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Amazing Authors in August!

Summer is finally here! In three words, tell us how are you spending your summer this year?!

Writing, editing, shelteringfromtherain.


Childhood memories - what was summertime in your childhood like?

It’s a well-known fact that in the late seventies summer took up most of the year, and it was hot, but not uncomfortably so, every single day. I lived in the countryside so I spent these ten month summers out cycling with friends, making camps and falling into ditches. Also having picnics. I don’t remember eating a hot meal for about a decade, and I’m surprised that we didn’t all get malnourished from living off sandwiches and half-melted Jaffa Cakes. I also remember sunbathing with my brother, who was old enough to know better, on the roof of our house, but I’d better not put that in case my mum and dad read this because the roof leaked the next winter.


Where would you most like to Get Caught Reading this summer & why?

On a deserted sandy beach with only a small bar serving drinks in coconut shells to spoil the view of the white sand, gentle turquoise sea and cloudless sky.


You create amazing characters in your books! Which one would you choose to spend summer with & why?

Mojo, the five year old from my new book Swan Boy. He’s such a sad little character (and yes, I know that’s my fault, and I’m truly sorry), and I’d like to give him a holiday. I live in Brighton, and I think he could do with a summer pottering around in the shallows and collecting funny-shaped stones on the beach.


Reading is the ultimate escape! Which book ‘world’ would you escape to for summer & why?

I think I’d have to stick to the beach theme and go for Olivia Levez’s debut book, The Island. It’s very much a modern day YA Robinson Crusoe, and it would be great to read about a beach very much like one I was lying on, but with more hardships, bad decisions and peril, and far fewer coconut-based cocktails.


Summer survival - name the three most essential things you take on holiday?

Sunglasses, factor 50, Kindle. What else is there?


Summertime selfie – who would you have a selfie with this summer & why? (Fictional, historical, alive today)

To return to Q5, Robinson Crusoe. Caption: “Look who I bumped into!”. Or maybe Lord Lucan. Or Elvis. Or David Bowie (because I refuse to believe he’s dead either)


Summertime travel –  plane, train, automobile or other?

Plane definitely. I still get excited by flying. I mean, when you think about it, it’s totally mad, isn’t it? I even love airports and delays just make me thing, what, I can stay here longer?! Fantastic!


Inside or outside - best place to be creative in the summer?

Sadly, inside. I really can’t write outside, but I suppose a lot of what writers do is thinking, and that can be easily done from a recumbent position on a sun lounger.


Stuck on permanent summer vacation? What three books would you choose to have with you?

Gosh, they’d have to be REALLY long as well as fabulous…. OK, for a range of styles, how about my old favourite the super-creepy English magical realism of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, the Russian classic Anna Karenina by Tolstoy, and modern US epic fantasy American Gods by Neil Gaiman.


Thank you for participating - have a great summer!


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We wanted to find out what some of our amazing authors get up to in the summer months! Are they furiously writing their next masterpiece, surfing the seven seas, trekking through the Himalayas or curled up in the sun with a good book? Read on to find out more...



Nikki Sheehan

Nikki Sheehan is the youngest daughter of a rocket scientist. Following a career as a feature writer, her first novel 'Who Framed Klaris Cliff?' won the North Herts Book Award for 2015. Her second, 'Swan Boy' is one of The Guardian’s Best New Reads for this year. She is also a story mentor for Little Green Pig (part of the Ministry of Stories) taking creative writing into schools in Brighton, where she lives with her family and too many pets.