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6 Things with... Nikki Dudley, author of "Volta"

When Briony Campbell confesses to killing her boyfriend, a straightforward crime of passion soon turns into a baffling mystery. Haunted by demons from his past, lawyer S.J. Robin is assigned to the case. But as confusion - and the body count - rises, he's forced to question who is guilty and who is innocent. Can he see justice served and hold on to the woman he loves?

Nikki is managing editor of streetcake magazine and also runs the streetcake writing prize and MumWrite. She has a chapbook and collection with KFS. Her pamphlet 'I'd better let you go' is out with Beir Bua Press. She is the winner of the Virginia Prize 2020 and her second novel, Volta was published in May 2021. She was born three months premature and has barely been early ever since. When she was a kid, she wanted to be a ninja but realised pretty soon that she had no talent for it. Her website is:

Well Nikki, thanks for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to chat to us about your novel "Volta." Could you tell us a bit more about your writing process? for example, what are six things that went into the writing of this book in particular?

Research into police and law procedures and therapeutic practices, an obsession with memory and the power of the mind, a smattering of humour, hours of looking up things like prisons on Google Streetview, redrafting until my eyes hurt, and a lot of biscuits.

Five things you need to get some writing done?

Peace! And being allowed to sit at the computer and smash away for ages without feeling guilty. Plus, some motivational tea and/or a biscuit. Plus, the kids not running around me helps!

Four types of readers who will enjoy this book?

People who like strong characters who have strong relationships, people who like page turners where they can’t stop themselves even if they tried, people who are interested in secrets, memory and the things we can’t run from.

Three challenges you faced in the writing of this book?

I finished this book while I had two very young children but it’s been through a lot of edits since then. It was hard to get it to a point where I thought it was finished.

Though once I got edits back from the publisher, I had to redraft it all again and make loads of changes, all while being in lockdown! Argh!

Also, letting go is always tough. Knowing when to set your characters free and hoping the world will enjoy them (or dislike them if that’s what you intended!)

Two writers that have influenced your work?

I’m a big fan of Ruth Dugdall. I especially love some of the unique angles she takes, and her books are also about trying to judge if someone has committed a crime or not, and I love those grey areas in-between in thrillers when it’s hard to say either way. I’m also a huge fan of Raymond Chandler’s books - even though I don’t quite have a hardboiled detective in Volta, I think there is some influence there in some of the general storytelling and the investigation aspect.

One thing you hope readers will get from this book?


Volta is available on Amazon. You can connect with Nikki on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or through her website.

Disclaimer: "EMC's 6 things" interview series seeks to promote the artist and their featured writing and is in no way an endorsement of any of said artist's services, opinions or other work outside of this feature.


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