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Nik Perring Interview

Posted on 13 October 2006. © Copyright 2004-2018 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

WriteWords talks to Nik Perring, WW member and author of recently published children's book I Met A Roman Last Night, What Did You Do?

Tell us something about your background.

I’m the author of the children’s book, ‘I Met a Roman Last Night, What Did You Do?’ I’ve also had success with short stories, for both children and adults, and poetry – most recently contributing to the Anchor Books anthology, ‘A Bedtime Poem for Every Day of the Year’ which is out at the end of October.

I’m currently working on a few projects – a couple of novels for children and one for adults.

As well as writing, I lead story writing workshops, mainly for primary school children, but occasionally for adults as well (though not at the same time!



How did you start writing?

I’ve been writing, in some shape of form, for as long as I can remember. I can remember writing and drawing comic strips when I was very young - about pirates I think. That, I think, is my strongest and earliest writing memory. In my teens I tried short stories, poems and music, and after being made redundant from a job in the motor trade, tried my hand, with a little success, at feature writing. It’s fiction I love though, and that’s what I came back to.

Who are your favourite writers and why?

Crikey! Now there’s a question! Far too many to mention. I have to say that I tend to go in for stories, rather than individual writers. The ones that come to mind as I type this are people like Alice Walker (The Color Purple), Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird), Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveller’s Wife) Maggie O’Farrell (The Distance Between Us), John Wyndham (The Day of the Triffids) C.S Lewis, L.Frank Baum, L.M. Montgomery and pretty much anything by The Brothers Grimm… The list goes on! I like Neil Gaiman and lots of Native American writing as well.

Actually, two big non-author influences would have to be the late and very great Joe Strummer and Sugar Ray Robinson.


How did you get your first agent/ commission?

After a lot of rejection for previous novels and with a lot of hard work and luck! My first published piece was an article for a local magazine, Cheshire Life, which I sent in on-spec. The editor phoned me up, said he loved it and a few months later I got to see my words in print for the first time, which is a feeling, I think, one only gets once but never forgets.

What's the worst thing about writing?

Without the shadow of a doubt: the waiting. The whole industry, through little fault of its own, appears so slow to writers. There’s the months of waiting for responses from agents and publishers – and then even once everything’s agreed and signed it can be months (sometimes even years) before your book is released. I think the lesson to be learned from that is that you don’t need to rush anything where your writing’s concerned. Take your time and make sure you get it right.

Being such a solitary process it can get a wee bit lonely. Being a member of the fab writewords community helps with that though.

Oh, and hearing the hoover start up when you’re trying desperately to concentrate comes a close second!




And the best?

Connecting with readers. I know it’s a bit of a cliché but there really isn’t anything better than seeing that what you’ve written has stirred up something inside someone. It can be something as simple as people laughing in the right place, or a class all going ‘eugh!’ at the same time. That for me is something quite special.

Tell us what kind of responses you get from audiences\ readers.

I’m lucky enough to be able to go into schools to talk to them about writing and part of what I do usually involves a reading so I’m able to see people’s reactions first hand. So far, the reaction has been really positive. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed it continues!

I think one of my favourites was when I found that someone had gone to the trouble of visiting my website to sign my guestbook. That was really nice.

I don’t think it influences my writing though. Not consciously. I just do what I do to the best of my ability.

What's your breakthrough moment been?


I don’t think there’s been one I could single out. I should say someone saying they’d like to publish something I’ve written, but I think I’ll stick with: every time someone, editor or publisher, says ‘yes.’




A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.






Comments by other Members



rogernmorris at 09:05 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Yes, I'm looking for that place where ideas come from in my office. I desperately need it right now! Great interview, Nik. I particularly agree with the advice about not trying to write with a hangover.

By the way, I'm still waiting for my copy of ‘I Met a Roman Last Night, What Did You Do?’ I thought it would be out by now?!

Rog

Account Closed at 09:13 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Wonderful interview, Nik! Lovely to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes in the World of Perring.

(Though actually I think I do all my best work with a hangover, tee hee ...!!!)

Rog - don't worry! Nik's on the case! - when we get the Roman book, it will be well worth the wait, I'm sure. It's a new publishing technique, which helps to raise the excitement levels, don't you know!

:))

A
xxx

Shika at 09:44 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Lovely to read your interview Nik. All the best with the tour.S

Nik Perring at 09:45 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Thanks guys!

Yes, Rog, I'm too familiar with that now. There's been some problem or other between middle-men and distributors. I've spoken with people at my publishers who've said that the books should be with you very soon. Or maybe they've just sold out of the first million copies and have had to reprint! Or not!

Nik.

Elbowsnitch at 10:00 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Great interview, Nik and good luck with the rest of the tour. I read your recent account of teaching a primary school class and loved it - you really inspired them to think creatively.

Oh, and hearing the hoover start up when you’re trying desperately to concentrate...


Personally I find it quite soothing to hear someone else doing the hoovering!

Frances

Account Closed at 10:04 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Nik, you've really made it, now you've done the WW interview!

Very interesting, i could relate to a lot of what you said. My 'hoover' is next door's dog barking!

Good luck with the tour, still hoping to meet you somewhere on it.

