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Nicky Singer

By Sarah Hutchings

Nicky Singer

This interview with Nicky Singer was first published on The Deckchair website on 31/05/2007.

How did you get your first break?
Winning a bar of chocolate for a story I wrote about a giraffe when I was seven. This made me think I was a writer. I've been metaphorically looking for chocolate ever since.

Could you describe your working day.
Woken by alarm at 7am. Moan and groan. Get up at 7.05, try to move along enormously slow daughter. Fifteen year old son plays piano, has no breakfast and takes bus to school. 7.30 I drive daughter to school. Traffic appalling - always.

On the way back walk the dog - a miniature Schnauzer called Tiber. I used always to walk by the sea but, since my daughter changed school, it's almost always inland now which I hate. 9.30 arrive home and have breakfast.

10am make the huge commute up the stairs to my desk. Access my e-mail. This is displacement activity to put off the evil hour when I have to begin real work - writing. Answer lots of mails. Ditto. Check my Amazon rating. Ditto.

Begin work... At the moment I'm writing a new novel (currently called The Knight Crew), re-writing Feather Boy the musical for the West End (dream on) and gathering material for an opera commission I have for Glyndebourne 2010.

Re-check e-mail in case there is a message from my older boy who's currently in Cairo on his gap year before going to Oxford next year to read Arabic (I blame my book The Innocent's Story for starting this...) 2pm - have lunch, if I remember. If I'm working really hard, I forget. Don't try this at home.

4pm leave desk to get daughter. 6pm fifteen year old comes home. 7pm husband, who is a barrister, arrives. Eat, do homework (my daughter's - how come I'm fifty and still doing homework?), access e-mails (again), drink wine, chat, go to bed.

Repeat .

How does an idea become a novel?
With blood sweat and tears.

Which book do you wish you'd written?
I try not to be jealous.

As a reader, do you always finish a book you've started?
No. It's the writer's job to propel me through his or her story, if that's not happening I lay the book aside. Always a huge pile of books by my bed to chose from....

If you weren't a writer, what job would you like to have done?

Describe your perfect day.
As above with more wine.

What keeps you awake at night?

Why did you choose to live in Brighton and Hove and what keeps you here?
Love the sea, the culture, the people.

How does living here inspire your work?
'Feather Boy' was only written because I stumbled into a real derelict house in Hove one day. The sea always inspires me and washes into many of my books. The availability of events here (especially theatre) constantly replenish me.

This page was amended on 03/02/2012
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