Morning my lovelies. Today I’ve got a Meet the Author interview for you. I’m chatting to the lovely Nadia L King about itchy fingers, why reading is so important for authors, the best thing she’s done in her life so far, her most recent picture book, The Lost Smile and more….
Children’s author and short story writer
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I live in Western Australia with my family, two cats and a lovable Labrador called Pippa. I can’t seem to stop buying, borrowing and reading books; it’s a real addiction! When I’m not reading, I’m studying for a PhD and I do a lot of reading for that, too. I love to write short stories, mainly for adults. I’ve had a young adult novella and a children’s picture book published and I have another picture book due for release at the end of October.
What inspired you to start writing and where do you get your ideas?
Itchy fingers. Very itchy fingers and a ticking clock inspired me to start writing. I believe there comes a time in everyone’s life when you ultimately have to decide to get on the path you were created for. Ideas are everywhere you look, but the hard thing to do is to turn ideas into stories. I think the way to do this is to keep poking at them and ask questions.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
I’m very excited about the release of my new picture book, The Lost Smile. It’s about a little girl (she’s named after my grandmother) who wakes up without her smile. She goes on a journey through her house and garden to find where her smile is hiding. I’ve included some things that were special to my dad when he was growing up and I can’t wait to see his face when he reads it!
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I was born in the 70s, and I used to try and imagine what I would be when I grew up. When I was young, I very much hoped I could get a job in a chocolate factory (thanks Roald Dahl for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), or that I could live in the countryside near a wood (thanks Enid Blyton for The Magic Faraway Tree). As I grew older, I realised there were many things I could do and so I had a plethora of jobs which is a great background to have as a writer.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
My advice to all aspiring writers is to read. It’s virtually impossible to write well if you don’t read. Reading helps you to learn about characterisation, how to write dialogue, how different points of view can change a story, how a story should be structured and how to evoke atmosphere and expose the landscape or setting. I would happily advise my younger self to read and I think she would be delighted with my advice!
Name one book you think everyone should read and tell us why?
I don’t think there is one book that everyone should read. I think readers should be free to choose the book they want to read no matter how young they are! But one of my favourite books is Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle published in 1962. The voice of Merricat is mesmerising. Mystery is at the heart of the novel which keeps you guessing, and the atmosphere is strange and unsettling. The idea of evil in the everyday and of branding people as the ‘other’ really intrigues me. I would love you to read this book!
What is the best thing you’ve done in your life so far?
I can’t not mention my family here, but professionally, the most exciting thing I’ve ever done is begin my PhD. I’m in my first year and I can’t believe that I have the opportunity to think, research and write in a dedicated space. Studying like this is stretching the way I think and my approach to creative writing in ways I never could have imagined. So far, the PhD journey has been amazing.
Describe yourself using three words only…….
Willing to grow…
What is something you can’t live without?
Books! Really, I can’t imagine a life without books. They are such a big part of my life and give me so much. I would hate to see a world like Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 where books are outlawed, and firemen burn them!
What is your favourite time to write, and why?
My preference is to write long-hand which means I’m a very transportable writer. It also means I can write anywhere and at any time, which I tend to do. I find some of my best writing is done in snatches when I’ve just got to stop what I’m doing and get the words down.
What is your favourite word and why?
Possibility. The idea that my dreams may be a possibility sets my heart racing with excitement.
Can you tell us more about your young adult novella, Jenna’s Truth?
Jenna’s Truth was my first published book and the book I had to write. It was written in response to the death of Canadian teen, Amanda Todd who took her own life in 2012 after being cyberbullied. Her story was devastating and heart-breaking, and I hated that she died. I decided to write a story with an alternate ending that could be used within schools to engage teens with the very real consequences of bullying and cyberbullying. I am really proud of this slim book which was released for the third time in July 2020 by Dixi Books.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
My most recent book is a beautifully illustrated and colourful picture book titled The Lost Smile. The story shows young readers that it’s okay to be sad and reassures young readers that sadness can be temporary.
Themes include cultural diversity, emotional intelligence, family life and the importance of connecting with nature and animals.
thanks so much for coming and chatting with us Nadia!
If you have any questions, make sure you get in touch!
Have a wonderful day my lovelies and I”ll be back tomorrow