I like to think of Nikki’s special brand of literary magic as the left brain and the right brain locking together in an orgasmic embrace. Her style and her imagery show an extraordinary blend of precision and sensuality—everything is crisp and heady at the same time, fluid yet grounded.
In The New Rakes, Nikki has crafted a gripping, richly emotional tale that overflows with heartfelt sexuality of the most intense kind, while also offering a seriously meaty, psychologically complex, and literarily nuanced narrative. And it fuckin’ rocks, dudes.
Through the miracle of premeditated, cooperative, intensely planned and heavily publicized blogging, I just happen to have Nikki here with me today. She’s promised to reveal the juicy details of her passionate relationship with rock ‘n’ roll—and, if we’re good, she’ll show us a movie, too!
Take it, Nikki: onetwothreeFOURRRRRRRRRR!
Sheena is a Punk Rocker
(but Nikki is only pretending)
by Nikki Magennis
Of course I love most what I can’t have.
Music draws out the tangles. It distils vague, sticky feelings into something wondrous and amazing. It’s a peculiar kind of alchemy, without which I’d be lost.
That is why I’m in awe of musicians. And why I crush on those who can actually make music. Naturally, I ended up writing a novel full of rock stars having intensely hot, dirty sex.
Mike, the cool as Cristal pianist, Tam the rough guitarist – Kara the sweet-and-dark singer. I can hear all their songs in my head still. The music was a huge part of the writing process, and while most of it was imaginary, I did try to method-write a little.
The next song was the one she loved the best, the one she needed to really feel in her bones before she could sing it.
With a talented muso friend, I wrote a song. Snatches of it can be found in the book, but the whole thing is actually arranged and ready to record.
It turns out trying to organise musicians is like trying to herd cats. I found a singer, drummer, guitarist and bass player, but never in the same room. In the end, I made a band out of paper dolls and a soundtrack from Garageband loops.
Buried deep in my hard drive are unaccompanied, howling-godawful versions of songs from the book that will never, ever see the light of day. I sung them when no-one else was in the house, secret songs just between me and the characters.
I like to think of them as grace notes in the book’s melody – unseen parts of the story that make it a richer experience.
I learned a lot from writing this novel but the deeper mysteries about music and wanting, and why certain songs turn me on so much remain unanswered. I suppose they’ll always be just out of reach – endlessly fascinating, thrilling with promise, and tantalising enough to keep me reaching for the high notes.
Kara stood, half naked and abandoned, lost, while Mike bent over the keyboard. Had he forgotten her? Was he having second thoughts? Her skin tightened at the thought. She considered picking up her skirt and leaving. As she started to bend down, though, Mike’s voice stopped her.
‘I wouldn’t do that if I were you.’
He didn’t stop playing, not for a moment. The notes still tumbled from the piano, deep and light at the same time. Kara watched his hands, the tendons long and taut as he stroked the keys. She searched his face. Expression had marked him; laughter lines curved deep at either side of his mouth and his forehead was scored with a slight frown. His face was scarred with stories, but to Kara his expression was unknowable.
At last, the piano fell silent. An echo vibrated in the air between them.
‘Touch yourself,’ he said, barely whispering.