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By ITW Staff

Just when they thought life had new adventures, a couple’s trip to Australia throws them into stormy waters, and invokes the spirit of Sid Vicious and a former nurse, now turned evil ghost.

Lisa de Nikolits’ new serio-comedic, tarot-with-a-twist thriller is about the meaning of life, healing from old wounds, romantic love at all ages, and how with love and passion, we can make a difference, at any age.

This month, The Big Thrill caught up with Nikolits to get the scoop on her writing influences and how they helped her to write THE OCCULT PERSUASION AND THE ANARCHIST’S SOLUTION.  

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Hope and motivation that life can offer all kinds of amazing surprises in later years—albeit by crime and mystery! This one-of-a-kind punk-themed suspense thriller combines the winning elements of many bestselling novels. A picaresque thriller with elements of punk rock, combined with domestic thriller intrigue, aspects of esoteric spirituality, unexpected adventures and a new cast of unique, hilarious, and relatable characters. This book will inspire readers to believe anything is possible!

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

Writing this book was all about opportunity!

 On a trip to Australia, I thought my husband had fallen overboard into Sydney Harbour. In fact, I missed the ferry stop! But I truly thought he was gone. And in that moment, a hundred scenarios flashed across my mind. None of them made it into the book but the seed was sown and I reaped it with all my might!

 On the same trip, we visited Balmain and it was there, at the abandoned Rozelle Asylum for the Criminally Insane (ironically now home to the Sydney International Festival of Authors, among other things), that I felt the presence of the evil Nurse Nancy.

 Research into the asylum led to the discovery of the Chelmsford Sleep Therapy which tied in perfectly to the book.

 Add to that the fact that I’ve always loved Sid Vicious (who doesn’t?!) and have always wanted to write about him.

 So this book was all about opportunity for me, the opportunity to write about a bunch of extremely wonderful characters in unique situations.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

Ruth Ware, Gillian Flynn, Christopher Moore, Stephen King, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, Peter Robinson, Ian Rankin, Karen Dionne, Mo Hayder, Stephen King, James Lee Burke, Simon Kernick, and most of all, Harry Crews.

Why do these writers inspire and influence me? Because aspects of all of their works find their way into my books and I try very hard to make that happen. These writers are the cream of the crop and I try very hard to emulate each of their specific strengths that makes them shine so brightly.


Lisa de Nikolits is the award-winning author of nine novels: The Hungry Mirror, West of Wawa, A Glittering Chaos, The Witchdoctor’s Bones, Between the Cracks She Fell, The Nearly Girl, No Fury Like That, Rotten Peaches, and The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution. No Fury Like That was published in Italian in 2019 by Edizione Le Assassine under the title Una furia dell’altro mondo. Her short fiction and poetry have also been published in various anthologies and journals internationally. She is a member of the Mesdames of Mayhem, the Crime Writers of Canada, the Sisters in Crime, the Australian Crime Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and the International Thriller Writers. Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits came to Canada in 2000. She lives and writes in Toronto.

To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.