Other published works
• Contributor to A Rewording Life, November 2015
• Volume 30, Nos 2/3, Canadian Woman Studies Journal, Poetry, She Comforts Me
• Volume 30, No 1, 2013, Canadian Woman Studies Journal, Poetry, Silence
• 2005 - Stories from Our Black Book, Silver Lining Ltd, a Canadian book on dating; three short stories were published in this printed anthology.
• 2003 - The Boy from New Brunswick: a bronze-medal winning poem published in Songs on the Wind, by the Poetry Institute of Canada.
• 1995 - Single Girls Go Mad Sooner: the perils of the dating game. This novel was self-published in the UK by then Minerva.
• 1990 - My Mother’s Painting: a short story published in a British anthology entitled Simply the Best, produced and printed in England, in 1990.
• The Adventures of Snowflake, the Incredible Floating Cat, a children’s book.
• A volume of short stories, The Fables of Foxtrot Four is at first proof stage.
• A novella The Silent Unraveling of a Thousand Threads, 10 000 words,
Note: The Hungry Mirror, West of Wawa, The Witchdoctor's Bones, A Glittering Chaos, Between The Cracks She Fell, The Nearly Girl, Single Girls Go Mad Sooner and Cannibals of the Afterlife are all works of fiction by Lisa de Nikolits. Names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. All work is original and the author holds copyright.
The Nearly Girl was published in Fall 2016.
Between The Cracks She Fell was published in Fall 2015.
The Witchdoctor's Bones was published in April 2014.
A Glittering Chaos tied to win the 2014 Silver Medal IPPY for Popular Fiction
West of Wawa won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction. Rex Pickett won Gold with his follow-up novel to Sideways, titled Vertical.
West of Wawa was one of Chatelaine's four Editor's Picks in the September issue and is available in bookstores and online.
The Hungry Mirror won the 2011 IPPY Awards Gold Medal for Women's Issues Fiction and was long-listed for a ReLit Award.
Order a copy of West of Wawa (or The Hungry Mirror
Inanna Publications: www.inanna.ca
Order a copy of A Glittering Chaos online today or purchase one
in a bookstore near you!
Cannibals of the Afterlife
1. The Edge of the South China Sea
2. Eggboy and the Drunk
3. Amanda Hazelton Was a Thief
4. Fall From Grace
5. Eve Ago - due to be published in Postscripts From Darkness, 2015
6. The Perfect Man
7. Burning Bridges
8. The Most Important Woman
9. Henry and Hannah – published in Maudlinhouse.net 2014
10. The Love Triangle - published in Maudlinhouse.net2014
11. Cannibals of The Afterlife
12. How to Eat a Peach
14. Good Friday
15. Fish Bait
Also coming, Troubled Times, in the Mesdames of Mayhem anthology, Fall 2015
Short Story Synopses
1. The Edge of The South China Sea
There’s a contra job that needs doing and I’m just the woman for it. It’s a pity the buyers think I need the help of a screwed up team of twisted specialists. I know I can do it alone. I’ve never fail to deliver and I won’t this time.
2 400 words.
2. Eggboy and The Drunk
It’s one of the best parts of town, but the neighbours are crazy. A schizophrenic with Tourette Syndrome throws eggs at cars at night and gets into fights with a one-time soccer mom, now bitter drunk.
4 600 words.
3. Amanda Hazelton Was a Thief
Amanda’s life isn’t turning out so well. She can’t keep a job and she steals, giving voice to passive anger and muted revenge. And then something happens.
5 800 words.
4. Fall From Grace
Grace is dead but she still visits me from time to time. We hang out at Starbucks and shoot the breeze. Grace’s feelings are hurt because Isabella Blow, who also died by her own hand, won’t invite her to the parties in heaven, despite Grace’s Chanel suit being all freshly laundered and sharp. While I, well, I don’t know who I am. I remember for a moment and then I remember to forget. 3 600 words.
5. Eve Ago
I’m a paparazzi photographer and I follow the world’s largest living conceptual art, an obese woman, a cause célèbre, who is fawned over and fed by people the world over. When she dies, I’m obsessed – what became of her body? Were her attendants really her family? Did they kill their parents? Did her siblings devour her after she died and was that the plan all along, to create the fatted calf, the ultimate societal revenge? 3 000 words.
