Exclusive interview with author Lisa de Nikolits
Lisa, I have known you for so long now (6 yrs!) that I really want this interview to be more personal. Like, just you and I sitting on my couch with a couple of glasses of wine chatting like girlfriends.
My gosh, 6 years! We’ve had so many book adventures together! I feel like you really ‘get’ my off-the-wall sense of humour and writing style and I thank you with all my heart! It’s not an easy gig, putting one’s treasures out into the world particularly when those treasures are a bit odd-ball, so thank you Dear Wendy!
Lisa it is your odd sense of humor that attracts me to you!
So… red, white, or rose’?
White! My personal favourite is Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and I’ve been a fan for many years! However it’s fairly pricey so it’s definitely a special occasion purchase! Also, sadly, since I get really bad headaches that are aggravated by alcohol so I have to keep my imbibing to a gentle minimum.
I am definitely going to look up that wine that you mentioned LOL I don’t drink a lot to be honest maybe just a couple glasses a week. I am a riesling person myself!
I'll have to try Riesling now too! I know me too - it never adds up to more than a couple of glasses a week!
Lisa, please promise me that you will never stop writing! I cannot even imagine not having at least one of your books to read every single year for the rest of my life.
You have my word my Dear! I am very happy to hear that! The next book is Mad Dog and the Sea Dragon and it’s scheduled for spring of 2022. It was scheduled for 2021 but a lot of books got moved around because of Covid-19.
Ahhhhhh! I’m so excited!! I hope that I will be on your list of reviewers.
Oh for sure my Dear, I'd love that!
I have really enjoyed following you on Instagram. Each day I look for your posts, see what you are up to and where your bike will take you next.
Tell me about your bike, Maxwell, what’s the story? I know there must be a story!
And - you have inspired me to take pictures on my walks and post them as well.
I am so very glad that you like the pics – I love seeing your posts too! I love Instagram! I find it a really positive experience. Each social media platform has its own personality and while I used to be a big Facebook fan, I find I enjoy the Inta energy more. It’s a great outlet for creativity and friendship and a lovely way to see what one’s friends have been up to in that day. I feel bad though, for neglecting my Facebook friends by not hanging out there – it’s like walking past a café you used to frequent but then you’ve found a new spot and so you sort of slink by, apologizing quietly and promising to return later! In a time of Covid, social media has been a great resource for keeping in touch and helping one another through this quite bizarre and heart-wrenching time.I am so glad you like Maxwell! Do you know, I've had him for fourteen years and I only got out on him occasionally but I really got into the swing of things this summer and I'm an addict! Unfortunately, we are now headed for a Canadian winter and I'm not really great at riding in temperatures under 15 degrees Celsius so to this end, I've bought a small stationary bike dubbed Maxine and she and I will have to bond during these long grey months. I think I am the slowest cyclist in the world but I never self-judge I just do what I can.
Yes I agree, I love Instagram! I was never really a Facebook person myself. I really only post reviews on there and I used to comment on other peoples posts LOL.
I have a stationary bike as well. Of course I don’t ride it as much as I should. I love that you named your stationary bike Maxine LOL I hope you and her have a wonderful long winter relationship!
I'm so glad I'm not alone about Facebook! LOL I think I am the world's slowest stationary bike rider out there! I amble! I asked a few cyclist friends for their numbers - distance, speed and pulse rate. Let's just say they were very bemused when I told them mine! But hey, at least I'm moving!
I cycle while watching Blacklist with James Spader!
My two favorite books of yours are, The Nearly Girl, and No Fury like that. They both blew me away. No fury like that I read twice, and the nearly girl I’m actually contemplating reading a second time. I’ve only done that with like two other books in my life.
That being said, of all the books that you’ve written which one or two are your personal favorites and why?
You’ve picked two of my favorites too! Before The Rage Room, The Nearly Girl was my favourite, followed by No Fury Like That! They were such fun books to write and I loved the characters so much! And I was so delighted by their antics and adventures. It may well be that The Rage Room is my favourite because its my newest one but I don’t think it’s just that. I love the characters with all my heart. It was however, the hardest book to write because of the world building and the time travel. No more time travel for me, it’s too tough! A publisher I know said time travel causes nose bleeds and she is right!
