Let’s Play 20 Questions with Nicky Peacock

I love books. Do you love books? I also love asking people questions.

This will be the first author interview I’ll be hosting, and I’ll only be doing one a month. That way you can smother yourself in each writer’s craziness for a while before moving onto another’s.

Also – if you stay tuned to the very end, Nicky has given us an excerpt of Bad Blood, her new novel which I’ve read and reviewed for your book loving selves. You must be very loved by us crazies.

IT’S OCTOBER! Just in case you didn’t know. So this interview is perfectly timed. Because zombies. And rawr. And creepiness – yay!

As for the guest posts – there are some writer related questions, some personal human being questions and some weird I had to ask them questions. Since this is my first round of guest posts, I figured I should get down the basics. In the future however, I’d like to get a bit weirder. ;D Fear not.

Okay, so maybe you should be afraid but don’t worry about it.

As we go, I’ve highlighted my comments in blue so you don’t get confused. I also have some questions for you at the end, so try to survive, okay? Okay.

 

 

*ahem* *clears throat*

Without further adieu, I give you…

Nicky ~ I assure you that as long as you aren’t an alien who has skinned and donned the identity of Nicky then you’ll be able to answer them quite easily. Also, stay away from amnesia. That tends to mess with interviews.

Nicky herself has assured me that she cannot promise there were neither aliens nor skinning going on. I think I should remove the word “assured”. 0.o

 

Nicky Peacock 2

Nicky Peacock

 

  • What is the title of your book, when does it come out and what is it about?

Bad Blood is a YA urban fantasy/ horror – vampires VS zombies. It’s a kind of Walking Dead meets True Blood for teens and older. It’s out now through the publishers, Evernight Teen.

For the back of the book blurb, skip your butt on down to the bottom of this post. Then come back and finish reading. Or I will find and harm you. Just kidding. Maybe.

  • Why this story? What made you want to tell this one?

I really wanted to read a vampires VS zombie book myself, but when I looked around I didn’t really find the story I was looking for – so I decided to write it myself.

  • What do you love about your main character? Is there anything that annoys you about her?

I love Brit’s sense of humour, she makes me laugh when I’m writing her. She is really stubborn though, which makes her hard to control at times, even as her creator!

I love Brit’s attitude.

  • Throw us a quick background on yourself (no credit or actual background checks, promise). Where have you been, what have you accomplished, what have you struggled with and conquered? (Note: if the government will get mad at you for sharing alien secrets, don’t answer this one properly, please and thank you. I don’t want a MIB showing up at my door.)

I don’t know the MIB seem pretty hot to me! I love a man in a suit! Well, my background is eerily similar to most writers – wrote a lot, got rejected a lot, found my groove and got published. Being an author is a bit of a learning curve though, so I’m still having to climb that mountain – I just hope to find a few Sherpas to help me along the way – and if they’re in gorgeous tailored black suits, who am I to complain! LOL

  • Do you have a muse or muses? What or who are they? How long do they last? Is there only one? Do you believe in any degree of having a muse or do you simply put it down to racking up the inspiration points? Speak to me your philosophy.

My imagination is my muse, it’s very vivid, deep, a bit too dark and has a woeful lack of security! So I grab onto the stray thoughts that escape, and kind of run with them – especially with my horror work. I enjoy spit balling ideas with other authors too – I think you can pretty much solve any problem in life if you just open up and talk about it with someone.

  • What themes do you like? Are there any specific ones you write about? Why?

I do think that all work – even short stories – should have a theme. Classic good VS evil can be a bit lame nowadays so I tend to go with something a bit more in-depth where I can. Bad Blood is more magic VS science and all about enemies having to put aside their differences (if they can) for the greater good.

  • What TV shows and movies do you enjoy? What kinds of music?

I have a lot of a fav TV Shows, I spend a lot of guilty time starting at a TV screen when I should be staring at my laptop! I’m loving The Strain at the moment, and am looking forward to American Horror, Freak Show when it reaches the UK. Music, I listen to a lot of different bands, as it helps me write. At the moment I’ve got: Ed Sheeran, Daughter, Broods, Civil Twilight and Silent Comedy playing on repeat right now.

