Freelance Journalist Interview with Katie Nicholls
About your journalism
What do you write about?
Although I used to mainly focus on music, I’ve expanded my portfolio in recent years. I write on a wide variety of topics now, from how to develop your craft business, to equality pieces for Musicians’ Union's magazine. I also write for a science dissemination publisher, so I’m always interested to hear about developments in the world of science.
Where are we likely to see your work?
I’ve been published in Mojo, Kerrang!, Sky at Night Magazine, The Guardian, science publication Projects, Craftseller and The Musician, amongst others. My website www.katienicholls.com has plenty of examples from my portfolio.
What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
I’ve interviewed hundreds of musicians, but one of my most memorable was my first with Nancy Sinatra. She was very friendly and relaxed – knitting the whole way through – and made me feel at home. Another high point for me was meeting one of my all-time female idols, Patti Smith.
What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I recently saw composer Philip Glass perform when he toured the UK and I would have paid hard cash to be able to sit down and chew the fat with him for an afternoon.
About you and PRs
Where do you source ideas for articles?
Forums are a great way to find out what people care about, whatever the subject matter. Twitter is also a good way to get a sense of the Zeitgeist. Press releases can also be really useful too.
How can PRs be useful to you?
A well-written press release that gets straight to the point is always good to read.
How and when do you like them to get in touch?
By email is always best for me.
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
Definitely useful – it’s good to know what’s going on and to get the chance to meet new contacts.
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
Some PRs are fantastic at replying while some are less so. Quicker responses to queries would be great!
How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I love making my own bread, so I'd open up an artisan bakery and spend the rest of my days covered in flour.
If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
I'd go shopping!
Do you tweet? Why, why not?
Yes, it's a great way to share something funny, rage against the system or find out what's going on. I'm @knicholls1.
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
I'm reading 'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel: funny, poetic, insightful. I subscribe to BBC History Magazine; I always check out Guardian Online to get my dose of daily news and I love the blogs on The Guardian's 'Life & Style' pages.