– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Nighthawks’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author(s) :
Lambert Nagle is the pen-name for Alison Ripley Cubitt and Sean Cubitt, co-writers of international thrillers, mystery and crime. Alison is a former television production executive who worked for Walt Disney and the BBC before pivoting to become a multi-genre author and screenwriter. Her short film drama Waves (with Maciek Pisarek) won the Special Jury Prize, Worldfest, Houston. Sean’s day job is Professor of Film and Television, University of Melbourne, Australia. He writes about film and media for leading academic publishers.
Other titles by Lambert Nagle include Revolution Earth (featuring detective Stephen Connor) and Contained in Capital Crimes, a short story collection from members of ITW (International Thriller Writers) with a foreword by Peter James.
With six passports between them, they set their books in the far-away places they live and work.
When art, money and power collide…
A Mafia boss addicted to beautiful art. A Catholic priest who knows too much. A modern-day Jay Gatsby.
And a woman on the run.
Disgraced London detective Stephen Connor is given an ultimatum: take a transfer to Rome or kiss his career goodbye.
With his love life in tatters and his confidence at an all-time low, can Stephen find the world’s most valuable painting before it disappears forever?
Q&A With Alison Ripley Cubitt :
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Hi Stefanie and thanks for inviting me onto your blog. I’m Alison Ripley Cubitt and I’m the Lambert half of the writing duo Lambert Nagle. Lambert was my mother’s surname and Nagle was Sean’s mother’s and we chose our pseudonym to honour the women who enabled us as writers and encouraged a love of reading and writing.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I loved I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith when I was young and re-read it as an adult, as a colleague at a production company I worked at wanted to option the novel to make it into a film.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would love to have been able to pick Stieg Larsson’s brain for an insight into how he plotted the Millennium Trilogy, as the plotting is so complex. It’s sad he died so young and that this will never happen!
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would invite John le Carré’s George Smiley for tea, because he’s so enigmatic, but I don’t think I’d get much out of him!
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I like to work through plot and structural problems when I’m out walking, which I do every day. I get exercise as well as work done, so that’s a win for me!
Where do you come up with your ideas? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
It was an image more than an idea that sparked the first book in the Stephen Connor series, Revolution Earth. I used to drive to work past an oil refinery: at night it was lit up like a series of Christmas trees and in the daytime it looked futuristic. Nighthawks was driven by my passion for art history, a subject I studied on and off at university.
I think it would be fair to say that every writer, whether they are conscious of it or not, will take character traits from people they know and put them in their fiction, even if they aren’t aware they’re doing it. I try to create composite characters that don’t resemble a particular person. I went to a writer’s talk given by the author Jane Smiley, who said that everyone in a writer’s life is fair game! She used her great-aunt and the aunt’s husband as the basis of her two principal characters in her book, Private Life.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a panster?
I’m not just a plotter, I spend months planning both my story structure (the starting point or inciting incident, the midpoint crisis and the climax of the book) and what happens in each chapter, or the plot. I put my plan into a step outline, a document that I try to keep under three pages. Only when I’m happy with the step outline and I have a clear beginning, middle and end will I write.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Join a critique group, either an online or an in-person group as not only will this help to improve your writing but gives you the chance to help and learn from other writers. It also helps overcome that fear that nearly every emerging writer struggles with when handing their writing over to others for feedback.
My second tip is to remember that you don’t have to take notice of all the changes that others suggest, as often feedback is subjective. If more than one person makes the same comment, then that’s the time to revisit your work.
What are your future plans as an author?
I enjoy switching genres, and my next book will be another memoir. After that, there will be another thriller in the Stephen Connor series.
Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured on my blog, please?
The security guard on the desk glanced up as a woman hurried through the staff entrance to the Vatican Museums, flashing her carabinieri badge at him. He looked at his watch. It was past 6.00 p.m.
‘I can’t stay here all night,’ he said, crossly.
‘Ten minutes is all I’ll need. Come with me if you want to make sure I’m out of here on time,’ Elisabetta said.
‘I wasn’t going to let you loose in there on your own.’ Elisabetta started to say something but he cut her off, speaking into his walkie-talkie. ‘Staff entrance, now.’ A second guard appeared. The first guard turned to Elisabetta. ‘Let’s go.’
Their footsteps echoed as they walked through the deserted galleries. When they reached the room with ancient Greek pottery on display, the security guard sat down on a bench seat in the middle of the gallery and started playing with his phone.
The krater was on a raised plinth in the centre of the room inside a glass case. Elisabetta photographed it from every angle, concentrating on the broken pieces of pottery and how they had been fused together.
Monitoring the CCTV from the staff desk was the second security guard. He pulled out his burner phone from his pocket and made a call. ‘We’ve got an art cop in here.’
‘What does he want?’ The male voice on the other end of the phone sounded irritated.
‘She’s only interested in one thing. The big pot in the glass case in room 10. Sending you a photo now.’ The guard zoomed in on Elisabetta’s face, took a still photo of the monitor and pressed send.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Alison Ripley Cubitt.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!