Monday, January 11, 2016

Author Interview with Nicky Peacock @nickyp_author @evernightteen #giveaway

Hi and welcome to A Passion for Romance! 

o   Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m an English author living in the UK. I’ve been published for just over 4 years and write horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance for both adults and YA markets. I love chocolate and hate broccoli (even if you covered it chocolate, I still wouldn’t eat it!) I run a local writers’ group with over 15 members and also do creative writing workshops for local schools.

o   When did you start writing and were you always interested in being a published author?

I’ve pretty much always been a writer and wanted to be an author. It took a few false starts though to get published. There are plenty of people out there who say they want to be a writer and get published, but don’t spend the time and energy it takes to get there (I know, I was one of those people!) It’s only when I knuckled down and treated writing like a job, that I got published.

o   What do you think is or has been the hardest part of getting published?

Definitely the mindset. As a writer you have to have a pretty thick skin. Not everyone will love your work, and you have to remember this and that, that’s okay. You have to send in countless submissions and get countless rejections, even when you are published. So you have to be resilient and learn that a ‘no’ isn’t the end of the world and that that was just that one person’s opinion. I’ve had manuscripts rejected by one publisher only to be snapped up by others. You have to put the time in to learn the craft of writing as well as the business side to the publishing industry. So having the right mindset really helps when it comes to overcoming these writing hurdles.

o   What inspires you to write?

Everything. TV shows and movies I wish had ended better, books that give me a taste of something I wish had been cooked up differently. Stories I see online and in newspapers, even an off-hand thought can turn itself into a storyline in my dark, sticky little imagination. My characters inspire me too. Writing a series like, Battle of the Undead, you can get invested in the characters and sometimes want them to lead their own story and to have a happy ending. Also talking to other writers can really help. One of the reasons I started the writers group was to encourage and inspire every member – including me!

o   Do you plot out your stories or just wing it?

I think you need to have a fair idea of where a story is going, or you can end up meandering around leaving your characters lost meaningless scenes that bore the reader to tears. I’m a big fan of action and always like to ensure that the crucial plot lines are wrapped around interesting scenes. I’m not adverse to evolution though; some of the best plot devices I’ve come up with were actually conceived halfway through writing the manuscript. So I guess I kind of plot first but am open to change – damn, that came out like a crazy stream of consciousness, should have plotted this answer out better!

o   What drew you to writing YA ?  Would you or have you tried any different genre?

I like YA because it appeals to a much larger market. In YA you get both teen and adult readers. I know that sounds kind of evil and commercial, but it’s the truth!
I do write adult too, but I tend to stay in my familiar genres of horror, paranormal romance and urban fantasy. If it’s not dark, twisted and dripping with gore – I lose interest writing it!

o   Do you have a favorite scene in this book?  If so, could you share an excerpt with us?

My favorite scene in Bad Timing is on the pier. It’s set on Blackpool pier (in the UK) and I used to go there on vacation as a kid, so the place has a lot of memories for me. What happens on the pier is both heart-breaking and action-packed…and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

o   Do you have any other stories in the works?

I’m working on the last book in the series, Bad Karma. I also have a prequel coming out early this year called Traitor’s Gate. I’ve got quite a few ideas that I’m fleshing into manuscripts at the moment too, so watch this space.

o   How does your family feel about your writing?

My mum is really happy about it. She always wanted to be an author herself, so knows how much hard work, time and skill goes into getting published.

o   When you aren’t writing, what do you do for fun?

Writing is fun! I love writing, it’s my number one thing to do. I do work full time (sad fact, most modern authors still have to have jobs if they want the luxuries in life like food and shelter!) so my free time is rather limited. I do enjoy swimming and playing badminton, especially as I need to work off all that chocolate I eat! I also try to write in different locations too: a country manor house, a coffee shop, library or a pub. I find variety can really help my writing.

Thank you so much for having me here today! Nicx

Thanks for visiting with us today Nicky and hope you come back again with your next release !!!

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 Have you ever wanted to star in a YA book? 
Here's your chance! In honor of the release of BAD TIMING, the second book in Nicky Peacock's Battle of the Undead series, she will choose and feature a character created by one lucky reader in the last book of the series, BAD KARMA. 

