That Never Comes
- Florence and The Machine – Never let me go
- Fluke – Atom Bomb
- The Silent Comedy – Bartholomew
- Rock Star – NERD
- Missy Higgins – Where I stood
[SK]: Are you like any of the characters in your stories? How?
[NP]: I do include characteristics of myself, as I think most authors do (either deliberately or subconsciously) I’m not sure I’d be much good in a zombie apocalypse – I’m terrible at making quick decisions and I would have killed Nicholas on the spot!
[SK]: What’s your secret addiction?
[NP]: I’m kind of a shop-a-holic! And I also have a problem with chocolate – especially in pudding form.
[SK]: Favorite car?
NP]: My own – I have a silver Peugeot 107. I don’t believe in flash cars; In my opinion they use too much gas and are more for status and ego enhancing than anything else. My little 107 gets me where I want to be, all be it a little slower than a Jag!
[SK]: Do you have any pets?
[NP]: Not at the moment. I did have a dog, Bob but he died a few years ago. I haven’t had the heart to replace him, and to be honest I am not in a position to properly look after an animal where I live now.
[SK]: Do you write in total silence or with music or some other distraction?
[NP]: I tend to write with music, but am also a bit of a hobo writer. I write in cafes and restaurants as well as at home, so have no real ritual to speak of, save for the lack of one.
Awesome! Thanks so much to Nicky for joining me. Read on to learn more about Bad Blood.
“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.
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!
I’ve so far been published in 5 countries: USA, UK, Australia, Ireland and Canada and had short stories included in 40 anthologies with over 17 publishers.