Nicola Sheppey is a writer based in London. She largely writes fiction and is currently working on a debut magic realism novel as part of Faber Academy’s class of 2020. Her piece, ‘George Town’, can be found in EPOCH Issue 01: Beginnings, available to purchase here.
Where do you find inspiration?
It’s been difficult being creative during lockdown, because I get most of my inspiration when I travel! Spending time in Malaysia always makes me feel most creative; there’s something about the unique mix of cultures and the richness of the environment there that drums up so many ideas. I’m working on a novel, which has a fictional setting but it’s based in Malaysia – that was a subconscious decision at first. I can’t seem to escape it.
Why do you write/create Creative Non-Fiction?
CNF has that perfect ability to convey the truth and the emotion of our lives without being too matter-of-fact. You get to explore and experiment with the form, and that hits readers in a different way. I always wanted to write about my feelings as a mixed-race British Malaysian but it felt as if there wasn’t an outlet for a very personal, emotionally-driven story — when I discovered the art and creativity of essay writing, it felt very natural.
What are you reading now?
I’ve just started reading The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin. I can see why people say it’s a masterpiece of speculative fiction — she writes about these large philosophical concepts and alien societies in a very accessible way. I’ve been forcing myself to read a lot during lockdown. They say you shouldn’t read fiction when you’re writing a book but I always think of it as drinking water while you’re running a marathon: it’s fuel.
Where can we follow you and find your work?
I’m on Twitter and Instagram @NicolaSheppey, and I co-host a podcast about books you’d read to survive any situation – that’s on Twitter @FirstAidLit !