BEST-SELLING writer David Nicholls creates stories during “solitary walks in the rain”.

But he hopes the sun will shine on his first appearance at the Borders Book Festival.

The Melrose appearance also follows the critically acclaimed Netflix adaptation of his multi-million selling 2009 novel ‘One Day’.

The author, renowned for romantic fiction, spoke to the Peeblesshire News from Edinburgh, while on a wet city walk during the second week of a promotional tour for his sixth novel ‘You Are Here’, which has just been published.

Nicholls, who says he is very lucky to be a writer, said: “The Borders is not a part of the world which I know well, I am excited.

“Everything is pretty tight but I am going to try to get there as early as I can to go for a little walk and I have a little bit of time the next morning before going on to Glasgow.

“At festival talks I am always interviewed and I never know quite what I am going to be asked.”

Speaking about other Borders writers, Nicholls said he has not read any Sir Walter Scott but did really enjoy John Buchan’s The 39 Steps.

‘You Are Here’ features a love story which unfolds during a journey along 20th century author/artist Alfred Wainwright’s “Coast to Coast” walk, taken west to east across England, from St Bee’s to Robin’s Hood Bay.

Nicholls continued: “I love walking and wanted to write something about that experience.

“This early in the tour people are just starting to read the book so I don’t know what they are going to take from it.”

‘You Are Here’ features proof-reader and copy editor Marnie and geography teacher Michael, but Nicholls insists Marnie’s work is not semi-autobiographical, though when he cuts a novel down to a screen play it involves some ruthless editing.

He said: “There’s a kind of overlap, there’s a lot of very detailed copy editing but it’s also a very particular skill.

“I am lucky that I can jump from writing books to scripts, which are very different, combining the two is blissful.

“Writing fiction is a little less stressful because you are the king, there’s no-one else, it is all down to you and you have absolute power.

“Script writing can be stressful, fraught and involve a lot of debate but I am lucky that the people I work with are rarely combative and it is more collaborative.

“When a book is going well, it is flowing and you know what you are doing it is lovely.”

Nicholls said he is a compulsive if slow reader and currently has two books on the go – Paul Murray’s novel ‘The Bee Sting’ and Salman Rushdie’s memoir ‘Knife’ about being attacked.

He said: “I don’t overlap fiction but I alternate novels and non-fiction.

“I get a huge amount (of books) sent to me which is great, but I get overwhelmed sometimes and am lucky to have two wonderful bookshops near me in London.”

As well as bookshops he is also passionate about the continuing need for libraries.

An X post about his forthcoming Glasgow talk led to Nicholls signing a petition to save Cambuslang library from a proposed South Lanarkshire Council cut.

David said: “I understand the pressures facing councils and the idea of a library might seem a little old fashioned.

“That’s not my experience of the libraries I visit, which seem incredibly busy, lively, online and full of young people revising and researching.

“I am always sad to hear of any library which is under threat.

“I would say the greater part of my education was teaching myself in the library, it was my second home and I owe the library system a great debt.

“And that’s not because I am a little bit older, I am sure there are kids having that experience right now – it is something which needs to be protected.

“I was an habitual reader and took as many books out as I could each week.

“It is where I studied, read and learned about, not just literature but all subjects.”

Nicholls’ Borders Book Festival interview is set for 9pm on June 21 in the Harmony Marquee. Visit: