D.J. Niko is the pen name of Daphne Nikolopoulos, an award-winning author, journalist, and editor. She writes archaeological and historical thrillers, bringing to life the places and characters of the ancient world. A lifelong traveler and adventurer, she personally visits and researches in the places she writes about--with particular relish for the more remote ones.
Her debut novel, The Tenth Saint, was released in 2012 to critical acclaim and has received the Gold Medal for Popular Fiction in the Florida Book Awards, a juried competition to identify the best literature in the state. That was followed by more books in the Sarah Weston Chronicles series, including The Riddle of Solomon (2013) and The Oracle (2015). All three books have been sold to foreign markets. The Tenth Saint and The Riddle of Solomon are historical thriller category best-sellers in Germany.
Daphne also has ventured into the historical fiction market with her latest novel, The Judgment, which won a bronze medal in the 2017 IPPY Awards, a national competition for independent and university presses. The Judgment also won a first-place award in the Historical Fiction category of the Royal Palm Literary Awards.
She is currently at work on the fourth and final novel in the Sarah Weston Chronicles, titled Firebird.
When not writing, Daphne enjoys spending time with her young twins, cooking (Indian food is a favorite), traveling, and reading. Find her on Facebook (authordjniko) and Twitter @djnikobooks.
FUN FACTS ABOUT ME
* English is not my first language. I grew up in Athens, Greece, and moved to the U.S. at age 12.
* I wake up at 4 am every day to write.
* I grow bananas, avocados, winter squash, papaya, and mangoes in my backyard.
* My favorite authors: David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers, Lawrence Durrell, Bruce Chatwin. Oh, and Dr. Seuss.
* I love fresh flowers.
* I am a magazine junkie.
* In my late 20s, I backpacked around the world for 2 years.
* I began writing fiction while spending a summer alone in Slea's Head, Ireland.
* I love, love, love cooking! And hosting dinner parties, so I can try out new recipes on adventurous friends.
* I have a crazy knack for imitations. (Ask me about Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.)
* My husband and I were married in Paris. I wore a white lace dress completely handmade by my grandmother in the 1960s, nineteenth century gloves I picked up at a Parisian flea market, and a feather comb made by one of my best friends.
* I collect ethnographic textiles.
* I am obsessed with Christmas. I start planning in September!
* My guiltiest pleasure: Nutella.
* Europe and the U.S. aside, the place I have visited most is India (9 times, including my honeymoon).
* I have visited 90-some countries. Some favorites: Zimbabwe, Morocco, Namibia, India, Thailand, Burma, Sumatra, Borneo. Some I long to visit: Mongolia, Tibet, Bhutan, Mali, Jordan, Russia.