Lisa de Nikolits: Blog Hop. The Nearly Girl

Everyone loves Lisa de Nikolits. I’m serious. Talented mystery writer, super sweet, fascinating accent. And now she’s started a brand new novel with a psychotic protagonist whose therapy is called Do The Opposite Thing. Yeah!
Take it away, Lisa!
I was invited to a Blog Hop by Melissa Yi and she asked me some fascinating questions about The Nearly Girl, my current work in progress about a girl who suffers from a rare psychosis and who attends an even more unique kind of therapy called Do The Opposite Thing. (PS be sure to check out the mega prizes offered by Kobo at the bottom of this post)-.-Q: What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person? 

A: Her name is Amelia Fisher and she is entirely fictional. She is twenty years old.


Q: When and where is the story set?

A: The story is set in Toronto, in the present day.


Q: What should we know about her? 

A: Amelia Fisher suffers from a rare psychosis. She nearly gets things right but when it comes to accepted behaviours and general societal norms, she fails dismally.

Her genetics are largely to blame and the first half of the book explores her lineage; her father, Henry, is a poetic genius, obsessed with the laws of propositional logic which he attempts to disprove in his acclaimed lyrical rants. He ingests large quantities of LSD in an effort to ‘balance’ his vision of the world and succeeds in having a nervous breakdown and he vanishes for a large part of Amelia’s life. He returns later to play a pivotal role as a mentor and friend in her young adulthood.

Amelia’s mother, Megan, falls hopelessly in love with Henry at a poetry reading but she becomes overwhelmed by bitterness at his inability to sustain any kind of normalized marriage and she turns to body building and tanning salons for solace.

Ethel and Ed, Amelia’s grandparents, are her true nurturers.

In the second part of the book, Amelia is instructed to attend therapy or risk losing her welfare funding; she needs to demonstrate that she is at least trying to improve.

She signs up for twelve weeks of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy headed up by the spectacularly unorthodox and ground-breaking psychiatrist, Dr. Frances Carroll.


Q: What is the main conflict? What messes up her life? 

A: Her ‘illness’ sets her apart and makes her life very difficult. She cannot attend school as a child, although she is managing to study at university as they make allowances for her condition. She cannot have ‘normal’ relationships with her peers and has never had a boyfriend, as her behavior is too erratic.


Q: What is the personal goal of the character? 

A: Amelia is trying to find the meaning of life. Her greatest fear is to live a suburban, boring vanilla life, a life that will not leave an impact on the world. She wants to make her mark, she wants to be unique and live a life of daring and adventure. She is studying Joan of Arc for her thesis, she is fascinated by Joan.

She is forced to take a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or lose her welfare benefits and it is there that she meets Dr. Frances Carroll.

Dr. Frances Carroll is small, somewhat ferret-like and fiercely charismatic. He brings his own addition to the traditional therapies of C.B.T., D.T.O.T.

D.T.O.T. is the acronym for Do The Opposite Thing and it is this to which the determined doctor passionately subscribes; cure yourself of your fears and phobias by employing the opposite action.

Five weeks into the sessions, Amelia discovers, by nearly taking the right bus, that Dr. Carroll, in his quest for order, peace and neatness, is keeping his family locked up and drugged; his wife, son and daughter.

Amelia takes it upon herself to rescue them and see that justice is served to Dr. Carroll, although the plot has a surprising ending.

Q: Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? 

A: The working title is The Nearly Girl and you can read more about it on the Bio page of my website:


Q: When can we expect the book to be published? 

A: I have a book coming out in Fall 2015, Between The Cracks She Fell and I am hoping that this one, The Nearly Girl, will be published in 2016.


With thanks to Melissa Yi! Be sure to check out this contest…

“Read the eBooks. Solve the riddles. Win $5,000!*”

Download and read Melissa Yi’s 3 free short stories, gather clues and search online to find answers to the riddles. Every two weeks, a new short story will be released containing the clues you’ll need to figure out that story’s entry code.

Three correct answers will enter you into a contest to win a Kobo Aura H2O and $5,000!* Come along for the ride when a camping weekend leads to much more drama – and distress – than desired.

Acclaimed mystery writer Melissa Yi brings you three short stories, each holding clues you’ll need in your online search to solve the contest entry codes.

P.S. I didn’t add the contest stuff–Lisa did. That’s the kind of generous person she is. Check out more of her work at

Meet My Character Blog Hop: Hope Sze Meets the Society of Reluctant Detectives

Thank you, Shirley McCann, for inviting me on a Blog Hop. Shirley just released Anonymously Yours, a mystery about a Missouri waitress who tries to return a wallet and discovers a body. Shirley’s giving away a $50 Amazon gift card if you review her book!

I’ve been preoccupied with my own Going Going Gone contest: Kobo’s awarding $5000 and a Kobo Aura H2O if you download my three, free Hope Sze Gone Fishing stories and solve three riddles, as I blogged about here. My next posts will be a behind the scenes sneak peak at how I got the deal.


