Today I am really pleased to welcome psychological thriller author, John Nicholl, to the blog. John has previously worked in the police force and child protective social services. His debut novel, White is the Coldest Colour, has become an Amazon Top Ten bestseller. Whilst fictional, it is influenced by what John has witnessed during his work in child protection and features predatory pedophile Dr Galbraith.
How do you start your writing day and motivate yourself?
It varies from day to day. Some days I feel driven to write for hours, while others are less productive. If I’m not in the mood to write then I do something else instead.
What is it about writing fiction that you enjoy the most?
I like the creative process. Being in control of events is also a positive. Real life is far less predictable as God laughs at our plans.
In a previous interview you say that thinking of the title ‘White is the Coldest Colour’ was almost as hard as writing the novel, and that a song helped you. How long were you working on the title and what was the song?
I came up with and rejected at least a dozen titles over an eighteen month period before stumbling upon one I liked enough to keep. ‘White is the Coldest Colour’ came to me when listening to ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ on Radio 2. I hope readers will agree that it’s a good fit.
What other authors would you recommend to people who enjoy reading psychological thrillers?
Val McDermid, Dennis Lehane, Dean Koontz, Thomas Harris, Joy Fielding, Harlen Coben, Sven Larson and many more too numerous to mention.
What do you wish you had been told about writing/publishing before you started?
That you can’t please everyone.
Would you consider becoming more visible on social media – eg join Twitter or start an author blog?
I’ve dipped my toe into Twitter (@nicholl06) but I’m relatively new to the whole social media experience. I haven’t got a website at the moment, but plan to have one when the new book is published towards the end of December. Anything that brings the books to the attention of potential readers has to be a good thing.
I saw this quote by John Roders recently:Did you ever begin to understand Dr Galbraith and how he justifies his actions?
He is a man devoid of empathy or virtue: a sadistic predatory psychopath whose entire life is dedicated to satisfying his abhorrent desires. Everything he does is to that end and nothing else matters.
During your work with social services did you come across people like Dr Galbraith’s wife, Cynthia, who were manipulated into keeping quiet about what was happening?
I investigated and managed numerous cases of intra and familial abuse where sexual predators preyed on the vulnerable, including a large scale organised ring like the one featured in the book. Such offenders are often skilled at manipulating those around them into silence. Men like Galbraith and the other criminals that feature in the book live behind masks and under stones. They thrive on secrecy and lies.
How are things going with the follow up to White is the Coldest Colour? Do you have any idea of a potential publication date yet?
The sequel should be available towards the end of December, all being well. It tells the story from Cynthia’s perspective.
Sunday 5th February 1995
I’ve been sitting here for almost an hour, trying to figure out where to begin: my name, perhaps, my location at the time of writing, possibly, how I ended up in this miserable human dumping-ground in the first place. Maybe, the awful entirety? Yes, that makes sense. If I’m going to tell you my story, why hold anything back. I’ve got absolutely nothing to hide. It’s all a matter of public record anyway. What would be the point in trying?
Thank you for taking part today, John, and giving us an insight into your writing. It was also really interesting to find out more about your upcoming book and read the extract.
You can find John on both Facebook and Twitter
and buy White is the Coldest Colour on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
The sequel to White is the Coldest Colour is called When Evil Calls Your Name and is available to pre-order here.
As always, thanks for reading.
All the best,