Hey man, we all need our downtime watching TV shows. Plus, its “research”, so *technically* you’re still working on your writing when watching shows.

  • How many hours do you spend writing on an average day or week (however you work it out)?

It does vary depending on the week. I have to work full time (like a lot of authors I have a day job too) so I try to get in at least an hour on weekdays and about 6 hours over the weekend.

For some reason, I just love hearing how often other writers write. It might be a weird, ‘me’ thing. But anywho – it sounds to me like you’re uber dedicated to your writing. It shows in your stories.

  • I’m sure you spend a lot of that time at a computer. What do you do to counterbalance this lack of movement or you know, outside world glimpses? ;) 

There’s an outside world?!! LOL My way to combat the solitude of writing is to write some place different. There’s a beautiful gothic manor house near me which I have afternoon tea at and take my laptop for company. I also go to cliche coffee shops too.

I’ve yet to try the coffee shop. I’d probably yell at everyone to shut up and hold still. As for the gothic manor house – I am DROOLING right now. And kind of jealous. This sounds amazing.

  • What other talents and/or hobbies are you partial to? When you have free time, what on earth do you do with it? What do you wish you could do with it?

Now there’s a question! I don’t have a great deal of spare time on my hands at the moment, what with writing and promoting Bad Blood, it feels like I’m a slave to the literary world! I do enjoy reading, and fortunately that helps the writing too as I do book reviews. I do keep active where I can and engage in yoga once a week, gym twice a week, Zumba classes and swimming – all the while thinking up dark, nasty plot lines…

  • And since this is me, I have to know – do you like chocolate?

Hell yes! I love chocolate. I’m not sure if you have it the USA, but over here in the UK we have Galaxy chocolate, and that’s my fav – especially the hot chocolate drink they make – perfect for cold winter nights, or summer ones, hell, any night really!

I Googled it. We don’t have it here. *sobs uncontrollably* The hot chocolate sounds especially good. *sobs some more*

  • What about Halloween? What is your favorite Halloween memory/costume?

My fav memory is when I was an actor at a Halloween horror event. I was the ghost of a little girl, so was covered in blood, pig tails and a spoke in a really creepy high pitched voice. Scaring people on the page is one thing, but in real life it was highly addictive!

Okay, take the jealousy above and add to it creep factor jealousy. FUN! I can just imagine you creeping about, frightening people and laughing.

  • Do you play pranks on people on Halloween? Scare anyone lately?

To be honest, I don’t really play jokes on people. I have an older brother who has played many jokes on me in the past, so I know how it feels to be on the receiving end. The Halloween event was different though, as people were paying good money to have the bejeezes scared out of them, I happily obliged!

Good point. Huge distinction there. I would love to do Halloween scaring. But I’m not big on pranks. At all. Okay, not even a little.

  • Also because this is me – do you like animals? Which ones?

I love animals – especially ones covered in chocolate hmmmm (just kidding) I’m a dog person generally, although I don’t mind cats. My dog, Bob died a few years ago and I haven’t had the heart to buy another one – maybe in the future.

  • Have you ever had to bury a body? Just kidding. But, no, really.

I have buried a few bodies, but that was before I learnt about the acid baths! LOL

*nods head understandably*

  • Is there anything else we should know about your book or yourself? Anything that might drag potential readers or stalkers in?

Well, Bad Blood is getting some pretty good reviews at the moment – there’s plenty of action in there, sandwiched around a dollop of humour and a slice of romance. I love to talk to readers, so feel free to contact me through my blog if you want to know anything else.

(Links to Nicky’s blog are later.)

 

 

Nicky Peacock 3Nicky Peacock: 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 love your author bio! I feel like your childhood could turn into a hilarious and yet creepy book.

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.

 

Thanks for having me here Daphne! I’m sure I’ll be interviewing you about your new book soon too!

 

Aw, shucks, thanks. You’re very welcome. I’ll have to have you back in the future so I can ask you some outrageously strange questions. ;D

Okay, so technically that wasn’t twenty questions, but we have some other stuff for you, oh dear reader peoples. So it counts. Also, Nicky’s photos are awesome, right? Love the umbrella. I think it has a fancy name but I’m lacking brainpower right now. So it’s an umbrella!

And the fan. I LOVE THE FAN!!! If I could remove it from the photo and keep it, I would. I’ve always wanted one of those fans.

 

Continue below for the synopsis of Bad Blood, links, an excerpt, my review, and some questions I have for you.

 

BAD BLOOD

bad-blood

Synopsis:

“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.

 

Buy Bad Blood: http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Blood-Battle-Undead-Book-ebook/dp/B00N3GYIWE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412929444&sr=8-1&keywords=bad+blood+nicky+peacock

 

Blog: http://nickypeacockauthor.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickyp_author

Face Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/NickyPeacockYaBooks

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Nicky-Peacock/e/B007UH2ACW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_4

Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4958833.Nicky_Peacock

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/nickypauthor/

Tumblr: http://nickypeacock.tumblr.com/

Website for my Writers’ Group: http://creativemindswriting.wordpress.com/

 

 

Excerpt:

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 http://www.evernightteen.com/

Nicky Peacock 1

_______________________________________________________

Daphne Shadows’ Review of BAD BLOOD

The first sentence of Bad Blood had me sucked in and wanting to know what was going on. What on earth was Brit doing up there?

Good sign, eh?

Brit is a stubborn and down to earth vampire with enough attitude to drive most of her enemies away. But she and Nicholas – her very annoying enemy, who I would have loved to pummel into a brick wall early on – have to try to put their personal lives on hold. Why? Oh, you know, the usual. Zombie masses killing off their food supply. *ahem* Humans.

Brit and Nicholas are off to rescue humans and avoid zombie masses. (I think that was easier for them than resisting the urge to kill one another.) Sounds pretty straightforward. Right? Yeah, no. Things don’t turn out as Brit imagined. There’s no going back to normal for her when a lie is revealed, leaving her entire past suddenly questionable. As well as her motive for revenge.

Nothing like a zombie apocalypse to bring a vampire’s reason for existing into harsh perspective.

I love the way Nicky incorporates Brit’s emotions, or lack thereof for a while. It’s hard for people to let go of old hurts, especially ones that still affect them. It’s easier to cram the emotional crap into a teeny box in the back of your mind. Plowing down zombies also helps with the distraction bit.

Nicky highlights this beautifully. It doesn’t matter what or who you are. Your head and your heart still try to fight for the highest importance.

Not to mention zombies. Don’t forget the zombies.

Oh, and did I tell you there’s an adorable dog involved? Well there is. So check it out.

 

 

That’s all folks!

Okay, not really. I still have more questions. Except these ones are for YOU.

BLOG READER PEOPLES – Are there any questions you would like to ask Nicky? Any question ideas for my next guest post? Any suggestions for strange/funny questions for a future return of the Nicky?

Nicky – anything you’d like to add, comment on or question?

THANK YOU NICKY for being your awesome self, writing awesome books and camping out here on my blog for the day. Mind the spiders. They get cozy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Posts

8 NonSensical Rules of the Universe that You Wish would Die

Ever heard of Murphy’s Law?

We all have little things that happen continuously that drive us nuts. For instance, when they run out of donuts right when you get to the shop. This is madness! Got all dressed and conscious real early like and you don’t have any freaking donuts for me!

You get the idea.

 

  1. You will never, ever be able to fill up the little dropper out of those dropper bottle thingies. Never, I tell you!

Why on earth do they make them the size they do if it’s never going to get filled up. I mean, do you remember getting so frazzled as a child because you couldn’t understand why they made all the empty space without letting you fill it up? You might as well give me a pool and tell me I can only fill it halfway. And yet I just keep trying to fill it.

Bloody hell it’s like trying to fit a circle peg in a square hole! Blarg!

 

Chemistry

These things. Made by the devil. Seriously, he’s laughing somewhere.

 

 

  1. Every time you paint your nails, you will mess them up. It’s inevitable.

You’ll need to answer the door, remove one of your children from the top of the fridge, walk a dog, pick up a ticking bomb, or accidentally fall asleep on top of a very fuzzy blanket, which will get stuck on your nails and mess them up. Know this ahead of time. It’ll save a lot of yelling at inanimate objects.

 

  1. Did you just send an email? Guess what, you will now remember twenty different things you needed to tell this person in THAT email. Never fails. Especially if it has something to do with your job or the in-laws who hate your guts.