In the meantime, this is Hope. She deviates from the usual blog hop formula. Of course. My deviant detective doctor decided to visit a fictional self-help meeting.

The Society of Reluctant Detectives Meeting, November 9th, 2011

Moderator: Could you introduce yourself?

Hope: I’m a resident doctor at one of Montreal’s community hospitals. I’d rather just be a doctor, but I’m kind of getting a rep as a detective after solving three murders.

Woman: I know you! You’re Dr. Hope Sze, the detective doctor. You were the Montreal Journal’s 2011 Thanksgiving Woman of the Year.

Hope: Um. Yeah.

Man: We’re supposed to be anonymous, Chloe.

Hope: That’s all right.

Woman: You poor thing. You look exhausted. Three murders, eh? I heard about the one with the escape artist who dressed up like Elvis Presley, chained and nailed himself in a coffin and almost drowned, just because he wanted to act like Harry Houdini. You saved his life. [Terminally Ill]

Hope: Yes, ma’am.

Woman: And then he hired you to figure out who had sabotaged his act, but you got mixed up in another case…

Hope: I’d rather not talk about it. We’re still wrapping up that inquiry, with more details forthcoming. [Student Body, launching September 20th, 2014 at Books & Bodies]

Moderator: What brought you to the Society, then, Hope?

Hope: I kept telling people I didn’t want to be a detective. The first time, I just happened to find…someone deceased.

Woman: Dr. Radshaw! Face down the men’s change room. On your first day at St. Joseph’s hospital. [Code Blues]

Hope (wincing): Right. I have to admit, I was the one who took the lead on that case, even though the police told me to step aside. I thought it was a one-time deal, but then a grieving mother told me her daughter had been killed in a hit and run eight years ago, and I just had to help her. [Notorious D.O.C.]

Man: Yes. Dr. Laura Lee. A tragic case.

Hope: Right. Plus, you already mentioned Elvis the Escape King, who insisted on hiring me to figure out who tried to kill him. But even when I was just trying to take my dad fishing for his birthday, I ended up on another investigation [Gone Fishing/Going Going Gone $5000 Contest].

Moderator: I know what you’re saying. We’ve all gone through it. Reluctant Detective Syndrome, or RDS.

Hope: Really?

Moderator: Naturally. Even professionals suffer from this, although in their case it’s more a question of burnout. For amateur detectives, it can be socially isolating to solve criminal cases. At first, we receive attention and accolades…

Man: I was the Montreal Journal’s Man of the Year in 1973 after I caught the Smoked Meat Mangler.

Hope: Oh. Wow.

Man: Not the Thanksgiving Man of the Year. The Man of the Year.

Hope: Congratulations.

Man: For all of 1973.

Hope (slightly sarcastic): No way.

Moderator: After the first few cases, however, friends begin to make excuses, frightened that every time you go out to dinner, the woman sitting next to you may choke on poisoned pasta.

Woman: That was just the one time, but they started calling me the Mystery Magnet.

Man: It’s not about you, Chloe.

Woman: It’s always about me.

Hope: So what’s the cure?

Moderator: Excuse me?

Hope: Well, I’m a doctor. You’re describing the symptoms of Reluctant Detective Syndrome, and believe me, I understand. But what’s the treatment for RDS? Is there a cure?

Moderator (speechless): That’s the purpose of our group. We come together. We support one other.

Hope: Okay. Well, thank you very much.

Moderator: You’re leaving?

Hope: I’ve been here an hour, listening to the case of the Smoked Meat Mangler from 1973. I’ve got to go.

Woman: I bet I know where. Is it Tucker or Ryan tonight?

Hope (blushing): Excuse me?

Woman: Oh, don’t play coy, Hope. We all know about your love triangle. We’ve even taken bets on it.

Man: John Tucker is a sensible choice, given that he’s a fellow physician.

Woman: I hope you pick Ryan. I love dark-eyed men, especially if they’re Asian.

Hope: Ew. I mean, thank you. Good-bye!

Moderator: We meet every Monday, Hope. We’ll be waiting for you.

Download Hope’s next adventure on September 16th, Trouble & Strife, and enter to win $5000 and a Kobo H2O Aura!

Tune in September 16th to these talented writers’ blogs. I just asked them if they’d participate, so I have no idea if they can or not, but read their books anyway. 1) They write marvellously, and 2) They’re stand up people.

Michael La Ronn. Eaten. A broccoli terrorist with nothing to lose.

Rob Brunet. Stinking Rich. His debut mystery caper, called “deviously funny.”

Tim Reynolds. The Broken Shield. Action-packed adventure between light & dark.

Michael F. Stewart. Assured Destruction, called “Sybil meets Lisbeth Salander,”

Lisa de Nikolits. The Witchdoctor’s Bones. Sixteen strangers on a tour bus in South Africa=murder.

Krista D. Ball. Hey, I just saw that she’s getting married, so she won’t participate, but she’s hilarious. I’m now reading
Hustlers, Harlots, and Heroes.
I’m running off to CHEO, so I’ll fix this later. Thanks!