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Nick Lake - Author

About the Author

Nick Lake is 29 years old and a children's book editor at HarperCollins. He lives in London with his English teacher wife, Hannah.


Nick Lake Q&A:

Previous occupations:
Student, and then book editor. Which I still am.

Favourite job:
Being a book editor. No one told me at school that there was a job where you got paid for being a fan of writers and writing.
   

High school and/or college:

I went to High School in Luxembourg, and I went to Oxford University after that for a degree and then a fairly pointless masters. In phonetics, of all things.
 

Name of your favourite composer or music artist?
The Pixies.
   
Favourite movie:
I usually lie and go for something clever like Vertigo. But really it's True Romance.
   
How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
I would use the word "busy" eight times.

What is your motto or maxim?
 
To paraphrase the existentialists - life is what you make it. Which amounts to a practical kind of karma, I suppose.

How would you describe perfect happiness?
A fire, a good chair and a new Stephen King book. Or the moment the soundchecks finish and the band take to the stage. Or sunset on the mountains, with weary feet, and the lights of a pub ahead. Or the sound of a breakbeat. Or a very sweet tea, anywhere in the Middle East, at any time of day.

What’s your greatest fear?
 Not being good.

 

Which living person do you most admire?
Haruki Murakami. Stephen King. Anyone who works for Medecins sans Frontieres or Amnesty International.

What are your most overused words or phrases?
 "Apparently".

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
The abillity to play a musical instrument well. Also, the ability to speak all languages fluently.

What is your greatest achievement?
 Meeting my wife.

 

If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
I wouldn't mind being Simon Cowell. I could make The X-Factor go away. Not to mention R&B flavoured pop music.

What trait is most noticeable about you?
 
I have no idea. My hair? It's usually quite big, because I keep forgetting to have it cut. I look like the freakish son of Tom Hanks and David Hasselhoff.

Who is your favourite fictional hero?
 Sally Lockhart.

Who is your favourite fictional villain?
 
Steerpike. (Also hero.)

If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
I'd like to meet Shakespeare and I'd ask him how to write better.

 

What is your favourite occupation, when you’re not writing?
 
Reading? Actually probably sleeping, to be honest.

What’s your fantasy profession?
 Bestselling and universally admired author.

What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
 
Compassion. Empathy. Humour.

If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
Chocolate, in any form.

What are your 5 favourite songs?
Hmmm. "Beat It"; "Here, There and Everywhere" by the Beatles; "U-Mass" by the Pixies; "Heartbeat" by Annie and "Etched Headplate" by Burial

On Books and Writing:

Who are your favourite authors?
Haruki Murakami. Stephen King. Neil Gaiman. Margaret Atwood. Joan Didion. Ismail Kadare. Philip Reeve. Philip Pullman. Meg Rosoff.

What are your 5 favourite books of all time?   

Tough one. I guess... Middlemarch; Coraline; For Whom the Bell Tolls; the collected works of Shakespeare... and Little, Big, by John Crowley - the single most unfairly overlooked, beautiful, miraculous and magical book I know.

 

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
I wouldn't presume to think of myself as someone anyone might look to for advice! But I suppose I'd tell them to read as much as possible, in as many genres as possible.

What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
"You're very... imaginative aren't you." I think they mean I'm strange.

Featured books by Nick Lake

In Darkness

In Darkness

Author: Nick Lake Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/01/2012

In darkness I count my blessings like Manman taught me. One. I am alive. Two. There is no two. Haiti 2010: in the aftermath of the earthquake a boy lies trapped beneath the rubble: terrified, thirsty and alone. Shorty is a child of the slums, a teenager who has seen enough violence to last a lifetime and who has been inexorably drawn into the world of the gangsters who rule his broken city: men who dole out money with one hand and death with the other. But Shorty has a secret: a flame of revenge that burns inside him, fuelling his determination to find his beloved twin sister, stolen from him five years ago. In the darkness the lines between the present and the past begin to blur and, as Shorty fights for life, his struggle becomes part of a two-hundred-year-old story - a story of courage and betrayal, of freedom and of hope. Shorty may not be quite as alone as he believes...

ebook of the month

Other books by Nick Lake

Nowhere on Earth

Nowhere on Earth

Author: Nick Lake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/01/2019

'Action and excitement and deep emotion. Gorgeous.' Cecelia Ahern It starts with a plane crash. There are survivors: a teenage girl and her little brother. They are running from something. But what? Then the men arrive. They are hunting the girl and boy. And- And that's all we can tell you ... A thrilling story of survival, hope and a love beyond all understanding, from the award-winning author of Satellite.

