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Author Q&A with @lisadenikolits | The Rage Room Book Tour and $15 Amazon GC #Giveaway | #SpeculativeFiction

  The Rage Room by Lisa de Nikolits is on a virtual book tour. The speculative fiction stops at Readeropolis with an author interview. Be su...


The Rage Room by Lisa de Nikolits is on a virtual book tour.

The speculative fiction stops at Readeropolis with an author interview.

Be sure to enter for a chance to win the giveaway for a $15 Amazon GC and follow the Silver Dagger book tour (for other dates see the link at the bottom of the post).

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre? 

I read like a dervish! I have two or three books on the go at one time. I can’t even list all the books I’ve recently read because I can’t remember their names! I have massive piles of books all around the house and I always carry a book with me. I prefer print to eBooks. I read poetry, speculative fiction, biographies, literary fiction, crime, horror, suspense novels, police procedurals, classical novels – you name it. 

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why? 

Only ever silence! In fact, if there’s a noisy dog or weedwhacking neighbor, I put in ear plugs. I must have utter silence to get into the zone. However, that said, if I’m in a situation where I can’t achieve silence, I just block it all out. I’ve written at conferences, in airports, at parties and family events. If I want to write, I just put my head down and write. 

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

One at a time. Although sometimes if one is in a different stage, let’s say it’s at a third draft stage but needs more work, I can start and finish a complete first draft of a new novel before carrying on with the other one. I set myself very strict deadlines and I stick to them. Self-deadlines are crucial to me. 

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood. What a stunningly brilliant book. Here’s a bit about the book:
Cat's Eye is the story of Elaine Risley, a controversial painter who returns to Toronto, the city of her youth, for a retrospective of her art. Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal. Elaine must come to terms with her own identity as a daughter, a lover, and artist, and woman—but above all she must seek release from her haunting memories. Disturbing, hilarious, and compassionate, Cat's Eye is a breathtaking novel of a woman grappling with the tangled knots of her life.” – Goodreads. 

Pen or type writer or computer?

Pen and computers! Plural computers! I have three! But I also scribble madly and have a series of precious notebooks. I collate all the notes I make on scraps of paper into notebooks. The worst feeling in the world is losing a single sentence or idea. The one thing I really want to do is develop dream writing because I have the craziest dreams and they’d make for fabulous plots and scenes. 

Tell us about a favorite character from a book. 

Mother is one of my favorite characters in the book. She’s a secondary character but a very pivotal one. She’s conflicted about her son Sharps. She loves him dearly and she’s trying to save his moral ground but he’s resisting due his own fears. 

A day in the life of the author? 

Very boring I’m afraid! I have a very busy day job which goes to late into Monday and Tuesday nights so no writing work on those days. Wednesday and Thursday nights are good for writing, work goes late into a Friday too (I’m the Assistant Art Director on Hello! Canada, a weekly magazine and weeklies keep one’s nose to the grindstone for sure!) Weekends are jam-packed with writing punctuated with a walk or bike ride or watching something on Netflix late at night. 

I divide my writing time into thirds – two thirds writing, one third marketing and promoting. 

Advice they would give new authors? 

Find a reputable mentor or writing program very early on. Even if it takes a bit longer to get to where you want to go, you’ll be more assured of reaching your writing goals. Don’t spend too much time online reading writing advice – write instead! Try to run a blinkered race, in other words, just focus on your work, try not to be daunted by what you see others doing. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other – you get the idea!

Describe your writing style. 

I binge write and I binge edit. For my fortieth birthday, I went to Peru, to Machu Picchu. The massive mountain you see in the postcards is Huanya Picchu and it’s utterly treacherous which the tour guides don’t tell you. I was horribly unfit when I went, having spent my life at my desk and I looked at the mountain, wondering if I could do it it. But I had to do it, I had gone all that way! So I took one look at the mountain and as one of my tour members said I ‘attacked the mountain’ and that’s how I write – I attack it. I put my head down, get my hands in position and get going and don’t stop until I come out the other side. 

What makes a good story? 

Something you read way past your bedtime. Something you just can’t put down, and if you have to put it down, you can’t stop thinking about it. And then once you’ve finished, you keep thinking about the characters and you wish there was more of the book left. 

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? 

I start with a title or a sentence and a vague idea for a protagonist. It’s almost as if I see the single thread of a spider’s web glinting in the sunlight and I follow it, knowing that a full web is there. I just can’t see it at first glance but I trust it’s there. That said, I get quite militant about tracking who did what to whom, keeping the timeline under control and keeping track of names, ages, descriptions and histories. I use massive sheets of paper that I tape up to the walls of my study and I add notes that I stick onto them. I also keep Word documents of notes, plot, characters, don’t-forget-this, place names, pieces to cut and add later, ideas to work in. I email notes to myself and I file them all carefully using dates in the file title so I can keep track of which is the most recent. It can feel quite wild and woolly but the trick is not to panic but just keep going and stick to the strategy with a lot of discipline. I’d describe my writing process as a mix of faith, hope, trust, discipline and unwavering commitment.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

To ask too many writers for input. Find one or two people. Don’t read too much online. Don’t overthink. Write YOUR book, write your story. Don’t keep wondering what readers might think of your work or worry about the reader at all. Just settle in, put your head down and write your book. 

