Sunday, January 12, 2020

Book Tour and Giveaway: The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist's Solution by Lisa De Nikolits

Title: The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist's Solution
Author: Lisa de Nikolits
Publisher: Inanna Poetry and Fiction Series
Publication Date: September 30th 2019
Print Length: 291 pages
Genre: Humorous Thriller 
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The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is about a couple experiencing a crisis. The husband, Lyndon, loses his job as editor of a financial magazine. Neither are happy with aging. Lyndon has gotten by with charm and frozen emotions. The wife, Margaux, has no idea how angry she is with him for his detachment. It is her idea to sell the house and just travel. But he is not coping well with retirement, so he simply walks off a ferry in Australia and leaves her. He steals a cat (well, he steals an expensive SUV that happens to have a cat onboard) and he flees Sydney, ending up in Apollo Bay, a few hours south-west of Melbourne, where he falls in with a group of anarchists and punk rockers in a tattoo parlour, planning revolution.

Meanwhile, Margaux sits tight in Sydney with no idea of where her husband might be or what happened. She moves into the red-light Kings Cross area, befriending the owner of the hostel, a seventy-year-old ex-cop drag queen from Saint John, New Brunswick, and waits to hear from her husband.

When she learns that her husband is fine, she is consumed by wrath and she invokes the angry spirit of an evil nurse, a key player in the terrible Chelmsworth sleep therapy in which many patients died (historical fact). While Lyndon gets in touch with his original career ambition to become an artist and wrestles with anarchism versus capitalism, Margaux learns to deal with her rage.

A serio-comedic thriller about a couple who embark on an unintentionally life-changing around-the-world adventure, The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is about the meaning of life, healing from old wounds, romantic love at all ages, and how love and passion can make a difference, at any age.

Lisa de Nikolits is the international award-winning author of nine 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. 

- If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
I’d get my next manuscript ready for my publisher! I’ve already told my publisher and my husband repeatedly (and yes, it’s even in my will!) that I should unexpectedly pass, that they are both entrusted to get the finished manuscripts out there into the world!

Sounds kind of crazy, doesn’t it – my last day on earth and I’d spend it behind my computer, working on my books. But that’s how much they matter to me. There are two books lined up: The Rage Room and Mad Dog and the Sea Dragon and I’d do as much as I could on both of them.

- Who is your hero and why?
I have two: Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa. I know – such clichéd answers! But they were so selfless and worked so tirelessly for others. I’d add the Dalai Lama – he has such a beautiful sense of humour! I’d love to see the world in the way he does, with such true love and compassion.

In terms of literary heroines, Betty Smith (A Tree Grows In Brooklyn) is still my heroine. The book broke my heart when I first read it and it breaks my heart to this day. Talk about the best opening lines ever: “SERENE was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York. Especially in the summer of 1912. Somber, as a word, was better. But it did not apply to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Prairie was lovely and Shenandoah had a beautiful sound, but you couldn't fit those words into Brooklyn. Serene was the only word for it; especially on a Saturday afternoon in summer.” Ah, Francie Nolan! One of my favorite protagonists. Kudos, Betty Smith. The subtle nuances of the characters, the poignant layers of emotion and the beauty of the language are just so powerful. Francie Nolan always makes me cry.

As much as I feel that writing is so important in sharing important messages with the world, I also feel that the life of a writer is a fairly self-absorbed, selfish one – it’s pretty much all about me and my writing. I try to take care of my friendships and relationships and I am incredibly blessed to have both but I admit that I put my writing first. So one day, I’d like to give back, be more like Mother Theresa and do something truly meaningful that helps others and that isn’t in any way about me.

- What kind of world ruler would you be?
I’d definitely stop giving big corporations all the tax breaks and letting them run rough shod over our world! I’d also rein in politicians (how I have no idea!) and make them directly accountable for the decisions they make. I’d try to create more opportunities to people live creative lives and be remunerated for that. I’d try to create job stability in areas where people enjoy their jobs. While respecting each person’s religion, I’d try to create a more spiritual, meaningful world than the one we currently live in which seems largely engaged with celebrities and consumerism. But I live in Canada, I cannot speak for the rest of the world. If I could, I’d take a break to ‘walk the earth’ just like Samuel L. Jackson’s character did in Pulp Fiction and recalibrate my perceptions. Look for goodness and altruism, away from phones and apps and AI.

