Fish, Falmouth and BBC radio series, The Archers – the world’s longest running soap opera – are just some of the favourite things of Nicola K Smith, author of Cornish-set novel, A Degree of Uncertainty.
Find out why she also likes Daphne Du Maurier, Watership Down and Donna Tartt.
And why she’d like to share a night on the sofa with Bruce Springsteen.
Just don’t ask what’s in her handbag…
Meet the author:
My name: Nicola K Smith – not precious, but with a name like Smith a middle initial really helps!
My family: I live with my partner, and my parents are a mile down the road. My brother and niece live in North London and my wider family are mostly in the Ascot/Windsor area.
I was born in….Ascot, Berkshire – a stone’s throw from the racecourse – but now live in Falmouth in Cornwall, where I moved in 2004.
Cornwall has long felt like home, and as freelance journalist I embraced remote working and relocated west from Surrey as soon as I could make it work.
Falmouth is beautiful, with its numerous beaches, miles of coast path, working docks, university, and pretty winding high street buzzing with quirky independent shops, restaurants and cafes.
I also have the rest of Cornwall on my doorstep to explore…
One thing I’d change about me…That I had a surname beginning with ‘A’ so that my book wasn’t lost on the ’S’ shelf, near the back of Waterstones, amid the hundreds of authors with surnames also beginning with S…
One thing I wouldn’t…My burning impulse to write. I have wanted to write a novel as long as I can remember, and that desire has never left me.
Favourite writer? It is an almost impossible task as there are so many I enjoy and admire, but in the spirit of my book being set in Cornwall it would have to be Daphne du Maurier.
Aside from her classics I love some of her short stories and lesser known novels, such as The Kings General, and really enjoyed one of her last books, The House on the Strand.
Favourite book to read with my children? I don’t have children, but I remember very vividly my own father reading me Watership Down beautifully, so I would certainly repeat that if I did.
The last book you read? The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It seems to have divided opinion. I thought some of the writing was beautiful and lyrical, but I felt it was also crying out for a good edit and would have been much improved if it had been half the length.
What keeps you awake at night? Ideas for stories! I am constantly grappling with germs of ideas, characters, scenarios and threads. They are mostly written in a notebook to return to…
What’s in your bag right now? A lady never tells.
Favourite meal? Fish. Living in Cornwall it would be wrong not to enjoy the fruits of the sea.
Go-to companion for a night on the sofa? My partner, obviously! If not, Bruce Springsteen if he’s available. He’s a wonderful storyteller.
Greatest extravagance? A house not too far from the sea. In winter I can watch through the trees as the waves crash onto the beach below.
What you don’t know about me? That would be telling. Read my debut novel and it might start to give you an insight…
My guilty secret? As above, a secret is not a secret if it is told. Oh go on then, I’m a dedicated Archers fan.
About A Degree of Uncertainty:
A Cornish town is slowly fracturing under the weight of its growing university…
Prominent businessman, Harry Manchester will not stand by and see his beloved hometown turned into a student ghetto — and many residents and students are relying on him.
But Harry’s stance sets him on a collision course with Dawn Goldberg, formidable Vice Chancellor of Poltowan University, who is set on doubling its size and cementing her career legacy.
As Harry’s marriage falls apart, his business comes under threat, and fellow traders accuse him of halting progress, Dawn is battling her own demons, not least the need to live up to her late father’s expectations and erase the memory of his tragic death.
There can only be one victor in this battle for the soul of a close-knit community…
Available to buy on Amazon.
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