 

  1. Your hair looks fantabulous – beautifully, perfectly awesome. When you don’t have to go anywhere. And no one is going to see you that day. And you’re especially not photogenic that day so you can’t even keep proof.

(And the next day, when you have something to do around lots of people, your hair is going to look like crap. Lots of photos will be taken.)

 

stockvault-girl107771

Does your hair just POOF look this good? Too bad. No one is going to see it.

 

  1. You will never be able to get that glass jar open. Why? Because you need to hit the rim against something hard to loosen it and everyone in your house is sleeping. That’s why.

Go eat something else. Like crackers. Or something else that doesn’t sound good because you want what’s in that freaking jar.

 

  1. Children will ALWAYS put their shoes on the wrong feet when they’re just learning. I mean what are the odds of that? And yet, every time they shove on their shoes, voila, wrong feet. Every. Single. Time.

 

  1. Flat surface? People watching you? Are you holding onto something heavy and/or breakable? You’re going to trip. Over nothing. And everyone is going to see you. And you’re possibly going to smash open the container of chocolate and lose it to the pigeons.

Evil pigeons.

 

Will dive bomb from chocolate.

Will dive bomb f0r chocolate.

 

  1. Did you just rent a movie? Are you ten minutes from the end or really starting to get into it? On the edge of your seat, all excited to find out what happened? Yeah. Turn it off now and save yourself the trouble. Why? Because the disc is going to skip. And the movie rental place is closed. And its too far away anyway and you’re hungry and you can’t find your shoes.

 

Any to add? Any of these drive you insane?

1 Comment

Filed under Personal

What is Samhain?

If you’ve been following the mad splatterings of my brain for a year or longer, you’ve probably heard me refer to Halloween as Samhain. Which probably makes no sense, right? Let me clear this up right quick before we get down to the weirdness of birds on fire, snakes eating themselves and other stuff.

 

deerfield_cemetery3

 

What is Samhain?

Samhain is an ancient Celtic festival surrounded by a lot of myth, lore and differing opinions. It’s where Halloween came from.

 

It’s pronounced:

“sow-in” in Irish

“sav-en” in Scottish

“sow-een” in Welsh

 

Samhain takes place on October 30th, 31st, and November 1st.

It’s the Celtic New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. It’s both the end and the beginning of their calendar year.

I’ll go into more small details about Samhain in future posts but for now this is my point. Halloween/Samhain is the end and beginning.

Which is really vague and yet specific and leaves room for all sorts of creepy things.

Which is awesome.

 

The End and the Beginning

The concept of the end and the beginning, the alpha and omega, the circle of life, etc. is everywhere. I mean all you have to do is pop in The Lion King to realize this.

But what does it mean? And what does it have to do with Halloween?

According to some, the Celts considered the year split into two seasons. Summer and Winter. They considered Samhain the end of the summer and the beginning of winter.

stockvault-fire136423

The death of warmth and the rebirth of the cold. It was the time they harvested for the final time that year. It was also the first fire festival of the new year. This time was also heavily seeped in the one subject no one ever escapes: death.

Samhain was a time to celebrate death and renewal. This time stood still between the world of the living and the dead. As they danced around the bonfire, they celebrated life but also acknowledged that they too would die. A time to honor the dead and the light that burned through the night.

Nowadays (and as a symbol), Samhain also focuses on needing to let go of things and begin the new. It’s a time to end negative relationships, addictions or anything else holding you back from moving forward. Start planning for something new (planting seeds). This death is necessary for change.

 

Change

Change is good. It is needed. Sometimes it really sucks but if we never move forward, well to be a bit redundant here, you’re just standing still.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Some things shouldn’t change. You do not change yourself and or things or situations simply for the sake of change.

But when you’re holding onto something that you shouldn’t, something that’s hurting you, something that, regardless of how tightly you hold on to – you need to let go. And part of you knows this. Don’t let denial keep you in the same place. Let go. Let it die so that you can move forward and allow yourself to be reborn and live.

 

Symbols

A lot of Celtic knotwork shows this belief in change and the constant of death and rebirth.

