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 veterinary memoirs 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', were my first ventures in epublishing.
I have always been drawn to literary fiction and 'She Bid Me Take Love Easy' is my first work in this genre. It is a coming-of-age novel that draws heavily on my own experiences of boarding at a strict single-sex English public school and the subsequent shock of release into university life during the “swinging” ’60s: the confusing years when society's attitudes towards sex were being redefined. I have used a parallel true story - an account of a disastrous love affair in the Indian Army in Victorian times - to delve into themes of obsession, love, jealousy and sexual morality.

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.

Where to find John Hicks online

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Where to buy in print



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 & satire
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
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 & satire
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
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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