Niki Baker lives in central France and divides her time – sometimes with a reasonable degree of success – between pursuing her career as an author, editing her partner’s work, running her own business, and backpacking around places that people have vaguely heard of but might struggle to find in an atlas.
Writing has always been an important part of Niki’s life. She has run a school creative writing club, won the Hummer Prize, performed poetry and self-published a collection, blogged, written stories for children and had several feature articles published as a freelance travel writer. Her debut novel is due to be published in 2020.
Q: If you could travel in the past, which one of the great writers would you like to meet and why?
A: I’d go back to Oxford in the 1930s and join a meeting of the Inklings at the Eagle and Child pub, where I could have some laughs with J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and their literary friends. And, if the conversation got boring, at least there’d be beer.
Q: Is there a book that you keep going back to and how many times have you read it?
A: The one that springs to mind is Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. I’ve read it three times because it’s well-crafted, compelling, moving and ambitious.
Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?
A: A private island, bathed in warm sunshine and lapped by clear turquoise seas, where I could sit in a treehouse and write to my heart’s content.
I can see my own small pink fingers curling around the handle of my baby walker and feel its smooth, round coldness against my inquisitive skin. This is my earliest memory. And it is a true memory, not one of those false recollections stolen from a tatty-edged photograph or a fondly repeated anecdote. I have …
Having swallowed a bellyful of commuters, the steel serpent sighed to a halt somewhere in the depths of its underground domain as if it simply couldn’t summon the strength to carry on. The lights flickered out and for a moment the carriage was consumed by the darkness and silence of the tunnel. The returning lights …
The snow reflects moon-silver, softening the Norfolk landscape, and the wind carries scraps of carols on its wings. Tom shakes himself to clear snowflakes from his snood, his wattle flapping. Tom’s a bigger turkey than me. He teases me about my ‘superstitious nonsense’, but I have this nagging feeling. Two children walked past yesterday and …