Q: What made you decide to become a writer?—Question by reader Jill Bryant.A: I wrote my first story when I was six, but that’s boring. This version is better. One day I was reading a Mills & Boon on my precious summer holiday. The heroine annoyed me so much I threw the book across the room. Actually threw a book. Me, who worships books as a false idol. My mum gave me a smack for being disrespectful but I told her she’d have done worse if she’d read it. From then on, with my cape of literary justice streaming behind me, I vowed to write better than the book that had flown in my home. The cape still flows today. (Nikki edit...erm...Why do I have the strange image of Billy in a catsuit with a whip to go with that cape?)
Q: Besides being a bestselling author, what other goals/dreams do you have? Aka: what do you wanna be when you grow up?—Question by author Shirelle Higgins
A: When I grow up, I want to interview Olympic male swimmers. Pool side. Fresh from the water. Or be Joseph Gordon Levitt’s wife. That’s totally a goal. (Nikki edit...So Billy wants to be around hot half naked athletes for long periods of time...Hey Londoner, need an assistant?)
Q: When you write a story that does really well is there ever pressure to make the next one just as successful or do you just go with the flow and let the chips fall where they may? How do you handle the ups and downs of the business?—Question by reader A.W. Brad
A:There are people who’ll say I’ll never better Windows. I respectfully disagree. That novel was a transition for me. A lot of baaaaaaad things were happening when I was writing that book - which ended up in the book. In order for me to move on, I’m not going to write the same story. In fact, Hank and I have serious meetings where we discuss to never write the same story again ever. The basic plot of the story is the same boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl live happily ever after. With weird bits in between. We’ve talked about maybe a bit of acid to adjust the plot, but then Hank reminds me that I’m not entirely mentally stable as it is and narcotics aren’t going to improve my writing. Even if I do end up seeing rainbow coloured ponies. I love ponies. The ups and downs of being an author are just like the ups and downs of life. Everything is better after a martini. And sex. (Nikki edit...okay, laughing, laughing A LOT)
Q: What’s the one story line you haven't tackled but you'd actually PAY to be able to write?—Question by author Dréa Riley
A: Oooh, good question! I think I’m doing it now. This year I lost a huge influence in my life and I’ve been thinking a lot about the afterlife, peace after death and unrested spirits. So that’s what I’m up to. Hopefully, it’ll be published and people can tell me that I scared them for no good reason. Or worse, made them cry for no good reason other than for my literary therapy. Goodness, what was in that potato salad I had for lunch?!
Q: Do you research stories? If so, what's the furthest you'd ever go to get the story?—Question by author Eden Royce
A: Erm, I went to Italy for research? That counts, right? Damn good time there. But all in the name of research. I took photos and notes and drank loooooads and flirted for my readers. Yup. Selfless actions. I will read through pages and pages of documents, medical and legal if need be. For The Claim certain people were fed up of emails from me asking the same questions but in a different format. A friend of mine spent a good hour on the phone with me going over a medical procedure with me because it didn’t make sense on paper. My parents still find it funny that I keep asking them how to spell words in Fanti or whenever they say something I find wholly and wonderfully African, I announce “Going in a book!” In being factually correct, I don’t believe you can research hard enough. Google exists. There’s no excuse any more! (Nikki edit...Oh yeah she went to Italy for “research” I definitely believe that one)
Q: When you write a character how much of you or people you know are that imitated in that character?—Question by reader Cherryce Williams
A: I must plead the fifth or people will stop talking to me about anything and everything!
Q: What hurts worse; a bad fan review, peer review, or critic's review?—Question by reader Cece Dreams
A: Both tend to sting, but reading is subjective. I didn’t make it past page 8 of Cloud Atlas (I think that’s technically the first page of the book but I thought: “I’ve got other things to do with my life.”) Other people love it. It’s the basic tenement of being a writer. Understanding that not everyone is going to love what you do. So, have a bar of chocolate, call the critic a twat in the privacy of your own home, go have sex with someone who does actually like you, feel better about it and write some more. (Nikki edit...Once again I am laughing because she is in fact a nutter butter...a lovely nutter butter but one none-the-less)
Q: Which comes first for you; the character(s), or the story idea?—Question by author Thomas Olbert
A: It’s normally the idea that comes first and the character that follows. With Said the Demon I had the vision of Eva’s flat with the crack running from one end of the ceiling to the other. In Starting Over I could see Wes sitting in the coffee shop waiting for Sherial and then their backgrounds and characters (Sherial threatening to joog Wes in the throat) came along afterwards. I sound nuts, don’t I? (Nikki edit...Yes, yes you do but we still love you. “Honest Guv’nr!” Or yah know...something to that effect.)
Q: Is your writing life imitating art or art imitating life? –Question by author Dréa Riley
A: As the girl who spent last Saturday night in a hot tub, it’s a little too much of the former these days! Bad times and good times always influence what ends up in a story. Even the bad times, while I’m snivelling into a tissue I think, “this would make an awesome scene. I’ll write how I’m feeling down in a minute.” The next day. After the martinis (five? Six? Yes, six.)
Q: What’s next for you as an author?—Question by author Nikki Winter
A: Next is finishing my horror for the Mocha Memoirs Halloween special. I honestly think it’s the loopiest story I’ve written. And there’s loopy that you don’t know about. After that, it’s back to the Italian Knights. Anything else random that comes in between may be inspired by everything around me. Can’t wait!
Well there you have it people. The insane ramblings of Billy The Kid and or the Londoner! I have to say, often times I find myself concerned about the safety of those around her...but regardless of that I find myself more so fascinated with her talent and her ability to weave an amazing story...also her boobs because people when you see'em you really see'em! Don't judge me! They're HUGE...which she will deny after reading this and possibly swing at my head a few times but then she'll laugh and we'll have a jolly good day! Yes, that was my attempt at being British...If you didn't enjoy it well, (shrug) sucks for you. Now, you can find Billy's contribution to MMP mocha shots here http://mochamemoirspress.com/starting-over-31-days-of-steamy-mocha/. Do enjoy! Over and out!