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The Story Behind the Story of How I Wrote THE NOWHERE GIRLS

By R.G. Belsky

Book Cover: THE NOWHERE GIRLSI’ve published more than 20 books during my career as a crime fiction author. Most of these books were written under my own name of R.G. Belsky. Most of them are set in New York City, where I’ve lived and worked for much of my life. Most of them are about the NYC media world that I was a part of all this time.

But none of this is true about my new thriller, THE NOWHERE GIRLS.

Or, I should say, my new thrillers—because there’s three of them!

But more about that later.

THE NOWHERE GIRLS is a pure thriller—probably more intense than any thriller I’ve ever written before—about a female FBI agent named Nikki Cassidy who returns to her small hometown in Ohio to try to solve the disappearance and murder of several teenage girls and winds up uncovering shocking, long-buried secrets about her own past.

So, what’s different about this from my previous books?

Author Photo: R.G. Belsky

R.G. Belsky

First, I wrote this book under the pen name Dana Perry. Why a pen name? There are a number of reasons. But the bottom line is that the publisher and I decided that a different kind of book like this would make more sense coming from a different name, so people wouldn’t expect a more traditional R.G. Belsky book.

I’ve also left my usual “comfort zone” of a New York City locale for this one. My Nikki Cassidy character works out of FBI headquarters in Washington, but most of the story takes place in her small hometown in southeastern Ohio, where a series of horrifying murders has occurred that she must solve, both present-day crimes and nightmarish ones from her own past.

The other change, of course, is that Nikki has no connection to the media world, like my previous two series characters, TV journalist Clare Carlson and newspaper reporter Gil Malloy. I found it easy to write about those two because I have had such a long career in the media world myself as a top editor at the New York Post, New York Daily News, Star magazine, and NBC News. But I have no background at all in law enforcement, so I had to do much more research to create Nikki Cassidy as an authentic, believable FBI agent character.

But the biggest difference for me this time (and it’s a pretty mind-blowing one) is that Nikki Cassidy will not just be appearing in THE NOWHERE GIRLS (released on April 2) but also in two more Nikki Cassidy thrillers released at the same time.

Book Cover: LAST ONE TO DIEThat’s right: All three books in my new Nikki Cassidy series came out together!

I was inspired by the fact that so many people binge-watch crime series on streaming TV these days. I mean, you can watch Bosch or Reacher episodes one after the other. You’ll be able to do the same thing with my Nikki Cassidy books. Each one will have a plot that’s wrapped up in a single book, but there’s also an overall storyline that extends over all three of them.

So, if you like THE NOWHERE GIRLS, you don’t have to wait to read the next two Nikki books which are titled, LAST ONE TO DIE and THE LOST ONES.

Pretty cool, huh?

Book Cover: THE LOST ONESBut this definitely presented some imposing new challenges for me as an author.

Including the fact that I somehow had to produce three books at once, which meant writing somewhere around 1,200 pages of Nikki Cassidy copy in one long stretch.

Hey, writing a single novel is tough enough.

Doing it three times in a row is tougher.

A lot tougher.

So, does it all work?

The pen name, the new character, the new locale, and all the rest?

Well, I like Nikki Cassidy.

I hope you readers out there do, too.

And that you buy into the idea of reading THREE thrillers in a row with the same character.

Let me know…


R.G. Belsky
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