It’s Important to Understand That You’re Not Alone: Q&A with Kevin Wilson, Author of Nothing to See Here

It’s Important to Understand That You’re Not Alone: Q&A with Kevin Wilson, Author of Nothing to See Here

Nothing to See Here has caused quite a stir. A New York Times bestseller, reviews call it one of the most original books in years. Can you tell us a bit more about the book?

The story takes place over a single summer, when Lillian Breaker, living with her mum and working two low-paying jobs, reunites with her best friend from high school, Madison. Madison’s husband, a US senator, has two children from a previous marriage and they’re coming to live with them. And Madison needs Lillian to serve as their nanny. But there’s one small problem. The children burst into flames when they get upset.

What inspired the idea behind this novel?

My wife and I have two kids, and I realised how raising them oftentimes felt like handling children who really could burst into flames at any moment, their emotions were always so heightened, right on the surface. The conceit became a way for me to explore the danger of caring for anyone, of hoping that you might protect them from the world when you feel incapable of protecting even yourself.

What is something that has influenced you as a writer?

 Being a parent, being a husband, being a son. All the ways that I’m connected to these other people. I’m a fairly anxious person and for a good part of my life, I imagined that I would be alone, that I needed isolation in order to be safe. But my parents and sister kept me connected to the world. And then I met my wife and we had kids, and they opened me up to the world, forced me to take part in it and, by extension, understand and notice more details about the world around me. I’d still be a writer if I didn’t have kids, but I think I wouldn’t be writing the same books.

What’s your daily writing routine like and what are you working on at the moment?

I have two boys and I teach full-time, so I don’t have a daily writing routine. If my kids want me to play basketball or read a book with them, I do it. I’ve never had a routine where I wrote every day and there were times when that made me feel like I wasn’t a real writer. But I find these little pockets of times, and I’ve been holding those stories in my head for months and months, so when I finally sit down to actually write, I’m a really fast writer. And I like the way that works, how writing for me becomes this kind of reward, not a chore that I do every day.

Your Time article, I Was Worried My Anxiety Would Prevent Me From Being a Good Father is excellent and inspiring. So many people suffer from anxiety. What advice would you give to someone reading this now, who is struggling with anxiety?

I think it’s so important to understand that you’re not alone. So many people have written to me to say they have the same issues, the same difficulties, and they thought they were the only one. I certainly have felt that way, and my response was to dig deeper into myself, to hide from the world—and I really think that sometimes hurt me more. Even though it’s scary, when I opened myself up and admitted that I was vulnerable, it became more manageable. Talking to someone, anyone, helps. A therapist, a friend, a family member.

 

Reviews

Have a Sneak Peek of the Wonderful and Very Unique, Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

Review | Extract

14 January 2020

Have a Sneak Peek of the Wonderful and Very Unique, Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

    You'll Be Charmed: Read a Review of Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

    Review | Our Review

    13 January 2020

    You'll Be Charmed: Read a Review of Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

      Publisher details

      Nothing to See Here
      Author
      Kevin Wilson
      Publisher
      Text Publishing
      Genres
      Fiction, Humour
      Released
      03 December, 2019

      Synopsis

      Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. Then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they’ve barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.Madison’s twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their carer. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it’s the truth.Thinking of her dead-end life at home, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other—and stay cool—while also staying out of the way of Madison’s buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?
      Kevin Wilson
      About the author

      Kevin Wilson

      Kevin Wilson is the author of the collections Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, which received an Alex Award from the American Library Association and the Shirley Jackson Award, and Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine, as well as two novels: The Family Fang and Perfect Little World. He lives with his family in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he is an associate professor in the English department at the University of the South.

      Books by Kevin Wilson

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