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Tidiness, fragrances, chocolate-covered peanuts, vanilla-flavored coffee and candles. If I’m writing during the winter time, then fresh socks are a must. A hat and a scarf. A good pen nearby even if I am writing on a computer so I can jot notes. 

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Absolutely not! Thinking about the readers would muddy the writing waters. You can’t think about how the finished product will be received because that will shackle you. The only thing that matters is attending to the book itself. 

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Refine your craft and learn as much as you can. Don’t think you know how to do it just because you were told you have potential. 

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I’m not sure how different it would feel to be in a man’s body so that was interesting. And Sharps is my first male protagonist as opposed to being a secondary character so I really wanted to feel what he felt, inside and out. It wasn’t very difficult really. Sharps is a very anxious guy and he sweats a lot. I realized I was doing pretty well describing his physical meltdowns and then I realized something kind of funny – Sharps is really a menopausal woman having a lot of hot flashes! Let’s just say I relate and does he ever have my sympathy!

How long on average does it take you to write a book? 

Three months from idea to a good first draft. It’s a very intense process. I binge-write, doing twelve or fourteen hours on the weekend and writing at night. Then it takes another six months to clean the book up. Then I submit it to my publisher. Inanna were initially interested in The Rage Room but they had a lot of suggestions before it could be considered for publication. 

When I first got Inanna’s feedback on my first submission, my first thought was “How on EARTH will I do that?” Then I thought, “Well, you just well darn will, so sit down and start!” And I went at it, head down, unstoppable, driven by the story and characters with the result being an intricate domino chain reaction that loops through time and smashes to a fantastic, thrilling climax. I had to move action from the back to the front, rewrite a huge amount as a show don’t tell when it came to world building. I had to develop some of the characters that Inanna liked and make them more prominent. It was a massive undertaking but I loved the book so much I couldn’t give up. 

We had a similar situation with The Witchdoctor’s Bones where Inanna took me back the drawing board a few times so that book took a while! In fact, I wrote A Glittering Chaos while I was working on the revisions to The Witchdoctor’s Bones and A Glittering Chaos got published first!

So one has to be determined and if a story is rejected for whatever reason, take that valuable feedback and use it to make a better story. 

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I don’t! I trust my imagination to come up with something. One has to fish around in there, rummage around, throw things at the wall and see what sticks. Just keep going at it, like a terrier worrying a bone. Always carry a notebook, even when you’re in the bath! 

The Rage Room
by Lisa de Nikolits
Genre: Speculative Fiction

What if you had a chance to fix the worst mistake of your life…but only made things worse? The Rage Room dives into dystopia with an extraordinary tale about choices and second chances. Sharps Barkley jumps back in time and finds that changing the future isn’t as easy as he thought. 

Set in 2055, our plastic world is run by robots, fueled by consumerism, twisted religion and virtual data. Satellites control the weather, food is grown in laboratories. Arts and culture are distant memories. Beneath the sunny skies and behind the garbage-free suburban McMansions live deeply disturbed, materialistic families. Prescribed visits to rage rooms lance desperate anger, boredom and discontent but the band-aid fix hides disturbing governmental motives.

An intense and provocative exploration of societal coded messages, The Rage Room is an action-packed story of unravelling and alternate realities, of disturbing and searching re-runs. Can the army of feminist hackers restore Mother Nature?

Can love triumph over fear? And, ultimately, can the children be saved? 

Dark, fun, weird, imaginative, The Rage Room is a dystopic ride perfect for the anxieties and conditions of the present day. The paranoia of Sharps Barkley seeps into you, propelling this thriller that will keep you guessing to the very end. 
– David Albertyn, author of Undercard.

Leave it to the wild imagination of Lisa de Nikolits to bring us the dystopian future of The Rage Room, an extraordinarily inventive speculative fiction thriller with a decidedly feminist bent. Fast-paced, funny, bold, and completely engrossing, The Rage Room is an allegory, a cautionary tale, and a rollicking good read that will stay with you long after the last page has been turned. 
– Amy Jones, author of We’re All in This Together and Every Little Piece of Me.

In turns unsettling and very funny, The Rage Room is a berserk science-fiction satire of toxic masculinity, narrated by your guide, Sharps, the neurotic, rage-filled Jason Bateman of the future. There are lines and descriptions that will stop you dead in your tracks and make you take notes. 
– Evan Munday, The Dead Kid Detective Agency series

In her latest captivating book, de Nikolits proffers not only a roller coaster of entertainment, but also, sharp political commentary in complicated times. The Rage Room is an intricately woven dystopian world, rich in strong female characters who easily whisk readers to a world of futuristic follies. Move over George Orwell – de Nikolits shows us how the future can be scary, exciting, and above all, female. 

– Kelly S. Thompson, National Bestseller author of Girls Need Not Apply: Field Notes from the Forces.

Lisa de Nikolits is the internationally award-winning author of ten novels (all Inanna Publications). No Fury Like That was published in Italian in 2019 by Edizione Le Assassine as 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, Sisters in Crime, The Australian Crime Writers, The Short Fiction Mystery Association and the International Thriller Writers. Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits came to Canada in 2000. She lives and writes in Toronto.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$15 Amazon

1 comment

  1. Best of luck with the book and book tour! I included the tour in the Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 edition of The BookTube Your Shelf Daily Reader:


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