Anne Nicholls’ “Dragon’s Breath” features in The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 2
What inspired your writing, when you began, and – if possible – of all of your published work could you tell me which your favourites are (and why)?
I first started making up stories at the age of four, largely because I didn’t think I could draw. Other motives were trying to keep out of trouble – and the undeniable fact that a lion in the garden is much more exciting than a cat. I had my first story published following a New Year’s resolution not to keep hiding my work in a drawer. Of my work, my current favourites are By “Right of the Stars”, Mindsail, a piece of journalism that was later included in an A Level text-book, “Dragonsbridge”, “Dragon’s Breath”… you know, I love them all. Although not when I’m banging my head on the keyboard because I can see where I should have done them better.
Do you have a favourite genre, or sub-genre? What exactly is it that attracts you?
In reading terms I’m pretty much an omnivore. I love fantasy, thrillers, adventures, humour, books on painting (pictures not houses), historicals, classic SF … pretty much everything except politics and horror. There’s already far too much of that in the real world.
Some say Pulp is a genre, others a style; which side do you come down on?
Good pulp is a genre, bad pulp is sloppy writing.
What was the inspiration for “Dragon’s Breath”?
Remember that ancient TV show Bring ’em Back Alive? Also the Corrigan books I devoured as a child. Real life stories told by soldiers who’d been out in the Far East. More recently, the Young Samurai books of Chris Bradford. I had a big crush on heroes and the mystic Orient. Still do.
Do you have a particular favourite author, or authors? What is it about their work which appeals to you?
Dick Francis, for compassion, courage and style. Mercedes Lackey, Tamora Pierce and Ben Aaronovich for sheer imagination and determination. Dave Gemmell for action and heart. Stan Nicholls for pace and originality (and not just because he’s my husband). When I’ve got flu, Georgette Heyer because she makes me laugh.
Outside writing, what else occupies your time?
Painting. Socialising. Gardening. Handicrafts. Music. Films. Oh yes, and my fabulously rewarding work as a counsellor.
Is there any particular style of music – or musicians – which appeals to you?
Eclectic, from Vivaldi to John Parr, pub singing, bluegrass, old-style R‘n’B, choral works. Stuff with clever words and a tune.
What are you currently working on?
I’m brewing a novel and a short urban fantasy set in Birmingham.