Interview with Author Nicola Worswick

Nicola Worswick

I am thrilled to have interviewed author Nicola Worswick, who shared with us details of her writing life, her book ‘Captain Cuthbert’s Robot‘, which was released on 1st January 2020, and answered a few fun questions. This post contains affiliate links.

Nicola Worswick

I grew up in an ex-mining village in Lancashire. In 2010 I moved to High Peak Derbyshire where I now live with my partner Kelsey, two rescue cats, Dotty and Raven and a miniature long haired dachshund called Annie.

I started writing and illustrating a series of children’s books at the age of 13. I then re-visited them in my 30s. I have now written, illustrated and published 7 books in the series. The stories follow the big bad pirate Captain Cuthbert and his long-suffering cat, Scat, whom I guarantee you will fall in love with. Captain Cuthbert on the other hand is bossy, greedy and selfish and always lands himself in trouble.

interview picture 2023


1) Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

The idea for my book ‘Captain Cuthbert and the Cobra Gem’ was sparked from a strange looking miniature wooden statue called Māori Statue Tiki which my grandma brought home from visiting family in New Zealand.

The overall inspiration came from a walk-through computer game called ‘Monkey Island’. I also had a pirate Lego set when I was a child. I think this influenced me to create stories. Even as a small child I found it easy to come up with stories through play. Yet I struggled to write them down due to having dyslexia.

2) How did you plan out the plot?

I have a visual mind, so stories and characters tend to form pictorially in my headfirst. I always keep my mind open and look for inspiration but find it easier to do this when I go for a walk somewhere peaceful like in the woods. I tend to focus first on all the senses, visuals, sounds of nature to empty my mind of everyday thoughts or tasks I need to complete.

If an idea comes to mind, I will quickly sketch it. This used to get me in trouble at school, but maths bored me and didn’t make any sense. My next step is to develop a storyboard by dividing a piece of A4 in half and sketching out each scene. I usually do some bullet points and spider diagrams as prompts. Then I add the writing. I do this with a computer as floods of ideas come out at once so writing by hand can be difficult. Using a computer enables me to write it all out then edit it later.

3) When did you choose the title for your book?

At the beginning.

4) How did you come up with the names for your characters?

I’d sketch them first and the names just sort of came to me naturally.

5) How did you go about researching the content for your book?

I tend to just go with the flow rather than do heavy research. I like it a bit quirky i.e. my first book has a mobile phone in it, another has a motorbike. Obviously, these weren’t around in pirate times, but it gives it more of a humorous side.

My main research I did was teaching myself how to use Photoshop to create illustrations. I picked it up quite easily. I occasionally had to follow some tutorials on YouTube for example how to create lashing rain and lightning.

6) What made you choose this genre?

I think I covered this in the first question. ‘Captain Cuthbert and the Cobra Gem’ was the first book I wrote and illustrated. I then did a prequal of how Cuthbert became a pirate after this I did two more in the pirate series ‘Captain Cuthbert is Father Christmas’ and Captain Cuthberts Robot’.

The books are about a bossy, greedy and selfish pirate called Captain Cuthbert. The other main character is called Scat the cat. Unlike Cuthbert Scat is a lovable character who was unfortunately stolen by Cuthbert when he was just a kitten. People seemed to love scat, so I gave him a story of his own.

My sixth book ‘The Visitor’ is a different genre all together. It is a coming-of-age, adventure, sci fi story. I love the 80s coming-of-age films from my childhood. People say it is a mix of Stand by Me, E.T, The X Files and Stranger Things. Strangely enough I did my book years before ‘Stranger Things’ came out, one of the characters is uncannily like Max in looks, personality and interests.

The last book ‘Lord Uppity’ is a bit wacky and funny.

7) How long did it take you to complete your book?

This is a hard question as I worked full time and had other commitments. I would say on average a year to a year and half. Illustrating each picture was what took the longest. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to the illustrations.

8) Can you describe your book in three words?

Adventure, visual, humour.

9) What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

Most certainly marketing and promotion.

10) Why should our readers pick your book up?

Firstly I have made a free read-aloud story on YouTube with full screen pictures so you can see for yourself.

I’d say that the story is a good mix of adventure, suspense and humour. The characters all have different personalities which is something I like when reading books myself. The illustrations are bright, vibrant and engaging which is great for younger children. I remember as a young child being attracted to a book by its pictures first. I have also injected some rhyming to parts of the story to build suspense and excitement which works well.

Captain Cuthberts robot

Captain Cuthbert’s Robot

Author – Nicola Worswick
Pages – 15
Release Date – 1st January 2020
ISBN 13 – 978-1654534578
Format – ebook, paperback


Captain Cuthbert is greedy! Captain Cuthbert is selfish! Captain Cuthbert is bossy! He always seems to land himself in trouble.

Captain Cuthbert gets a robot that is programmed to do anything its master commands.

What trouble will he land himself in next?

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Fun Questions

Talking Owl Interview Pic 2023

1) Do you have a writing buddy?

My pets. The picture is of my grumpy cat Oskar. Although he looks like Scat, he is nothing like him, he had cattitude. He is not listening to me reading the book, we put Dreamies treats in front of it to bribe him into posing for the photograph!

Scat is based on a lovely rescue cat from my first job as a nurse assistant at a vet’s that I hand-reared.

Nicola Worswick pets

2) Do you have any writing quirks?

Usually with lots of coffee and buried under all my pets whilst trying to balance my laptop on the chair arm. They always remind me when it is mealtimes though, or more like demand their food be served immediately!

3) Where do you write?

I write and illustrate at home but tend to get inspiration from being out and about.

4) Your book has been made into a movie, you’ve been offered a cameo role, what will you be doing?

I am more of a behind the scenes type of person! Although as a kid I wanted to make scenes and characters for films in particular the goblins in Labyrinth.

5) A talking owl has just finished reading your book, what’s the first thing he says to you?

‘I notice that you feature lots of animals in your illustrations and even an owl in your book. I love the spooky picture and the words ‘Through the tall twisty trees, there were hoots and howls and an eerie breeze’.

CG 14 Twisted Trees

Author links


A big thank you to Nicola Worswick for sharing her writing life with us and for a wonderful interview.

The above links are affiliate links. I receive a very small percentage from each item you purchase via these link, which is at no extra cost to you. If you are thinking about purchasing the book, please think about using one of the links above. Thank you.

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