This time of year, I think of pumpkins, Halloween and ghosts, so having Ms. Icy Sedgwick join us and share what she’s up to is particularly exciting for a wimp like me. Visits to her website will quickly reveal that she is almost like the author expert in all things paranormal.
If you haven’t yet decided on a good book to curl up with during the transition from All Hallow’s Eve to the Day of the Dead, you might swing by Icy’s website for some inspiring reads. She entertains and educates with such blog posts as, 3 powerful people to meet at the crossroads: Papa Legba, the Devil & Hecate! (Did I mention I was a wimp?)
In the meantime, get to know this author a little better, and check out her work by clicking on some of the links that take you to Amazon.
Now, without further a-BOO! (was that too cheesy?) Let’s meet Icy Sedgwick… As usual, our questions are in grey and Icy’s responses are in regular, black type. Read on!
Name/ Age/ Website… Icy, 33, www.icysedgwick.com
Where do you currently reside? Newcastle upon Tyne. It’s a pretty cool location. The city itself dates back to before the Romans, when it was called Monkchester, but it became the Roman town of Pons Aelius when they turned up. There’s been a settlement on the site ever since.
What’s your hometown/origin? Newcastle. I’ve lived here for all of my life, aside from a seven-year period in London.
You mention on your website that you’ve “written stories for as long as you can remember”. Can you remember and talk about your first writing experience? How or when did you know “this is what I want to do”? What clinched it for you?
I can’t remember the very first things I wrote, but I do remember an exercise when I was in primary school, when I was about 8, and we were learning about the Great Flood of 1771 which washed away an earlier Tyne Bridge. We had to write a newspaper article about it as if we were an 18th century reporter. I even remember using a font called ‘Jupiter’ for my headline, and typing it on an old BBC computer! Writing was just always something I did, but I think it wasn’t until I was about 16 and I did a creative writing course at my school that I thought “Hey, I’d quite like to do this more seriously”. Then it took me another six years to start actually submitting short stories!
Tell us about the genres you prefer to write in?
I love writing Gothic horror but it only seems to come out in my short stories. I love the old Dickens and MR James short stories, where the dread creeps in with the lengthening shadows as the day wanes. I particularly enjoy writing stories set in the past, so I’ve got one in 18th century Venice, and another in 19th century London, and yet another in 1940s Britain. It’s fun to put characters in difficult situations when they can’t just Google their way out of a problem. But I also enjoy writing fantasy, and while my characters use magic, there’s often a steampunk/pulp horror feel to them, with werewolves and mummies rubbing up alongside sorcerers. I’ve been told that’s called dark fantasy! And then I do like writing westerns. I like to indulge my inner child, who just wants adventure and epic scenery.
You’ve got a number of stories and novels under your belt. Do you have a favorite you’d like to share with my readers? My absolute favourite is currently in the process of final revisions before I try submitting to agents – it’s a supernatural YA about a Cavalier ghost, named Fowlis Westerby. There are some short stories starring Fowlis on his website, www.fowliswesterby.com. I first got acquainted with Fowlis back in 2008 for NaNoWriMo so I feel like he’s been very patient with me for all these years.
Many of my readers are writers. Some of them are self-publishing their works, while others are going the traditional route to publishing. It looks like you have experience working with publishers and with going solo. What would you recommend to aspiring authors?
One of the advantages of working with a small publisher is that you can leave the covers, formatting, editing and so on to them – although you’ll still have to do your own marketing, you’ll have no control over what category your book is placed into, and you won’t be able to gauge if your marketing efforts are working without access to the Kindle dashboard. But it’s a cheaper way to get started as you don’t need to pay anything upfront, and it’s nice to get the validation that someone wants to put out your book under their banner.
But because the self-publishing route is so easy these days, I’d say there’s nothing wrong with experimenting with self-publishing. If no one buys your Kindle book, just take it back down again. That said, I think the ease of self-publishing means people are putting books out before they’re ready. They still need professional editing, and proofreading, and formatting, and for the love of all things Fassbender, do not throw your cover together yourself in Canva!
My readers and community are also very much interested in the writing process. How do you go about getting words on a page? Do you take a freestyle approach, just sit down and write–or are you methodical?
It’s difficult, really. Sometimes I’ll just come up with a first line, sit down and start writing to see where it goes. If I’m working on a longer project, I’ll read the last paragraphs I wrote before I start on the new material. I usually make notes between writing sessions about where the story might logically go next, or how I can go back in to expand previous scenes. But even if I have a few notes, I’ll still more or less make it up as I go along, just with a general destination in mind. I think of it like navigating London – I know where I am, and where I want to be, and I’ll follow a route until I hit a snag and then I swap to a different route until I get to my destination.
Could you describe a typical day for you? … And when in that day to you squeeze in writing time? If it’s a week day, then I’m at work. I teach digital design and advertising, so I spend most of the day with my students. Sometimes I squeeze writing time into my lunch break, but often I use spare moments throughout the day to think about my current project, working out what I’m going to write next, or hammering out the details of someone’s back story. Then I’ll sit and actually write when I get home. If it’s a weekend, then I’ll try and get my writing time in as early as possible in the day so I can move on to other things once I know the words are in the bank.
Any favourite books you would recommend to your readers? (Stated differently, whose works influence your own writing?) I’d highly recommend both Neil Gaiman’s Smoke & Mirrors (UK) and Stephen King’s Nightmares & Dreamscapes (UK) if you want to write short stories. They’re both like a writing education in themselves. I’ve had a few people compare my writing to Gaiman so I suppose the influence must be there (although I had been submitting short stories for a few years before I discovered him).
Coffee or Tea? Coffee! And black, too. My colleagues used to take the mick for me drinking black coffee (the running joke was that I like my coffee black, like my soul) until their milk ran out…
Any questions you wish I’d ask you? No, that was jolly good fun!
Connect with Icy Sedgwick
You can connect with Icy through the following links, or you can say Hi to her in the comments!
WANT TO BE A PART OF LIVINGINCYN’S E-INTERVIEW SERIES FOR ASPIRING AUTHORS?
If you’re a new or aspiring author — that is, you are actively working on your debut book, you plan on publishing, or you recently published your debut work — you qualify for an e-interview! Enter a comment below or send an email to cynthia [at] livingincyn [dot] com if you wish to participate in an e-interview. This series is slated for the 3rd Wednesday of each month.
Note: There are links on this page that will lead you to Amazon.com. If you decide to make a purchase on Amazon as a result of clicking the link, I receive a small commission from your purchase. Find out more about affiliate links here. Thanks for your support.