What do you read?
These days, anything I don’t have to think about! With two young kids I am exhausted by the time I fall into bed, but there’s never a night I don’t read before sleep. Right now I’m reading The Descendants and loving it. It helps that George Clooney is on the cover. When I was younger, I loved anything by John Irving, Tom Robbins, Margaret Atwood, Armistead Maupin, Milan Kundera and Fay Weldon; and when I backpacked through Europe in my early 20s I devoured a dog-eared copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude that had been left in a hostel. I still have it and still think the first sentence of that book is the best sentence ever penned. “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” Naturally, I also read a lot of childrens’ books – for the younger one Charlie and Lola is on high rotation, while the older one loves Roald Dahl, Captain Underpants, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Beast Quest.
Why do you read?
For pleasure, relaxation and to transport myself to another world. I couldn’t imagine a life without books. After years of needing to buy assorted bookcases, I finally bit the bullet last year and now have built in shelving in my office. I get such pleasure from glancing at the titles and reliving old memories. Like music, different books take me back to different times in my life.
Do you read for work or pleasure?
Both. Depending on what’s happening at the time. My work as a writer, editor and proofreader requires A LOT of reading! I also try to scan either a printed newspaper or an online version each day. But every night, before sleep, I lose myself in a novel. Some more high-brow than others.
Can you do the Safety Dance while reading?
I was a teenager in the ‘80s, I can do the Safety Dance in my sleep!
Are you a Discworld/Twilight/Harry Potter fan?
I read the Discworld series years ago when I was living in sin with a sci-fi fan. I can’t remember much – I only read it to impress my boyfriend! I love Harry Potter and have read them all several times. I started to read The Philosopher’s Stone to my then seven-year old son about six months ago. The first chapter did not grab him – I think it didn’t have enough fart jokes – but we will try again later.
It will be a cold day in Hell before I read the drivel that is the Twilight series (and even then, I’d probably even read Dan Brown first!)
Would you attend a flash mob dressed as your favourite character?
Can one dress as Elizabeth Bennett at a Flash mob? Mr Darcy would be horrified! Actually, in all honesty, I don’t really have a favourite character. There are so many great fictional personalities – Willy Wonka! Garp! Becky Sharp! Mrs Haversham! Wilt! – how could I possibly choose?
Since no-one will pay Nicole Leedham to read novels all day, she earns a living as the Word Barista at Black Coffee Communication a boutique business communication agency “where your message never sleeps”. She’s also mum to two young book-loving children who keep her on her toes, and wife to the Winemaker who keeps the cellar stocked.