Author Archives: Nicola

THE LOST WORDS AND WHY WE NEED THEM

Often the first to be in full leaf, the horse chestnut trees are already looking rusty and worn, as if they simply haven’t got the energy to go on. No wonder really, considering what they’re making: thousands of spiked, green cannonballs with mahogany works of art inside. Conkers! I still get excited about conkers. The […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE LEVIATHAN OF PARSONSTOWN

More than a decade ago, actually a lot more than a decade, I went to Ireland on holiday. The aim was mostly to wander about the Burren and look at gentians, but somehow I found myself in Birr, a lovely little town in county Offaly. We, my then partner and I, wandered into the Park […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Found in the Digital Attic

This is only a short post…not really a post at all. It’s been a Heinz 57 varieties week. Last weekend the glorious Boswell Festival, where I had some of the best conversations of my life with other authors there (Thomas Harding, Phillipe Sands)  and came home buzzing (and I WILL write more sensibly about this soon). […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Underwater Worlds

Thirty five years ago, almost in another world, another life, I went to the Maldives to take part in a WWFN funded study on blue and sperm whales. I flew in over the scattered dots of coral atolls, shaped like turquoise cats’ eyes in the deep indigo of the tropical sea. There was a boat […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Home For Lots of Languages

I’ve been a writer for a long time now, more than 20 years. I pootle along OK, though nobody knows who I am and movies have not been made of my books. There is no merchandise. I have a mortgage, no time to dust away the cobwebs and my car is mostly held together by mud. […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

…and another thing about Non Fiction…

Had there been the option to dance until dawn I would have taken it, but as there wasn’t, I spent New Year’s Eve with my fire and two films. The first was one I’d frankly been putting off, as I knew it would be harrowing. ‘Beasts of No Nation’ follows the story of a child […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Review Of My 2016

I’ve just been listening to lovely John Simpson, the emperor of foreign correspondents, saying that in spite of what current news may tell us, the world is a better place than 20 years ago. There are fewer wars and dictatorships, more democracies, more negotiations than armed conflicts. So, although 2016 has been a year whose […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New Stories, New Heroes

Four years ago when I was researching Manatee Baby in the Colombian Amazon, I stayed with a remarkable woman, Sarita Kendal, founder of the conservation organisation Natutama. Sarita and her co workers had changed a community from one that was increasingly exploiting the resources of the river without thought, to one behaving sustainably. Fisherman who […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tales from The Woods

I’m fresh back from a week in Mexico attending the World Land Trust Symposium and meeting the partner organisations with which it works. What a fabulous week. What a wonderful country and what incredible people (only a very special group of people react to the cry ‘rattlesnake’ by trying to elbow each other out of […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

AUTUMN BOOK FRENZY

This time of year is always crazily busy. It’s literary festival season and the start of the new school year so children’s authors are dashing about the countryside. At least I had had a bit of a calm before the storm, as I had most of August at home writing two novels for Walker Books, […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment