- Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Nico Bell, and I consider myself to be a feminist horror author. That term means different things to different authors, but for me it means that I actively work toward giving women a voice in the horror community and breaking stereotypes in regard to female characters and how females are portrayed in horror stories.
In addition to writing books, I’m also a horror and science fiction book reviewer for Scificandscary.com, where we strive to boost marginalized voices in the dark fiction community.
- What do you write (genre, length)?
I write horror novels as well as short fiction, flash fiction, and drabbles. Sometimes, I dabble in science fiction or sci-fi crosses over to my horror stories.
- What is/are your current project/s? Please give us some details.
My debut novel Food Fright was released on March 26th. If you like 90s campy horror similar to Killer Klowns from Outer Space or Gremlins, this might be a good pick for you! Here’s the back cover:
High school junior Cassie Adler just wanted the bullying to stop. She thought gaining a spot on the varsity soccer team would whip up instant friends, but it isn’t until the popular girls need Cassie’s help that they acknowledge her presence. Cassie reluctantly agrees to participate in a prank that turns sour fast. Now with blood on their hands, she and the popular girls race to cover their tracks. But something savage knows what they’ve done, and it’s hungry for revenge. Can Cassie redeem herself before it’s too late, or will her deadly sins ketchup to her?
I’m currently working on a new ghost novel about death and grief. It’s still in the draft phase, but I hope to have it completed later this year.
- Who (author or otherwise) or what book inspired you to write?
I’ve always wanted to be an author, but it was Chuck Palahnuik who inspired me to stop worrying about marketability and write what makes me happy. His work breaks the mold, and I’ve always considered it to be daring and bold. I love that his stories are dark, sticky, and a tad gross. It makes me believe that there’s a niche for everyone.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Learn how to take criticism. There are two different types of criticism you’ll most likely come across. The first is devastating. This industry can be soul crushing, and no one is immune to the one-star review. Inevitably, every writer will come across someone who not only hates their work, but actively goes out of their way to let you know that you’ve made a horrible life decision and should immediately quit writing. Don’t engage. Let these people have their say and keep your head high.
The other type of criticism is constructive and well-intentioned. You may not agree with an editor or critique partner, but please take the time to consider if there is something to be learned from the feedback. I’ve worked with many new authors, either as a reviewer of their books or in a workshop setting, who refuse to accept any sort of negative feedback. They believe they are right, you are wrong, and they state it as plainly as that. Please, don’t be that person. Even the most seasoned writers admit that they can still learn something new. As an aspiring writer, take all the nibbles of information authors are willing to give and study them. The hardest thing for a new writer to do is set aside their ego. I know. I’ve been there, but if you’re willing to learn, there are many people in the writing community who are willing to teach, and your writing will grow.
- What is the strangest/most interesting/coolest/weirdest/scariest thing you’ve had to research for a book or short story?
I love this question! My search history is a mess! I’ve researched the decomposition of dead bodies, time travel, the most haunted places in America, abandoned psychiatric hospitals, exorcisms, metal mittens (don’t ask), Greek mythology, how quickly a body burns in an oven, how to get rid of human bones…I swear it’s all research for books!!
- What is the most difficult part of writing for you? Why?
Fear. I’ve been writing as a profession for eight years, and every single time I sit down at the computer, fear swallows me up. It never gets easier. It never silences. I’m always afraid that I won’t be able to come up with an idea, or that the idea will be awful, or that everything I’ve been working for will vanish in a split second. Fear is always standing behind me, telling me I’m not going to succeed, and convincing me to do other things with my time rather than write. Every writing session, I tell that fear to get lost (I tell it with a few more curse words, but you get the idea). Sometimes, I win, and I write for hours. Sometimes, it wins, and I turn off the computer and walk away. It’s always there.
- What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
Besides horror, I read science fiction and fantasy. When I started writing, I wrote and read Christian romance and fiction. Every now-and-then, I’ll still pick up a romance as a palate cleanser. A happily-ever-after is a nice break from bone crushing gore. 😊
- What are some little known facts about you? Hobbies, talents, anything?
I love to bake! I’ve owned two home bakeries. The first was allergy-friendly cakes, cookies, and muffins. The second was donuts. I also love animals, and I dream of starting a dog hospice where I can adopt all the “un-adoptable” senior dogs and give them lots of love and a happy home to live out their lives.
- Do you like physical books, ebooks, or audiobooks better? Why?
I’m a fan of physical books, although I like the practicality of the ebook. Between the two, I prefer to read a physical book. Not only is it better for my eyes, since looking at screens often induces my migraines, but I just love the feel of a book. There’s something comforting about flipping through the pages.
Find Nico at the following links!