BLOG TOUR Rocco & the Nightingale
When a minor Paris criminal is found stabbed in the neck on a country lane in Picardie it looks like another case for Inspector Lucas Rocco. But instead he is called off to watch over a Gabonese government minister, hiding out in France following a coup. Meanwhile, Rocco discovers that there is a contract on his head taken out by an Algerian gang leader with a personal grudge against him.
Philomena Callan – Q&A for ‘Rocco and the Nightingale’ book blog tour – 20th October
cheeky pee reads and reviews
Where do you get your book ideas?
I can’t honestly say. There have a been a couple of books which sprang from hearing news items and produced a gem of an idea, but most them seem to occur out of nowhere. Possibly writing series novels, I end up subconsciously looking at specific areas and scenes, so that must help in some way. The rest is out there, somewhere!
Do you write every day? How many hours do you write a day?
I try. My goodness, I try. But to be honest there are days when I do anything but, purely because nothing is flowing (or my mind is on something else), and I end up working on something else. When it clicks in, though, it can be all day and I’ve been known to get up in the middle of the night to finish something – usually when I’m getting close to completion.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I look at film or tv credits and mix-and-match first names with surnames. Football teams from years ago are a good guide, too – especially for foreign names where I need accuracy. Then I think about whether the names match the appearance, and whether they sound right for the character. I know, probably not as scientific as I’d like to think, but it works for me. J
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections between each book?
Out of 22 books published so far, I’ve only written two standalones. The others are all series novels, so the connections are right there (although each one can be read as a standalone). In terms of the type of books, I’ve written crime novels and spy thrillers, hopefully each with their own style, otherwise it would be like dressing the same character in different clothes, which I try not to do.
How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason for writing each book?
I always wanted to write, right from when I began reading adult books at the age of about 8 – mostly Leslie (The Saint) and westerns. My first success venture was a crime story to a London newspaper. That got me hooked, but because there wasn’t much of a market for short crime fiction, I studied the women’s magazine market and started writing fiction and features here and overseas. That kept me busy for some years, and in between I was writing novels. Eventually, one of them got taken on (‘No Peace for the Wicked’ – the first in the Riley Gavin series), and it all started from there. So, yes, I wanted to be an author, and the only reason I write each book, if there is a reason, is because I want to see if I can do it. Every book is a bit of a punt, a challenge, and each one takes its own effort.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the good or bad ones?
I try not to read them because it’s like poking your head into a dark hole: you never know what’s waiting for you until it’s too late! But sometimes you can’t avoid seeing one, which can either make your day or make you depressed. I don’t mind criticism because I put myself out there, so I fully understand that not everybody will like what I write. We can’t all enjoy the same stuff. I’m a reviewer myself, and because I know how much work goes into a book, if I really don’t like a book, I’d rather not review it than trash it.
Thank you, Philomena, for your questions and for taking part in this blog tour. I appreciate it.
‘Rocco and the Nightingale’ – publ by The Dome Press - book 5 in the Inspector Rocco series – available in h/b, p/b and ebook
Adrian Magson – http://www.adrianmagson.com
Blog: - http://adrianmagson.blogspot.co.uk
'Reminiscent of Maigret, this book captures perfectly the rural atmosphere of France. Rocco is a terrific character. Excellent!' Booksmonthly.co.uk; "The result is a pure joy, a crime novel that deserves to be ranked with the best." -Daily Mail; 'A classic crime star in the making' DAILY MAIL; 'Gritty and fast-paced detecting of the traditional kind, with a welcome injection of realism' -- The Guardian
About the Author
Adrian Magson is the author of the Harry Tate novels, the Inspector Lucas Rocco crime novels, and the Marc Portman novels. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, and has been short-listed for the Crime Writers' Association's Debut Dagger Award, and the East Midlands Book Awards. Adrian writes two regular columns for the Writing Magazine.