Don’t rush into things and make big decisions blindly; not everything in life is a race. Think things through carefully and find out the facts and figures before agreeing to certain things/situations. It’s easy to get excited and say yes on the spot, only to be burnt later.
As a part of our series about “Filmmakers Making A Social Impact” I had the pleasure of interviewing Nikki Minty.
Nikki Minty’s self-published trilogy is sweeping up multiple indie book awards. With undercurrents of the importance of inclusion and looking beyond someone’s colour and creed, The Zadok Series touches on timely topics and aims to create a vivid, immersive experience for teens and young adult readers.
Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit. Can you share your “backstory” that brought you to this career?
I’ve always been a super creative person as well as a massive bookworm, but I have my son, RJ, to thank for inspiring The Zadok Series. We were sitting in the library waiting for his sister to finish her art class, when he brought up the topic, “I wonder what happens after you die”. RJ said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if every time we died, we reincarnated onto a different Planet?”. Of course, I jumped on this idea and together we discussed what the different races on the next planet would look like and what new capabilities/powers they would have. As a tribute, I’ve modelled a character after my son RJ. He has Aspergers/Autism and is quirky with a brain like an encyclopaedia.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your writing career?
While my American editors are wonderful and really helped to iron out all the creases in my books, we had some very interesting, and somewhat humorous, moments where Australian English and American English differ.
I didn’t know a “period” was the equivalent to an Aussie “full-stop”. I just knew it as a measurement of time or a girl’s monthly problems, so when my editors commented, “I think a period would work better here”, I was super confused.
Turns out they’d just meant a full-stop/period would work better than my use of a semicolon.
There were many small laughable miscommunications over the course of the three books.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
My author idol is Amanda Hocking. I follow her on several social media sites and I’m always liking and commenting on her posts. Back in early 2021, just before Pastel Pink was released, I got an Instagram notification which flashed up with Amanda Hocking’s name. I’d assumed Instagram was informing me of her new post. As it turns out, Amanda Hocking started following me!
I was so excited I burst into tears.
She has since started following me on Twitter too.
Another exciting moment was when Khristine Hvam — one of my favourite book narrators — agreed to produce The Zadok Series into audiobook form.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
I love that Nelson Mandela had the bravery to stand up against apartheid and dismantle it.
I’m also fascinated by the “Mandela Effect” in which a person and/or group have a false memory of an event.
As a young teen I was hooked on C.S. Lewis’ books, and completely spellbound by Vincent Van Gough’s artworks.
I’d love to be able to travel back in time and take a glimpse inside Albert Einstein’s brilliant mind.
Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview, how are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting social impact causes you are working on right now?
My trilogy, The Zadok Series, has an overarching theme of the importance of acceptance and inclusion when it comes to different colours, cultures, and races. If we can learn to accept one another’s differences and work as one, the world would be a much nicer place.
Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and take action for this cause? What was that final trigger?
Having friends and family members of different races, lifestyles, and cultures, I find acceptance to be a super important aspect of life.
Although my book series is a work of fiction, I wanted to touch on real life issues that plague our world today, in the hope of making a difference.
While writing my first book, Pastel Pink, the “Black Live’s Matter movement” was all over the news, and I found myself questioning, “how, in this day and age, can we still be so prejudice and ignorant?”
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who has inspired you to address this cause?
Growing up, I was a massive fan of Angelina Jolie. She is known for her humanitarian efforts and has received a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and was made an honorary Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (DCMG), among other honors. She’s helped to promote various causes, including conservation, education and women’s rights. Most notably, she’s advocated on behalf of refugees as a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Angelina Jolie has undertaken over a dozen field missions globally to refugee camps and war zones; including Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, and Ukraine.
Angelina Jolie has also adopted children from different backgrounds, creating her very own multicultural family.
Her strength, kind-heartedness, and open-mindedness has inspired me to become a better person.
Are there three things that individuals, society or the government can do to support you in this effort?
Times are changing, and the younger generations are learning more about acceptance and equality in schools, but it’s up to all of us, as individuals, to break down those barriers in everyday living. Be kind and respectful of others regardless of their differences. We are all the one species, and therefore, we should come together as one and strive for greatness. John Lennon’s song “Imagine”, is inspirational and one day I hope society could learn to “Live as one”.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- It’s okay to make mistakes. Being in the public eye can be overwhelming and we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect, but nobody’s perfect, so just be you and try your best — that’s all you can do.
- Fight for what you believe in. Not everyone will agree with your opinions or what you are trying to achieve, but don’t let opposing opinions steer you off course. If you believe in something strongly enough, you should keep fighting for it until the bitter end.
- Don’t sweat bad reviews, they really aren’t the end of the world. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, bad or good, and not everything is for everyone. There are books and shows my friends have loved, yet I couldn’t get into them, and vice versa. Sometimes a bad review says more about the reviewer and their preferences than the book/show itself. Take note of the constructive criticism and move forward.
- Making bookish friends online is a great key to success. Make sure to embrace online friendships and don’t forget about those who helped to get you where you are today. A strong network of likeminded friends is vital, not only for achieving success, but for your own mental health. They become your number one support system.
- Don’t rush into things and make big decisions blindly; not everything in life is a race. Think things through carefully and find out the facts and figures before agreeing to certain things/situations. It’s easy to get excited and say yes on the spot, only to be burnt later.
If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?
Think of your children, and your children’s children. Not only do we want them to be brought into a safe and loving world where we accept one another for who we are, we also need to take care of our planet so that it remains sustainable and livable for future generations. Do your bit to make this world a better place.
We are very blessed that many other Social Impact Heroes read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would like to collaborate with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Ziggy Alberts’ song, Together, is all about coming together and saving our people and country. I absolutely love this song, and if my books ever make it to film, I’ll be asking him and the producers if we can please use this song as a theme song, or at the very least, as a background song in the movie.
“And I wonder why
We seem to be
More concerned with our flags
Oh, then we are
With unity or love
More concerned with our differences
In different Gods above” — Ziggy Alberts
“And I will fight for this
Stand for right over wrong as
Our old trees are burning down
And I will write for this country I adore
And we can come together now
And I will stand beside you, won’t let hate reside here
Lock hands together in the crowd
And we will fight for this country we adore
In hard times each of us know how
Throw fear aside, regrowth can come along” — Ziggy Alberts
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
I think more people should reflect on this saying, and we should treat each other better.
How can our readers follow you online?
Twitter — https://twitter.com/NikkiMinty1
Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/nikstamint
Website — https://nikkiminty.com
This was great, thank you so much for sharing your story and doing this with us. We wish you continued success!
Social Impact Authors: How & Why Author Nikki Minty Is Helping To Change Our World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.