Sunday, February 11, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: LISA DE NIKOLITS



ABOUT THE BOOK


No Fury Like That
is a one-of-a kind suspense thriller about life and death – and the power of second chances.


The novel takes you on a fast-paced, funny, adventurous ride, exploring themes of love, friendship, revenge and family – and the transformation of character in impossible circumstances. No Fury Like That is about metamorphosis and how friendship is more important than success, love is more important than money, and family is more important than power.

What is your moral compass? Julia Redner has to die in order to find her answer to this question – but is she really dead or is she being given the opportunity to rethink her life while solving an intricate puzzle of murders? And she won't miss the opportunity to exact righteous revenge!

No Fury Like That is a philosophical murder mystery with an unforgettable cast of characters, a surprising plot with twists and turns and a powerful, determined female protagonist. The novel will make you laugh and it will make you think but most of all, it will engage you from the get-go.


Book details

Title: No Fury Like That

Author: Lisa de Nikolits

Genre: Suspense, mystery, thriller

Publisher: Inanna Publications (September 15, 2017)

Paperback: 300 pages

Touring with: Partners in Crime Book Tours







LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT INTERVIEW WITH LISA DE NIKOLITS


A few of your favorite things: My rocks, stones, and shells that I’ve collected on my travels. My scented candles. Old notebooks filled with scribbles. Fresh, unused notebooks, waiting for new thoughts and words.
Things you need to throw out: Old pens that no longer write. Old manuscripts that are good for nothing but collecting dust. 


Things you need in order to write: I just need something to write on and something to write with and then I am up and away!
Things that hamper your writing: Incoming mails! I feel the need to answer them immediately and that interrupts me!


Things you love about writing: I fall into another world, a highly entertaining world in which I have no idea what will happen next.
Things you hate about writing: Inputting hand-written text. Sometimes I feel the need to write long hand, but then I rue the day and wish I had typed it in!

Hardest thing about being a writer: Having to exercise the necessary discipline to keep at it. I can get quite grumpy about the slog of it all. 

Easiest thing about being a writer: It’s like a gift from the universe when a story is flowing. I feel blessed and alive and I feel as if everything is perfect at that moment, and I don’t want to be anywhere else, doing anything else. 


Things you love about where you live: I love the spirit of the land. Canada is a very mystical, powerful country. It’s a privilege to live here.
Things that make you want to move: The mud!! Most of January, February, March, and April is just mud, mud, and more mud! I love the beauty of the miraculous beautiful snow but arghhh, the mud! The endless brown of the in-between seasons.

Things you never want to run out of: Scented candles and ideas for stories.
Things you wish you’d never bought: Skin creams that promised that my sun spots would ‘simply fall off’. What a waste of money, I was so foolish! Besides, my sun spots are well-earned souvenirs of my travels and my life. 


Words that describe you: Creative, thoughtful, kind.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: Impatient, critical, bossy.

Favorite foods: Whipped cream, birthday cake, chocolate.
Things that make you want to throw up: Red peppers, anchovies, sushi. (I am a vegetarian, so I do eat California Rolls but not the black seaweed wrapping around it!)

Favorite music or song: Anything from the 80’s! Well, also the 70’s. And a lot of the 60’s. I lost interest in the 90’s. But bear in mind, "Blue Jean" by David Bowie is a fav and "The Tunnel of Love" by Dire Straits can still make me cry, so really, one cannot take my music tastes seriously!
Music that make your ears bleed: Hip Hop Rap Stuff. And boy bands that whimper vapid refrains while they clutch their crotches and do ‘yo mama’ side fist pumps while wearing the same StarTrek uniforms

Favorite beverage: Diet Coke. (Although I try to not drink more than three cans a week. It’s SO bad for one!)

Something that gives you a pickle face: Beer with notes of citrus, burnt toast, plum, and coffee. I kid you not.

Favorite smell: Vanilla. Lilacs. Freshly washed cotton. Everybody else’s laundry detergent smells better than mine! I have even knocked on neighbor’s doors to ask them what their detergent is. And yet, when I buy it, it never smells as lovely when I use it! I love the small of baking bread. 

Something that makes you hold your nose: Stewed garbage. Expensive fragrances with too many exotic high notes that stick to you like glue.

Something you’re really good at: Meeting self-imposed deadlines.
Something you’re really bad at: Working with team members who aren’t in sync with my sense of urgency! Oh, and I’m really bad at cooking. I cannot cook. I have no interest in it at all. And it’s so complicated – you need exactly this amount of a thing and then add it to that, for an exact amount of time. Cooking is extremely controlling. 


