Media Information




Short: Barbara Nickless is the author of the award-winning Special Agent Sydney Parnell crime novels. Learn more about Barbara on her website

Medium: I was made in Japan, born in Guam, and made my way through various ports of call to Colorado. I’m the author of the award-winning crime novels Blood on the Tracks and Dead Stop, which feature railroad cop Sydney Rose Parnell and her K9 partner, Clyde. Sydney and Clyde’s next thriller, Ambush, will be released November 2018. When I’m not writing or traveling, I’m often in the Colorado Rockies hiking, caving, snowshoeing and drinking single malt Scotch—although usually not at the same time. Wherever I’m hanging out, you can always find me at

Long: I was made in Japan, born in Guam, and made my way through various ports of call to Colorado. There, my mother—an English literature teacher—gave me her love of reading by starting me on comic books. Which might explain why I grew up to adore  H. Rider Haggard, E.E. “Doc” Smith, and Shakespeare in equal measure. When I was three, I told my mother that all I wanted was to be a writer. But that wasn’t strictly true. I also wanted to be a sword fighter, an astronaut, to conduct an orchestra, go in search of lost cities and work on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. If only I’d known early on that I could do all of those things—at least in my imagination—by being a writer. I got there. It just took me awhile. But that is the best way to live life—great journeys are as much about the detours as the destination. In addition to my career as a technical writer and instructional designer, I tried my hand as a raptor rehabilitator, a piano performer, and a sword fighter. I served as the Director of Education for the country’s largest public astronomical observatory and taught Beethoven to kids. It was all great fun. But then a wildfire burned down my family’s home. It was that moment. The one that makes you look around and think, Weren’t there other things I planned to do? Hadn’t I dreamed of writing novels—lots of novels—and traveling the world? Losing everything also meant I had everything to gain. My revitalized resolve to be a writer resulted in the Special Agent Sydney Parnell crime series, starting with the award-winning Blood on the Tracks and Dead Stop. November 2018 will bring the next book in the series, Ambush. And traveling is now in the stars! After a recent trip to Morocco, my plan is to springboard off the miles I’ve logged hiking the Colorado Rockies and scale Mt. Kilimanjaro before the snow melts. After that, maybe the Eastern and Oriental Express, or the mean streets of Cali. If I survive, you can find me at


Complete Press Kit Download PDF or Download as MS Word




Twitter: @barbaranickless


Awards and Nominations

Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence

Suspense Magazine, Best of 2016

Colorado Book Award. Colorado Humanities.

Colorado Authors’ League Writing Award. Colorado Authors’ League.