21 December: Nikki Sheehan

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Delightful author Nikki Sheehan on Day 21!

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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 and has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2017. 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.

Name three things on your Christmas list this year! Socks. I’ve developed a bad new sock habit and I still have a small amount of space in my sock drawer.Books. Natch. An editing robot.

Christmas is a time of family traditions – what are your best (or worst!) family traditions? Hmm… New pyjamas for Christmas eve is the best. The worst, which we discontinued immediately, was when we made a huge best-shaped thing which combined meat and nut roast for the vegetarians. It looked great, but didn’t cook properly

What is your favourite story to read at Christmas? A Christmas Carol, The Grinch, and of course, at bedtime The Night Before Christmas.

If you could have Christmas dinner with anyone (alive today or person from history) who would it be and why? Michael Buble so he could sit in the corner and sing all day.

(Ahh, the romance!)

In Swan Boy, swans bring a wonderful magical element to the plot. If you had to choose an animal or living creature to represent Christmas what would it be and why? A white stag I think because, like Christmas, it’s magical and elusive but, most importantly, because it would look great with tinsel around its neck and baubles hung from its antlers

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You do lots of work with Little Green Pig helping children with creative writing. During the busy festive season what would be your best advice for aspiring writers on how to get any work done?! Many writers write every day, even if it’s just a few lines, because once you stop it can be hard to get going again. But as it’s Christmas and you’ll be full of turkey and chocolate, maybe just before bedtime try to capture what the day was like in a poem?

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Reader’s question from children at the Inkpots Writers’ Hut; are any of your characters based on real people?  Ooh, yes, but I sort of harvest attributes from various people. I used to know someone with a white streak like Johnny, and Mojo is a bit like one of my children. As for the frazzled mum, I’ve literally no idea where I got her from…

 

Turkey or goose? Neither – I’m veggie!

Real or fake tree? Real!

Mince pies or Christmas pudding? Both please!

Stockings –  end of the bed or over the fireplace? Hung on the bedroom door handles.

Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve? Christmas every time!

 

Thank you for joining our festive Q & A! Merry Christmas!

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Follow Nikki on Twitter @NicoletteShhh

 

 

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