Lisa de Nikolits: Blog Hop. The Nearly Girl
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: lisadenikolitswriter.com
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.
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