Friday 1 January 2010

Featured on Friday: Nina Malkin

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you enjoy the first Featured on Friday post of 2010 starring Nina Malkin...
Nina Malkin is the author of three books, one novella and a memoir. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and cats.

1. Is there a specific time or place that you do your best writing in?
I’ll write basically anywhere—in a closet, a refrigerator box—except a cute, trendy coffeehouse. Mostly I write at my desk, which is a slab of marble atop an old steel Singer sewing machine base. The wheel from the sewing machine spins when you pedal it — this may or not help the creative process, but it does tone the calves. Time-wise, I prefer to write in the morning, when the stuff that comes in dreams spills out.

2. Who were your favourite authors as a teenager? Are they different to your current favourites?
I read a lot of horror fiction when I was younger, Poe to King. Lately I’ve been in a crime phase—hard-boiled detective stuff (Hammett’s a favourite), true crime (just finished James Ellroy’s “My Dark Places”), pulp/noir—I recently got a collection of three Jim Thompson novels I’m eager to crack.

3. If you were only allowed to take three books to a desert island, what would they be?
Dang, I hate these desert island questions! How come they’re never dessert islands? Okay…the Bible, because it’s big and fat and I’ve never read it. Flannery O’Connor’s “The Complete Stories,” since I could read them over and over. Finally, a huge notebook with sketchbook quality paper so I might amuse myself with stories and drawings of my own.

4. Is there a novel that you wish you’d written? Why?
Sometimes I’ll come upon a clever turn of phrase, a metaphor or a pun and think, “Damn, wish I wrote that!” But I’ve never read a novel and wished it were mine. Novels are offspring, so coveting another author’s work would feel to me like kidnapping.

5. Swoon is very different from your previous books. What inspired you to write it?
My first two novels, 6X: The Uncensored Confessions and 6X: Loud, Fast, and Out of Control, were about rock ‘n’ roll, inspired by my music industry experiences. SWOON is a much more personal story. I’d been screwed over, bad, and obsessing about the worst way someone could betray a trust. SWOON arose from that. Which of course proves the old adage: Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stranger.

6. So many different myths and lores are present in Swoon. Where did you find them and then decide to mesh them all together?
Much like SWOON’s heroine Dice, when she was investigating demonic possession, I’d get an idea, then try to suss it out on the Internet. I didn’t do tons of research, though, for two reasons: I wanted the story to feel fresh and not reflect much of some myth or lore you’ve heard before. And because I really prefer to make stuff up!

7. I felt that the end of Swoon wasn’t the end for Sin and Dice at all. Will you continue their story?
I know there are further adventures of Sin and Dice, and I get so many requests for a sequel, but my publisher hasn’t commissioned one. I have no clue why—the book is in its seventh printing, so I imagine it’s “successful.” That said, I believe that readers are continuing the story in their thoughts, their dreams, their exchanges with me and with others. To those SWOONIES I say thank-you! And here’s a tip: Sin has been hounding me about this, and come the New Year he may start a blog…

Thank you very much, Nina! You can visit Nina on her website here and read my review of Swoon here.



  1. Cool interview! I haven't read Swoon, but Nina Malkin sounds interesting and pretty funny too. *I* want to go to a dessert island!

  2. Great interview! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Seventh printing... wow! I hope they do commission a sequel, as it sounds like Nina would be up for writing it.

    Great interview guys :)

  4. Fascinating interview. I loved reading it - thank you!


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