I am Judging This Flash Competition

First off, here’s the brilliant Sue Guiney’s review of Beautiful Words. I love (and feel really rather relieved) that people like it. That they get it. That makes me happy.

 

She begins:

“Nik Perring is an incredibly creative and innovative writer whose work I’ve been following for years now. I first wrote about him here when I discussed his collection of short stories called Not So Perfect. At that time I wrote:

Not So Perfect is a masterclass in flash fiction. Each story is a small gem and I found myself sitting and staring into space in amazement after each one.

Well, now it has happened again as I read his latest collection, Beautiful Words.” Read the rest here.

 

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And I am judging a flash fiction competition for my publisher. Simply send in 4 – 8 flashes of under 1000 words by May 22nd and you could win your stories as a book, for sale on amazon and Roastbook’s site, with 50 free copies for you. CLICK HERE for all the details. And get scribbling – I’m really looking forward to your entries. Go to it, folks!

Winners

On Friday I emailed the winners of my Beautiful Words competition. I ended up picking them at random, mostly because pretty much all of the entries would have been worthy winners, so that felt like the fairest thing to do. A huge thanks to everyone who took part – there were far more than I’d expected and that’s a brilliant thing because it shows just how much people like words. You are all, very definitely, my kind of people.

(And I’ll remind you that you can still be in with a chance of winning a copy by telling me what would be in your ideal bookshop.)

And the winners are:

Kit

‘Ecclesiastical’ – which carries for me a hint of something fantastical, and ‘eccles’ cakes eaten after Sunday Service and in a dimly lit church hall and eaten off a grand china plate; and ‘don’t drop the crumbs on the floor’, my mam scolded me before I ever did. And the minister ruffled my hair into un-neatness, which I didn’t like, and he laughed a hearty laugh loud as the word of God, and his breath was like dragon’s breath, and his hands were heavy as wet towels on my head. And my mam said I should feel blessed for the attention he showed me.

 

Tara Laskowski

Apocalyptic is fun to say. So is rubbish. Go ahead say it. “That’s rubbish.” Makes you feel crotchety and entitled.

 

Jo Burnett

Verisimilitude. Or susurration. I like the way they roll off the tongue

 

Jocelyn Hayes

Macaroon, because I could never say it correctly. It always came out ‘racamoon’.

 

Danuta Kean

Elbow. It’s such a lovely word. Say it again and again and it sounds lie something exotic and lovely. I also like sarcophagus.

 

Loree Westron Bumbershoot. Ah, yes, why. Mostly, I just like the sound of it. It’s easy to pronounce, but it sounds a little bit rude. I also like that it refers to something most people have, but is a word few would be familiar with today.

 

Your books will be in the post just as soon as my envelopes have arrived.

Words (and Trees) With Carys Bray

So it’s the day after publication day. And it (aside from the very, very sad Peaches Geldof news) was lovely. A huge thank you to everyone who made it so. And a huge thanks, too, to everyone who entered the favourite words competition. I’ll announce the winners either later today if I have time (there were SO many entries and I think pretty much all of them were brilliant so I’m tempted to put them all in a hat and select the winners at random) or tomorrow. I want to read them again first though because it feels like each of those tells its own story. They were ace.

Yesterday I was over at the super talented Carys Bray’s place, talking about Beautiful Words and a little about Beautiful Trees too (which is almost done and which is exciting too).

And here’s a round-up of where else I’ve/Beautiful Words has been. With excerpts.

 

Natalie Bowers reviews it here.“When we finally grow up, my little sister and I are going to run our own shop, and in this shop we are going to sell coffee, cake, stationary and books like this – books that are a pleasure to hold, a joy to read and a wonder to look at.”

The lovely Jessica reviews it for The View From Here mag. “I know that’s easy to say that you enjoyed a book and you would probably read it again but I can genuinely say this with Beautiful Words. I actually started again straight away and picked up more details that I had missed the first time. This is one of those books you can gobble up in one sitting or nibble away, saving the experience for as long as possible. Trust me, you’ll be going back for a second, third and forth serving of this book. Perring has a way of captivating the reader, coaxing them and on occasion pulling the reader into a darker part of the story.”

Decoding Static’s review and interview with me.

Australia’s, and writing’s, Jodi Cleghorn reviews it here. “Perring mainlines emotions in a way that compels the reader to open their heart to weep bittersweet tears into. He delivers with such ease single sentence gut-punches then switches back to offer promises of love when all hope has fled.”

Dan Powell tells you why you should’t read it here.“All of which should explain exactly why you should not read this book. You should lie back and imbibe it. You should stroll through it with you fingers. You should leap back and forth across the whole span of the alphabet, make bold connections between the entries that are furthest apart. Most of all, once you have visited each and every one of the twenty-six words, you should not consider this book as having been read. You should keep it on the coffee table, by the phone, or maybe put it in the glove box of your car, slip into a friend’s bag, or place it by the bedside of a loved one, so that either you or someone else can be surprised by it later on, return to it, stroll again through its words and images and meanings and declarations.”

