I got to know Icy through her Friday Flash pieces--well worth stopping by her blog when she puts these up. Her tales are dark, yet carry a kind of quirky humor. Without further ado, I hand over my blog for a little Q&A.
You're interested not only in writing but film. Do you envision combining your two loves at some point?
I don't know. I've occasionally toyed with the idea of writing a script but I'm not sure where to start. I think in a fairly cinematic way, in that I tend to see my story unfold and I describe what I see, but I'm not convinced I'd be able to translate that into writing. It would be like visualising something, distilling that into words, and then reconstituting it as visuals again. Maybe I'll have a go one day, but for now I think I'll keep my fiction and my film theory separate.
You're quite the mistress of dark short stories. How do these come into being? Visions? Sudden flashes of insight?
It can be anything. It can be a random snippet from a newspaper story, a photo somewhere, a conversation I overhear on public transport - I either get a full blown idea, or just an image in my head, and then I keep asking "What if?" until I get a plot. That's a bit of an oversimplification but I don't even begin to understand the real process behind it so I just go with the flow when it happens. I suppose they tend towards the dark side because I find the darker side of life far more interesting.
You and your partner regularly go ghost-hunting. Has any of this spilled over into your writing? Ever had some strange occurrences you care to share?
I certainly find lots of interesting stories, both in the history of the places we visit, and in the information we get during the investigations, but I don't always like to use them. I suppose in some ways I would feel like it would be disrespectful to use them in a fictional sense. Having said that, I think the strangest experience we had would have to be when we were doing a ouija session at Kielder Castle and Grey O'Donnell, the bounty hunter from my Western, came through to say thank you to me. It really makes you wonder if these characters you work with are complete fantasy, if we bring them into being through the amount of energy we lavish on them through the power of thought, or they're entities that attach themselves to writers.
You've selfpublished a collection of short stories. Tell us more about how you pulled these together and where people can find it?
All fifteen of them were previously published online over the course of two years, but due to some of the sites having funding problems or simply clearing out their archives, the stories had disappeared from the internet. I wanted people to still be able to read them, so I edited them and put them out as a collection. They're mostly what I'd call "weird fiction", so not really horror, but more just about strange things that happen in everyday life. Checkmate & Other Stories is 99c on both Smashwords and Amazon.
You've also written a Western. Tell us a little about Guns of Retribution.
It's a pulp Western set in Arizona in the 1880s. It stars my bounty hunter, Grey, and he is drawn back to his hometown of Retribution while on the trail of a murderer. He has to confront an old nemesis from his past, because if there's one thing Grey doesn't like, it's a bully. It's really inspired more by the Western as a film genre than a literary one, but I did plenty of historical research. I wanted to try and capture the emotional side of the genre, and tap into the mythos somewhat, but I didn't want people to be jolted out of the story by a misplaced gun reference! Plus I really enjoy writing historical fiction so any excuse to do some research is fine by me. I'm currently outlining the sequel, where things take a more supernatural turn.
Who are the three most influential authors in your life, and why?
I couldn't do an interview like this without mentioning Roald Dahl. I loved his books as a child, and I still love them now. I was fascinated by his humourous twist on the macabre, and I think he really wrote books that celebrated children who are seen as a bit "different". I suppose I could relate. I'd also say Neil Gaiman - the breadth of vision in The Sandman is truly astounding, and I love how imaginative his books are. I also want to give credit to Carrie Clevenger, too. The lady is really going places but she's always been so generous with her time, and she's very supportive of me. I really look up to her and I admire how she handles everything.
Icy Sedgwick was born in the North East of England, and is based in Newcastle. She spends her time gallivanting around the North East as a blogger and researcher for a paranormal investigations company. Icy has just had her first book, a Western named The Guns of Retribution, published through Pulp Press.