Lisa de Nikolits interviews Dr. Frances Carroll from THE NEARLY GIRL

Hi Everyone, I’m Lisa de Nikolits and I write crime novels. I also write short stories and some pretty bad poetry. I am here today (and thank you Dear Karen, for having me as a guest!) to talk about my latest novel, The Nearly Girl.TheNearlyGirlCover.jpg

The Nearly Girl is super-hot off the press – in fact the launch is in two days time and if you are in Toronto, we’d love to see you! It’s at The Women’s Art Association of Toronto and it starts at 6.30pm, on the 13th of October and everyone is invited!

I’m going to interview my antagonist today, Dr. Frances Carroll. He’s a psychiatrist and a therapist in The Nearly Girl and he invented his own form of therapy which is called Do The Opposite Thing. And just so you can picture him, Dr. Carroll looks a lot like Paul Giamatti.

LISA: “Hello Dr. Carroll, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today.”

CARROLL: *smiles a toothy little grin* “No problem. There’s no shortage of crazy people out there. If I miss the boat on a few, you can be sure there’ll be shiploads of them lining up, so to speak!”

LISA: “Crazy people? That seems, I don’t know, a bit insensitive to the folks out there with mental health issues, don’t you think?”

CARROLL: *leans forward, clasps his hands and looks earnest * “What I think is this. There’s too much political correctness going on, in the fields of psychotherapy, both in terms of terminology and treatment. I say call a spade a spade. Would an ill man go to a doctor if he was well? No, he would not. Therefore why should the doctor couch his diagnosis in cuddly cashmere when the man (or woman, please note, I am never sexist), would prefer to know the truth of the matter? I believe in truth.”

LISA: “I see. I guess there is something refreshing about that. Well, let’s talk about your therapy, it’s called D.T.O.T., which stands for Do The Opposite Thing. Can you tell us about it?”

CARROLL: “Young lady, you should have done your research. Surely you know about it? It’s really boring for me to have to rehash the whole story repeatedly when people are just too lazy to do their jobs.”

LISA: “I do know what D.T.O.T. is. I just thought you might want to explain it to readers in your own words, so it is perfectly clear.”

CARROLL: *stares at the interviewer, takes a deep sigh* “Fine. To start, D.T.O.T. is my invention, my contribution to the field of psychology. I started out, fifteen years ago, as a fan of all the traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy programs and I could see that there was some measure of success to be had. But not enough! I started experimenting, slowly of course, with D.T.O.T. which takes C.B.T. to a whole new level.”

LISA: “And you tested it in recognized laboratory environments?”

 CARROLL: *leans back and purses his lips and crosses his arms across his chest* “Correct. I had to prove myself endlessly. I had to plot statistics and medications and field studies and control groups and all that other bumpf that scientists demand, and I am delighted to tell you that D.T.O.T. passed all the tests. It has been greeted as a revolutionary healing technique and the world is a better place for it.”

LISA: “And it cured Amelia?”

CARROLL: *looks thoughtful* “Amelia turned out to be a lot more tricky than I thought. I don’t want to give any of your readers plot spoilers so I am not going say too much but I will say this, she was a wily one and I didn’t see that ending coming.”

LISA: “She beat you at your own game?”

CARROLL:“A ridiculous suggestion! No one beats me! But she did solve what society considers to be a crime, yes, that much is true.”

LISA:” Your book is coming out in a couple of days. How do you feel about that?”

CARROLL: *gives a broad happy smile* “I am utterly delighted! I can’t wait! Say what you will about me but this book is an optimistic one. The ethos is clear throughout: accept yourself with all your flaws, oddities and failings. Where there is doubt, have faith. You see? Do the opposite thing. You are unhappy? Be happy. And I will show you how. It sounds simple and I know life isn’t that easy but if you read the book, you will feel better about your life and even if you don’t, you will have spent a very entertaining few hours enjoying a thrilling story.”

LISA: “You agree it’s thrilling?”

CARROLL: “Of course I do. For the main part, I read scientific treatises on statistics and the like, but this book really grabbed my attention, right from the start. It was really very romantic too, what with the love story between Henry and Megan. I liked them both a lot.”