Something you wish you could do: Water ski. I tried once and got my hair tangled up in the rope. I was hauled into shore and that was that. I also wish I could worry less! I worry by habit, about so many pointless things!
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: Make lists. Making lists can be a nasty addiction. And you know the thing with lists? They never end!

Something you like to do: Read a book that distracts me from everything. Or find a great sub-titled mini-series on Netflix and binge-watch until the sun comes up. We recently watched Season 4 of Black Mirror which was incredibly disturbing and weird and thought-provoking. We also enjoyed Fargo and a French mini-series called La Mante. So good!

Something you wish you’d never done: I wish I’d never given up karate when I was at brown belt level. I wish I had got my black belt. (Shotokan. I have looked into returning to it at various times but I just don’t have the time).

People you consider as heroes: Nelson Mandela is my all-time biggest hero. I have no idea how he endured the hardship that he did and he stayed so positive and kind. 

People with a big L on their foreheads: I struggle with noisy people in public places, people who act as if they are the only people there. And people who nudge me in the back when waiting in line. Or people who tap their carts impatiently when you’re off-loading items at the till. Taking a little time isn’t going to hurt anyone!



Last best thing you ate: A vanilla slice at Manly Beach in Australia. A vanilla slice is custard in between puff pastry slices, with a thick layer of icing on the top.

Last thing you regret eating: A day-old Madeleine from Uncle Tetsu’s. Madeleines are amazing when warm and fresh.

Things you’d walk a mile for: A photograph I want to take. A person I want to see.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: Noise. And as I get older, I find noise harder to take. I am becoming quite noise-phobic!

Things you always put in your books: At some point, my protagonist always has a long, hot, scented bubble bath. In No Fury Like That, Julia Redner has a Chanel bubble bath!

Things you never put in your books: Cruelty to children and I’d never put children in danger. Only mild danger from which they can quickly be rescued.

Things to say to an author: “I read your book and loved it because…” 

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “I was just expecting something . . . else, I guess . . . I’m not sure, I guess I was just expecting something different . . . ” (Yes, that has been said to me! I apologized for wasting the reader’s time.)

Favorite places you’ve been: Hong Kong. The lights! The pace! The hidden alleyways filled with treasure. One can explore Hong Kong for the rest of your life and never get bored. Paris. Rome. Blueys Beach, Australia. Barcelona. The veldt of South Africa. Auckland, New Zealand.

Places you never want to go to again: Geneva. Such a bland and vapid place. The Houston airport. The Chicago airport. Airports are generally dangerous because if you spend enough time in them, you start to think that maybe it’s okay for a small coffee to cost you $7.

Favorite books: Suspense thrillers. Detective novels. Noir. Novels that defy categorization. Novels with magical realism, novels with a social conscience. Novels with a fast pace that grab you from the start and don’t let go. 

Books you would ban: I wouldn’t ban a book. I believe that books should be allowed their place in the world, no matter what their content. We can choose to read them or not.

People you’d like to invite to dinner: Salman Rushdie. Margaret Atwood. Annie Proulx. Lionel Shriver. Joyce Carol Oates. I think there would be quite a heated debate!

People you’d cancel dinner on: Actually I am very good at canceling dinners even with my closest friends! And that’s because I’d pretty much always rather be at home writing! My friends, thank heavens, understand, and we do coffees here and there and breakfasts. I don’t cancel breakfasts!

Favorite things to do: Have a nap. Browse through antique stores and markets. Take photographs. Hang out with my cat. Step back and admire the temporary cleanliness of my house after a fit of cleaning. 

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: Hosting a dinner party.

Things that make you happy: Being with my husband, lost in the middle of nowhere, taking photographs. Buying presents for my family. Watching my family being happy. Talking to my cat. Hugging my cat. 

Things that drive you crazy: Being stuck in traffic. I get extremely impatient! I don’t drive so I don’t have road rage or anything, I just hate grid lock.

Most embarrassing moment: Gosh, this is a hard one! One that comes to mind is when you think someone is waving or saying hi to you and you wave back and get all enthusiastic and then you realize they are waving at someone behind you. 

Proudest moment: Getting a hundred percent on my first spelling exam and getting a certificate for it! I’ve never forgotten that! I am also proud of all the places I have visited and all the adventures I have had. Some of them haven’t been easy and I’m proud of myself for trying.

Biggest lie you’ve ever told: I’m not evading the question, but I really can’t think of one! I think that lying always comes back to bite you.

A lie you wish you’d told: While I wouldn’t have wanted to lie, I do wish I had kept my council and been more politic at work in my day job over the years. I have certainly learned to be more circumspect in my opinions and careful with how I voice things. Also, in South Africa, you can be quite blunt and no one thinks you are being rude. But in Canada, the land of politeness, they do like you to be polite to the point of blanketing your words in cozy, almost neutral terms. But perhaps this is a global trend?

Best thing you’ve ever done: Traveled the world. Married my husband. Kept on writing when really, it was going nowhere. 

Biggest mistake: Doubting my decisions, second-guessing. I do the best I can at whatever moment that is, and I need to trust that. The word mistake is such a harsh one! There are certainly things I would do differently if I had the chance to do them again but at the time, I did the best I could.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: I took the chair lift up to the Great Wall of China. I am terrified of heights, absolutely petrified. And you dangle over what looks like the Grand Canyon, rocking back and forth, on this tiny, rickety old chair lift, swaying casually, ridiculously close to death. I nearly died of fright, actually. But I made it!

Something you chickened out from doing: I couldn’t have an MRI done without sedation – I kept chickening out! So they rescheduled me. And when my periods of claustrophobia were really bad, I wouldn’t go on the subway or in elevators or through revolving doors. But I addressed that problem and now I can do those things, no problem!

The last thing you did for the first time: Climbed a dormant volcano! On the island of Rangitoto, in New Zealand. 

Something you’ll never do again: Travel without a spare pen (or three).




READ AN EXCERPT

10. Beatrice The Administrator.

“I got kicked out of Cedar’s again,” I tell the others. I expect them to find this funny but they don’t. Of course they don’t.
“I didn’t mean to,” I acknowledge, “it’s like I had Tourette’s or something.”
“Cedar’s alright,” Grace comments. “You should try to work with him.”
“Why? So I can have a so-called realization? That clearly worked well for you, look, you’re all still here.”
They have no answer for that.
“What are everybody’s plans for the day?” Samia asks, brightly.
“Rest Room, Reading Room, Rest Room, cafeteria,” Fat Tracey says and she sounds grumpy. “I don’t know why you bother to ask us, Samia. It’s not like I can say oh, I’m going to Bermuda to lie on a beach or fuck it, let’s go to the mall and spend money we don’t have.”
“You are in a mood,” Grace says and Fat Tracey nods.
“I was telling her,” she nods her head in my direction, “my life story and I guess it got to me a bit.”
“Oh, I am sorry, dear,” Grace says and Fat Tracey’s eyes fill with tears.
“I shouldn’t have left my boys,” she says and she starts keening quietly. “Julia said so, and she was right.”
They turn to look at me. “I never said that!” I am indignant. “I asked her if they couldn’t have been reason enough to make her stay.”
“Well, obviously not,” Isabelle is scornful. “That’s a stupid thing to say, don’t you think?” I feel like she just slapped me across the face. How dare she speak to me like that? But what am I supposed to do, these are the only people I have in my life right now, and so instead of asking her just who the fuck she thinks she is, talking to me like that, I nod.
“I see that now,” I say meekly and the others accept this apology of sorts.
“I want my fucking Viewing time,” Fat Tracey says.
“Let’s go and see Beatrice again,” Grace suggests, and I am glad she does because any kind of activity will help pass the day, or whatever our strange allotments of time are.
“Enjoy your lattes first,” Fat Tracey says. “No point in wasting them.”
We sit and drink in silence.
I notice that Agnes has gnawed away the perfect manicure I gave her and I sigh.
“You okay?” Samia asks.
“Still trying to get my bearings on things,” I say, and she nods sympathetically.
“It takes a while.”
“I don’t suppose there’s a Massage Room here?” I am wistful. “I wouldn’t mind a four hour massage, that’s for sure.”
“No, dear, no Massage Room,” Grace tells me.
“No movie theatre either,” Isabelle says and they all chime in.
“No animals, sauna, hot tub, swimming pool, beach, no real grass or thunderstorms—,”
“There is the Rain Room,” Grace interrupts the long list and I gather this isn’t the first conversation they’ve had like this.
“Yeah, it’s super depressing,” Samia comments, and it is unlike her to say anything negative.
“Why?” I ask. “Rain can be soothing.”
She shakes her head. “I’ll take you one day and you’ll see. The whole place is grey and gloomy.”
“There are chapels,” Grace says “and there’s even a cathedral. It’s enormous, like St Peter’s in Rome.”
“I don’t see the point in praying,” Isabelle says and the others fall silent.
“We’re not supposed to talk about religion,” Agnes explains to me.
“Why not? That doesn’t make any sense. Of all the places, you’d think religion would be first on the list here.” I am baffled. “Are there priests and nuns?” I think about Intrigua with her hajib and nun’s outfit.
Agnes shakes her head. “Only Helpers like Cedar.”
“I find that pretty weird,” I say, and I finally get the group to laugh.
“Ah, ya, Purgatory is weird,” Samia agrees. “That might be the point.”
“If you’re all finished, let’s go and see the bitch,” Fat Tracey says. “But I’m not going to do the talking, someone else will have to.”
“I will,” Grace is firm. “I want to see my family too.”
“We’re not going to get anywhere,” Agnes says with a warning tone in her voice, “I can feel it.”
“Well, we’re going to try,” Grace insists and she stands up and brushes biscotti crumbs from her skirt. “We’re most certainly going to try.”
This time we don’t enter the maze. We walk the perimeter of the building, and we pass those eerie planes, those white sharks lined up on the licorice black, lined up and waiting for god knows what. We pass the counter where a group of people are still gathered and they are arguing and jostling, while harried flight attendants shout from behind the counter.
I want to check if it’s the same group of people or a new lot but we walk by too quickly. Besides, I hadn’t noticed much the first time.
I spot the womb that birthed my arrival, that steel and black leatherette chair, and I can still feel the burning pain as I surfaced. I look out the window. The immaculate green grass between the runways is unchanged, as are the cotton wool clouds which are two-dimensional and cartoon-like in their perfection. A movie backdrop, Grace had said. Sometimes, it’s as if I’ve stepped into a graphic novel that been assembled using clipart. We walk for what feels like hours but of course, there’s no way of telling.
Shirley the Driver passes us, beeping and squawking, her lights flashing like a Christmas tree and we all press up against the wall.
“We’re nearly there,” Agnes tells me and I nod.
We turn down an unusually dark hallway.
“Everything’s on one level here,” I remark. “No escalators, elevators, stairs or ramps.”
No one finds my observation worthy of comment and I fall silent.
“We’re here,” Grace says after we turn a corner and walk past a series of yellow doors with yellow half-moon handles. I want to ask what’s with the yellow all of a sudden, but I sense it’s not a good time for questions. I don’t want the others to bounce me. They haven’t said they can do that, but I’m pretty certain they have the power.
We stopped at a door and no one wants to be the first to venture inside.
But then something creepy happens — the door handle twists down and the door swings quietly open.
“I know you lot are out there,” a hoarse voice bellows, “so come on in, you ninnies. I know what you’re going to ask me and I can tell you now that the answer is still the same, it’s no, nada, zip, zero, and I’ve got no idea why you wasted your time coming out all this way. I guess you had nothing better to do or you wanted to introduce me to your new friend. hear this, Julia, you’re a longer ways off from a Viewing than you can imagine. You, with your ego the size of Jupiter, well, you’ll have to wait in line like the rest of them, your charms hold no currency here.”
I feel as if someone has thrown a bucket of ice water on me. I can’t move or speak. I just stand there, dripping with the venom of this woman’s sarcasm.
“Come on in,” the voice bellows again. “Bloody rude to stand out there and make me shout.”
“Hardly a point in coming in, is there?” Fragile little Isabelle shouts back and I am surprised. The mouse has roared. But then again, this is a girl who had sex with strangers, she isn’t afraid of anything.