But Celts aren’t the only peoples or symbols that tie in with the “end and beginning” symbolism. There are actually quite a few mythological creatures that share the same meaning, from countries all over the world.  There are literally tons.

For brevity’s sake, I’m going to pick three symbols to expound upon. Because, you know, I don’t want to be chained to my laptop for months straight, k? Okay.

  • Ouroboros
  • Phoenix
  • Celtic Knots

 

So, tune into my brand of crazy in the coming weeks for more info on these symbols. And you know, more random Halloween and Samhain facts and opinions.

Because October.

 

Halloween Home

AcrylicArtist

Plus, you know, Halloween is just pure awesomeness. Check out that uber decorated house. Need I repeat that I love Halloween?

 

Do you enjoy Halloween? Why?

1 Comment

Filed under Research

If You Could Ask ANY Question (and Have You Seen the Oreo Unicorn)?

So, I’m supposed to do a blog post this week but I feel like I got ran over by the SnowBallDownHillofDoom-Fairy.

 

I’m at a loss.

As far as writing goes, I’m working on a new story idea, fleshing out the characters, setting, creatures and plot, while waiting for critique partners and beta readers to get back to me on Blair’s story.

 

But here I sit, uninspired on what to write a blog post on.

So I have two questions for you, oh awesome people who read my inner musings and obsessions.

 

My Oreo from the other day. it's a skull.

My Oreo from the other day. it’s a skull.

 

QUESTION ONE

Oreos.

I love them. In milk. I really love to drop a few Oreos in milk and just leave them there for ten minutes or longer before scooping them out with a spoon.

Awesomeness.

But yeah – question.

Did you know there were EIGHT different flavors of Oreos?

I had no idea! I’ve been living in an Oreo ignorant state.

There are, and I’m quoting the Oreo website:

  1. Cookie dough
  2. Chocolate
  3. Berry
  4. Uh-oh
  5. Lemon
  6. Mint
  7. Peanut butter
  8. Regular

Apparently, at one point there was also strawberry cream, banana split, and watermelon. They also do seasonal flavors.

 

Halloween themed Oreos are the coolest!

Halloween themed Oreos are the coolest!

 

Have you eaten any of these? Do you want to? Do you even like Oreos?

I think I’d try all of them EXCEPT for the watermelon and lemon. That just sounds nasty to me.

Up until now, I’ve only eaten double stuffed. Because – amazing.

 

QUESTION TWO

If you could ask a published author anything, what would it be? About them, their favorite genres, about their book, about how they write, etc?

I’m going to do a couple guest posts on here pretty soon – probably one a month. Tell me, when you read guest posts, what do you wish they would have been asked?

Anything?

 

Okay, I’m going to go make easy dinner now. I think. Hopefully. Probably not. There is no such thing as “easy”.

Ugh.

*falls over*

;D

 

Pumpkin. Mwahahahahaha!

Pumpkin. Mwahahahahaha!

 

OH! I almost forgot! So, twitter did what twitter will do and I got in an awesome conversation the other day, regarding the best kind of unicorn there is.

Apparently, on crap days, this unicorn brings you Oreo’s and milk. He still hasn’t shown up at my place. I’m thinking about sueing.

Have you been visited by the Oreo Unicorn?

5 Comments

Filed under Personal

On Genre Fiction being the Scum of the Literary World

Why do you read books?

I mean seriously. Why bother? Its paper, ink and made up people and places and mostly none of it is true.

 

So WHY

Do You

READ BOOKS.

 

Stories. People like stories. They’re fun. They’re an escape. They teach us something, even if we don’t consciously realize it. Stories help you understand yourself better, as you decide what you think and feel because of everything you just read. Or you have parents that beat you and stories give you a place to live that’s safe from your reality. Or you simply have your head in the clouds and love the adrenaline rush of being someone else inside your head.

 

What KIND

Of Books

Do You Read.

 

Anything? Everything? A specific genre? A few different genres?

I know you’re supposed to have read books in school, mostly literary novels. You most likely hated them, hated having to read them. I know you’ve probably read the dictionary, at least one word on one page, if you’re my generation. Younger and you might have simply googled what the word meant, but hey – it’s still a dictionary. I know you’ve read fluff pieces on or in a magazine whether it’s on the internet or in the grocery store line that never ends. I know you’ve probably read your children’s crazy words if you have kids. I know you’ve read your own inner monologue if you keep a journal.

