… The only problem is, I’m not quite sure she knows I exist.
I was recently given the opportunity to interview Nikki Gemmell, author of The Bride Stripped Bare and her latest novel, With My Body.
Now, I’ve previously touched on the complex relationship I have with reading, from reading too much (and in that mess of bookshelves was my copy of Bride Stripped Bare), to descending into straight out reader’s block. Not to mention my obsession with the printed word extending to an overindulgence in cookbooks. No wonder my poor bookshelves are on the brink of death.
Sony has launched the new Reader WiFi Touch, and to celebrate, I had the opportunity to inteview Nikki. I chose to chat to her about her writing and reading habits, and boy was I surpised at just how much we have in common.
Like: we both have babies! And we’ve both lived in the Terrritory! And we both love reading! The Daily Mail! (shh!). And we’ve both spent more money than we really should have hauling books halfway across the world and back, because, you know, books are like old friends and are the perfect antidote to homesickness.
Now I say that’s a recipe for us being BFFs.
No, but, seriously.
Here is part one of my interview with Nikki Gemmell, a lovely lady, mother of four and Sony Reader WiFi Touch fan.
LMM: Some people in the online world claim – rather tongue in cheek – that they blog or tweet to save the cost of therapy. Have you found writing to be a cathartic process; to help you adapt as you move through stages of your life?
NG: Yes I do. Writing is my therapy – it’s my harbour or haven to rest form the mad world around me. Particularly with motherhood; without writing I would drown in motherhood. I need it to exercise my brain, it is rest from the intensity of four kids. It’s my rock or anchor to carve out that time for my self, and I need to do it every day.
LMM: Like me, you have travelled for work and found yourself in the Northern Territory. Of course, the advent of the e-reader would save me a fortune in freight, as I can take my favourite books with me on one device. Are there any well worn volumes you have or will load onto your Sony Reader next time you travel?
NG: I have lugged books from Sydney to Darwin to Alice Springs to London back to Australia. Last time we moved we got rid of so many books for the first time ever – we had huge argy bargies over who had to throw out their books. Now there is so much you can put on the Reader – the Sony one holds 1,200 books – and weirdly I don’t have any sentimentality. For years I have lugged around Hucklyberry Finn and Pride and Prejudice and now they are on my Reader. I used to think it was weird to go into a house with no bookshelves. Now I don’t question it – they probably have them on a Reader.
And any luggage I take travelling these days has kids’ clothes and nappies in it!
LMM: Since becoming a parent myself, I have to admit to the guilt of reading chick lit novels – the book snob in me wants to hide the cover so no one can see it. Of course, an e-reader is perfect for this. Would you be guilty of hiding some ‘lighter reading’ on your Reader? What’s your guilty pleasure?
NG: I found some people with my books – are not chick lit but ‘full-on’ content – adult material shall I say – there are some people who would not be comfortable reading them on the tube or bus. But others would wear it as a badge of honour. For my kind of writing eReaders are a boon or blessing. People can be comfortable be reading raw or upfront material.
LMM: And what are your guilty reading pleasures?
NG: I love Grazia magazine every week! I do read differently now – I was asked by a newspaper about my books for the year and realised I haven’t read that many books this year. I read so differently now with eReaders, magazines, newspapers across the globe – and it eats into my proper book time. It’s not guilty reading at all, but it’s different reading. I read the Daily Mail – and The Guardian to balance it out!
That concludes Part I of my interview with Nikki. Stayed tuned for Part II later this week, where we talk a little more about her writing and life as a writer.