Nikki Sheehan


So, I’m very excited. How excited? VERY!!! And why, Sarah, why are you so excited? Well, today for interview I’ve got the talented and funny and beautiful Nikki Sheehan with me. She’s just published a fantastic new novel called SWAN BOY whom the likes of Liz Kessler and Piers Torday won’t stop banging on about it. Oh, and the Guardian love it too. (Try not to be jealous.)

So… the new book… What is the one thing you want people to know about it?

It’s available at all good… No, my new elevator pitch is that it’s Grange Hill meets Billy Elliot via Metamorphosis. If you like that kinda thing. I find most people do. To my face.

See… I told you she was funny. (But she needn’t get cocky…)

Swan Boy is technically a middle grade novel but it’s being foisted on older teens too. Give me one good reason why older folk should read it.

Because I tend to write about quite big ideas in a way that’s accessible to younger people, so hopefully, you get more out of it as you get older. Also it has swans.

If you could only save one character from SWAN BOY from a fire, who would it be and why?

The Swan! Or, maybe Johnny’s little brother Mojo because he’s much too young to die (though I did think about killing him off at one point, but that’s another story).

What’s the one physical thing you need in your life to be able to write well?

nikki sheehan headshotMy laptop. If I had to write longhand and type it afterwards my books would be made up of words like hgilo and rettreek.

And what’s the one immaterial thing that makes writing easier? Knowing that someone else will stack the dishwasher and sort out the washing and pick the kids up and walk the dogs and put some toilet paper in the downstairs loo and take that parcel to the post office and a million other things.

I’m still waiting for writing to get easier.

And your one biggest distraction when trying to get words onto paper?


Me? It’s true. My charms are irresistible. I hear that a lot from Margaret Atwood too.

Ok, you’re on a desert island (probably not for the first time). You can bring one of each of these things.

One book: Ulysses. With that much time on my hands surely I could get past the first page?

One album: Adele 19. To cry to as I miss everyone

One TV series:  Father Ted. But it’s so short cos he went and died, so I’ll take House of Cards too as I’m halfway through

One luxury item: My phone and some way of charging it

One person: One of my kids. I might hold a Hunger Games-type contest to decide which one

Access to one website: Twitter. Sad but true.

And finally, tell us what you’re working on now. It can be more than one thing! My new book, working title Doghouse, due out in May next year. So is that all? Cos I really should get on…

Get on with what? You’re right… that vino won’t drink itself…

SWAN BOY is out now. Order it here