Tuesday, July 25, 2017

In brief: Bloody Parchment's Icy Sedgwick

Icy Sedgwick is a veteran of the SA Horrorfest Bloody Parchment short story competition with her particular brand of quirky gothic tales that dig deep into mythology and history, specifically with her love for ancient Egypt. Her story "Midnight Screams at Holborn" ask what happens if a brave young man decides to take up a bet to spend the night in a haunted train station.

If you're yet to pick up your copy of Bloody Parchment: Blue Honey and the Valley of Shadow, you can do so right here at Amazon. But, without further ado, let's chat with Icy...

What darkness lies at the heart of your story?
I've always been fascinated by abandoned or 'lost' tube stations, and the British Museum station is a particular favourite. After all, how many stations can boast a legend of an Egyptian princess ghost? I knew that a newspaper had offered a cash prize for anyone willing to spend the night in the station, so I decided to slam the legend and the truth together.

Essentially, I think it's about the power of curiosity and the lengths people will go to when they really want something. Not to mention the strange things that must lie beneath a city as old as London.

What do you love the most about writing?
Seeing the story come to life. It's one thing having a cool idea bouncing around inside your head, but it's quite another to see that actually appear on the page. Once you've got it out of your mind and turned it into something tangible, you can share it with other people.

Why does reading matter?
It's a great way to expand your horizons. Few forms of media really give you the opportunity to step into someone else's shoes. Video games are great at putting you into a situation, where your actions cause things to happen to you. Films let you see the world as another person. But films are quite passive and video games lay everything out for you. Books require you to use your imagination and I think it's the space between imagined experience and the story that helps to increase your empathy. Plus it's a better way to spend your time than endlessly scrolling through Facebook.

An excerpt from "Midnight Screams at Holborn"...
Marnie put the board on the bench beside her and then unscrewed the lid off her flask to pour herself a cup of coffee. Simon fished out his own flask and did the same.
“Here’s to a night of ghost hunting!” Marnie held up her cup.
Simon knocked his cup against hers, toasting the evening with coffee. He drank quickly, wrapping his fingers around the cup to steady his hands. He’d never spent a whole night with Marnie before. What would people say if they found out she was down here with him?
“What did anyone tell you about the ghosts?” she asked after she’d drained her cup.
“I was given this,” replied Simon, handing over the pamphlet, “but everyone just focuses on the Egyptian princess. How many ghosts are there?”
“Mostly people just talk about the princess, but I’ve heard all sorts of stories. Most stations have at least one ghost. Wouldn’t it be fun if they walk the tunnels at night, and pop up in each other’s stamping ground? I suppose they must get dreadfully bored otherwise. Wouldn’t you?” Marnie pouted.
“The pamphlet says you can hear the screams of the princess all the way down the tunnel at Holborn,” said Simon.

What other things have you written? 
I have two series on the go. The Grey O'Donnell Series are Westerns, though book 2 veers into weird Western territory. I tried to focus on the more pulp/adventure side of the genre. So the books are fun adventure romps, rather than Cormac McCarthy-style Westerns. Book 1 is The Guns of Retribution which you can buy here.

My second series is the Underground City books. The first one, The Necromancer's Apprentice, emerged after a throwaway comment; I wondered what The Sorcerer's Apprentice would look like with mummies instead of brooms! I'm hoping to get book 2, The Necromancer's Rogue, out by the end of 2017. You can buy book 1 here on Amazon or here for other retailers.

I also have a collection of short stories available for free on my website. The stories were all previously published elsewhere but I pulled them together for the Harbingers collection. We've got angry Greek goddesses, a steampunk revenge story, Resurrection men, and even the Black Death in there. You can get your copy here.

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