Contest details here:
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Battle of the Undead #2
Nicky Peacock

Parnormal, suspense, urban fantasy, vampires
Evernight Teen Publishing, 30K words

You know now that monsters are real. Whether they have recently risen to reach for your flesh, or have chosen now to step from the shadows; you are surrounded by them. You also know that I am one too, but I’m all you’ve got and time is running out…”

There’s no rest for the wicked, especially in a zombie apocalypse. Britannia has used every vampire skill at her disposal to keep those she cares for safe, but with old enemies and unseen adversaries moving against her, she will have to push herself to both her physical and ethical limits to survive. Britannia is changing, but will it be for the better?

**Please note this is the second book in a series that should be read in order. **

Buy Links:   Amazon         Evernight Teen

Follow the tour HERE

14+ due to violence and adult situations

 “If there’s someone there, you’d better show yourself. Unless you want me to cleave off your head,” I shouted. I heard a cough and saw a tall, well-built man slip from the shadows. He wasn’t bad looking, but his dark hair was styled with cement-like gel and his eyes were far too blue to be natural.
“Apologies. I wasn’t sure if you were friend or foe.” He nodded at me.
He was a vampire, probably a little younger than me.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“My dear, you are the one trespassing on my territory. It should be me asking questions of you.” He gave me a sly smile, as if he was trying to get away with something. Like he’d farted and was waiting for me to smell it.
“If this was truly your territory you’d have attacked me, not slunk in the shadows like a sniveling child.” I pulled my axe back so I held it by the handle and it rested on my shoulder.
He put his hands up; he was unarmed and laughed beneath his breath. “I now understand the Elders rule.”
He was referring to the old, no female vampires rule – misogynistic t scumbags. It was then that I got a good whiff of blood, live human blood.
“Have you got people here?”
“Why yes, we’ve collected a few to take to the Highlands. Would you like to join me for a drink?”
And he’d been openly feeding off them, great!
“No, I’ll give that a miss. Where are they?”
“In the store room, back there. They’re uninfected,” he said with a sweeping invitation with his arm. “I must say, I’ve never seen a female vampire so beautiful.”
Good grief, did he think this was some sort of date? That we would sit back and watch Dawn of the Dead whilst munching on scared survivors? What an asshat!
I narrowed my eyes and walked to the door he was pointing to. He smiled and gestured for me to open it. I did. Now I was fully aware that this could have been a trap, but even if a hundred vampires descended on me, I still had an axe to Red Queen their asses back to Wonderland.
“May I introduce myself?” he said behind me.
“No.” I stepped through the door and was hit with the smell of both old and fresh blood. I took in the large warehouse back quickly: boxes were piled high with electronics, gadgets and God only knows what other useless items, but there were also people crouching by them. They were blindfolded and roped together with a thick unforgiving plastic vine. Some were still bleeding from where he had fed off them. Some were whispering prayers in ragged voices. Some slowly pulled at their bindings, more like they were an itch than a problem. But all cowered when they heard his voice. There was a collective shiver that even caught me in its terrible wake. Whoever this vampire was, he was truly living up to monster status now.
“Here,” he said as he lifted the plastic rope and pulled the nearest person toward us, “have a drink.”
I looked at the young boy bound and blindfolded before me; he had blood all down his Simpson’s t-shirt and he’d pissed himself, probably days ago now. This was what the Highlands were going to be like, just with slightly less feeling and more order.
“My name is Ludwig. What’s yours, my blonde haired vixen?” He pushed the boy at me and I moved so that I was stood between them.
“What?” Ludwig’s eyes widened. He’d heard of me, the lack of blue hair had been what had put him off the initial recognition. If I’d looked more like my old self he’d have run from me, or attacked me in the shop. I might never have discovered his little person larder.
“Yeah, I was forced into a make under.” I smiled sweetly at him, “Ludwig, you have something on your sleeve.” I swung the axe so hard that it cleaved his arm straight off. Blood sprayed across me, splattering my face and streaking the front of my hair. Unlike human blood, vampire blood is cool, smells metallic and tastes like sea water, kind of like your blood tastes to you. Some vampires get a taste for their own kind; those were usually the ones that the Elders sent me after.
Ludwig’s look of shock was only matched by his girlish scream. He clutched at his leaky stump and shuddered. I lifted the axe again, this time to cleave off his head, but he must have regained a modicum of resolve, as he caught the axe’s blade in mid-swing. I quickly slipped my hands down the handle and, palms up, slammed it vertically so that its blade crushed against his skull. I heard a sickening crack as bone crumbled against the force. He keeled and stumbled back through the shop’s doors. I edged forward and crouched, sweeping my leg out to trip him over. Once he lay sprawled on the floor, I lifted my axe a final time and off rolled his head. It tumbled down the flat screen TV section.