6. The Perfect Man
My name is Jasper Lambert and I’m struggling. Yeah, I love my wife and my kids but work is hell. I just know they’re going to fire me any day now. The furnace is shot and the car’s a lemon. Sure, there are moments of perfection but I can’t make them stay and I’m more tired than I can tell you. So I wait for one of those moments, one of those perfect moments and then I shoot my family. It’s the only way, you see, that I can make it last forever.
4 450 words.
7. Burning Bridges
Amelia’s the kind of girl who burns her bridges in front of her. When her boyfriend kidnaps her she thinks its kind of romantic, maybe he’s just got a strange way of telling her he cares but that’s better than nothing, right? He ties her up and takes her out for a long drive and it looks like Amelia’s going to let it all go. But she makes a stand and for once she burns her bridges behind her. 4 500 words
8. The Most Important Woman
I’m the nuts, the glue, the backbone of the company. It would all fall apart with me. That’s why I get to work at 6 a.m., that why I can’t take time out to go the washroom, that’s why my stomach’s killing me and I smell like a baby’s full diaper. Yeah, I know I do, don’t think I don’t. But I’m busy, busy keeping my job and busy keeping the company afloat. If that guy had liked me who knows but he didn’t so suck it up.
1 000 words.
9. Henry and Hannah
Hannah’s got a bottle of wine, she’s ready to party. Henry says he’ll call. He says he’ll paint her portrait. It’s summer, and they’re in love. They also on meds and welfare and a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Ain’t life grand? 1 400 words.
10. The Love Triangle
She’s in love. But can she accept happiness? She likes threesomes with her guy and fellow named Destruction. 460 words.
11. Cannibals of The Afterlife
I’m a life coach. One of the best. I fill halls and stadiums with cheering crowds. Life’s a cake, yours to choose and make and bake. Everybody loves cake. And the whole bangshoot’s looking so damn good, so sure, so fine. I’m on my way to motivate and inspire when it all falls apart. I just want to sleep. I’m so tired. So tired. Too much pain everywhere. I stop. I close my eyes. 2 500 words.
12. How to Eat A Peach
Do they really mean eat a peach? Beauty is so fleeting. 500 words.
I live on an island in a corporate sea of cubicles. Podland. Speak when spoken to, shut up and take it on the chin. I do my best but it’s an apocalyptic kind of day. I should have followed the guy on the subway and got my own aluminum foil hat.
3 400 words.
14. Good Friday
I’m Jesus, dead a couple of hours, banished to my tomb. It’s weird and I miss my body, although it’s been through so much maybe numb is better. I try to tap into Dad to see what comes next but he’s gone. He told me it’d be tough, that I’d have to keep the faith. Which is fine but what I don’t understand is why people are so darn crappy to each other. No matter how badly they beat you up, seems like they always want more. 3 400 words.
15. Fish Bait
I want a new fortune cookie. But I’m not a Russian whore working the street to get by, so I guess it could be way worse. I just want to be a good girl. I want to wriggle nicely on my hook. I want a new fortune cookie.
Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits has been a Canadian citizen since 2003. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the U.S.A., Australia and Britain.
Lisa de Nikolits is the author of five published novels:
• Between The Cracks She Fell was published in Fall 2015 and reviewed by Canadian Living, the Quill & Quire, Open Book Toronto and 49th Shelf.
• The Witchdoctor’s Bones launched Spring 2014 to literary and reader acclaim.
• A Glittering Chaos launched 2013 and tied to win the 2014 Silver IPPY for Popular Fiction.
• West of Wawa launched 2012 and won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction and was a Chatelaine Editor's Pick.
• The Hungry Mirror launched 2010 and won the 2011 IPPY Awards Gold Medal for Women's Issues Fiction and long-listed for a ReLit Award)
Lisa has a short story in Postscripts To Darkness, 2015, a short story in the anthology, Thirteen O'Clock by the Mesdames of Mayhem and flash fiction and
a short story in the debut issue of Maud.Lin House.
All novels published by Inanna Publications.
No Fury Like That (a novel due to be published in 2017 - Inanna)
No Fury Like That is a work of fiction with elements of magical realism.