- What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
It wasn’t a choice but a vocation! And honestly, it’s such a lot of work and angst that I wouldn’t wish it on anyone! I was born knowing I had to write. But it’s all such a worry! Will I have an idea? Can I make the idea work? Then you write the idea. You try to find the work a home. The work gets a home. Then you hope people will like the book. Then you start all over again. It’s a compulsion. I have to do it. If I am not writing, I feel utterly distressed. I feel like I will explode. It’s an all-consuming obsession.

I hope I don’t sound too negative!

- A day in the life of the author?
I actually did a series on YouTube called Writer for a Year! It wasn’t a day but a year, with all the events and social media, websites, planning and hosting events, editing the books, contributing to anthologies. Basically I recorded everything that happened in the course of a year, including the launch in Milan for Una furia dell’altro mondo (the Italian translation of No Fury Like That) and a trip to New York to attend ThrillerFest. It’s all there and I hope your readers will check it out!

I really wanted to show the nuts and bolts that go into it all because a lot of debut authors contact me and ask me how to do social media (among other things) and I wanted a resource that I could point to.

I also wanted to dispel the myth that writing and publishing a book is a simple linear process primarily focused on writing the manuscript and handing it over to an agent or publisher. I wanted to show the nitty-gritty nuts and bolts of the process because a lot of aspiring authors out there still wear rose-tinted glasses, believing they are six degrees away from being the next J.K. Rowling or having the next Fifty Shades of You Know What!
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56 comments:

  1. I like the symbol on the cover. It is creepy.

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  2. oh, this book sounds amazing. I would definitely get lost in this one. I like the cover but after reading what the book is about... that is what grabbed me. I think being a writer must be a really amazing career.

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  3. Thank you so much for having me as a guest today! Thank you, Bernie and Doreen! Creepy is good! And I am so very glad you like what the book is about, Doreen! Thank you both! I really hope you will enjoy it! Have a lovely book-reading Sunday!

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  4. The artwork is interesting and I would probably enjoy the book!

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  5. That husband sounds like a real jerk. I would be mad at him too.

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    1. He was a complex guy with a lot of issues! I had a lot of fun writing him! But it all works out in the end - I wasn't too fond of him in myself, in the beginning, but actually in the end, both his wife and I were happy he did what he did!

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  6. It sounds like an enjoyable read!

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    1. Thank you very much Dear Judy! I really hope you will like it! I hope you'll let me know!

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    1. Dear Karin, I know! When I wrote they synopsis for my publisher, I was very concerned she'd say no way, that's just too much! One of the reviewers who assesses the manuscripts said it was complicated but that it all makes sense and comes together in a very clever way. I really hope you'll give the book a try and let me know what you think!

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  8. Little known fact: This is how everyone's vacation in Australia turns out.

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    1. LOL! Richard, you are so right! The secret is out!

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  9. nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

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    1. Thank you very much Dear Deb! I really hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think!

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    1. Thank you very much Mike! I will let the designer know!

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  11. I liked both the book description, and the cover.

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    1. Thank you very much Dear Juana! I hope you'll pick up a copy and let me know what you think!

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  12. Seriously confused, can't imagine a cohesive plot.

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    1. Dear Cindy, I understand your doubts! When I wrote the synopsis for my publisher, I too was concerned that she'd think, "what, no way, too much!" But it follows a path in a really clear way and I promise you, it's a believable read! I really hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think!

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  13. This cover definitely grabbed my attention. I'm excited to read this.

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    1. Elements from the book are true - the Chelmsford Sleep Therapy for example. Thank you Julie, I really hope you'll give the book a try!

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  15. Lisa, What do you most enjoy about writing?

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    1. It's such fun! It's like having my own personal Netflix in my head and I can go there any time. I'm working on another book right now and it's such fun, hanging out with the characters and seeing what they do next. It's a very creative, satisfying and productive experience - writing is my favourite staycation! Thank you for asking!

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  16. What was your favourite first date?

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    1. My husband and I got takeout coffees, parked on the edge of the lakeshore of Lake Ontario and watched the sun set on Toronto! It was so romantic! That was thirteen-and-a-half years ago! Ours was a later romance – I was 40 and he was 54. True love came quite late in my life!

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  17. I like the cover, it's centered and eerie seeming, but why an A? It immediately evoked thoughts of A Scarlet letter.