Blood Ninja Trilogy

Blood Ninja Trilogy

Author: Nick Lake Format: eBook Release Date: 04/04/2013

Blood NinjaSkilled in the art of silent and deadly combat, ninjas are the agents of powerful nobles who rule sixteenth-century Japan. So when a group of these highly-trained assassins kill Taro's father, he must learn their ways in order to avenge him, evading the wrath of warring Lords, deciphering an ancient curse - and unleashing the blood-soaked secrets of a life lived in moonlight.Lord Oda's RevengeTaro has had his revenge, but Lord Oda is not quiet in his grave. Dangerously weakened, Taro must discover the one object Lord Oda was desperate to find before he died - and he must go to hell and back to get it.The Betrayal of the LivingTaro is at a crossroads - no land, no title, and no hope of marrying his beloved Hana. As he sets off on another perilous quest, the future of all feudal Japan is in danger, and everything Taro holds dear will be threatened. The dead have begun to rise.

In Darkness

In Darkness

Author: Nick Lake Format: eBook Release Date: 17/01/2012

Shorty is a Haitian boy trapped in the rubble of a hospital when an earthquake shatters the world around him. Surrounded by lifeless bodies and growing desperately weak from lack of food and water, death seems imminent. Yet as Shorty waits for a rescue that may never come, he becomes aware of another presence, one reaching out to him across two hundred years of history. It is a man named Toussaint lOuverturethe Haitian slave turned revolutionary leader whose life was marred by violence and whose own end came in darkness. As Shorty slips in and out of consciousness, scenes from his life and Toussaints play back and entwine. And though separated by centuries, what this modern boy from the slums and the visionary black leader have in common will leave listeners shivering. Raw, harrowing, and peopled with vibrant characters, In Darkness is an extraordinary audiobook about the cruelties of man and nature, and the valiant, ongoing struggle for a countrys very survival. Advance Praise for In DarknessA tale of two Haitisone modern, one historicdeftly intertwine. . . . This double-helix-of-a-story explores the nature of freedom, humanity, survival and hope. A dark journey well worth takingengrossing, disturbing, illuminating. Kirkus Reviews, starred review

In Darkness

In Darkness

Author: Nick Lake Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/01/2012

In darkness, I count my blessings like Manman taught me.One: I am alive. Two: there is no two. In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, a boy is trapped beneath the rubble of a ruined hospital, thirsty, terrified and alone. Shorty is a child of the slums, a teenage boy who has seen enough violence to last a lifetime, and who has been inexorably drawn into the world of the gangsters who rule Site Soley; men who dole out money with one hand and death with the other. But Shorty has a secret: a flame of revenge that blazes inside him and a burning wish to find the twin sister he lost seven years ago. And he is marked. Marked in a way that links him to Toussaint l'Ouverture, the Haitian rebel who led the slave revolt and faced down Napoleon to force the French out of Haiti two hundred years ago. As he grows weaker, Shorty relives the journey that took him to the hospital, with a bullet wound in his arm. In his visions and memories he hopes to find the strength to survive - perhaps then Shorty and Toussaint can find a way to be free . . .

The Secret Ministry of Frost

The Secret Ministry of Frost

Author: Nick Lake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/03/2009

Ahalf-Inuit albino and heir to a huge Northern Irish manor, Light has never exactly blended in. Since her father's mysterious disappearance in the Arctic, she's felt more alone than ever. Yet as she mourns for the father, Light starts to notice unexpected presences all around... Suddenly the mysterious world in which her father moved invades young Light's life with a bang. The Inuit folklore she vaguely knows comes alive all around her; the inscrutable, violent and sometimes horrific beings of the North seem to believe she has a role to play and, along with her tattoed butler and their new shark-headed friend, Tupilak, Light is drawn into an age-old intrigue between Setna, the ruler of the sea and Frost, king of the cold...