Friday, 18 November 2016

Getting To Know...Nicky Clifford

Today I am pleased to welcome Nicky Clifford who kindly answered my questions for Getting To Know... Nicky is the author of Never Again.

Your debut novel, Never Again, is a contemporary romance, what is it that draws you to this genre?

When I was younger, I read Mills & Boon back to back. As a teenager, I used to dream up all manner of scenarios by which I would meet my ‘Mr Right’, and I did meet him around 13 years ago. It turns out that we were both born in the same hospital in Hendon – spooky coincidence! I don’t think I will ever tire of re-living the ‘will they, won’t they’ rocky path to romance.

Never Again is set with the romantic back drop of the Swiss Alps, what made you decide to use this destination?

I was lucky enough to work in a hotel in Wengen as part of my hotel and catering course at Bournemouth University, more years ago than I care to remember! The scenery is stunning whichever direction you look, the air is fresh, the days are warm - I couldn’t imagine a more romantic place, except perhaps Venice! My grandparents met in Wengen, so I already knew one love story that started there.

Do you have a favourite character that you have written so far?

Elspeth is most definitely one of my favourites. She was, however, an extremely badly behaved character in that she was only meant to make a brief appearance in the first few chapters to add interest to the novel. But no, she was having none of it. Before I knew what had happened, she had written herself a main part and stuck herself slap bang in the middle of the action right until the bitter end!

You also write some really beautiful poetry, will we ever see a collection in the shape of a book?

That is lovely of you to say so. I have written poetry prolifically from a very early age – it is as natural to me as breathing. 40 of my poems have been published individually. You are not the first person to ask about publishing a book of my poems and it is something I would love to do one day, time allowing!

Do you have a set routine or schedule that you like to follow when you are writing?

I know I should, but writing somehow slots in between my part-time job working for Auticulate, a charity that supports autistic children, and housework, cooking, family, friends etc, so each of my days are very different. Although I do have to set alarms to drag myself away from my writing as I totally lose myself in my world of words! I like my office in the corner of our guest bedroom to be tidy when I start writing and I always have a pot of decaf tea on the go!

You decided to learn how to ice-skate as an adult, what prompted this decision and how skilled are you at it now?

Ice-skating has always sung to my heart. I used to ice-skate twice a year when I was a teenager and have avidly watched ‘Dancing on Ice’. Aged 47, I decided that there was no good pining for something, thinking I was too old, so I signed up for a beginner’s ice-skating class and didn’t look back. I used to go once a week and have 1-1 lessons. I managed to master backwards crossovers, one foot turns and something called a ‘Mohawk’, which is like a one foot turn, but you swap feet half-way through!

When you're not writing what would we find you doing?

Reading, particularly at the moment, as Bill Buckley from BBC Radio Berkshire has invited me back to join his monthly Book Club where authors discuss and recommend books. As my memory is so terrible, I plan to read at least two books a month so I can remember what to talk about! I swim twice a week and my husband and I have started ballroom dancing lessons; we have yet to master anything like an elegant waltz, quickstep or cha cha cha and we regularly tread on each other’s toes, but we love it! We also cycle along the Kennet Canal on Sundays en route to Nibsy’s, my favourite gluten free cafĂ© in Reading . . . there has to be a treat at the end of any exercise, surely?!

If you could give younger you any advice about your writing journey, what would it be?

That is such a lovely question. My heart wanted to pursue a career in writing from school age onwards, but I didn’t have enough faith in myself or sufficient courage. Advice I would give:
  • to believe in myself;
  • not to be too scared to ask for feedback;
  • to know that constructive feedback doesn’t mean that my writing is rubbish, it just means that there are areas that could be improved; and finally
  • not to be scared to follow my dream.

Do you have a favourite author?

A few! Jodi Picoult, Caroline James, Cecelia Ahern, Philippa Gregory . . . I enjoy so many authors, it is impossible to pin it down to one – sorry! And I am quite fickle; if you ask me the same question on a different day, you would probably get a completely different answer!

Never Again has only just been released, but what can we look forward to from you next?

I am about 40% through my next novel, although it needs a lot of rewriting as I started it a few years ago. It opens its pages in a solicitor’s office and is woven with romance, mystery, challenges and hopefully quite a lot of fun! I can’t wait to get stuck into developing the plot, seeing what the characters get up to and immersing myself in the twists and turns that will lead, hopefully, to ‘happy ever after’.

Thank you so much to Nicky for taking the time to join me on my blog. I thorough enjoyed working with Nicky and her answers are awesome.

To Connect With Nicky Clifford

Twitter - @NickyNovelist

To buy a copy of Never Again click HERE

Never Again

Mountains, Mystery, Romance: Can you run from your past?

Harriet Anderson’s life is spiralling out of control. Unused to such mayhem, she ditches her high-powered job to take refuge in the Swiss Alps where she meets Philippe Smith, a crime writer with a dark and shadowy past. Thrown together by chance, is their fate intertwined? Will the karma and romance of the mountains and the quaintness of the Alps soothe their troubled souls?

Or will their rocky paths create avalanches that cannot be avoided...

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