Nicky Peacock’s Bad Blood, book one in her Battle of the Undead series, is one kick ass novel. Set in a futuristic London, the novel features a bad ass female vampire slayer who is also a vampire. (My readers know this is my heart!) What if there was a zombie uprising? Bet the vampires don’t look so bad now! This book is an action packed, fun read.
I am stoked that Nicky took the time to do a Q&A with me.
Tell me about Bad Blood (Battle of the Undead Book 1).
At its heart, its kind of a Walking Dead meets True Blood for teen readers and up. Once I had the basics down, it came together relatively quickly and ended up being one of my favorite stories - although books are kind of like children, so perhaps I shouldn't say?
What inspired you to tell Britannia’s story?
Brit, as a character was developed to progress the story forward. To ensure I just wasn't writing a simple zombie survival book, I had to have subplots regarding the vampires. So, I needed a character who although is hopefully like-able, is hard and stubborn and doesn't always see what's in front of her. I didn't want her to start off the hero who fights for humans out of the goodness of her heart, but more like a real person would be - conflicted, but ultimately doing what's right, or perhaps more likely, what they think is right.
Britannia is almost a savior of humans, at the opening of the book, we see her stopping a young vampire from claiming a victim. Can you bring us into your world a little bit and tell us about it?
At the start of the book Brit is blinded by revenge more than anything else, saving the girl at the start is more a byproduct of what she wanted, rather than her end goal. She's kind of an accidental hero. She still kills people for the blood and has set herself apart from the world as a kind of coping mechanism for everything she has been through. She's tough and kicks some serious ass, but readers get more of a glimpse into her past and how she got that way in the second book I'm currently writing, Bad Timing.
I love that you got vampires and zombies in this book as (im)mortal enemies. What was your ‘ah-ha’ moment for that really brilliant idea?
I actually went looking for a book that featured vampires in the zombie apocalypse - and didn't find one. There were plenty of urban fantasies which had both zombies and vampires featured in their series - but none that had real vampires pitted against undead hordes as they spread across the globe. So I decided to write it myself. To be honest, once I had the concept of enemies having to work together to save their food supply and a magic VS science theme, it kind of wrote itself!
Do you often write in the YA genre? What draws you to it? And, what would people who generally read “adult” fiction find surprising about it?
I tend to write more adult fiction. There are obvious limitations with YA fiction which usually turn me off it. But this story lent itself more to YA - and from an evil commercial viewpoint, adults enjoy YA fiction just as much as teens so YA opens up a wider audience for your work. In terms of Bad Blood, it does deal with some very adult themes, and I never pull punches with violence and gore. I don't believe in 'dumbing it down' for younger readers - the only thing I would never include in a YA novel is a sex scene.
Now that Bad Blood is released, what’s next for you?
I'm still beavering away writing whilst promoting at the same time. It's hard work being an author - the work doesn't stop once a book comes out; you have to get online and promote your literary baby in a rather overcrowded marketplace. You have to keep writing to get out your next book and the next, and the next and so on. I've actually just finished an adult horror/thriller which I'm preparing to pitch to publishers and also putting the finishing touches to an adult re-telling of a Hans Christen Anderson fairy story. Of course all the while still plotting and drafting the next Battle of the Undead book too. No rest for the wicked!
Do you have any writing rituals?
I'm not really a ritual type of person - I don't have the time to be. Like most authors I still have to work a full time job and attempt to have a social life, so my writing fits around that. I have a good mini laptop which an excellent battery life (I think this is key to getting more done) I carry it round with me and when I'm waiting to meet a friend, or simply chilling with a cup pf tea in a cafe, I can tap away any random thoughts that come my way, ready to be drafted, edited and slipped into my manuscript when I get home.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I'm a bit of a hobo writer - so any place really. Coffee shops are good, nice smells and lots of people around, so you don't feel so isolated. I also write in bed, and on my lunch hours at work.
What inspires you to write?
The money, no I'm kidding! I've just always wanted to tell stories (not in a liar, liar sort of way but for entertainment) I'm also an avid reader myself, so I know the impact of a good book. The world we live in is a bit dull and painful at times, books can transport you away, introduce you to new friends and make you feel that there's some magic left in the world - I'd really like to do this for my readers.
What 5 books are on your bookshelf right now?
Heart Shaped Box - Joe Hill
Sea of Shadows - Kelley Armstrong
Frozen - Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston
The Witch of Salt & Storm - Kendall Kulper
Among the Missing - Richard Laymon
What do you recommend people see/read/hear?
To See - The series The Strain (currently on Watch in the UK)
To Read - Any of Sebastian Gregory's 3 books out - really dark and well written.
To Hear - The Album, Broods by the Broods
A huge thanks to Nicky for taking the time to chat. And seriously, guys, buy this book! It's fantastic!