Prestigious Longlist Award for TWI’s Account Manager Nikki!
We’ve recently had some exciting news here at The Write Impression!
The longlist for the Women’s Prize Discoveries Award has been released and includes our very own Account Manager, Nikki Logan!
Over lockdown, Nikki dove headfirst into the world of creative writing and picked up her pen and paper to start drafting her first novel, The Last Card in the Suit. We’re all so proud of Nikki and this incredible achievement, so we sat down with her to learn more about the competition and The Last Card in the Suit.
What inspired you to enter the Discoveries awards?
“Writing a novel can be quite isolating. I had no idea if what I was writing was any good! Competitions like Discoveries for novels-in-progress are quite unusual. Most writers will complete the manuscript before entering competitions or receive feedback from literary agents, if they’re lucky!
Discoveries is unique in that it’s a development programme, not just a competition. As a longlist entrant, I have been offered support with my novel! I’ll be joining a two-week Discoveries Writing Development Course, designed by Curtis Brown Creative!”
What is your novel about/inspired by?
“Nearly ten years ago, I started recording my grandad’s stories about growing up in Jamaica and how he ended up moving to England at the age of 24 in 1950. He was showing signs of dementia, so initially, the recordings were for my family to keep! But I soon realised his story gave a unique insight into a significant part of British history. I was captivated by his life as a British West Indian; the poverty, racism, British upbringing, and the contracts issued by the British Colonial Office.
I decided to write a novel inspired by his life-affirming and heart-breaking accounts, which also includes the challenges he and my Nan faced as an interracial couple.
The novel is called The Last Card in the Suit and is about a young Jamaican man, inspired by my grandad, who crosses paths with a fellow islander for what he believes is the first time. Their British citizenship takes them on a turbulent journey from Jamaica to 1940s Deep South USA and 1950s London. With one secret leading to another, it’s a story of rejection, betrayal and a fight for survival in the face of love that defies boundaries.”
Why did you decide to convey your grandfather’s story through a novel?
“I think fiction is such a powerful way to entertain whilst confronting quite brutal realities. I really hope my novel shines a light on a time in British History that I believe remains largely untold.
The title: The Last Card in the Suit, takes on a double meaning. One being the significance of playing the last card in a suit in a game of dominoes; the knowledge one bears and what they do with this information. And the other pays homage to the last members of a departing generation and their place in reimagining history. “
What is your writing process like?
“It’s a bit scatty! The plot and characters never stop developing! I use the ‘Notes’ app on my phone to brain dump thoughts at whatever time of day (or night!). Having said that I am definitely a plotter. I like structure and having an outline for each chapter before I begin. I also must write in absolute silence, so I’m much more productive once the kids have gone to bed!
How’s it been juggling writing a novel and being a mum?
“Challenging! But considering I was planning this novel long before I had children, I’ve progressed much quicker with it since having children. I am much more organised and efficient with my time now and I really like to make the most of it, even if it does mean writing my novel until the early hours of the morning. I have learnt to function on very little sleep!”
Our Managing Partner Kate Everett said, “We’re incredibly proud of Nikki and her amazing achievement. It’s brilliant that one of our writers is being recognised for their talents. We all have our fingers crossed for the shortlist!”