Interview with Nicky Peacock, author of “Bad Blood”
Nicky Peacock is a British author living in the UK who has had short stories published/ being published in five countries: UK, USA, Canada, Ireland and Australia. She writes: horror, paranormal romance and supernatural YA fiction and has dabbled in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal Noir, Urban Fantasy and Dystopia. Most of her work is available through Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. She is a proud member of the UK’s Society of Authors. She runs a local writers’ group called Creative Minds
“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.
Q. What is like writing horror for the young adult market, and how does it differ from adult horror?
A. I love the amount of YA books on the market – and written right, they don’t have to just appeal to teens. The traditional differences between YA and adult literature are in the absence of sex and the lessening of violence. Although I ensure that sex isn’t included in my YA work, I don’t hold back on the violence – If I did, the horror would be diluted and the whole thing would just come across patronizing to the reader.
The other aspect to consider, is swearing. It’s a real debate as to whether to include it in YA literature. I tend to air on the side of – when warranted. It’s incredibly unrealistic to have characters in dangerous situations that don’t drop a few F-bombs here and there!
Q. Zombies and vampire are both iconic representations of the undead in horror and dark comedy, but we rarely see them together in the same story. Was it fun mixing zombies with vampires in “Bad Blood?”
A. It was great – like you said, for some reason this rarely happens. I’m not sure why, as they blend together so easily. A vampire against a zombie horde is quite a meaty battle, and I did introduce an infected vampire into the mix too – to make it even meatier! It’s also clear that they would be enemies fighting for the same food source. You’ve also got an interesting question of whether a brainless mass could overpower one intelligent being.
Q. The idea that a zombie outbreak would taint the vampire blood supply is a pretty cool one. How did you come up with that?
A. I had to move the story along quickly. If a real zombie uprising occurred, it would start off quite slow as one person got infected and then they infect another and so on. It would probably take 3 days for it to get going. I wanted an instant problem for the vampires and so I had the blood at the hospitals tainted. That meant that not only would it cut off a more convenient food source for the vamps, but also would make the zombie virus get out quicker with more infected people through blood transfusions. But the question still stands – who orchestrated the ‘bad blood’?
Q. There is a suggestion of romance in the story. Do you consider “Bad Blood” to be a paranormal romance, or is the question of Josh as a possible reincarnation of Britannia’s one true love a secondary plot point in an overall horror story arch?
A. I love a bit of romance in the bubbling plot pot! It is secondary to the horror though. To be counted as paranormal romance, you have to have the romance as the main plot. I needed something to dull the main character, Britannia’s reactions and also to show the reader a more naïve side of her – hopefully something they can identify with. She’s been in love with the same man for centuries – day dreaming about him. We all know how dangerous day dreams can be when it comes to relationships – dream men have no faults. So she could be in for a rude awakening, or maybe Josh is what he appears to be…
Q. Do you consider Britannia a strong female protagonist, and do you think we are seeing more of these in horror?
A. Britannia is strength incarnate – she kind of had to be to deal with the amount of undead, grabby, bitey flesh that I throw at her. We are seeing a lot of strong female protagonists in this genre – you’ve got Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse, Carrie Vaughan’s Kitty and soooo many more. I think the foppish, weak willed girls of YA horror are annoying and don’t push the story on as quickly as they should. And they, by the writing law of Darwin, would die quicker – weak spines crack easier.
Q. How did Britannia and Nicholas become such bitter enemies?
A. Nicholas made Britannia a vampire against her will. He kidnapped her from her beloved fiancé, murdered him and then held her captive for 20 years in an attempt to make her fall in love him. When she was freed, she was stronger, harder and became the vampire she needed to be to be able to deal with that trauma. She declared war against Nicholas and any vampire he might make. Before Nicholas, Britannia was Brianna – so he had a profound effect on her whole persona.
Q. Britannia’s relationship with the uninfected humans is pretty complex. How does she feel about them? Does she feel that there is any duplicity in the vampire desire to protect humans as their food source, and does she feel it is necessary to be honest with the humans? How do other vampires feel about that?
A. Each vamp will have their own thoughts on feeding from humans. In Bad Blood, there is no other option for them, they can’t drink animals and certainly can’t drink zombies. The do however have a choice as to whether to kill their prey, or simply take what they need. The latter was dangerous before, as they can’t glamour people into forgetting an attack. Post zombies, this offers a bit more flexibility. Humans take whatever protection they can to get by, and the vampires try not to be too specific as to what and who they really are – although there are a lot of wild theories that people put about! Britannia has always been ambivalent to her feeding, she kills most of the people she attacks – although she tries to keep it to evil people (in her eyes) When she starts fighting alongside humans, she sees things differently.
Q. Is “Bad Blood” available in print, or just as an eBook, and what do you think about eBooks, and how they are making a larger selection of authors available to readers?
A. It’s available in both print and eBook. Although, I never thought I’d say this, I’ve come to love eBooks. My kindle is my fav gadget right now. From a money-grubbing author point of view, eBooks yield better royalties as there are less costs involved with producing them – but there is still that massive rush involved with seeing your name in print.
Where to Catch Up with Nicky Online:
~ by Sumiko Saulson on May 28, 2013.