[ Hot stuff]
Meet Paige Nick, columnist, bestselling author and the wit behind the smart and sexy new novel Dutch Courage.
GLAMOUR What inspired Dutch Courage?
PAIGE writingthe MavericksCape NICKa Town columnwhenI was stripI about learnt club that who they weren’t housed from womenthe city in an apartment next door. The idea of these women sharing a home got my mind racing, and after a bunch of false starts and trips to Amsterdam and New York, that fascination became this book.
What’s the novel about?
It’s about an innocent Capetonian teacher who takes a job in Amsterdam, pretending to be her sister. She thinks she’s just going to work at a cabaret bar as a Rihanna impersonator, but quickly discovers that it’s actually a strip club. She has to live in the house next door to the club with all the other celebrityimpersonating strippers, and figure out how to get out of the big mess she’s got herself into. What made you go in this direction? The book started out as something totally different, and has shifted form and
been rewritten. In the end, I just followed the book – and it took me in the direction it wanted to go.
You’re known for your wit, but does the novel have a deeper message?
Yes, because it’s set in the sex industry, but that deeper message is packaged in a whole lot of crazy fun.
What makes Dutch Courage different from your previous books?
Everything. This book was incredibly difficult for me to write, and it took me around four years from start to finish. My previous books all came quite easily, and were written in a matter of months. This one contained all sorts of learning curves, life lessons, tears and new experiences. My first two novels, A Million Miles from Normal (Penguin Books; ebook R163) and This Way Up (Penguin Books; R127) existed in worlds that were familiar to me. The one was set in advertising (I work in advertising) and the other was about coming from a big family (I come from a big family), so this world of a Dutch strip club was totally foreign to me. I was starting from scratch.
Tell us more about your background and how you got into writing
I grew up in Cape Town’s Camps Bay when it was still a quaint little village (it later became a major tourist hub and a hotspot for the ultra rich). I’m the youngest of six kids, which makes me think that maybe my parents didn’t have a TV. I got into writing partly through luck and partly through fate (with a first name like Paige, it felt like a no-brainer!). I’ve
always enjoyed reading and writing, and I loved advertising, so it was a very natural progression for me to go into advertising as a writer, and then the fiction and columns followed later.
What does your writing routine include?
My day job is as a freelance copywriter in advertising, so I write all day whether I like it or not. Then I have a couple of columns due every month, and there are these fun interviews that pop up all the time. I tend to steal time for my writing. If work gets quiet, I’ll write for a bit. Or I’ll grab an hour during my lunch hour or before work. And I generally manage to put in an hour or two most nights.
What’s your advice to aspirant writers?
Just write! It’s so tempting to just talk about writing, and so hard to do it. But you just need to write. And then, when you’ve finished, write some more.