Today I’m talking to Nikki Cole, a writer of children’s and adults’ fiction, who’s here to tell us about her writing and the books she enjoys reading.
Hi there, Trish, thank you so much for having me on your blog.
I have always enjoyed writing fiction, even when I was a young child. I would get an idea, start writing and then move onto another idea! In 2017 I decided to do a creative writing course. I learned so much and it actually gave me the motivation to finish my stories. My writing has always involved animals, I have written stories for both children and for adults - but they always involve animals!
After the writing course ended, the members of the class all got on so well together, we formed a writers’ group. We have just written an anthology together in various genres, but with a family theme.
What keeps me writing? I just love writing about so many animal-related topics, from my own dog to all the different animal-related trips I have been on. And I am constantly thinking of new ideas for stories.
I also have a blog devoted to the animals in my life - my amazing dogs and all the animal-related trips I have been on. So, there’s a lot of variety, but with one thing in common - animals! During the writers’ course, I took a completely new direction writing a novella about mental health, but I still managed to include some very important dog characters!
I work as a dog groomer and in between dog haircuts I grab my notebook and scribble down all the ideas I have thought of while working on each dog.
My holidays are normally wildlife watching trips or volunteering with animals abroad so I get a lot of inspiration for my writing from the many characters I meet, four-legged and two-legged, and also from the many mishaps along the way!
Rocky's adventures all started when I went on holiday on a houseboat. I had always really wanted a dog but I didn't get one until I was eighteen. I just remember noticing all the dogs in the other houseboats we passed. That’s when the idea came to me of a little dog who lived with his family on a houseboat. I remember imagining what his life would be on the boat with his adventurous and quirky family.
In Rocky's adventures, the horrible crime of puppy farming is bought up, in the hope of raising awareness and teaching my readers about how not to get a puppy! But mostly, my books are for enjoyment. I hope that children will enjoy all the different dog characters and their adventures.
I love reading myself and I read as many books as I can fit in amongst dog grooming and entertaining my pup! Most of the books I read are about animals or animal-related memoirs. I enjoy women’s fiction, too.
I grew up with Harry Potter, Olga da Polga the guinea pig, Babe and lots of animal characters. I also enjoy memoirs of people whom I admire, such as Emma Milne, Noel Fitzpatrick and Paul O' Grady. One of my favourite animal-related memoirs is 'Tales from the Tail End' by Emma Milne. Very funny. I’d recommend anything by Emma Milne.
Jo Good and Anna Webb, the 'barking blondes' have a great book about their dogs. 'The Barking Blondes.' How two bitches taught two bitches to survive without men!
I recently discovered 'Gracie, An English bull terrier' by Chrissy Oslund. I like the way she has combined the story of her dog with lots of information for potential dog owners in a fun way, keeping it interesting.
I’m always on the lookout for new books with an animal theme. I look through magazines and other media for ideas and I can always rely on my writer friends to recommend books they think might interest me.
Nikki Cole's life revolves around animals- working with dogs and puppy parent to her rescue dog, Fred. She enjoys horse-riding, activity classes with Fred and wildlife watching holidays. Her recent travels have included a safari in Kenya and seeing Polar bears in the wild in Churchill, Canada. She currently has one children's story 'Rocky's Adventures' and one novella 'It Always Starts on the Dog Walk' and has two short stories in her writing group's anthology 'Kith and Kin' which can all be found on Amazon.
Thanks for sharing your ideas with us today, Nikki.
You have reminded me how much I enjoyed Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals and how moved I was by Black Beauty in my early teens.
You can find out more about Nikki at: