MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR CAROLINE PECKHAM
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Caroline Peckham and my books are mainly paranormal romance, but I have a fantasy series too. Both are for young adults.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
V Games is the story of an imprisoned girl who’s kidnapped and taken to an island to play a brutal game, surviving the harsh terrain whilst being hunted by ravenous vampires. I came up with the story a couple of years back after the hype of The Hunger Games series – which I loved! One day, I thought. Hey, how cool would this death game thing be in a paranormal world? With the contestants running from vampires and spectators watching on screens in a huge castle! The idea wouldn’t let go of me and one year later, I put fingers to keyboard and typed it down.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’ve always loved the paranormal romance genre. I’m a massive fan of half the authors whose books sit along mine, so it was natural for me to write in this genre.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
The main research I had to do was on Norway and the Arctic Circle as this is where the story takes place. I did have to do a little digging into how women’s prisons are run here in the UK, too and looked up photos to get an idea of the layout.
Can you tell me about your Series?
The entire series of The Vampire Games follows a group of people thrown into brutal, televised games, beating the odds again and again and eventually coming up with a plan to bring down the murderous Helsings who run them. The fourth book in the series follows spin-off characters from the first three books who are in the aftermath of the games, but find new enemies walking the earth who seek to hurt the immortals. I have so many stories planned in this world, and though I don’t want to give away too many secrets, there will be some explosive action, intense love and plenty of immortal beings, from werewolves to sirens, to mermaids.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
The first book will always hold a special place in my heart as it was the reason I became a full-time indie author. I couldn’t believe the response it got upon its release and my fans have been voracious readers since – plus huge supporters!
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
My inspiration comes from reading, watching Netflix shows and my own wild imagination. I’m also a big fan of Pinterest where I can peruse images that give me new ideas.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Definitely. But it was only supposed to be a trilogy initially. A few of the characters in the first few books grabbed hold of me though and demanded their own story (along with a lot of excited fans who demanded more from them too!). Since then, the ideas have kept piling up and more of the characters are screaming for their own spin offs. So this series is far from done yet.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I usually wake up about 8am, grab a tea and sit down to answer my emails and check in with my fan page on Facebook. I usually think out the next few chapters in my mind of whatever story I’m writing, make a couple of notes then get stuck into it. I always write better in the mornings and I’ve recently tried challenging myself to word counts which helps keep me working through the whole day. Sometimes I go to the local cafe to work if I need a bit more willpower not to turn on the TV! But mostly I work from home then at some point drag my butt to the gym so I’m not sitting down all day.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Yes, I’m finishing up the sixth book of the series which will be a conclusion to these characters’ story. It’s called Wolf Games: Severed Fates. And it’s going to be action-packed.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Character names usually spring into my head the second they’re introduced. I can’t really explain it, but they pop into my mind and seem to come with a name attached! Other times, usually for side characters, I’ll google names and scroll through lists until I find something that suits them.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I would like to write a thriller one day, but I don’t know if it would be without a supernatural twist. I can’t seem to help throwing vampires or other bitey creatures into my books, so who knows?
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part is that the words don’t flow easily every single day. When I have hours ahead of me set aside for work and I can’t make the writing come, it can be very frustrating, especially when the previous day I may have written ten thousand words without any problem. On these days, I have to sit back and allow myself to have some time off. The words usually come more easily once I’ve done something away from the computer for a while.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I do have a book trailer! I made it myself and did the voice-over.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Going full time as an author. I’d been working at this for years and never gave up. In the end, I moved to Costa Rica for six months to buy myself time to write. That October, when I was back in England, I published V Games and my whole life changed. I’ll never forget that moment, or how accomplished I felt at I finally achieving a life-long dream.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Having the freedom to do whatever I like haha. I don’t have a boss, my days belong to me. Nothing compares to that. And writing never feels like work for me because I love it so much, so I feel like I’ve won the lottery.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’d love to get a bestseller. I still haven’t hit any major lists so it’s definitely on my mind. If I’m being really hopeful, I’d love my books to be picked up and made into a Netflix series. You never know, right?
Have you always liked to write?
Absolutely. But I never took it seriously until after university where I studied science. I’d always dreamed of being an author, but never thought it was possible. Not until I discovered self-publishing and thought, what the hell?
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Never give up. Even if you’ve been self-published for years (like I was) your next book could be a game-changer. It can be hard when you’re working full-time, writing on the side. But eventually, if you don’t give up, it will pay off. Just work on your craft and the rewards will come.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I’d be a movie star of course!
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I do read them, but try not to read the bad ones. Everyone gets bad reviews, even your favourite authors. It’s a sad fact of the industry. I used to find it hard to take, but now I just accept that not everyone is going to like my writing. And that’s fine. They’re not my people. My people are amazing, they write great reviews hehe.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
So I can’t give away much but… there’s a big baddie everyone wants dead. Like super dead. Let’s just say the characters are going to get a shot at taking him down. I can’t promise they do though 😉
There’ll also be a handful of death games, a few new and terrifying characters, a lot of vengeance and one hell of an angry werewolf pack.
Where did your love of books come from?
My parents read to me from a young age. My dad read the Hobbit to me when I was six! So I’ve always adored fantasy books. Harry Potter was hugely inspiring for me. I used to queue up at midnight at the local supermarket to buy them the moment they were released. I stayed up all night to read the final book in the series to avoid spoilers.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
My favourite would have to be Jameson Fairfax. He’s a happy-go-lucky werewolf with a badass attitude and is constantly cracking jokes. He’s so much fun to write and my fans simply adore him.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It’s always energising. I get so into the book, hours will slip by and I won’t notice the time going at all.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Wine. If my flat mate plants a glass in front of me, it’s time to put down the laptop haha.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to balance the two. My books are geared toward the paranormal romance audience but then I throw a tonne of plot-twists and unusual takes on the supernatural beings into my books, too. For example, my vampires don’t sparkle. They bite, hard. And when they’re hungry they become complete zombies, forgetting who they are completely. The only way for them to become more human and remember their morals is to drink blood. Catch-22 much?
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
My best friend’s husband is an indie author which was such a wonderful surprise when I first met him. I now edit his books for him and we often help each other out with promos etc. I’ve recently reached out to a lot more authors online and now run a cross-promotion group with a tonne of them. It’s amazing to interact with the authors whose books sit alongside mine in the Amazon store. We’re a team, not competitors. Authors only ever benefit from helping each other out.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
The girl who wrote a thousand books and once licked an ant. (seriously…I did that. And not the thousand book part).
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
How did you get to be so witty, funny and good looking?
Oh you’re too kind!
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Lots of places! I have a fan group on Facebook which is where I interact with people most.
It’s called The V Team:
All my books can be found on Amazon here:
YouTube (I run an advice channel for authors):
Thanks for the interview – it’s been great fun 🙂