Travis Nichols

Travis Nichols

Who are you, and what did you write?

I’m Travis Nichols, and I write and illustrate books for kids. The thing I’m working on these days is a series called The Terribles. The first book (and there are currently 3 slated) comes out in July of ‘22. The books are about a buncha kid monsters who live on an island. Each book is a collection of illustrated short stories, comics, and more. There’s a one-act play in one of the books, and a path-choosing story in another. For kids 8-12, and, you know, whoever else.

What hardware and software do you write with?

So far I’ve done every single dang thing for this series on my iPad and Smart Keyboard. I don’t even notice the slightly wee keyboard. This is actually the second iPad I’ve had since starting this series. I was traveling while drawing illustrations for the proposal (in 2019), and I just beat the absolute crud out of my old iPad. It finally crashed after getting too full of desert sand and assorted soft cheeses. I mostly write in Google Docs, but I also chuck ideas into the Notepad app sometimes. And I do all of my illustrations in Procreate and export ‘em as .PSDs to Google Drive. OH WAIT. I do have to get on a laptop every once in a great while to deal with rounds of edits from the copyeditors. It’s just easier to use the full version of Google Docs with imported Microsoft Word files. And I had to do a tiny bit of noodling in Photoshop a couple times. I’m sorry I lied to you.

When and where do you write?

I have a workspace in my house with a few different places to work—I tend to wander. There’s a standing desk-height table with stools, a tiny writing desk by the window, and a couch. I was lying on the floor writing for a while earlier today, and later I was at my partner’s desk upstairs. Oh, and this morning I was writing in the kitchen nook. I mostly write in the early mornings and late nights. I don’t have a consistent schedule at all. Is that bad?

What's your dream writing setup?

I love the old footage of Roald Dahl’s writing hut. I just don’t think I have that kind of sit-still-idness. I feel like I’m pretty dang close to my dream writing setup. I need to be able to move around, flip through books and magazines, distract myself, fret, play records, grab a guitar, mess with plants, look outside, talk to people, have a drink, make a mess, feel a breeze on me…