John Hicks


I am a retired veterinarian. My wife and I emigrated to New Zealand in the early 1970s. Apart from a brief stint in a dog and cat practice in Yorkshire, I spent most of my working life in various parts of rural New Zealand enjoying the challenge of mixed practice with sheep, deer, dairy and beef cattle, horses, working dogs and pets.
For my two vet-themed books I have drawn as much on my formative years in England as my subsequent experiences in New Zealand. Emigration brings with it a questing interest in origins and roots and this is also a theme in my writing.
I was the 'Vet Talk' columnist for The Southland Times for several years and have contributed articles to scientific journals and various magazines. My columns were usually of a quirky, or satirical nature - in similar style to that I have used in 'Pizzles in Paradise', which was first published by Hazard Press in New Zealand in 2005 and reprinted in 2007.
The new edition of 'Pizzles in Paradise', and its recently completed sequel, 'A Wander in Vetland', are my first ventures in epublishing.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I had a very English upbringing and a typical English public school education: boarding school... the works. Half the masters thought that they could thrash intelligence into the boys and the other half knew that they couldn't, but gave it a "jolly good" try anyway. But some of them were brilliant.
I read a lot. Reading was escapism.
What motivated you to start writing?
The short answer is emigration. I come from a family of letter writers. When my wife and I moved to New Zealand in the early 1970s there was no email, and telephone calls were extortionately expensive.
I was lucky that my job as a rural vet provided me with plenty to write about, and I always had the peerless James Herriot as a precedent. I knew I would write a book "one day".
Cancer was the final catalyst. It gave me a literal deadline which is, thankfully, now well behind me.
Read more of this interview.


A Wander in Vetland
Series: An English Vet's Life in New Zealand, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 74,470. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: May 1, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
John Hicks has spent much of his working life as a vet in New Zealand. A Wander in Vetland is an insider's look at his changing profession. These lively tales draw the reader into the more curious aspects of medical and veterinary history - ideal reading for those curious about borborygmi, the use eunuchs made of goose quills, or the potion favoured by Italian women to seduce their lovers...
Pizzles in Paradise
Series: An English Vet's Life in New Zealand, Book 1. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 72,010. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: March 6, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
John Hicks is an English trained vet. In a quirky yet literate style this memoir describes his education, courtship and subsequent emigration to New Zealand with Viv, his young wife. His numerous anecdotes are lively and good-humoured, occasionally poignant and often hilarious. It will be enjoyed by all those who love animals, have owned a pet, worked on a farm or read James Herriot.

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