Today I would like to welcome John Nicholl to Welsh Wednesdays. He writes psychological thrillers with a character called DI Gravel who is Welsh, overweight, heavy drinking, old school, world weary, and dedicated.
I was born and grew up in Carmarthen in beautiful wet West Wales. We lived in Devon and Cornwall for a while, but came back to Wales when I was appointed Child protection coordinator for Dyfed. We plan to stay in Wales.
Tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person. (Tell us about your writing history. When was the first time you decided to write and when was the first time you did? Your hobbies, family, pets..?)
I wrote a multi-agency child protection guide and articles for newspapers and magazines during my career, but “White is the coldest colour” was my first novel. I’ve been very happily married for more years than I care to admit to, and have three brilliant adult children and one granddaughter. We’ve always had dogs over the years, but when Marge the Rottweiler sadly died, we decided she would be our last pet. We travel more these days, and it seemed unfair to buy another dog. As for hobbies, I ran a tae kwon do club a few years back, but these days it’s yoga and swimming.
Why did you decide to write in your chosen genre(s)?
I spent twenty years as a child protection social worker, manager and trainer. Psychological thrillers seemed the obvious genre of choice.
I love intelligent as opposed to slapstick comedy. Early Doors, for example, was a brilliantly written series, which still makes me laugh when I think about it. As for what makes me sad, man’s seemingly unlimited capacity for extremism, destruction and greed.
Which Welsh person would you like to invite for dinner and what would you serve?
Joe Calzaghe, who could eat whatever he wanted.
Who is your favourite Welsh author?
Leslie Thomas, who is a brilliant comic genius.
What is the best thing about Wales?
The warm and friendly people. (Well, most of them anyway).
What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
I love the creative process, but have had to accept that you can’t please everyone.
Who are your editors and how do you quality control your books?
I’ve worked with two editors from the Cornerstones literary agency.
What is your advice to new writers?
Write from experience, don’t be scared to be original, and read a wide variety of quality books for inspiration.
John’s debut novel “White is the Coldest Colour”, a chilling dark psychological suspense thriller, draws on his experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker. The novel entered the Amazon UK top 100 bestsellers chart after just 15 days, and reached # 1 in British Detectives and Vigilante Justice. It also reached # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological Thrillers in France, # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological & Suspense in Spain, and # 1 in British Detectives and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, where it reached # 10 of all books in the Kindle store. The gripping sequel: When evil calls your name, was published on the 31st of December 2015, and quickly reached # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Women in the UK, # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Criminals and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, and # 1 in Violence in Society in the USA. Both books are currently being produced as audio books.