[ Hot stuff]

Meet Paige Nick, colum­nist, best­selling au­thor and the wit be­hind the smart and sexy new novel Dutch Courage.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Glamour Book -

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.

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