Meet Nadya Mercik

Every Friday, we meet a member of the BFS and peer deep into their soul (or, at least, a form they filled out). Want to be featured? Email us: online@britishfantasysociety.org

Name, including preferred pronouns:
Nadya Mercik (she/her)

Which region are you based in?
London

If you write, which genre: 
Sci-fi & fantasy

If you don’t write, what do you do?
I am also an assistant editor with BFS Horizons and a reviewer of books for BFS website.

Are you drawn to any specific SFFH sub-genres?
I’d say I like when things are epic, both in fantasy and sci-fi. 

Your influences

Tell us about the book/film/thing that got you into SFFH: What was it? How old were you? What impact did it have on you?

Books by the Russian author Kir Bulychev that I read as a kid (I was seven or eight)—a series of stories about the adventures of Alisa Selezneva. There were also cartoons based on these books. It was about an ordinary girl who had adventures in space and on other worlds. I think it hooked me with the other worlds and since them I was always imagining something alien or magical.

How does that early influence show up in your work now?

I believe the books that I later on translated influenced my themes and ideas more—Paul McAuley’s Quiet War or Richard Morgan’s Market Forces among those. In the end, I write something totally different and yet I draw from those stories.

Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?

A lot of it comes from my dreams, from places I visit, and, of course, from what I read and watch.

Who do you look to as a genre hero? Why?

I admire writers who create huge worlds and allow you the immersion into the story.

Your work

You’re stuck in an elevator for 60 seconds with that hero, and they want you to describe your work. Give us the pitch.

Huge space empires or federations, wicked corporations, mysteries, plots, chases, espionage, characters fighting against society, falling in love, and being reborn.

What are you working on right now?

I am regularly posting flash fiction on my website www.inklore.co.uk. I am also currently re-writing the draft of my first novel.

Thinking about all of your stories/work you’ve done, which one sticks out most in your mind? Why?

I’d say my stories keep rotating in my mind, and once in a while I’d think of this or that. But I am really proud of the story I published in BFS Horizons Issue 13, My Silvern. This story for me has the effect of synaesthesia, because it bursts with colours that sound and sings with vivid notes.

Where and when do you create/are you at your most creative?

I used to be a night writer, but for a few years now I’m trying to complete my writing in the first half of the day.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about creativity?

Find what works for you.

What’s your writing soundtrack?

I listen outside of writing hours, when I think about the story and its characters, but not when I am writing—it distracts me too much. And then the music depends on the story and the mood. Poets of the Fall have been playing on my Spotify recently. Within Temptation would be my other favourite.

Nadya’s bookshelves showcase her favourites

The quickfire round

Sci-fi, fantasy or horror?
Sci-fi and fantasy, in phases

Quiet or loud?
Quiet 

Dark or light?
Dark 

Strict lines or genre blend?
Genre blend for sure

Awards or bestseller?
Whatever sounds like an interesting story. It’s never about ratings.

Fiction or non-fiction?
Fiction

Poetry or prose?
Prose 100%

Plotter or pantser?
Panster who is turning into a plotter. Should have done that long ago, ha-ha.

Reading or listening?
Reading

Notebook or computer?
Depends.

(Pictured: Nadya’s pen-porn)

Favourite SFFH book of all time?
Impossible to choose.

Last book you read?
Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky, which I’ve reviewed for the BFS website. I am also discovering the world of Polish SFF lately. It’s much wider than Lem and Witcher.

Any SFFH author on auto-buy?
I don’t do auto-buys, but I keep an eye on Adrian Tchaikovsky’s novels for sure.

Favourite podcast?
I rarely listen to them.

The home stretch

What’s the best thing about being a SFFH writer?

Being unbound by the world around you. Flight of imagination. Reaching where you’ll never be. The immersion.

Time to plug your stuff! Where can we find you and your work? What have you got coming up? Consider this your advertising space.

I’ve got flash fiction and some of my short stories on my personal website www.inklore.co.uk, which are free to read. My short story Buoy-Perfect Citizen – Mother will appear in the anthology The Utopia of Us, coming out at the end of May from Luna Press Publishing.

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