Buzzzzzz….Do you hear that? The buzzing you are hearing is probably the same buzzing that I have been hearing for months about Nikki Loftin’s Nightingale’s Nest. Today, I have the honor of interviewing here on sharpread.
5,4,3,2,1 Interview – Here are the rules:
1. I give the interviewee 5 questions
2. They have to answer
1 question with 5 sentences
1 question with 4 sentences
1 question with 3 sentences
1 question with 2 sentences
1 question with 1 sentence
3. They get to pick which question which question to answer with each number of sentences
4. Have fun!
1. Can you tell us a little bit about Nightingale’s Nest? (5)
Nightingale’s Nest is the book of my heart, one I never thought would land on bookshelves, but I had to write anyway. It started out as a picture book about a little girl who climbed a tree and built a nest, and the boy who climbed up to help her. When I realized there was more to the story, and wrapped one of my favorite fairy tales (Andersen’s “The Nightingale”) around the spare text, the story began to sing. It’s a mixture of real Texas rural life, fairy tale, healing, magical realism, and memory. I feel a great sense of gratitude that I will be able to share the world of Little John and Gayle with others.
2. What is your favorite thing about being a writer? (1)
I get to read my messy drafts to my sons, and they love them no matter what!
3. What’s the hardest thing about being a writer? (2)
The hardest thing for me is knowing when a story is ready to tell. Great storytelling is gourmet cooking: try to tell one too early and it falls like a checked-on soufflé, too late and the oven’s not hot anymore.
4. If you could spend one day inside the world of any book which book would you pick? (3)
Because I love music, magic, and adventure, even better when they’re all integral to the plot, I would choose Elizabeth Haydon’s Rhapsody. I was obsessed with this series for a while, and re-read them an embarrassing number of times! But really – dragons, magic, time travel, music, true love, transformation – what’s not to love?
5. What advice do you have for the young writers in my classroom? (4)
Stare out the window as often as you can for as long as you want. Memorize rainbows and lines of poetry. The dreaming mind is irresistible to stories that want to be told; lure them to you by holding still, being quiet, listening to their whisper-soft voices. Once you have caught one, don’t let go!
Be sure to pick up Nightingale’s Nest at your local independent bookshop.
Nikki Loftin is a writer and native Texan who lives just outside Austin, Texas, with her two boys, two dogs, nine chickens, and one very patient husband. She writes Middle Grade novel-length fiction as well as personal essays, puppet plays, articles, poems, and short stories. She is the author of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy and Nightingale’s Nest. Nikki is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin graduate writing program (MA, ’98). She has been a popcorn seller, waitress, bookstore employee, Music and Gifted/Talented teacher, and a Director of Family Ministries. Her favorite food/obsession is ice cream, preferably Blue Bell Moo-llenium Crunch. On very good days, she prefers writing even to ice cream.