Today I am very happy to welcome Chris Pavone to the blog answering a few questions about his latest novel The Travelers. Thanks to Chris and you can see my review a little later this week.
The Travelers is a brilliantly twisty tale – possibly even more so than your previous novels – what inspired this particular story?
Each of my novels is a thriller that revolves around a dominant theme. The Expats was a book about marriage; The Accident, ambition. And The Travelers is about work: about the different relationships we have to different sorts of labor, as well as our different types of employers—the institutions as well as the individuals. I wanted to create a suspense novel in which characters look at labor from many different angles: middle management and upper; underlings and freelancers and a resentful stay-at-home mother who’s trying to return to the workforce; people who do whatever they want for a living and people who are merely struggling to survive. And I wanted some of these people—in fact, many of them—to have an incomplete or erroneous understanding of whom, exactly, they are working for, and why.
It was also perfectly paced – when writing a thriller of this nature how difficult is it to keep it exciting whilst still exploring character motivations and adding depth?
Thank you! I think the ideal pace for a novel is a matter about which reasonable people can have vastly different opinions. Some readers prefer constant action, a sort of uninterrupted breathless chase through 300 pages of life-and-death. Others want only tiny doses of danger, in discrete moments—if at all. I try to write the sorts of books that I want to read, which begin by developing characters and their relationships, and are back-loaded with action. As a reader, I know I’m most invested when I care deeply about the characters, about the tensions between them. It’s not usually physical threats that I find most gut-wrenching, but emotional peril. So this is what I’m trying to accomplish in my own books: develop compelling tensions among credible characters whose relationships gradually reveal themselves to be antagonistic and eventually mortally dangerous.
And also as an add on how DO you keep track of plot nuances – I’m always fascinated by the level of complexity you manage to get in there.
Alongside the actual manuscript I’m writing, I maintain a few supporting documents: a descriptive pitch; character sketches; miscellaneous notes and passages; and an outline. All this extra material helps not only to keep track of the plot complexities, but also to invent them. There’s a big difference between writing the book and writing about the book, and it’s when doing the latter that I think up most of the plot twists.
Tell us a little about you – any huge reading influences growing up, hobbies away from writing and the age old question – coffee, tea or something stronger?
I grew up in a family of schoolteachers, and I was an omnivore reader. In grade school I was most interested in art and music; as a teenager my best subjects were math and science; at university I concentrated in government and history. As an employed adult I became a book editor, and in my twenties worked on all sorts of books. Then little by little I became a cookery editor; I spent much of my thirties reading recipes. In my early forties I started writing my first crime novel, and for the past half-decade I’ve been consuming a diet that’s high in thrillers and mysteries. I still love to cook, and I’m lucky enough to have a family who enjoy what I put on the table. This never includes tea, which I think tastes like lawn clippings. I love strong coffee and red wine, which despite being on opposite sides of the stimulant/depressant divide, have very similar flavour properties.
What do you have in store for us next If you are allowed to say?
I’ve just returned from a trip to Mexico as research for my fourth novel. I’m at my favorite stage of writing, when I’ve gotten the book underway recently enough that it still feels fresh, but not so recent that I’m still lost. Every day is about invention, which is the fun part, the part that doesn’t feel like work. Revision is the part that feels like a job.
Thank you so much!
About the Book:
It’s 3:00am. Do you know where your husband is?
Meet Will Rhodes: travel writer, recently married, barely solvent, his idealism rapidly giving way to disillusionment and the worry that he’s living the wrong life. Then one night, on assignment for the award-winning Travelers magazine in the wine region of Argentina, a beautiful woman makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Soon Will’s bad choices—and dark secrets—take him across Europe, from a chateau in Bordeaux to a midnight raid on a Paris mansion, from a dive bar in Dublin to a mega-yacht in the Mediterranean and an isolated cabin perched on the rugged cliffs of Iceland. As he’s drawn further into a tangled web of international intrigue, it becomes clear that nothing about Will Rhodes was ever ordinary, that the network of deception ensnaring him is part of an immense and deadly conspiracy with terrifying global implications—and that the people closest to him may pose the greatest threat of all.
You can follow Chris on Twitter HERE
To Purchase The Travelers clickety click HERE
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Happy Reading Folks!