Today I’m interviewing Nicky, a published author of both YA and adult urban fantasy & horror. Monsters, serial killers, and imaginary friends—being a Wonderlander can be murder…
1. Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, when did you start writing?
I’m an English author based in the UK and have two YA book series out through the publishers, Evernight Teen. I started my writing career in the short story market and gained over 30 publishing credits before I sold my first novel. I write horrors, urban fantasy and paranormal romance, but do enjoy a good genre mash-up so tend to be open about what I write. As long as it has a sharp, dark edge to it, I’m a happy author! I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write, but I took it seriously as a career 6 years ago, that was when I started submitting my work to publishers.
2. So when and how did you start thinking about publishing your work?
I went traditional to publish my work; I don’t have anything against self-publishing, but I just wanted to prove I could do it, to get past a gate-keeper and to work with a publisher. I think that a writer can become too close to their own work sometimes and it can be detrimental to the overall book. You see it a lot in the movie industry where one person is the writer, director, and producer, so it becomes one person’s vision. Sounds good on paper, but can be a recipe for long-winded ego trips.
I started with the short story market and then went on to novels, so I felt like I’ve worked my way up to where I am. I’ve still got a long way to go, my dream is to write for a living, but it’s only a small percentage of very successful authors who get there – hopefully, one day, it’ll be me.
3. Apart from the two YA series which have been published by Evernight Teen, you have also published several short stories. Where can we find them?
I’ve worked with a lot of publishers on these. However, you can find them all for sale on my Amazon author page and with more details on my Goodreads author profile. Just be aware that they are not all YA friendly!
4. What made you want to write YA?
The YA market has really opened up recently and isn’t just for teens; adults read YA too. I like the idea that my work is helping teens continue their love of reading. I don’t believe in ‘dumbing down’ stories for the teen market or capping the violence. I think they deserve a good, honest story that doesn’t patronize them.
5. Would you say your themes and writing have a specific style?
As a writer, I try to keep my voice the same regardless of whether I’m writing for teens or adults. I always have humour in my books, albeit it can be a little dark! The theme is paramount to me, and I think teenagers are one of the worst age groups to be taken advantage of by popular media. They are targeted for products they don’t need, lifestyles they can’t afford and to live an older life. This may come across a bit ‘old lady’ but you only get so many years to be young, these years should be savoured and used to explore and discover who you really are, not what some evil corporation wants you to be to enhance their bottom line.You only get so many years to be young, these years should be savoured. Click To Tweet
6. Which other authors or books have inspired you?
So many authors! And they change depending on my mood. For horror, I read Poppy Z Brite or Richard Laymon. For Paranormal Romance I read Kresley Cole and Christine Feehan. For Urban Fantasy it’s Keri Arthur and Patricia Briggs. For YA it’s Kiera Cass and Cassandra Clare. And for when I’m feeling very brave, I read any paranormal non-fiction book from the publishers, Llewellyn.
7. Lost in Wonderland is the first volume of The Twisted and the Brave series. Would you like to tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind it?
It’s a YA contemporary thriller with a supernatural kick. It centers around a vigilante organisation called Wonderland that tracks and kills serial killers who have escaped justice. All the agents are code-named to characters in the Alice in Wonderland book: Hatter, Rabbit, Cheshire, etc. But the story is about an agent called Mouse who had something terrible happen to her when she was a child and uses her new found Wonderland skills to unravel a family mystery.
The inspiration for the book hit me last year. It was Alice in Wonderland’s 150th anniversary, and I wanted to write a book that honored the themes without just transposing the whole story into another genre – and Lost in Wonderland was born. I’m currently working on new books in this series based on other children’s books. The second book is The Assassin of Oz, and I’m working on a prequel to the series which is inspired by The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
8. What is the best thing about being a writer?
Creating stories, characters and worlds. I may sound like I have a bit of a God complex, but having almost total control over what happens on the page can be a heady feeling. It’s also really satisfying when you get good reviews coming in, it means you’ve done your job as a writer right.
9. Who do you feel you are the most grateful to?
My mum. She has always supported my writing and is probably the only person in my life to read my work! She’s so proud and tells anyone she meets that her daughter is an author. She is also the one I tell all my plots to, she’s got a keen eye for detail and can quickly spot if I’ve messed something up!
10. What do you feel has been the biggest challenge since the beginning of your writing career?
I think its a combination of time and money. I’m always honest in interviews, and I fear I must point out that the majority of us authors don’t get to write for a living. We still have to have full-time jobs to pay the bills. I wish I had more writing time and also time to promote my work more, but that mundane life thing always gets in the way.
11. Who should read your books? Do you feel they all target the same audience, or is there a book for everyone?
Everyone can read my books! Please, everyone, buy my books 🙂 LOL, Just kidding (I’m not really – buy my books) All my YA fiction is aimed at 14+ so can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike.
12. What are your future projects?
I’m currently working on a new YA thriller and the sequels to Bad Timing and Lost in Wonderland – It’s all go!
Thank you so much for having me here today.
Find Nicky Online
Get your FREE copy of Nicky’s historical vampires and zombies novella Traitors’ Gate here…
Buy Nicky’s vampires VS zombies urban fantasy Bad Blood here…
Get lost in Wonderland, buy Nicky’s Lost in Wonderland here…