Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interview with Nick Wilford

Today Nick Wilford, from Scattergun Scribblings, is here as one of our Knights of MicroFiction winners.  

Here's Nick on his recent cruise!
It's great to have you here Nick.  Let's get started.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Probably about age 16. I'd always written little stories and plays, but my dream was to be an actor. I slowly discovered that I preferred being behind the scenes to centre stage! For the next ten years, though, I would start a lot of things but rarely finished them because they didn't live up to what I envisaged in my head. I finally took the plunge and started my first novel in March 2007, wanting a big project that I would have to commit to. That book took me nearly three years to write, and I don't think it will ever be published, but what I learnt was that you have to get past the fear of writing rubbish if you want to get anywhere!

I hear you're working on a new novel.  Can you tell us a little bit about it?

I find it really hard to categorise my work, but the best way I can describe it is as a psychological thriller. It's about a woman who runs a man over causing him to suffer amnesia, then tries to pass herself off as his wife. There's no title yet - I'm the absolute worst when it comes to titles! If I have a sudden brainwave on that front, expect a breathlessly excited blog post. :)

Wow!  That sounds exciting.  I'm sure a great title will come to you when you least expect it.  So aside from titles, what is the most challenging aspect of writing for you?

 It's the letting go and not worrying about fine phrasing in a first draft - just getting something finished. I'm at that stage now with my WIP and there's still quite a lot to resolve. So, my answer is letting go and endings!

It is difficult to let go and just get your ideas down, but so important.  You can always take things in new directions after that.  
Has your blog Scattergun Scribblings, helped improve your writing in any way?

I started my blog in October 2011, on the advice of my sister who works in PR. She also told me to join Twitter but that's something I have yet to get round to! I think it is hard to say if it has improved my writing, but I certainly try to pick up as much advice as I can and there are certain things I now bear in mind, or try to avoid, based on posts I've read. What's been the biggest change is the support I now feel from fellow writers and just being able to converse with people who are going through the same things as me - the camaraderie is amazing. When I was writing my first book, I knew zero other writers. I'm glad I started the blog because sometimes, a kind comment can be just what you need when things feel hopeless!    

We do have a great community of writers here, don't we?  It is amazing what one nice comment can do for your soul.   
So do you have any big goals for this year?

Finishing this book is the immediate goal - I'm going to try to get it polished and edited over the summer, and I've been fortunate enough to meet some CPs online to help in that regard. Depending on their feedback, a total rewrite might be in order, so I can't really set an end date for when I'll be completely finished! However, I really want to try NaNo in November. I never thought I could do that before but now I'm at a stage where I feel it could be within my grasp.

I've also got a modest number of short stories, some published, that I'd like to collect into an ebook and publish over the summer. Depending how that goes, I might well end up self-publishing this novel, but I haven't made a decision on that either way yet. I'd also like to write a few more short stories too!

Sounds like a great plan. Good luck and make sure to let us know when that ebook collection comes out so we can add it to our "To Read" lists right away.  
Speaking of reading, what books have influenced you the most?

Books that I read as a teenager seem to be the ones that have made the biggest impact on me - 1984 by George Orwell, Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut, and The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. I don't think they're anything like what I write, but I look to them as examples of what is possible in literature. 

Great choices.  I loved 1984.
So what do you like to do when you're not writing?

I am generally doing all the things a stay-at-home dad does - ferrying children to and from school, mopping floors, loading and unloading the dishwasher. And of course, reading, blogging and catching up with my wife, who works a very stressful full-time job. My life is very average, so I like to let my creative side out in the form of written words!

That sounds a lot like my normal day.  
Is there anything else we should know about you? 

 I'm a sucker for game shows, pub quizzes and any form of trivia. Pointless information seems to occupy most of my brain. Things like remembering when someone's coming to service the boiler - not so much

Maybe you just remember the interesting things.  :)  
Well that's all the time we have for today.  It was great to have you here Nick, thanks for stopping by.

Thanks for having me.

Make sure to stop by Nick's blog and tell him "hi".  And don't forget to check out  Jess's blog for an interview with our other winner Esther Jones.

Have a great Tuesday!

Kathy :)


  1. Great interview! Was fun to know Nick more :)

  2. Congratulations, Nick! Your book sounds awesome! A little like While You Were Sleeping (the Sandra Bullock movie), but less... accidental and comedic. Good luck with it!

  3. Nick is awesome. I've thoroughly enjoyed his blog ;) I started in Oct 2011 too! And now it feels like I've *always* been blogging... !!!

    Really fun interview. And we'll have to all throw out title ideas for Nick...

  4. Trivia! We need to play a game then.
    I knew maybe one writer before I started my blog, and now I know a thousand. Maybe more!
    No help on the title. I suck at those as well.

  5. Great interview, Kathy and Nick. Nick, your book sounds quite interesting. What a premise!

  6. Ashna - Thanks!

    Tobi - I've heard of that film, but didn't know the plot. No, mine's hardly a comedy!

    Morgan - Thanks very much! I think I assumed you'd been around for longer. It's hard for me to remember what it was like before too!

    Alex - I do find your movie trivia pretty hard! I tend to be strong on music and history, OK at geography, terrible at sports. A blog trivia game sounds good!

    Linda - Thank you!

    Lynn - Thanks. :)

  7. Great interview, Nick's likes his heavy reading material (they're all on my 'books that depressed me most' list - but have to admit, all classic writing)