LISA: “Really? You liked the romance? You surprise me Dr. Carroll! But what about the people who died in the book?”

CARROLL: *flicks a wrist* “Natural attrition. You need to see the bigger picture, young lady.”

LISA: *showing signs of agitation at the conversation* “Dr. Carroll, firstly, people died. And secondly, I am older than you.

CARROLL: “Yes but you are psychologically naïve. Most of the world is psychologically naïve and we should change that! You should change yourself!”

LISA: “I will take your advice into consideration Dr. Carroll, thank you. And thank you very much for taking the time to be with us today. Is there anything you would like to add, before we sign off?”

CARROLL: “Not a thing, just this one thing – may you all D.T.O.T. until the cows come home!”

Short synopsis of the book:

The Nearly Girl is a fast-paced literary thriller about a girl with a rare psychosis. With a poetic genius for a father, a body builder for a mother and a crazy psychiatrist for a therapist, what could possibly go wrong? A novel about an unusual family, expected social norms and the twists and turns of getting it all slightly wrong, the consequences of which prove fatal for some.

Blurb for the book:

“A playful exploration of human oddities, de Nikolits’s latest book asks: What are the consequences when we deviate from the norm? Centred around Amelia, a young woman who only nearly gets things right in life—she catches the wrong bus or shows up on the wrong day—The Nearly Girl features a cast of misfits who are all engaged in various forms of self-improvement. With her mother trying endlessly to improve her body and her tortured genius poet father always awaiting the voice of brilliance to speak to him, Amelia and her family are anything but ordinary. But perhaps the most compelling characters are found in Amelia’s therapy sessions, where hoarders, recluses and claustrophobes alike come together in an enchantingly eccentric group seeking the help of an unorthodox psychotherapist. Yet, we learn from de Nikolits, sometimes self-acceptance is better than change. The story builds with cinematic suspense and surprises, but one thing is for sure: The only crazy thing in this world is trying to be normal.” – Jill Buchner, Canadian Living Magazine


Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits has lived in Canada since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the U.S.A., Australia lisadenikolits-2and Britain. Lisa lives and writes in Toronto. The Nearly Girl is her sixth novel. Previous works include: The Hungry Mirror (2011 IPPY Awards Gold Medal for Women’s Issues Fiction and long-listed for a ReLit Award); West of Wawa (2012 IPPY Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction and a Chatelaine Editor’s Pick); A Glittering Chaos (tied to win the 2014 Silver IPPY for Popular Fiction); The Witchdoctor’s Bones launched in Spring 2014 to literary acclaim. Between The Cracks She Fell  was reviewed by the Quill & Quire, was on the recommended reading lists for Open Book Toronto and 49th Shelf. Between The Cracks She Fell was also reviewed by Canadian Living magazine and called ‘a must-read book of 2015’. Between The Cracks She Fell won a Bronze IPPY Award 2016 for Contemporary Fiction. No Fury Like That is scheduled to be published in 2017 and Rotten Peaches in 2018. All books by Inanna Publications.

Lisa has a short story in Postscripts To Darkness, Volume 6, 2015, and flash fiction and a short story in the debut issue of Maud.Lin House as well as poetry in the Canadian Women Studies Journal (Remembering, 2013, and Water, 2015). Her short stories have also appeared on Lynn Crosbie’s site, Hood and the Jellyfish Review. She has a short story coming out in the anthology PAC’HEAT, a Ms. Pac-Man noir collection and a short story in the Sisters In Crime anthology, November 2016, The Whole She-Bang 3.


Author website:

Twitter: @lisadenikolits


Facebook Author Page:

Goodreads: – Lisa de Nikolits


Instagram: @lisadenikolits


The Mesdames of Mayhem:

Pinterest: Inspiration for The Nearly Girl

YouTube: Book Trailer for The Nearly Girl:

Where to buy the book:

In local stores in Canada:

(I hope the Amazons will be working, sometimes they really lag after the book has been launched – but the Inanna link always works).





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