10 November 2016

The Nearly Girl by Lisa de Nikolits

The Nearly Girl by Lisa de Nikolits Banner

The Nearly Girl by Lisa de Nikolits

on Tour November 2016


The Nearly Girl by Lisa de NikolitsFans of "A Prayer for Owen Meany" and "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" will love this clever, fast-paced and enjoyable thriller.
Like a modern-day Joan of Arc, Amelia Fisher attempts to carve out a 'normal life', showing us how mythic the idea of 'normal' really is.
With a poetic genius for a father, an obsessed body builder for a mother, and an enchantingly eccentric group seeking the help of an unorthodox therapist, what could possibly go wrong?
A chance discovery propels Amelia and fellow therapy attendee, Mike, with whom she is in love, into a life-threatening situation instigated by the crazed doctor's own dark secret but Amelia's psychosis saves the day.
Told with warmth, humor and populated with vividly original characters, this sprint-paced novel has it all, from restraining orders to sex in office bathrooms, and a nail-biting ending.
A novel about an unusual family, expected social norms and the twists and turns of getting it all slightly wrong, the consequences of which prove fatal for some.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Published by: Inanna Publications
Publication Date: October 2016
Number of Pages: 301
ISBN: 1771333138 (ISBN13: 9781771333139)
Purchase Links: Amazon, Goodreads, &INANNA

Interview with the Author:

When did you decide to become a writer?
I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I know that sounds a bit ridiculous but it’s the truth! But my dream took a lot longer to come true than I thought it would and I am glad I didn’t know how long it would take or I would have been incredibly discouraged!
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
The daydreams of my youth saw me standing among my peers as an Emily Brontë, a securely lodged a writing institution. Which is really hilarious, but when you are young, you truly believe you can be that special, that celebrated. And you even think it will come without too much fuss or effort on your part.
The main problem with my writing career was that it was so untutored, for so many years. People told me I had talent and therefore I thought that whatever I wrote, was print-worthy. I didn’t realize there was a structure to a novel, or how dialogue worked, or how to create characters or anything like that.
I studied Philosophy and English Literature and back then, in South Africa, there weren’t any Creative Writing courses. Which is why, for decades, I wrote long stream-of-consciousness internal narrative rambles that I thought were novels.
And, as you can imagine, I suffered untold amounts of rejection and as a result of that, my ambitions changed. My primary ambition became to simply get published. And then, after that, my ambition changed to wanting to write different stories, better stories, more finely crafted novels. Being published was a dream come that had finally come true but I wanted more – as we all do – I wanted to be better. And not only better, I wanted to find my truest writing voice.  And that is still my ambition today. I feel The Nearly Girl is the closest thing to my truest writing voice to date but I am still keen to explore what else I have inside, to develop and create.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Amelia nearly gets things right but she also gets them very wrong. In order to keep her welfare benefits, she has to attend therapy sessions and this leads to all kind of dangers and intrigue, particularly when she realizes her therapist is up to no good.
But, plot issues aside (and I have been told by many readers that this is a sprint-paced thriller that grabs you from the moment you start it and you can’t put it down), this novel is a book about self-acceptance and finding yourself as your happy place. It’s an optimistic book in a very special and unique way, with all the characters bringing their own quirky idiosyncrasies to the work.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I have a very intense day job as an art director and so I fit my writing in, in tiny bits whenever I can. I have one rule: Do one thing a day for your writing. And it doesn’t matter whether that is writing thousands of works on the weekend or writing a single line on a post-it note during the day – just do one thing. Write down one idea, one paragraph, one chapter. And it works. I do write a lot at night and on the weekends. I have an iPad and two computers and a various notebooks. I write a lot in longhand, when I am tired of typing or staring at my computer and then, when I get to transcribe the work, I can edit it too.
Where do the ideas come from? Ah, the million-dollar question! The answer is that they come from everywhere. I am like a magpie, always searching among the rubbish for tiny shiny treasures that I can turn into storylines. I collect and hoard and then I sift through the stockpile in my head and see if this will go with that or something else… I always have two or three stories in my head at a time, being worked on.
My characters come to me as is, they simply arrive fully dressed (or sometimes naked or in some state of half-dress!) and they just are who they are. I do turn some of them away if I feel that I can’t bond with them or work with them and I can’t feel bad about that. You can’t be best friends with everybody you meet, nor can you write about all the possible characters that you think about.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I need to have a plot outline to start with. It’s essential for me. The plot can change and I am very open to that but I need a format to work with initially. I usually start out with a single idea (for example, The Nearly Girl came from one idea – imagine a girl who does things out of time and sequence – what would her life be like and what would or could the consequences be for her and those around her? That was my single idea and the whole book sprang from there.) And then, my characters show up and then I fashion a plot. I do it almost like an organizational chart with this leading to that leading to this.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I am not sure if I have ever had writer’s block. There have been some periods where I haven’t actually written but I am always working on ideas and penning down notes. I am constantly working on two or more stories as mentioned, so if one runs dry for a bit or I am stymied, I just turn to another one and let the ideas brew for the one that is a bit stuck. But so far, I haven’t really been stuck! Let’s hope that continues!
If I really did get stuck, I would just keep at it, I am like a pit bull when it comes to writing. I may have some talent but I have heaps more determination. I never give up on an idea or on my belief in myself. And sometimes it is hard, it takes an enormous amount of self-discipline to be as hard working as I am (and I truly sometimes feel that I work harder than is humanly possible and I know a lot of my writer friends feel the same way.)
Sometimes I will feel utterly ill with exhaustion but I think just do that one more thing today and I do. So, if an idea is not working, I am like a dog with a bone… I keep gnawing at it. My husband sometimes says I should walk away and let the idea grow but if I do that, the idea dies! I need to arm wrestle it!
What can we expect from you down the line?
I have two novels signed to be published in 2017 (No Fury Like That) and 2018 (Rotten Peaches), all with Inanna Publications.
I am working on another novel, The Occult Persuasion and I am working on a few stories for anthologies. I think it’s very good to keep submitting to anthologies, it keeps your writing fresh. I also keep trying different techniques in my writing – for example, No Fury Like That has aspects of magical realism and I am concerned the readers will be annoyed by that – but I have to try it! Writing and creating is all about new artistries and improved techniques and one must keep trying!
Thank you very much for having me as a guest today!