I love time travel books! But I would think that it would be very hard to write. Your books are always very character driven. I always love your characters and they always have excellent character development!
I am so very happy to hear that! I'm extremely fond of the crew in The Rage Room - but of course, I'd say that!
So the next question I have to ask you, I hate to, but I feel with what’s going on in the world today it is inevitable… Has, or how has Covid affected your writing this past 8 months?
Writing has always been my escape hatch in life, the place I go to have fun, hang out with my imaginary friends and work through issues that are bugging me. I always find a way to work through things by writing – not like journaling but by taking events and trying to find a resolution for them. Writing is problem solving for me!
That said, this was an incredibly busy year and I am behind on my usual quota of having written a new book for the year. When we all started working from home, the hours got extended like crazy and we were all doing fourteen hours a day, adjusting to online life. And I work for a weekly magazine which is not for the faint of heart. My editor once commented that working for a weekly is like trying to drink from a fire hose and she’s right!
I also kept working on The Rage Room until the eleventh hour which was the end of May and then there were edits with my publisher and all the work that goes into putting a book out into the world. So I am behind on my book production but I have been so hectic!
Who would’ve thought that a lockdown/stay at home orders would actually cause us to be busier? But I know exactly what you mean. I have been extremely busy myself ever since March!
Another personal question, just me and you sitting on this couch sipping wine, of all the movie actresses out there which one do you think you could be best friends with and why?
Mine would be Sandra Bullock. I have always loved her, she’s my favorite actress. In every movie she’s done she is a strong female but very snarky and sarcastic, and that is so me. Oh wait a minute… Maybe that’s why I love your books so much LOL
I love Sandra Bullock too! I have, ever since she was in The Thing Called Love in 1993! I’d love to meet Tilda Swinton although I think I’d be really afraid to chat to her, I’d love to meet Charlize Theron too as we’re both originally from South Africa.
I knew we were kindred spirits! I don’t know if I’ve seen anything with Tilda Swinton? I will have to make a point of watching a couple of her movies. And of course Charlize Theron! Love her as well!
If I were to tell a friend about you hoping to turn them onto you (or worn them) or both
I would say “Lisa has an extremely different writing style, unlike any other author I have read before. She takes chances and seems like she’s not afraid of the critic. Her style is snarky, sarcastic, and very real. Her books definitely make you think."
What would YOU say to someone hoping to turn them onto your books?
Ah thank you Dear Wendy! I’m going to admit that I always fear this question because I hate ‘selling’ my books to people. Some authors are really good at it – before Covid, I went to a lot of book conventions and after you’ve been on a panel, you go back to the book room and entice people to buy your book. I hated this part so much that at one convention, I got ‘lost’ and couldn’t find the book room. I was later met by a really lovely man from Wisconsin who said he tracked me down to sign a copy of the book because he loved my work so much and had been really disappointed when I wasn’t in the book room. I never got lost again!
I guess - since we are being super honest here, that a part of me fears rejection and because my books aren’t the usual, I have had the experience where I’ve described them and the person at the other end got a vague look like she’d rather be cleaning her floorboards than chatting to me!
But seriously, what do my books offer? I champion the underdog in a way that no one else does. There’s nothing I love more than an underdog, particularly one considered to be one of life’s rejects. Come to me, I will take you under my wing, I will give you a home, I will tell your story and give you a moment in the spotlight. So many of my characters visit me long after the books were published and I am so glad they’re in the world.
First, that was a great story! And I do notice that about your characters, that they are the underdogs in that you do seem to take them under your wing within your books.
Exactly! I rescue them from society and themselves - well, I try! Sometimes they resist being rescued!
So what’s next for you Lisa? I am sure you are working on a new book already.
Oh yes! I have sequel for The Rage Room in my head and on paper! I’ve got it all mapped out and I am so excited to start it. But when I write a book, I fall down a rabbit hole so deep that nothing else exists at all and I have to clear the decks of my life in order to do that. I am hoping to start in December. The book is tentatively called The 48 and I can’t wait to start it!