Casey

Bandy Bundy at 10:52 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Hi Nik,

Just thought I'd add my congrats also.

Good look with the continuing Tour.

Kev.


EmmaD at 11:55 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Great interview, Nik, and best of luck with the rest of the tour.

I think the idea of treating your writing with respect is a good one - it's about taking it seriously, but it's also a L'Oreal moment, as in, 'because I'm worth it.' It's about your own self-respect as a writer, which is a hard thing for many aspiring writers to come by.

Emma

tiger_bright at 11:59 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Great interview, thanks, Nik. I really enjoyed reading it. Good luck with the tour.

Tiger

Account Closed at 12:03 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Lovely interview Nik, great stuff. I've said it before but well done with all of this, it's brill.

JB

Steerpike`s sister at 12:16 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
thanks for the interview Nik! hope the tour is going well.

Nik Perring at 12:34 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Thanks for your kind words and support everyone!

Oh Emma, you've got me smiling now. I can't get that L'Oreal ad featuring David Ginola out of my head now! You're right though - it has got a lot to do with self-respect.


Personally I find it quite soothing to hear someone else doing the hoovering!


Frances, you're a better person than I!

Thanks again all.

Nik.

JoPo at 13:30 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Well done Nik and good luck with the rest of the tour and future sales.

Sugar Ray Robinson, eh? How about Randolph Turpin?

Jim

Nik Perring at 13:40 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Ah, yes, Mr Turpin. One of the few to beat Mr Smith in his prime, and he must have one of the best names in the world!

Thanks Jim for your kind words.

Nik.

crowspark at 18:36 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Great interview Nik.

I am so pleased to see you doing so well. I am a big fan.

Good luck with everything.
Bill

Nik Perring at 18:37 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Thanks Bill!

Nik.

Myrtle at 18:57 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
I'm with Frances on the hoovering but agree with everything else. All the best for the future, Nik.

Emily

Nik Perring at 19:12 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Thanks Emily - and the same to you.

Nik.

Luisa at 21:06 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Great interview, Nik, and good luck with the rest of the book tour and in the future.

Luisa

joanie at 23:01 on 13 October 2006  Report this post
Lovely to read this, Nik. All the best for the future.

joanie

Prospero at 16:08 on 14 October 2006  Report this post
Way to go Nik. A great interview. You come across so well mate.

Many congratulations

Best

John

Kay at 18:06 on 14 October 2006  Report this post
Congratulations on a great interview, Nik.
Kay

Nik Perring at 18:17 on 14 October 2006  Report this post
Ah, thanks guys!

All the very, very best,

Nik.

Dee at 19:38 on 14 October 2006  Report this post
Hey Nik, now you're famous!

Smashing interview, mate.

Dee
x

optimist at 21:33 on 14 October 2006  Report this post
Nik, great interview!

Congratulations - eagerly awaiting the arrival of 'I met a Roman'.

Wishing you all the best with the tour and your new novels.

Sarah




eve at 21:58 on 14 October 2006  Report this post
Great interview Nik,

I'm so glad it's not only me who hasn't got my copy of "I met a Roman" - in my usual manner have been furiously clicking on my account on Amazon !! OOps - an apology email to them may be in order!

My hoover moment is "Muuuummmm?"

Hope the tour is going well. I'm following with interest on your blog.

Eve.

Nik Perring at 16:49 on 15 October 2006  Report this post
Thanks guys!

Nik.

nr at 17:24 on 16 October 2006  Report this post
Hey Nik, you've been interviewed on WW. Now you're real!

I'm looking forward to seeing the book.

Naomi

kat at 07:03 on 17 October 2006  Report this post
Nik
Good interview, all the best with the tour. Keeping a look out for the book.
Kat

Beanie Baby at 07:20 on 17 October 2006  Report this post
So very proud of you Nik. Many congrats on a fantastic interview and good luck with the tour. Hope I get to shake your hand one day.
Beanie.

Nik Perring at 14:40 on 17 October 2006  Report this post
Thanks all!

Nik.

CarolineSG at 18:39 on 17 October 2006  Report this post
Great to read this, Nik. Has given me a kick up the bum and reminded me I was going to buy your book for my son!
Wish you lots of continuing success...

Nik Perring at 19:16 on 17 October 2006  Report this post
Thanks Caroline. Hope your son enjoys!

Cheers,

Nik.

Issy at 09:38 on 22 October 2006  Report this post
Wonderful Nik,lots of insights there, and I too do like the idea of treating writing with respect.

I have just heard that my copy is on it's way - can't wait to meet a Roman.

Nik Perring at 12:56 on 22 October 2006  Report this post
Thanks Issy! Hope you like the book!

Nik.

Zigeroon at 10:43 on 13 November 2006  Report this post
Nik

Longest interview response list I've seen on the site! Great to hear things are going really well, good luck and great fortune.


Andrew

Nik Perring at 10:46 on 13 November 2006  Report this post
Thanks Andrew!

Things have been going great. I'm two hours away from the Roaming Roman Book Tour's last appearance (certainly of this year) and looking forward to getting back to the writing. I just hope the hoover's quiet!

Thanks again, one and all. Good luck and great fortune to you as well.

Nik.


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