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Written by JJ Barnes

I am delighted to share my interview with author of Killing Evil, John Nicholl. He talks to me about his experience with writing, why he wanted to write a book, and shares the advice he has for others to inspire them.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

My name’s John Nicholl, an ex-police officer, social worker and lecturer. I’m married with three adult children and two grandchildren, and live in Wales  I’ve written eleven darkly psychological thrillers to date, the most recent of which has just been published. 

John Nicholl, author of Killing Evil
John Nicholl, author of Killing Evil

When did you first WANT to write a book?

It happened almost by accident. I talked to a psychologist about the psychological impact of child protection work when she suggested writing some of my experiences down. That resulted in my first book – White is the Coldest Colour. I felt driven to continue once I’d begun.

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

It took six weeks to write, by far my fastest, but another few months before publication. 

Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write Killing Evil?

The bulk of my career was spent working as a child protection social worker and manager. Killing Evil, my latest book, draws heavily on experiences at that time. 

What were your biggest challenges with writing Killing Evil?

Writing the book engendered some memories which were perhaps best left in the past.

Killing Evil, by John Nicholl
Killing Evil, by John Nicholl

Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?

The main character is entirely fictional. But, sadly, some of the predatory male offenders in the book are inspired by criminals who were all too real.

What is the inciting incident of Killing Evil?

The book starts with the tragic abuse of a young girl by her deviant preacher father. That’s the catalyst for all that comes next.

What is the main conflict of Killing Evil?

Is vigilante justice ever justified, whatever the provocation?

Did you plot Killing Evil in advance or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?

The story develops as I write it. 

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Killing Evil need?

I have an excellent editor employed by my publisher. Only minor editing was required this time, but the book is better for it.

What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?

Stop prevaricating, sit down and start writing. The book’s not going to write itself.

Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?

My next one will be the fictional diary of a serving detective facing great adversity. 

And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

I’m not very good at acknowledging my accomplishments. But I’m glad I started writing. I’ve been incredibly fortunate in that my first ten books were best-sellers. I very much hope that readers will find Killing Evil an exciting read.

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