Quickfire questionnaire with Nik Perring

Which 3 writers, living or dead, would you invite to dinner?
Kurt Vonnegut, Etgar Keret and Caroline Green (and Caroline gets extra wine because she invited me here).

What's your favourite writing snack?
To be honest, I don’t really snack all that much, whether I’m writing or not. I’m liking pears at the moment, so probably pears.

Longhand or computer? 

Longhand first, always. It makes me slow down and think a little more about what I’m writing, and it also means that I get to edit what I’ve written while I type it up. So, yes. Longhand, definitely.

Win Booker prize or land Hollywood film deal? 

Either would be pretty cool. Really, I’d just like people to keep liking what I put out. That’s the important thing.

Tabloid or broadsheet?
Broadsheet, technically, although most of my newspaper reading seems to happen on my iPhone now. The Guardian and Independent apps are great.

Independent bookshop or Amazon?

My first choice is always going to be an indie, for obvious reasons. But I think it’s important that we recognise that amazon is here and that it has its place too. (Plus, you can check your rank. This might not be a good thing.)

Hacker or adder?
Good question! Err, I’d like to say that I do whatever I think needs doing. I start out writing pretty leanly but even after that I think I’d probably be a hacker. I think aptness and efficiency are two of the most important parts of story telling and, for me, hacking allows me to get my words to be that little bit more efficient.

Plotter or pantser? [ie do you plan out all your work first or write by the seat of your pants!]
Pantser. I think finding out what happens as I’m writing is one of the best bits!

Leave on a cliffhanger or tell all?
I don’t think any story ends when the book ends, so it’d be impossible to tell all. And I like that. I like that we see a period and not the whole story because life does go on. Plus, the bit we see’s the most interesting bit.

You really must read…
Dear Everybody, by Michael Kimball. It’s wonderful.

 I get most excited by…
A great idea that I think I’ll be able to make into a good story. That, and Marion Cotillard.

If I wasn’t a writer I would be…
Less tired. And probably rich too.

An author should always/never…

An author should never stop learning.

Nik Perring is a writer and editor from the UK. ‘Not So Perfect’ his first short story collection was published by Roast Books in 2010, and he co-wrote ‘Freaks!’ with Caroline Smailes, which The Friday Project (HarperCollins) published in April.

He blogs at http://nikperring.com and he tweets as @nikperring and he would love for you to say hello.


Caroline Green said...

Oh alright, I admit it. I bribed him to say that at the beginning.

Thanks for coming over Nik and best of luck with Freaks!

Thrifty Gal said...

Great post, Nik - totally agree about writing longhand first...

DT said...

One of the things I love about 'meeting' other writers like this is the way we discover new reference points, and Nik is no exception. Now I have a new French actress to follow (but not in a creepy way), and Dear Everybody looks like a great book to add to the list.

Longhand is a great way to breakthrough blocks around ideas and it certainly connects me more to my work at the beginning of a novel.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for having me, Caroline. Twas fun!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Thrifty Girl. It works for me!

Anonymous said...

Pleased to meet you too, Derek. And happy to be of help. And Dear Everybody really is wonderful. Hope you enjoy it!

Isabel said...

Answer me this mystery: many writers say you should write on a computer disconnected from the internet (in a cupboard, preferably). Am I the only one who needs to do research and fact checking in the process? No internet seems utterly impossible to me.

Anonymous said...

Not at all, Isabel. I think the first thing I'd say would that you have to do what works for you, and that's not necessarily what others suggest.

I think that the internet-less writing thing is a good way of avoiding procrastination, but if you're not that way inclined and if you're using the web FOR your writing then that's what you should do. Plus, the web puts pretty much all the info you could possibly need in front of you, so using it, I'd say, is a good thing.

So, as long as it's not stopping you from writing, I'd say: USE IT!

Isabel said...

Oh, but of course the internet IS procrastination paradise and I'm permanently distracted. I just wonder how people write without looking anything up in the process. Do you?

Anonymous said...

Ha! True.
I'm actually quite good, in that when I'm writing I make sure that that's the only thing I'm doing. Not in a turn my phone off sort of way - there's no point in giving yourself any added pressure - I just try to make sure I commit and if I need/want to check something then I do. Actually, what I've found is that I don't tend to need to all that much. If anything I think I check facts once the story's done.

Debs Riccio said...

seee... I should be writing, but I'm here instead! Bah :) Great interview Nick and Caroline.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Thanks Debs!