Read an excerpt:

Amelia lay still. Mike was next to her, snoring slightly.
Amelia wondered how much time had passed since she and Mike had vanished. She wondered how Dr. Carroll had covered up their disappearance but she was sure his story was airtight. She wondered if anybody was worried about them and looking for them. She hoped Ethel was out of hospital and she tried to send messages to Nana with her mind, telling her to look for them.
Amelia’s eyes were wide open and she was trying to make little growling noises in her throat and eventually she was able to make a sound.
She graduated to trying to form words. Ma….. Ma….. Mak….. Mak!
Mak? The word was hardly decipherable but she was grateful for the utterance.
Mike? She growled the guttural utterance as quietly as she could but there was no reply.
Amelia lay on her back and she closed her eyes and concentrated very hard on trying to roll over. It seemed impossible to do in one big motion and she broke it down, first just trying to move her right arm across her chest. When she achieved this gigantic feat, she was drenched in sweat and she felt exhausted.
She wasn’t sure why but the sedative was metabolizing in her system in a different way to the others, it seemed to be leaving her bloodstream much faster. She was worried that Dr. Carroll would notice and administer the next dose before the current one had worn off.
She was about to roll over onto her stomach when she heard a noise. Alarmed that Dr. Carroll had returned, she flopped over onto her back, and adjusted herself into the same position as he had left her.
No sooner had she done this, than the doctor pushed his way into the room.
He sat down on the floor and heaved a great sigh.
You two have caused me an inordinate problem, he said. Really and truly you have. Why did you have to come here? Why?
He sat cross-legged and put his head into his hands.
I don’t know what to do with you, he said, his voice muffled. I have to get rid of you but I don’t know how to do it. I’m not a violent man, I’m not. I never thought it would come to this.
He rubbed his face. I could kill you very easily, that part is not the problem. It’s the disposing of the bodies. Hmm…
He fell into deep silence. If your bodies were ever found, the drugs in your system would lead you right back to me. But it’s very tough to dispose of bodies. Much harder than you would think. They make it look so easy in the movies but I wouldn’t even know where to start. Although, that said, I could drive north for a few hours, find a couple of side roads and dump you in the swamps. But I’d have to wade into them, carrying you, and you are both so heavy and there are snakes in those waters and frogs and god knows what, so no… that won’t work.
Oh, this is such a problem. I wonder if I should disappear instead. But why should I have to give up everything I have worked so hard to achieve? Why should I be the one to lose everything just because two nosy parkers poked their nosy noses where they shouldn’t have?
What about fire… I could try to burn you both, but bodies don’t burn entirely in fire and how and why and where would you have set yourselves alight? I don’t think I would be able to create a scenario in such a way that it would be believable to anyone.
There’s dismemberment of course. I could dismember you in the bathtub but the blood, ugh, blood. And I would have to buy saws and knives and plastic and containers and from what I’ve read, the evidence of blood is very hard to rid of. And how would I get rid of the body parts? I am back to square one. Disposal.
A lover’s pact? Suicide? Yes… but I’d need to get you both into a motel which would be a logistical nightmare. Slitting your wrists would be easy but I’d also have to make sure enough time passed for all the drugs to clear out of your system. And how am I supposed to carry you two lugs into a motel without being seen?
He gave a great sigh. I have to prepare dinner for my family. I don’t care about you two. You can starve to death for all I care.
He got up. I’m one of the top two percentile of brilliant geniuses, he said. I will think of something.

Author Bio:

Lisa de NikolitsOriginally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits has lived in Canada since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the U.S.A., Australia and Britain.
Lisa de Nikolits is the award-winning author of five novels. Her first novel, The Hungry Mirror won a 2011 IPPY Awards Gold Medal for Women's Issues Fiction and was long-listed for a ReLit Award. West of Wawa won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction and was a Chatelaine Editor's Pick. A Glittering Chaos tied to win the 2014 Silver IPPY for Popular Fiction. The Witchdoctor’s Bones launched in Spring 2014 to literary acclaim and wide readership. Between The Cracks She Fell launched in Fall 2015 and was well reviewed by the Quill & Quire and was on the recommended reading lists for Open Book Toronto and 49th Shelf. Between The Cracks She Fell was also reviewed by Canadian Living magazine and called ‘a must-read book of 2015’. Between The Cracks She Fell won a Bronze IPPY Award 2016 for Contemporary Fiction. All books have been published by Inanna Publications.

Don't Forget to Visit Lisa de Nikolits' website , her Twitter Feed , & her Facebook Page !

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