The tethered humans were now desperately pulling at their bonds. I guess the big bad that had just killed their torturer was probably not someone they wanted to stick around and have tea with – better the devil you know.
I moved carefully toward the nearest boy. I gently took his blindfold from him and he blinked a few times and recoiled at my presence.
“It’s okay,” I said, hands out, palms up, “I’m here to help you. I won’t hurt you.”
The boy edged further away from me, pulling on all their ropes. He particularly dragged all of the survivors onto the floor. I suddenly had an image of me leading them like a chain of dogs through the streets. If Satan had been on a leash, he’d have died. If I couldn’t do that to a dog, I’d be damned if I was going to be responsible for leading an all-you-can-eat zombie buffet conga line.
“Look, I know you have no reason to trust me, but...”
“You’re one of them,” said the boy, looking past me to Ludwig’s twitching corpse. He must have been old; it can sometimes take a while for the magic to leave older vampires.
“We’re not all the same you know.” I stepped to his side and took a blindfold off a nearby woman, “Wait a minute, them?”
The woman gave me a quizzical look, “There’s another one. He had red hair and a posh accent; like from Downton Abbey.”
Okay, now time was of the essence. I pulled out my pink handled knife and sliced the rope between all the humans. I removed all their blindfolds and counted them: twelve.
“Right, here are your choices. You can say here and wait for Red, whoever he is, to come back and drink you dry, or you can follow me and I can get you the hell out of zombie central.”
“Zombies?” they all said together.
“You haven’t noticed the slathering zombie masses?” I asked.
“No,” said an older man, who had managed to pick up a plank of wood and hide it behind his back while I wasn’t looking.
“How long have you been in here?”
The man chose then to swing the plank at me, which I caught and crumbled in my grip. The small crowd gasped and I think they were just about to all fall onto me, when the bell at the door of the shop chimed.
“Oh no, it’s him. He came back for us.” A young girl of no more than thirteen cowered near me. I turned to her.
“I won’t let him hurt you. I told you, we’re not all the same.”
She bit her bottom lip and squeezed out a fat tear that rolled down her ruddy cheek.
“My name is Britannia. I know this is all a bit...” I struggled for the right word, “...weird, but I’ll get you some place safe. You just have to trust me.”
“So, let me get this straight.” The boy whose blindfold I’d took off first edged toward me. “You’re a friendly blood sucking demon, and there are zombies outside. But you’ll protect us? At what price, you gonna feed off and kill us one by one like your friend there?” He motioned at Ludwig’s now still body. I kicked the vampire’s corpse out of the door and into the main shop, out of the eye-line of the humans.
I didn’t have time for this. I needed to get a new radio, some food and get back to the zoo. I needed to tell Tate I was alive and for Josh and Jack to know I was on my way to them. I hadn’t even bothered to ask these humans’ names and here I was trying to protect them, while they challenged my ethical code. I was just about to give the boy what for, when a rumbling groan echoed through the store. I peered out to see a group of zombies shuffling toward Ludwig’s body. Once there, they began to rip him apart like an overcooked turkey. There were stuffing- and cranberry sauce-like substances cascading out of the yawning cracks they were making with their bare hands. I gagged and quickly closed the door.

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**Since this series is a must to be read in order, make sure to read about**

Bad Blood
Battle of the Undead #1

“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 500 year bloody game of vengeance will need to be put on hold if vampires are to survive the zombie uprising. Bitter enemies, Britannia and Nicholas must work together to save un-infected humans, delivering them to a stronghold in Scotland.

Unable to drink the zombie blood, vampires need humans to stay alive. But will they tell the survivors who they are, and what they want from them? Will Britannia be able to hold back her vengeance? 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.

Buy Links:  Evernight Teen   Amazon   B&N    Print

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About the Author:
Nicky is a published author of both YA and adult urban fantasy, paranormal romance and horror fiction. She lives in the heart of the UK, where she has run a writers' group for over 4 years to help new writers find their feet on the path to publication. A member of both the Society of Authors and the British Fantasy Society, Nicky has had over 30 stories published in various anthologies. Bad Timing is her second book in the Battle of the Undead series published through Evernight Teen. She loves to talk to readers, so please feel free to either get in touch with her through her blog, or on any of the social media below.

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Giveaway:  $10 Evernight Teen GC

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