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Nikki May Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Nikki May
Author Nikki May was born in Bristol and grew up in Lagos, and is Anglo-Nigerian. Before turning to writing, she ran a successful ad agency.

Since Nikki was just two years old when her family moved to Nigeria, that is where she calls home. She’s got no recollection at all of living in England before that.

She read Alistair McLean’s “Ice Station Zebra” when she was only twelve year old in Lagos, a place where books were in such short supply that you just read what you could get your hands on. She stayed up that entire night being transfixed, thrilled, horrified, and desperate to know what would happen next.

The first thing that Nikki’s able to remember writing was some angst-ridden poetry while she was just a spotty teenager. She still cringes whenever she recalls her obvious metaphors and odious rhyming.

Her ideal writing spot is out in the garden on a warm day. However since she lives in England and it rains constantly, she works in her office wearing a jumper. Oh and she can’t even begin her writing without an iced coffee, as well as the promised reward of a glass of cava at sundown which keeps her going.

“Wahala” was inspired by this long (not to mention loud) lunch she had with her friends. She was at this Nigerian restaurant with a group of her friends, a mix of white, Black, and mixed-race people. The place was dusty, the music cranked too loud, and the service was awful, which made them feel right at home.

They laughed, drank, talked, and shouted in the restaurant for like five hours about everything from hair (since they’re all obsessed with it), to the prices of parts for the broken generator at her dad’s place in Nigeria, ski vacations, and focaccia recipes. It got her thinking about how they all had these different experiences.

On the train ride back home, after one of these lunches, she came up with the book. As her ticket was being taken, she began thinking about how wonderful it was that she had two cultures, the Three Eagles and Three Lions, roast dinner and Joloff Rice. The entire way home, she felt herself changing back into the English version of herself, shedding her Nigerian side.

She sketched out three different characters and having lunch in the restaurant. When she got home, she shared this idea with her husband, and it led to her enrolling in a creative writing class.

One six-week long creative writing class delivered the first three chapters which was followed by a first draft completed some six months later. She needed wahala; finding just the right amount of wahala for each one of her characters.

The easiest character for her to write was Ronke, as she’s the person that Nikki aspires to be like, that friend that everyone wants. And she simply loves writing about food.

She found that the toughest character to write in the novel was Simi, since she is the most like Nikki, having also dropped out of medical school, almost drowned in shame, and major imposter syndrome, both of which have been able to keep it well hidden. Sometimes it felt far too much like self-analysis.

This is a result of coming from West Africa, where education is majorly important, with one degree not being enough, you should have a Master’s and a PhD. It is something that has taken her such a long time to kind of believe it’s not a failure nor is it something she should be ashamed of, so she gave Simi some of these same issues.

Aspects of herself crept into some other characters. Like Ronke’s grandparents wanting nothing to do with her. Boo’s desperation to assimilate and fit in, Nikki’s been there by straightening her hair and tweaking her name.

She lives with her husband, far too many books, and two standard schnauzers in Dorset.

“Wahala” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2022. An exhilarating and incisive debut about female friendship that follows three Anglo-Nigerian best friends and the deadly glamorous fourth woman from the trio’s past that infiltrates their group.

Ronke just wants her own happily ever after and 2.2 kids, with a husband that MUST be Nigerian. She has been dating a man named Kayode and wants him to be “the one” (perfect, just like her dead dad). Her friends believe that the guy is just another in a long line of dodgy Nigerian boyfriends that she’s had.

Boo has got everything that Ronke wants: a gorgeous child and a kind husband. However she is unfulfilled, frustrated, and desperate to remember who she once was, and is plagued by feelings of guilt. All while she endures being a stay at home mother.

Simi is the golden one that has a perfect lifestyle. Nobody knows that she has been crippled by impostor syndrome and is tempted to pack all of it in every single time her boss mentions her “urban vibe”. Her husband believes that they are trying to have a baby. She is not.

When the charismatic and high-flying Isobel explodes her way into their little group, it appears that she is bringing out the absolute best in every woman. As she goes out jogging with Boo and gets Simi an interview in Hong Kong. However the more she intervenes, the more chaos she sows, and Boo, Ronke, and Simi’s tight knit friendship starts cracking.

Wahala (or trouble) is an unforgettable novel from a brilliant new voice, and is a modern take on culture, friendship, ambition, and betrayal.

Readers found this to be a piercing, funny, and tragic portrait of modern women and friendship that is written in discerning and glittering prose that comes with a dark twist. This is a tense, wholly addictive, and witty read and Nikki does such an outstanding job writing about all the many ways a modern woman can stumble in their personal lives and careers.

These are some wonderful characters with plenty of vibrant and rich detail about their shared culture from food to hair.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Nikki May

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