Icy Sedgwick is a PhD student, a fantastic author and an all round arty person. She wrote the super cool pulp western novel The Guns of Retribution that I thoroughly enjoyed and the newly released Necromancer’s Apprentice from Dark Continents Publishing (That I have yet to read, but look forward to!). She’s also written some great short stories and featured in several great anthologies. Enjoy my little chat with Icy!
Tell me a bit about yourself, where are you from and what brought you into writing? What drives you to continue writing?
I’m from the north east of England, and I’ve always written for as long as I can remember. I wouldn’t say I’m driven to keep writing – I do it because I enjoy it, and I like entertaining people. My prime goal has always been to provide escapism in some form, and if I can do that, then it’s worth writing.
What genres interest you most and which do you write in?
I love Gothic fiction, I think that’s my first love. I mostly write my own version of it, particularly in the horror vein, or fantasy in the JK Rowling sense of the word. That said, I’ve written historical fiction, steampunk and a pulp Western so I don’t like to be constrained by labels too much. I think the only genres I never write involve romance or erotica.
What are your thoughts about short stories and the short form? Do you have a particular favourite short story?
I love short stories! Anthologies are particularly good because you’re always bound to find something you enjoy. I love Oscar Wilde’s short stories, although Wilkie Collins and MR James wrote some real zingers. I think the beauty of a short story is its compact nature – there’s no room for diversions, or irrelevant flights of fancy. You have to ditch what’s unnecessary and focus solely on the story. I think that’s why I enjoy Stephen King’s short stories more than his novels – I sometimes feel his books lag a bit in the middle, but his stories don’t have the same problem.
For those who submitted new stories: (without giving your story away!) What did you find interesting about writing a story for an anthology with the suspended in dusk title/theme? Was there anything in particular that you wanted to write about or explore?
I’d already written the story but given its setting in the twilight streets of Victorian London I thought it fitted in well with the concept of dusk, and a suspension of time, particularly given the timeless nature of my particular ‘monster’.
What has been the highlight of your writing career so far?
Getting published for the first time was naturally a high but I’d say getting a review which favourably compared me to JK Rowling is probably at the top of the list!
Do you have any outstanding writing goals you’re working to achieve? (sale to a particular market or publication/book deal/award/NaNoWriMo/etc)
I’d really love to finish editing my YA novel and place it with an agent with a view to trying the traditional publishing route. I love working with independent presses and I like the ‘family feel’ you have with the editors and other authors, but for that particular novel, I’d love to see it on shelves in bookshops or available in train stations and airports.
Do you have any interesting projects on the horizon that you’d like to share some info with us about?
I’m currently working on the sequel to my most recent novella, The Necromancer’s Apprentice. This one will be wider in scope and further explore the world that I built, as well as delving into the background of Necromancer‘s villain, Eufame.
What advice do you have for new or aspiring writers?
Some writers think they can learn by doing, and while you do learn a lot from the actual process of writing, it’ll drastically cut your learning curve if you read blogs and books about writing, study novels that work, and treat writing like a craft as much as an art form.