I’m Nicole J. Simms a horror, crime and fantasy writer based in the West Midlands, United Kingdom.
My love for writing started with my love for reading. I still have the books I enjoyed as a small child, such as the Meg and Mog stories by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pieńkowski.
Knowing my love for reading, my mom bought me the Puffin Classic Collection of Children’s Favourite Classics, which included 12 children’s books, such as The Railway Children and Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland. It’s in this collection that I found a book that touched my heart and will forever be one of my favourites, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. As a young girl forever stuck in my imagination, I instantly connected with the main character, Sara, whose imagination was the only thing that kept her spirit alive.
While absorbing books, I started creating my own stories. Most of these would become adventurous games played with my dolls, but some became plays. One of these plays was titled Guess Who’s Next Door. This play was inspired by the TV series Goosebumps (I read the books too) and Are You Afraid of the Dark. I still have a copy of this play (I’m a hoarder), so one day I’ll either rewrite it as a play or turn it into a book because even now I still love the idea.
I was then introduced to the Harry Potter series — my mom again. Reading these books made me want to create a world that enabled people to escape from reality as J. K. Rowling did for me. I believe this is the moment I wanted to be an author.
However, studying and life distracted me from my love of writing. And, I didn’t start writing again until early 2012. I found many free creative writing courses and books, which helped to develop my writing skills, and from there, I began my writing journey.
I have since written multiple flash fictions (stories under 1000 words), short stories, poems and two novels. I am open to many genres, but I prefer to write horror, crime and fantasy stories. Some of these stories have gone on to be published in magazines, in anthologies and on websites — see the ‘Published’ section of this website for a full list of my publications.
After gaining some confidence in my writing, I decided to try self-publishing and published my first e-book titled The Book of Drabbles. This is a collection of drabbles (100-word stories).
Writing has opened the door to many opportunities that have greatly influenced my life. The first opportunity is becoming a regular contributor to the Horror Tree website — this is a resource for writers, which provides writing advice, industry news and publishers with open markets.
In 2013, I pitched an idea for a column to the Horror Tree’s main man, Stuart Conover. He loved the idea and ‘Setting Self Doubt on Fire’ was born. In this column, I write blog posts aimed at writers who struggle with self-doubt as I do. I share tips and advice in hopes of defeating the dreaded Mr Self Doubt.
Even though I was reaching out to writers, I still needed something more. So, in August 2014, I joined a new writing group called the Oldbury Writing Group – I was, in fact, the first member (I love telling the story about this). I have since become the deputy leader of the group. Over the years, we have taken part in charity events, group projects, gone on trips, attended writing festivals and events. Also, we published a World War Two anthology titled From Sunrise to Sunset in 2016. We are now working on our second anthology. I have had many wonderful experiences with this group, and I am so happy that I decided to join.
Writing is my number one passion, but I also have other hobbies like baking, knitting, painting and reading. Some of my favourite authors include J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, Sharon Bolton, R. L. Stine, Mira Grant, Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris and, new to the list, G. X. Todd. I also enjoy watching my favourite television programmes, such as The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Grimm, Charmed (new and old), Game of Thrones, Supernatural and The 100.
I also enjoy exploring historic buildings, nature reserves or any place that can inspire a story — places like Iceland and Scotland, for example, and I’ve luckily had the opportunity to visit both places (Mom again. She really does deserve that cottage).
Surprising fact: I’m a big horror fan, but my favourite colour is pink, and I can be quite girly. So, no matter what, you’ll always find something pink on me.
I now plan to continue on my writing journey, and you too can share my journey, via this blog.
You can also follow me on the following sites: