Author(s): Kelly Brooke Nicholls
Kelly Brooke Nicholls wrote A Reluctant Warrior to shine a light on events in Colombia and celebrate the brave everyday people there. It is based on events she witnessed firsthand and interviews with thousands of victims of paramilitaries, guerrillas and drug cartels. She also worked closely with the Special Agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Colombia office to help her ensure the technical accuracy of the novel.
Kelly has chosen to tell this story as a novel to build understanding, empathy and engagement and give voice to others - especially ethnic minorities and women. Kelly's husband in Afro-Colombian and the cover photo is actually her sister-in law - she is uniquely positioned to tell this story.
Kelly Brooke Nicholls' fascination with other cultures was instilled in her early years growing up on a boat in the south pacific islands. She's been passionate about human rights from an early age and following a stint as a journalist at Australian Associated Press she moved to Latin America when she was 23. From there she was compelled to make a difference and help people affected by conflict, abuse and extreme poverty. She has over 15 years' senior leadership experience working for NGOs ranging from Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders to a small indigenous-led organisation in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Her extensive time living and working in Colombia has left an indelible mark. She has travelled extensively to places few foreigners have been, researching and documenting the impact of the ongoing war on ordinary citizens and the horrendous human rights abuses inflicted on them. Kelly wrote her novel A Reluctant Warrior to help shine a light on the way ordinary Colombian citizens have suffered and continue to suffer, despite the advancement in the Peace Agreement. But more than that, she wrote this book to celebrate, support and amplify the message of the brave people who risk their lives to protect and make a difference to others. Kelly strongly believes that everyone has the ability to make a difference in the world and bring about positive change, and has spent her life helping people achieve that. Kelly also works as a coach and strategist, helping passionate, entrepreneurial women make a difference in the world through her business, Audacify. She is currently working on her next book based on her work in this area. Kelly lives on the Northern Beaches of Sydney with her Colombian husband and two sons.