In this novel, the protagonist, Julia Redner, awakes to find herself in purgatory. There she meets her Introducer, Agnes, and a group of other characters: Tracey, Grace, Samia and Isabelle. All the members of this group have died by their own hand or they have been murdered. All of their lives, and deaths, intersect and connect, and it’s up to Julia to figure out what this connection is.
Agnes, Julia’s Introducer, helps her adjust to life in purgatory. Cedar Mountain Eagle is Julia’s Helper, he will help her come to realizations about herself and her experience on life on Earth. Reaching realizations will help Julia move on, or, if she cannot face what happened and who she was, she will remain in Purgatory.
But in a plot twist, Julia, unlike the others in her group, is not dead. She is in a coma on Earth and she can decide if she wants to live or die.
While on Earth, Julia was not particularly noble or likeable. She was a career woman, greedy, self-involved and self-obsessed, vain and arrogant. She had an affair with her boss that went spectacularly wrong and when he fired her, she posted a photograph of this man’s inadequate private parts online, and the photography went viral.
Julia’s former boss, Junior, tries to murder her. When he fails and Julia is rescued, he returns and this time, he is brutal and he puts her into a coma. He has an alibi and the police cannot touch him.
Meanwhile, in purgatory, Julia connects the dots between the group: Grace killed herself because she had been unmercifully transformed into a freak, a Barbie doll, by her husband, a plastic surgeon. Her husband was also a drug addict and he killed a drug dealer called Foxtrot Four. Foxtrot Four would have rescued Isabelle from a bad sex date, had he still been alive but since he was not, Isabelle died, choking on her own vomit, tied up in bondage. Tracey killed herself, overwhelmed by despair and sadness because her mother had been killed by Foxtrot Four’s boss, Cockney. Samia died by taking bad drugs at a rave, drugs supplied by Cockney. Samia had never taken drugs before the rave, this was her first time. Agnes died in a drug deal gone wrong, she and her boyfriend Josh were shot by Cockney.
Julia has no connection to Cockney or drugs but she befriends the group and she can choose to set right the wrongs that they suffered and thereby help them move on from purgatory.
During her life on Earth, Julia had never done anything for anyone, and this would be a radical departure for her but she becomes attached to her friends and she wants to help.
While on Earth, Julia, obsessed with her job, gave her orphaned niece up for adoption and she wants to make this right too, she wants to be family for young Emma.
She also wants to settle things with the man who tried to kill her twice. She wants to even things with Junior.
The novel looks at love, the meaning of life, friendship, revenge, family and the transformation of character under trying circumstance. The novel looks at how we can change and grow and how different things can come to mean more than others; friendship is more important than success and money and power. How peace of mind can be found, and how a moral compass can steer us in uncertain times.
80 000 words.
About the published books:
Between The Cracks She Fell, Inanna 2015.
“A true exploration of the human spirit. A captivating, must-read suspense thriller.”
Canadian Living Magazine.
The Witchdoctor's Bones, Inanna, 2014.
“By planting her characters in the untamed landscape of the South African wilderness, de Nikolits has stripped away the niceties and rigours of polite society. You’re drawn in. Illicit love, rejected love, misfired love, machinations of all sorts. Embark on a journey that seethes with peril.” – Doug O'Neill, Canadian Living Magazine
A Glittering Chaos, Inanna, 2013.
"I was instantly caught up in the story, with an ending I didn't expect, so it would rank high on that basis alone. It's a mystery and a character study, what impressed me more, however, is the author's skill - her writing soars. I was carried away with a turn of phrase or a perfect description. It stands on its own as a literary novel and the hot romance was great!" – D.J. McIntosh, The Witch of Babylon, The Book of Stolen Tales
West of Wawa, Inanna, 2012.
"West of Wawa is a funny, moving exploration of a surprising journey towards self-realization – and Benny, its pill-popping, wise-cracking heroine is a treat. De Nikolits's book will ring true for anyone who has ever had even a moment of self-doubt."— Chatelaine Magazine.
The Hungry Mirror, Inanna, 2010.
“In this intelligent, sensitive and candid portrayal of ‘the land of thin’,Lisa de Nikolits shows us how the commodification of the female body in the market culture can become a pernicious force, imprisoning young women in a terrifying cycle of self-negation.”
—Edeet Ravel,Author of Your Sad Eyes and Unforgettable Mouth, Ten Thousand Lovers, A Wall of Light, Look for Me.