Here I talk to Writer’s Little Helper about my imaginary bookshop.

Lies Ink reviews it here. “Like most of Nik’s work, there’s an undeniable charm to the writing, yet there’s a darker edge lurking in the background (perhaps best summed up by the fact that F’s word is Fuck – “beautiful because of its power”). Miranda Sofroniou’s illustrations complement the writing perfectly, with just the right amount of what I’d describe as a kind of naive whimsy.”

The brilliant Scott Pack shares his thoughts on it here. “It is a fine concept and the book is a handsome volume. It only takes a few minutes to read from start to finish but if you like it you are likely to return to it and dip in and out from time to time.”

Here’s what Vulpes Libris had to say about it in their thoughtful review. “I enjoyed reading this book, looking at it and found myself pausing over it and getting more from a second reading.”

And that, I think’s that. Again, thank you. More anon, I imagine.

 

Publication Day (and a Book Giveaway)

So it’s finally here. Beautiful Words is now officially published (and, of course, available from all good book outlets, though here seems to be the cheapest and with free worldwide delivery).

And to celebrate I’m running a competition. I’ve a handful of copies I’ll give away, signed and personalised (and with a secret extra treat) to anywhere in the world, and to be in with a chance of winning one all you have to do is tell me what YOUR favourite word is and why. You can do it by leaving a comment here, by tweeting me, or by posting something on my Facebook wall.

 

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In the meantime, here’s the kind of thing you can expect to find inside…

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“Smart, funny, and very very beautiful, Nik Perring shows us twenty-six new ways to fall in love.” — Robert Shearman.

“Combining brevity with an overarching narrative, Nik Perring’s unusual storytelling is touching and captivating. His Beautiful series follows the lives of Lucy, Lily, and Alexander through their words, trees and shapes.

In the first of the series, Beautiful Words, fact and fiction interplay within the context of their three lives.

Accompanied by rich, playful illustrations from Miranda Sofroniou, these 26 story-gems invite us into Alexander’s world, telling us of his love, his loss and some of his favourite words too.

Beautiful Trees and Beautiful Shapes, the second and third books in the series, are due to be released later in 2014.”

My Imaginary Bookshop and What’s Better Than Chocolates For Your Birthday

I’m over at the lovely Writer’s Little Helper today, talking about imaginary bookshops and why one sort of cake is never enough. And outside bits. You can read the whole thing here.

 

Let me know what would be in yours. My favourite wins a signed copy of Beautiful Words. You have a week.

 

And the lovely Jodi Cleghorn has posted a wonderfully thoughtful review of Beautiful Words here.

 

Beautiful Words is published on Monday. Things seem to be hotting up. And the butterflies in my stomach are breeding.

The View From Here. And There.

So, a big chunk of yesterday was devoted to being interviewed about Beautiful Words. And it was fun, mostly (I’m still more comfortable with other people talking about my book than me).

 

And here’s the first, with the great Andy Harrod over at Decoding Static. Andy was also good enough to review it too, which is cool.

 

And the (also) great Jessica Patient reviews Beautiful Words for the brilliant The View From Here mag, here.

 

Here’s an excerpt:

 

“I know that’s easy to say that you enjoyed a book and you would probably read it again but I can genuinely say this with Beautiful Words. I actually started again straight away and picked up more details that I had missed the first time. This is one of those books you can gobble up in one sitting or nibble away, saving the experience for as long as possible. Trust me, you’ll be going back for a second, third and forth serving of this book. Perring has a way of captivating the reader, coaxing them and on occasion pulling the reader into a darker part of the story.

There are some books that need to be in printed form rather than contained within an ebook. Beautiful Words is one of those books. The illustrations by Miranda Sofroniou are fantastic and striking and build up another story, running alongside Perring’s declarations of love to his favourite words.”

 

Right. I have writing to do. And with only five days until publication to go there will be more from me soon!

Why You Shouldn’t Read Beautiful Words

With the publication day of Beautiful Words drawing ever closer, reviews are starting to come in. So far, they’ve all been positive, which has gone some way to making me less nervous. Here’s the latest, from the brilliant Dan Powell, on why you shouldn’t read it.

He says, along with other things:

‘All of which should explain exactly why you should not read this book. You should lie back and imbibe it. You should stroll through it with you fingers. You should leap back and forth across the whole span of the alphabet, make bold connections between the entries that are furthest apart. Most of all, once you have visited each and every one of the twenty-six words, you should not consider this book as having been read. You should keep it on the coffee table, by the phone, or maybe put it in the glove box of your car, slip into a friend’s bag, or place it by the bedside of a loved one, so that either you or someone else can be surprised by it later on, return to it, stroll again through its words and images and meanings and declarations.

So, to conclude, do not read Beautiful Words. And having not read it do not regard this book as a good read or indeed as something you have read and therefore finished. Rather think of it as what it is, an emotionally engaging experience that should be repeated.’

It made me happy. And here’s the cover, which makes me happy too.

Cover 180x180-2

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