“You should at least give us a timeline,” Isabelle says loudly, and she marches inside and I can see that her fists are clenched and her face is white.
The others creep in behind her and I bring up the rear.
“Should? Fuck should,” Beatrice says and I guess she’s never had Cedar as her Helper.
Beatrice is sitting behind a desk, with her feet up. She’s wearing Birkenstocks and her toenails are as thick and gnarly as old tortoise shells. They are also inexplicably filthy. There is no dirt in Purgatory, so how did her feet get to be that dirty? Did she arrive like that, and never wash?
Beatrice is chomping on a large apple and bits of it are spraying everywhere. She chews loudly with her mouth open and I look away, studying her office instead. Her bookcase filled is with works by Dorothy Parker, Charles Bukowski, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hunter S. Thompson and Raymond Chandler and I wonder if she had been a drunk back on Earth. That, and heavy smoking, would explain her less-than-dulcet tones.
A large poster of a Hawaiian sunset covers one wall along with a framed picture of an old Cadillac convertible. A stack of needlepoint cushions is piled in the corner and I wonder if Beatrice was in the Needlepoint Room when I barged in looking for Agnes. A large framed embroidered canvas has a green alligator baring its teeth, with the slogan, Come In, The Water’s Fine!
Everything is pristine and polished but the items are old and show wear; the Scrabble set, the stacked, empty margarine tubs, the cans of Sanka. A tiny black toy cat is perched inside a glass bell jar on the edge of Beatrice’s desk and behind Beatrice’s head is a framed picture of a vase and a bowl of fruit and the artwork, if you can call it that, is so dreadful that I am mesmerized. It looks like it was drawn with thick crayon and then melted over an open fire.
Beatrice stops chewing for a moment and the silence is so thick that I stop my inventory of the place and glance at the others to see what is going on but they are fearfully looking at Beatrice who is calmly watching me.
“Enjoying yourself?” she asks. “Very nosy, aren’t you? Nosy parker.”
Beatrice, resplendent in plaid shorts and a red and black man’s checked shirt, cocks her head to one side and I can’t think of anything to say. She shrugs and returns enthusiastically to her apple and juice spurts out in an arc onto Grace’s blouse and Grace flinches.
“Well, when?” Fat Tracey can hold back no longer. “When can I see them?”
“Should have thought of that when you left them,” Beatrice counters. “It’s not up to me, anyway.”
“It is so,” Isabelle insists. “We all know that.”
“You don’t know fuck all,” Beatrice aims the apple core at a bin in the corner and slam dunks it. “You think you do, but you don’t. Who would you View, Isabelle? Huh? Tell me?”
“No one. It’s not for me. It’s for Fat Tracey and Grace and Agnes,” Isabelle says. “I never had anyone, I don’t care. I’m fine with things the way they are, but it’s not fair to the others.”
“Fair? Fair? Like life was ever fair?” Beatrice is mocking. She whips her feet off the desk and pulls her chair close to her desk. She gives her mouse a thwack, to wake up the computer. She peers at the screen and then she fumbles for a pair of reading glasses, searching on her desk until she realizes they are strung around her neck on a beaded cord.
She puts them on and examines the screen, using the rough, thick nail of her forefinger to scroll down. She mutters all the while, and we stand there, silent and unmoving.
She taps furiously at the keyboard, so hard I am surprised it isn’t damaged, and then she slams a fist on the Enter key.
The printer next to the desk springs into life and jerkily delivers a single page.
We hold our breath.
“Here,” she says handing the sheet to Agnes. “Access for you for the Viewing Room. You’ve got half an hour tomorrow.”
Agnes looks stunned. “But I’m not ready,” she says.
“And I am,” Fat Tracey and Grace both chorus at the same time.
“You’re ready when I say you are,” Beatrice retorts. She looks at Agnes and holds out her hand. “You want to give it back?”
“No.” Agnes clutches the paper to her chest.
“Thought so. Well then, goodbye all of you. Don’t come again, why don’t you?” She laughs and coughs up a wedge of phlegm that she spits into a Kleenex and lobs at the bin, narrowly missing my head.
“Go on, shoo! Out you go!”
We turn and file out slowly, and the yellow-handled door swings firmly shut behind us.
We stand in the corridor for a while, in silence.
“I can’t do it today,” Agnes says. “I’m not ready.”
“Yeah, well, you heard her, it’s for tomorrow in any case,” Samia points out.
“When you do it, do you want us to come with you?” Grace asks and Agnes nods.
“Yes, I can’t do it alone. We’ll go after coffee.”
“Will you wait to have coffee with me?” I ask, sounding unfamiliarly unsure of myself. “I have to go and see Cedar, first thing.”
“Of course we’ll wait,” Samia says when no one else replies, and my confidence level drops even further.
“I’ll come and find you,” Samia reassures me. “We’ll wait. Don’t worry.”
I thank her, and before I can say anything else or ask the others what they’re going to do next, I am back in the Makeup Room, alone.
***
Excerpt from No Fury Like That by Lisa de Nikolits. Copyright © 2017 by Lisa de Nikolits. Reproduced with permission from Lisa de Nikolits. All rights reserved.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Originally 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 lives and writes in Toronto. No Fury Like That, her most recently published work, is her seventh novel and has received glowing preview reviews from internationally acclaimed authors, Metroland Media, and high-profile members of the Crime Writers of Canada. Lisa’s previous works include: The Hungry Mirror (2011 IPPY Awards Gold Medal for Women's Issues Fiction and long-listed for a ReLit Award); West of Wawa (2012 IPPY Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction and 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. Between The Cracks She Fell  was reviewed by the Quill & Quire, 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. The Nearly Girl received rave reviews in THIS magazine and local newspaper, the Beach Metro, among others. No Fury Like That is her seventh book and Rotten Peaches will be published in 2018, followed by The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution in 2019. All books by Inanna Publications.

Connect with Lisa:
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Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Inanna Publications






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2 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for having me as a guest today! Your wonderful interview made me dig deep and think very hard!

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    1. You’re very welcome. Happy to have you here.

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