Rotten Peaches (a novel)
Four lives intersect and implode. Who will be left standing?
Leone is a wife, mother bio chemist and cosmetician. She wants JayRay.
JayRay is a drop dead gorgeous conman and purveyor of home security devices. He wants money.
Berenice is a sharpshooter, psychologist, baker and author of self-help books. She wants her lover Dirk to have sex with her.
Dirk is a powerful and conflicted Afrikaner. He wants the return of righteous morality as ordained by Church and State.
Blackmail, poison, murder, marriage, ethics, psychology and homespun morality are all called into play in this noir novel about love and revenge. But the single underlying theme is that of parentage. With the focus on fatherhood in particular, are we ultimately defined by the man we call father?
Nature or nurture, it's hardly a new topic. But what happens when biological half-siblings meet, with insidious intentions?
Can their moral corruption be blamed on genetics — were they born rotten to begin with?
And what happens when they meet up with more of their ilk, what further havoc can be wreaked, with devastating familial consequences?
Take JayRay, James Raymond, small-time con artist and half-brother to South African author Berenice Schuypers. He believes she holds the key to his future financial well-being simply by matter of birth and when she refuses to correspond or meet with him, he arranges for a ‘family’ reunion on national daytime television, with Berenice having no idea what is in store. She immediately sees him for what he is and dismisses his right to any familial relations with her.
When she declines to agree to his presumptions, he decides to force his hand by blackmailing her; he says he has proof of a secret that will destroy her.
Berenice has no interest in JayRay's determination to be a part of her life; their mutual father left her when she was six months old and she doesn't trust JayRay from the get-go and she tells him that if he pursues any contact with her, she will get a restraining order, thereby thwarting his opportunity to share the nature of this secret.
Berenice has troubles of her own. She is embroiled in an affair with an Afrikaans man, an ‘honourable man’, honourable in his mind because he is not actually having an ‘affair’ because he refuses to have definitive sex with Berenice, stopping short of penetration but happily engaging in all manner of teenage foreplay with adolescent enthusiasm and commitment.
He plans to stand true to his marriage but when his wife discovers the affair, she kicks him out and he arrives at Berenice’s door and she soon learns that he isn’t quite the man she had thought or hoped he would be.
Back in Canada, JayRay works the North American trade show circuit with Leone, with whom he is having an affair. Formerly happily married, Leone fell victim to JayRay's charm and became addicted to him, secretly marrying him in Las Vegas, and although the marriage was never legally binding, she had a ring tattooed on her wedding finger, and pledges undying love to him.
When JayRay's plans to fleece the author fall apart, he decides he needs to find himself a rich wife.
This nearly destroys Leone’s sanity but she realizes the fiscal necessity of his plan and she helps him rope in Iris, a lady in her mid-fifties, who hails from the suburban mansions of Mississauga and who directs the Canadian trade shows.
Leone's heart is utterly broken by JayRay’s actions, despite her understanding of them, and her legal husband, Dave, cannot understand why she is behaving so erratically; he believes it is the long-suppressed consequence of childhood trauma at the hands of her cruel and unloving father and he forces her to get some therapy to work through her father issues. Leone agrees to the therapy to save her marriage. She does want to be a good mother to her two daughters and she also hopes to quash the side of her personality who is so addicted to JayRay.
She finds her way back to normalcy for a short period of time but then staggers back into increasingly erratic behaviour.
Leone is a scientist who sells face creams, the ingredients of which she mixes herself and she finds herself mixing too high a dose for Iris, whose need to look young for JayRay urges Leone to mix a stronger batch. Leone is aware that this will, over time, poison Iris but, fuelled by anger and hurt and numbed by tranquilizers and anti-depressants, she is hardly aware of what she is doing.
Meanwhile, back in South Africa, Berenice is growing tired of Dirk, her Afrikaans lover and she leaves him to find sanctuary at the family farm where she was brought up by her stepfather.
She, unlike Leone, enjoyed a positive and loving relationship with her father, and it is to his memory that she flees. He taught her that there are times when you have to fight in life for the things you want and he taught her to shoot and hunt and be resilient and resourceful.
She arrives at the farm to find that the groundskeeper has taken up residence in the house, and that his family are wearing her clothes and living in the house as if it were their own.
