Wednesday 4 May 2016

Secret Serendipity Seven with Nikki Sheehan

Today on the blog, I'm pleased to welcome the rather amazing author, Nikki Sheehan. Nikki's latest novel, Swan Boy, is published this week with One World Publications. Nikki is here to give us seven secrets about her book and her writing. 

  • The main character Johnny was originally a girl. I wrote the first few chapters with a female MC and then something didn’t feel quite right. So I changed her name to Rowan, which can be used for either gender, and carried on until I was sure that he was a he!
  • The whole book was written in the first person until a few months before publication. My editor Sarah Odedina suggested changing it to third and I was really scared and thought that I’d have the perspective swinging around all over the place. But I trusted her, and did it (and no, you can’t just search on “I” and replace with “he”, and yes it took Aaaaages) I was really pleased with the result because it allowed me to really explore the other characters. So pleased actually that my next book is also in third person
  • I don’t know what I”m going to write usually, and I never know what I’ve written until I read it through afterwards. Sometimes I’m quite surprised at what I find, and not always in a good way.
  • I was working on another book, one about a tiny cult in Devon, and had almost finished when the idea for Swan Boy came to me. I tried to ignore it but in the end it got so persistent that I could feel a pressure in my chest, so I gave in and wrote Swan Boy.
  • The first draft took seven weeks. The rewrites took over a year.
  • I lived in Turkey when I was younger and I had a boyfriend with the same white streak in his hair as Johnny. He, as far as I know, had no strange swan encounters
  • I love ballet and did it from age four to sixteen but I wasn’t very good. At every exam I took I got progressively worse marks. But I didn’t care, I loved it anyway, and I reckon that’s the point.
When Johnny moves house and starts a new school he has to deal with a bully who can't leave him alone. But help comes from an unexpected and surprising source and Johnny's growing power soon puts him in a very special place.
A chance encounter with a swan sparks a series of events that result in Johnny playing the lead in a school ballet. His teacher wants him to live the role, and when feathers start sprouting on his chest, Johnny begins to understand his true potential. But will he be strong or brave enough to beat his bullies, take care of his brother, support his mother and find a place for himself among all the chaos that is prevailing in his life

To find out more about Nikki Sheehan:

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