Paige Nick is the hugely successful novelist behind a secret corner of Facebook where readers love to hide during tea breaks. Tiah spoke to her about the voices in her head and how she juggles copywriting, column writing, novel writing and running The Good Book Appreciation Society.
Tiah: You are a columnist, a novelist and part of a trio that publishes international sexy-times books. How do you keep all the writing personalities straight?
Paige: Don’t all writers have dozens of voices in their heads constantly? The title ‘writer’ is probably the only thing that separates us from just being certifiable crazy people. I also think working in advertising for all these years has helped. I can work on a car brand, finance and tampons all in one day, so you get used to switching and changing.
Tiah: Writers often rely heavily on Google. Any Google searches leave you going, 'What has been seen can not be unseen'?
Paige: I’ve written a sex column in The Sunday Times for the last five years, and three erotic novels, so my Google search history is horrific. Sarah Lotz and Helen Moffett (my erotic trilogy co-authors) and I have a pact; if anything happens to any of us, the one geographically closest at the time has to delete the deceased’s search history, stat.
Tiah: Tell us a little about your current book, Death by Carbs.
Paige: Death by Carbs is a Banting comedy. Someone murders Professor Tim Noakes and detective Bennie September has his work cut out for him. There are so many suspects that he doesn’t know where to start. It’s not a whodunit, it’s a who-donut.
Tiah: And you’ve been busy, you have another novel coming out next year, that Penguin is publishing?
Paige: After Death by Carbs, my next novel is due early 2016. It’s set in a strip club in Amsterdam, where all the strippers are celebrity impersonators, who live together in a house next door to the club. I spent a crazy couple of weeks in Amsterdam hanging out in strip clubs every night. For research of course (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).
Tiah: You are once of the main forces behind GBAS: Good Book Appreciation Society. For those not in the know, can you please share a bit about what GBAS is, why you started it and your hopes for its future.
Paige: Four years ago I belonged to two book clubs; one in real life, with a bunch of people I worked with, and another online. The real life club slowly started to splinter. Many members left the agency, we were always busy and our weekly meetings at work dwindled. And I personally became frustrated with the online club as it contained so much random self-promotion. So I decided to start my own club on Facebook where self-promotion wasn’t allowed - a private, and therefore not publicly visible group (so as not to annoy the non-bookie friends on my timeline).
The Good Book Appreciation Society started out with 8 members (the original eight members from my real-life club), and we now have over 4000 members and are aiming for 5000. We have lots of giveaways, tons of debate, and live and lively interviews with a different author every Sunday. It’s really my happy place. Please friend Bea Reader on Facebook if you’d like to join. All are welcome.
On Paige's Bedside Table:
I loved The Fetch, by Finuala Dowling, and recently read Green Lion, by Henrietta Rose-Innes. They were both so flipping good. Since then, I’ve been stuck in two simultaneous edits, and I don't read much when I’m writing or editing, but now that I’m done I’m having a reading binge before I start on a new project. James Miranda Barry, by Patricia Duncker is not a new book. It came out in 1999, but it’s phenomenal. A richly woven epic tale told in the turn of the nineteenth century about gender bending, family secrets and adultery. I don't want it to end.
Paige Nick is an author, Sunday Times columnist and award-winning advertising copywriter. She is also one third of Helena S. Paige, together with Sarah Lotz and Helen Moffett. A threesome of authors with a series of choose-your-own-adventure erotic novels, now out in 21 countries. And now she’s launched Death by Carbs, a Banting comedy. Paige lives in Cape Town where she spends an unhealthy amount of time writing. She hates spiders, cellulite and plastic forks and gravitates towards unsuitable men.