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Interview with Lisa de Nikolits

Interview with Lisa de Nikolits


What genre do you write and why?

My books are categorized as cross-genre, and they have also been titled ‘genre-bending’ because they don’t neatly fit into any one genre. This is not as advantageous as one might think because booksellers and promoters have a real comfort level with simple, direct catagorizations. My books are a combination of suspense thriller and murder mystery and they lean towards literary fiction as opposed to single-layered, plot-driven crime novels.

My first two published novels were literary; The Hungry Mirror and West of Wawa featured female protagonists who grappled with personal, familial and social issues and those books were both journeys – West of Wawa was a literal journey on a bus as well as being metaphorical and The Hungry Mirror was a journey of self-growth and realization.

However, it was not my intention to publish either of those before my murder mystery novel, so things ended up moving along a slightly different path to what I had planned!

I have always wanted to be a novelist, pretty much since I picked up my first book (which I recall as being one of the Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. I thought then, how I would love to be able write a book like that!).

I wrote The Hungry Mirror and West of Wawa over the course of many years but it was only when I moved to Canada that I realized that I might actually be able to do something real with my work – in other words, get published!

I had, by this time, studied a great deal about the craft of writing – at the time when I was at school, we didn’t have creative writing courses available, only studies in English Literature, so I had to make a considerable investment in time and effort, to learn by myself.

And, once I felt ready, with a bunch of versions of How To Write, Edit and Publish The Best Book In The Whole World under my belt, I set off to write my no-doubt-international-bestselling-murder-mystery, The Witchdoctor’s Bones.

I had the novel all mapped out and the writing of it flowed quite easily. Too easily. It ended up being twice as long as it should have been and it was a large, unwieldy tome. I put it aside (to let it percolate in my brain for a bit) and I returned to The Hungry Mirror and West of Wawa which by this time, had been considerably tweaked as I had worked on them consistently throughout the years. And that’s how the first two published books ended up being literary as opposed to crime.

A Glittering Chaos, The Witchdoctor’s Bones, Between The Cracks She Fell, The Nearly Girl and, most recently, No Fury Like That, are all of the same style, the cross-genre, Christopher Moore type of humorous, although his books are categorized on Wikipedia as being Comic Fantasy which I just fine weird!

I find the whole categorization thing a bit restricting. So if you ask me what kind of books I write, I’d say I write fast-paced, funny, original stories with unusual characters that people can relate to, characters who suffer misfortunes and setbacks but they relentlessly forge a path to higher ground. My plots are layered with social issues that make you think (in a good way!) about Life, the Universe and Everything (with thanks to Douglas Adams for that!)

Tell us about your latest book

Interview with Lisa de Nikolits
http://amzn.to/2F8X5hl
No Fury Like That is a thriller that looks at love, the meaning of life, friendship, family, revenge, and the transformation of a character under extreme circumstances. The novel looks at how friendship is more important than success, money and power, and how the discovery of an unexpected moral compass can steer us in startling and unusual times.

In this novel, the protagonist, Julia Redner, awakes to find herself in purgatory. There she meets a group of characters all of whom have died by their own hand - or they have been murdered. Their lives, and deaths, intersect and connect, and it’s up to Julia to figure out what this connection is.

Julia has a choice. She, unlike the others in her group, is not dead but in a coma, and she can decide if she wants to live or die – and if she wants to solve the crimes that connect her newly-made friends and in so doing, exact revenge on the man who tried to kill her. 

What formats is the book available in?
The book is available as a trade paperback and an ePub. You can find the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or you can order it directly from our publisher, Inanna Publications which is www.inanna.ca.
Who are your favourite authors? 
John Steinbeck, Annie Proulx, Kazuo Ishiguro, Harry Crews, Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), Robert Gailbraith (aka J.K. Rowling but I prefer her Gailbratih works), James M. Cain, D.J. McIntosh (The Witch of Babylon, The Book of Stolen Tales, The Angel of Eden), Catherine Hogan Safer (a great writer from Newfoundland), Carole Giangrande, Stephen King (primarily work written before 2006), Lionel Shriver, Salman Rushdie (The Ground Beneath Her Feet, The Satanic Verses), Lisa Moore, Donna Tartt, Lynn Crosbie, Marina Endicott, Martin Amis, Jonathan Franzen….
The list goes on forever! I have piles of books around the house and I am constantly reading at least three at the same time. Usually there is a volume of poetry, a crime novel and a literary novel. I switch back and forth. I used to believe that I had to complete a book once I started it but I no longer hold that philosophy dear. Now, if a book isn’t holding my attention, I stop reading it. This once seemed like a travesty but when the world is full of books to read and love, why waste time with one you don’t like?
What advice do you have for other writers? 
Do one thing a day for your writing. Whether it is scribbling a sentence on a Post-it note or writing a thousand words or more, just do one thing a day. It is a rule I stick to with great diligence.
Interview with Lisa de Nikolits
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
Always go too far because that’s where you’ll find the truth – Albert Camus.
What's the best thing about being a writer? 
The mystery and delight of the stories. I never know what’s going to pop up next and it’s like a treasure hunt. There’s a great sense of joy and completion when you type in The End to a first draft. Then you can say to yourself, “Look, I made it to the top of the mountain and what a climb it was!”
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Thank you for asking! I have a website, lisadenikolitswriter.com and I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and LinkedIn, all under Lisa de Nikolits. I am very easy to find!
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?

I can tell you what readers have said to me, in that regard! That they couldn’t put the book down, that it gripped them from the start, that they loved the protagonist, they loved the twists and turns and the skillful plotting. Even readers who I thought would dislike the intensity of the book, loved it! So I’d invite readers to give the book a go. And, if you’re not sure that it’s your cup of tea, send me your email address and I’ll send you the first three chapters on a pdf.

Who designed the cover? 

I did! In my day job, I’m an art director and a graphic designer and I am very blessed in that my publisher lets me pitch in on my covers. I wanted to come up with something really different for this book. I wanted something vivid, unexpected, playful and bold and I think it works in that regard. I generally work with a photograph or a collage of photography but I wanted something more graphic because in the book, Purgatory is described as being an airport that is reminiscent of a movie set, with cardboard cutout clouds and I wanted to portray that feel.

Interview with Lisa de Nikolits




2 comments:

  1. I have sseen many greatreviews on this book and hoping to read it in the near future.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog today! I very much hope readers will find the book to be intriguing! I'm getting great feedback from all ages, men and women, saying they loved it, so I hope your readers will give it a try! And I very much hope readers will find the interview to be of interest too! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

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