Urban Mythic author Anne Nicholls!
Tell us a little about yourself and what you like to write.
I like writing uplifting, adventurous, exciting, humorous stories - all sorts of things that have a feel-good factor. It's the creativity, I think. Writers always get the best out of stories they write, even more than stories they read. I guess writing is the 3-D version!
What was it that inspired "The Seeds of a Pomegranate"?
Two things: I like the idea of the exotic along with the cosmopolitan and the ordinary down-home all working together in our multi-racial society. We're not the only folks who have a tradition of magic and fantasy so how great that there's this new enrichment coming into Britain! Also the possibilities of creative magic, and the friendship aspects.
How urban do you like your fantasy and who are your must-read authors?
I like all kinds of fantasy (and many other streams of fiction). For urban fanasy I enjoy Benedict Jacka and I'm just getting into the Iron Druid books by Kevin Hearne. Mercedes Lackey's Bedlam's Bard series are fun, as are her Serrated Edge books.
Tell us about your involvement with the David Gemmell Awards?
Dave Gemmell was a very dear friend who was our best man when Stan and I got married. We miss him greatly. We admired his spirit of "stand up and be counted" so that's what we wanted to do with the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy: make it the readers' choice so it's as democratic as possible. Anyone anywhere can vote for books in English so it's truly egalitarian and international. The awards ceremony is a real pleasure in itself. We get to meet people we might otherwise not have the chance to, for example, Olof Erla Einarsdottir who won the Ravenheart Award. She flew over from Iceland just to be with us, which was fabulous! Plus we wanted to raise the profile of fantasy fiction generally, and support artists and authors. It's amazing how time-consuming the committee work is but good fun and rewarding too.
With your other hat on you’re a qualified counsellor and writer of self-help books – do you find this perspective impacts on your fiction?
It does and it doesn't. That's to say, obviously it offers deep insight into people and their motivations, and it means I want to make ever piece of writing I do as emotionally rewarding for the reader as I can. On the other hand I have to make sure counselling language doesn't intrude because it's more analytical than dramatic.
What are you up to next?
Right now I have all sorts of things to look forward to: the launch of three anthologies in which I have stories (Urban Mythic, Pulp Heroes II and Legends) at the World Fantasy Convention; the Gemmell Awards which are also at WFC this year; another story and a novel that I'm writing; doing more paintings; and just generally having fun with friends and family. I also enjoy my counselling work as I love to see people making positive changes so they're happier and can achieve their goals.
[Anne Nicholls's published works include the acclaimed novels Mindsail and The Brooch of Azure Midnight. Her short story Roman Games was reprinted in the Year's Best Fantasy. She is now principally known for self-help writing and for her paintings, which are also gaining a following.]