Interview with John Hicks

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.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The wonderful versatility of the English language. The satisfaction (rarely achieved) of creating the perfect sentence: the one that says precisely what you mean it to say.
What do you read for pleasure?
These days, everything I read is for pleasure except Terms of Trade and other legal documents. I have given up ploughing conscientiously through stuff I don't enjoy. Nobody can convince me that The Great Gatsby is a work of genius!
I enjoy non-fiction as much as fiction, but it has to be well-written; and my preference in fiction is for a character-driven, rather than a plot-driven, style.
My list of favourites would be too long to list here and to do so would be tedious and pretentious; but I do admire authors like John Fowles, Ian McEwan, Barbara Kingsolver.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
1. When the New Zealand publisher of my first book went into liquidation a few weeks after it was published!
2. New Zealand is a small country and I am writing primarily for the British market. The potential reach for e-publishing through portals like Smashwords is global.
3. Minimal financial outlay is involved. It costs nothing but time and effort.
Published 2013-08-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

She Bid Me Take Love Easy
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 90,680. Language: British English. Published: August 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
There is a boundary of mental conflict between a straight-laced upbringing and the sexuality of adolescent young men, and therein lies a region of madness. It is the swinging ’60s and Daniel Page’s recovery from his infatuation with Angela Hartland - a sensual and liberated medical student - takes him on a literary journey: an exploration of obsession, sexual morality and love.
A Wander in Vetland
Series: An English Vet's Life in New Zealand, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 74,040. Language: British 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: 73,060. Language: British 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.