Nicoll Makes Light of Novel Writing

Journalists harbouring the ambition to write a novel should take heart from The Scottish Sun's political editor, Andrew Nicoll: it's apparently just a dawdle.

In an interview published in The Herald arts section on Saturday, he is quoted by book editor, Rosemary Goring, as saying: “Oh God, this is awful. You see I know from sensitive artistic literary types that it’s supposed to be horribly angst-ridden and involve nine re-draftings. And it just bloody doesn’t.

“I’m sitting on the train. I have my notebook in front of me. I think what I want to say, I write it down, I read it. If it doesn’t look right, I‘ll change it, score out a bit. And then when you transcribe it again it might be changed. And that’s it, basically.”

Describing Nicoll as having “the appearance and grumpiness of a grisly bear”, Goring adds he is the author of “two elegant, witty and philosophical novels, each with a melting and romantic moral heart”.

His first book, The Good Mayor, published three years ago, won the Saltire Book Award and has now been translated into 30 languages.

His latest offering, The Love and Death of Caterina, published by Quercus, has just hit the bookshops and has again received rave reviews.