The list goes on.

 

What Type

Of Books

Are All of Those.

 

Literary, nonfiction, cozies, informational, fictitious, stream of consciousness.

Is one of those BETTER than the other? Did any of them AFFECT you more? Did you end up LOVING one of those and now you search out that kind of writing, essays and books everywhere you go? When you’re in the store for diapers or canned soup, do you check the book racks to see if there’s anything good? Do you wander around the used bookstore? Wonder if your sister, children, mom or best friend read, and if so, what?

 

Which

Books

MATTER.

 

All of them.

End of story.

But because this is real life and real people are contradictory, let me explain.

 

Apparently

I Write the

Scum of the Earth

Why? Because I don’t write non-fiction or literary novels. I write fiction. Fantasy, horror, paranormal. Dear cookies in heaven, I’m the devil!

 

There’s this

Theory

 

It’s an opinion really.

That all genre fiction (for example, what I write and romance, adventure, etc) is scum. It is pointless. Shouldn’t be read. There are snobs who turn their noses up at it and declare the writer of such garbage a freeloading brat who needs to get a real job, while the literary author gets to work and does something real, something important.

 

WHY?

the-reader

 

I have no idea. Maybe it’s one of those things where young people turn their noses up at old people, saying they’re better. And old people look down on young people, saying they’re ignorant idiots with easy lives. People apparently aren’t happy with themselves and need a “reason” to put others down, elevating themselves. In their head only, that is.

Regardless of where I go, all I hear about is people deciding they’re better than other people.

When really, we’re all just opinionated. We have opinions. We have likes.

I like books.

Do I care what kind of books you read?

NO! No a million times over. As long as you enjoy books, I’m a happy camper. And if you don’t like books, well that sucks and you’re missing out but hey, that’s you and I’m me.

 

See How that Works?

 

Honestly, I’d like for people to get over their selfish snobbery and pull their heads out of where the sun don’t shine.

 

GET OVER YOURSELVES.

Everyone.

Right now.

 

I like what I like. You like what you like. The garbage man down the street likes what he likes. The kindergarten teacher, too.

 

Does that make me stupid?

 

No.

Does that make the literary writer stupid? The suspense novelist stupid?

NO!

 

Writing a book

IS HARD!!!

 

I cannot stress this enough. I don’t care if you’re writing for professors, chemical engineers, third graders or the mom who has five minute breaks every couple of hours. WRITING THE FREAKING BOOK TAKES WORK. Hard work. Hours every day, just like a “real” job.

 

Genre Fiction

Is NOT

Scum

Literary Fiction

Is NOT

Snobbery

 

One bad apple does NOT ruin the whole bunch.

So knock it off.

I should be able to take a creative writing course in college and not have a professor look down on me, belittle my work and call it scum because the monsters aren’t 100% human.

But I can’t, now can I?

Because apparently, genre fiction is the scum of the literary world.

Now how

DUMB

does that sound?

8 Comments

Filed under Creative Writing, Personal

Masks

I love this poem:

Masks by Shel Silverstein

She had blue skin,

And so did he.

He kept it hid

And so did she.

They searched for blue

Their whole life through,

Then passed right by –

And never knew.

 

Be who you are.

Because if you hide well enough behind a mask, you may walk right past someone who is ideal for you. Whether as a friend, helper or lover, it doesn’t matter.

You will never meet them or know them, feel accepted by them or loved by them if they do not know who you are.

You’ll never have what you truly crave because you were not yourself. Instead, hiding behind a mask of lies and partial truths. Don’t hide. Don’t fear who you are.

 

file4981270283819

 

Be who you are.

The only other option is to be someone else.

What is the point of you living if you’re going to be like another already here?

We are all the same and yet we are all so different.

Don’t hide your differences. They make you, you.

The vulnerabilities, the mistakes, the genetics controlling so much of you, the choices you can control and make, the choices you cannot make, how you react to those things out of your control.

Who you are is made up of not only every breath, but also of every thought and action. Every small comment and blush. Every yelled word of anger. Every slap, every hurt. Every smile. Every reason behind that smile.