She is filled with anger and she throws them out even although she knows there will be violent repercussions to this action. She arms herself with her father’s weapons and she waits for their inevitable return. She is prepared.
She takes care of them, in the way that her father told her, should the need ever arise. She returns to the farm and as the days pass, she realizes that she loves her life there and questions whether she ever wants to return to Cape Town and to Dirk who is impatiently waiting for her to get over her snit.
The police question her about the missing groundskeeper and his friends, but they have no proof of wrongdoing.
Berenice decides to set up office in her mother’s bedroom, to write a novel about her mother’s life. Her mother had always been an enigma to Berenice, a social butterfly who flailed between parties, felled by vicious headaches, rising to be a glittering hostess, only to retire to her room again.
While setting up her study, Berenice discovers, via a bundle of letters, that her mother was in fact having an affair with the farm neighbour’s wife. And she also learns another secret, about herself.
She goes to meet the children of the woman her mother loved and they become friends.
On the trade show circuit, things are not going well for Leone and JayRay. JayRay has learned that Iris was in debt and that her dead husband had left her the house to live in until she died, but no money other than that. And Iris has fallen ill, due to Leone’s face creams — which she admits to JayRay when they hook up again, as they inevitably do, particularly when JayRay realizes that the pot of gold at the end of Iris’s rainbow was nothing but a mirage in a desert.
Leone tells JayRay that he has to alert the hospital to the fact that the ingredient sin Iris’s face cream might be the reason Iris is so ill, a mistakenly mixed batch, but when Iris falls into a coma, the hospital contacts Leone’s boss and he fires her.
Dave calls Leone and tells her he has found a copy of her Las Vegas marriage certificate and that she is not to bother coming home.
Leone thinks that its all over and has no idea what to do but JayRay says all is not lost — he still has the secret on the author and he has a way of getting her to meet face-to-face and once she hears what that secret is, she will pay anything rather than have the world know.
JayRay and Dirk have been in touch — Dirk realizes Berenice is not coming back and he is furious with her for leaving him.
Berenice agrees to meet Dirk in Austin, Texas. He tells her he has a big meeting with some race horse clients (she met him at a race track) and she agrees to do this one last thing to help him out.
She arrives to find Dirk sitting with JayRay and Leone.
JayRay tells her that he knows about her secret and he plans on telling the world but to his surprise Berenice laughs and tells him that he can go right ahead [secret is revealed] and she gets up and leaves, and goes back to her farm in Gauteng to be with her dog, her novel-writing and her potential love-affair with neighbour’s son.
JayRay and Leone head for Mexico. JayRay wants to think about what to do next, consider his options, while Leone works in a drug store, night shifts.
Left alone with JayRay, she begins to hate him, he has destroyed her life. She painstakingly gathers enough methadone over two years to kill him and she mixes the drug into his food and then she watches him and die and she leaves.
Nature versus nurture, why do we do the things we do? Love or hate? Family versus strangers with a tenuous tie…
Rotten Peaches is a book that explores these themes and more.
Order your copy of the book today!
Barnes&Noble and Amazon.com to follow shortly.
Also, the book is available in stores in Canada.
"Like much of her work, Lisa de Nikolits' latest novel steers a course between literary seriousness and fast-paced action, making it both an accessible and provocative read." - Carole Giangrande
Where to buy the book:
(I hope the Amazons will be working, sometimes they really lag after the book has been launched – but the Inanna link always works)
The Nearly Girl by Lisa de Nikolits is a clever, fast-paced, and enjoyable read with a cast of quirky characters.
They range from Henry the supremely creative poet to his estranged body-building wife and her reliable and loving mother, from the not-quite-right psychiatrist Dr. Carroll, who applies his unorthodox cognitive behavioural therapy research called DTOT (do the right thing) to the lovable misfits who populate his required class. And then there’s Amelia, Henry’s daughter in so many ways, who attributes her inability to conform to the norms of society to her fear of being boringly normal.
The novel traces Amelia’s life, from her eccentric childhood love of birthday parties outside in the freezing rain to her current predicament of having to take Dr. Carroll’s advice to retain the funding that finances her thesis on the unconventional Joan of Arc. In the course of escaping Dr. Carroll’s clutches – in more ways than one – Amelia discovers her true self and encourages the reader to do the same. --Gina Buonaguro, co-author of The Wolves of St. Peter's