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    1. Oh I am so glad! It's the punk sign for anarchy and was very popular among a small crowd back in South Africa in the 1980's – we thought it was so cool! I always wanted to incorporate anarchy into my writing in some way and it took a while but I made it happen! Yes, it's not something people even see much anymore at all, I guess I assumed everyone would know what it was but you're right, it is very reminiscent of the Scarlet Letter A which is actually much more popular than the anarchy sign and I totally missed that!

      I pulled this off Wikipedia:
      The circle-A is almost certainly the best-known present-day symbol for anarchy. It is a monogram that consists of the capital letter "A" surrounded by the capital letter "O". The letter "A" is derived from the first letter of "anarchy" or "anarchism" in most European languages and is the same in both Latin and Cyrillic scripts. The "O" stands for order and together they stand for "society seeks order in anarchy" (French: la société cherche l'ordre dans l'anarchie), a phrase written by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in his 1840 book What Is Property?

      The circle-A long predates the anarcho-punk movement, which was part of the punk rock movement of the late 1970s. However, the punk movement helped spread the circle-A symbol more widely and helped raise awareness of it among non-anarchists. This process began with the use of anarchist imagery when members of the band Crass became aware of the symbol while traveling through France.

      The actual date of origin is unknown but it was used in the Spanish Civil War.

      Do you know I never thought, until your question, to find out more about the sign, so thank you!

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  18. Did you have to do much research on retirees as you wrote this book? Sounds quite creative

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    1. Thank you! Ah my Dear, I spend a lot of my life in my head, imagining 'what if' and that was all just there!

      But I did have to do a lot of research on the Chelmsford Sleep Therapy. I travel to Australia every two years and I lived there for two years from 1998-2000 but I realized I had to do a lot of real fact-checking for things like the ferry schedules and things like that.

      Most research is pretty boring stuff - checking what the weather would have been like at that time of year, how long would it take to drive from Melbourne to Apollo Bay and things like that.

      I wanted to do some real life research and unfurl a roll of toilet off the Sydney Harbour Bridge and I even carried one in a backpack but in real life, there was no way I could do it! There are security cameras everywhere and high fences.

      So in reality, I'm not sure the protest would have worked as cinematically as it does in the book but it's a work of fiction so I thought we could suspend a small amount of belief and you never know – it could work!

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  19. I think its a nice cover. I dont have any questions for the author

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  20. I can't figure out why an expensive SUV would have a cat inside it.

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    1. My Dear, it truly does make sense! The cat hates the heat, you see, and so when the owner stops to get her morning coffee, she leaves the car running, so the AC will be blasting. So when Lyndon (the husband) nabs the car, he has no idea there is a cat in it!

      Thank you Dianna - I know there's a fair bit in the book that makes you wonder how it could work but it really does make sense as a story and I really hope you'll check it out!

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  21. Wow! So many great comments here! I thought I had notifications on and that there wasn't any interest! But you guys are amazing! Thank you so much - I'll reply individually now! Have a great day, All!

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  22. The book sounds so good, and I love the cover.

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  23. Wonderful! Thank you very much Dear Jodi!

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    1. Thank you Dear Melanie! I'm so glad the cover is being so well-recieved!

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  25. Sounds like a good read. My husbands name is Lyndon as well but he's nothing like that. LOL

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    1. How funny Dear Julie! I've never actually met a Lyndon in person but it seemed like the perfect name for my character!

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  26. Who is your favorite author?

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  27. Betty Smith - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It breaks my heart every time I read it and when I first read it, I had that 'aha' moment of thinking "oh my word – imagine being able to write like that!" And make no mistake, I know I'm not on par with Betty Smith but A Tree Grows in Brooklyn makes me work harder every single day, just in the hopes of improving.

    Thank you for asking Dear Kate - it's funny you know, I can even remember holding the book in my hand, I was sitting on a small stone wall and my sister was annoyed because she wanted me to skateboard or play netball with her but I was in my happy place, with my book, in the sunshine!

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  28. This sounds great can't wait to read it!

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  29. Thank you so much! I'm so very happy to hear that!

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  30. Ive never heard of sleep thearpy! The plot of the story sounds great!

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  31. Thank you very much Dear Karla! LOL I thought sleep therapy sounded amazing - I was like 'sign me up!' but it was lethal! I am so very glad you like it!

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  32. the cover is scary witch is good for this book.

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