 

“We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others, that in the end, we become disguised to ourselves.” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld

 

Be who you are.

Or you may end up hating yourself. And as a byproduct, everyone else.

 

Everyone wears masks, that’s true.  But don’t let that mask block who you are from yourself or those around you.

There’s darkness inside all of us. But without dark there would be no light. Don’t hide it. Without one part of you, the rest of you would cease to exist.

Be careful that your mask does not keep you from living the life you want.

 

“We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.” –Andre Berthiaume

2 Comments

Filed under Personal

Why Writers are Masochists (and “I Wanna Get Better”)

So this is draft number eighty thousand and one and one half (draft number six in reality) of my novel and IT IS FINALLY READY FOR CRITIQUES.

Funny thing is, for this story – Blair’s story, the only drafts I should have written were numbers 5 and 6. Drafts 1 – 4 were all different stories.

BUT – with the help of ever-awesome critique partner and all around amazing dude (you know who you are), I FINALLY figured out what my issue was.

This also helped me figured something else out.

My writing process.

Took me long enough.

 

95px-Smiley_green_alien_big_eyes.svg

 

And for all of you who keep asking me what my bloody book is about, here’s a blurb. Not “the” blurb, but “a” blurb.

 

Human or Hidden

Blair is free.

She wakes up in a forest, no idea how she got there, covered in blood and wearing broken chains.

But before she can enjoy her well earned freedom, she triggers a Merge of Realities, causing a cataclysmic series of events.

In the city of Zerzura, California, cut off from the rest of the world, Blair must fight down an ancient demonic presence (drawn by the Merge), escape the creatures trying to drag her back to slavery, decide if those drawn to her are allies or pawns, avoid the Blood-witches driven mad by the crashing Realities and rise above her own fatal doubts.

Mainly, is her freedom worth the ruin of the world?

(Horror/Fantasy/Paranormal)

 

120px-Smiley_green_alien_mmm.svg

 

I will probably change this a million times – it started out twice as long with two questions in it – but a friend (you also know who you are) made a few suggestions and light bulbs attacked my head.

I wrote this up yesterday afternoon just to give critiquing peoples an idea of what Blair’s story is about. I know that the second to last sentence is like the LONGEST SENTENCE OF ALL LONG SENTENCES and I might need to change it. I’m kind of torn though because if you look at the back of a book, there are sentences this long. I dunno.

But like I said, I just threw it together. If you have any suggestions, go ahead and comment. If it doesn’t make sense, please let me know.

 

But anywho – I love the craziness surrounding critiques.

Being a writer, you’re supposed to have thick skin. But at the same time you’re supposed to be sensitive enough to write characters with real emotions and doubts. You have to be a rhino but empathize at the same time.

In the past, I haven’t had good experiences with critique partners. By bad experience, I mean, they didn’t critique my work, they told me that I was an idiot and should fly to New York and get to know literary agents and work on getting published their way.

Not helpful.

JOY OF ALL JOYS (not being sarcastic this time), I’ve had a new critique partner for more than a year now that is PURE AWESOME.

However, every author will tell you that you need a variety of opinions.

 

Smiley_green_alien_knockout.svg

 

The thing about critiques, for me, is that I want the truth.

And it’s not that the honest truth is going to hurt my feelings.

It’s that it’s going to make me feel stupid.

And I know it.

I’m going to read their critiques and feel like an uber idiot loser who can’t write for crap. I’ll want to dig a whole, crawl into it with a chocolate bar and die (after I eat the chocolate bar).

But then I’ll be okay and get uber excited over fixing my manuscript.

 

95px-Smiley_green_alien_unhappy.svg

*determined*

 

So – see? We writers are masochistic.

We rip out a piece of our soul, hand it over to strangers and ask them to rip it further to shreds. Then we take it back and agonize over it for a while. Then we get determined and want to make our story better.

It’s a never ending circle of eek!

 

But anywho of who’s, have a song. Amazing critique partner dude found this and tweeted it to me.

By the way, I love saying that. Tweet, tweeted, tweeting. lol

Okay, back on track. Love this song!

 

Are you a masochistic writer? Do you like critiques? Do you like this song? Do you have a bar of chocolate I could have?

7 Comments

Filed under Creative Writing, Personal