Interview with the author of the thriller “Portrait of the Dead”

john nicholl

John Nicholl, an ex police officer, child protection social worker, manager and lecturer, has written three dark psychological suspense thrillers, each of which are Amazon international bestsellers, reaching # 1 in various categories in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia, Canada and the USA. John is always happy to hear from readers, bloggers or anyone interested in proposing a joint creative project. He can be contacted via his author website at:

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

You can control events are outcomes in books a lot easier than in real life. Writing is an escape. I find the creative process rewarding.

What do your fans mean to you?

I’m extremely grateful that a significant number of people chose to read my books. Most people seem to like them, but you can’t please everyone. I’m always happy to hear from readers and bloggers via my author website.

What are you working on next?

I’m currently writing book 4. It’s another dark psychological thriller featuring a female revenge killer.

Who are your favorite authors?

Oh, so many to choose from. At the moment I’d say: Dean Koontz, Lucy Irvine, Leslie Thomas and my # 1 Kurt Vonnegut

What inspires you to write?

I feel driven to write. I think that’s the best way of explaining it. Stories come into my head and I feel obliged to get them down on paper.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

Family, yoga, swimming, reading and cinema.

How do you discover books you read?

I’m a member of Goodreads and several Facebook book groups. They’re a great source of book recommendations.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

White is the Coldest Colour was my first attempt to write fiction.

What is your writing process?

I tend to write in the mornings before lunch. I write at the dining room table with music playing and family life going on all around me.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

I read a lot as a young child, books by Enid Blyton being a particular favourite. I can remember saving my pocket money in order to buy the next in the series.

How do  you approach cover design?

I employ a professional cover designer and provide them with key information about plot and characters.

What are your five favorite books, and why?

Slaughter House 5 by Kurt Vonnegut,
so imaginative and emotive, Castaway by Lucy Irvine, an unflinching brutally honest outline of real life experiences, Intensity by Dean Koontz, a suspenseful and beautifully crafted thriller, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, both inspiring and inspirational, and finally The Virgin Soldiers by fellow Welsh author Leslie Thomas, a wonderfully told, poignant and humorous story of young men becoming adults in a conflict zone.

What do you read for pleasure?

Anything and everything.

Do you have ebook reader and what is your e-reading device of choice?

I use a Kindle. I like being able to make the type larger and the light feature. It’s a great product.

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?

I find that anything amazon do is highly effective. I’ve also seen great results when my books and audiobooks are featured on popular blogs.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up in rural West wales in the UK. I think it’s best to write from experience and set my books in the same area.

When did you first start writing?

I wrote articles for newspapers and magazines during my career, but I didn’t start writing fiction until about five years ago.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

Portraits of the Dead is a serial killer thriller which begins with the abduction and imprisonment of his sixth victim, a nineteen year old cardiff University student.

What motivated you to become an indie author?

I’ve chosen to remain an indie for the English versions of my books despite offers from two publishers because I like to retain creative control. With that said, I’ve just signed a publishing contract for my third book to become a hardback, paperback and ebook in Hungarian.