Sunday, June 23, 2013

In the Book Lover's Corner: Author Chris Pavone

Interviewing the author of the book one is reading is a guilty pleasure (like eating nutella with a spoon but without the calories). This is just one of the reasons I enjoyed getting in touch with Chris Pavone, best selling author of The Expats, the book currently on my night table. Another is how Pavone perfectly describes, in his thriller set in Luxembourg, the life of an expat: at best, you get to reinvent yourself, at worst you are like a stranger forced to make small talk. And finally, he knows Verona is famous for red marble. What's not to like?

1) So Chris, when did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I worked for nearly twenty years in the publishing business—it’s all I’ve ever done—mostly as a book editor. Somewhere in there, I guess, though I can’t pinpoint exactly when.
2) How much of what you write is autobiographical?
The Expats is about someone who moves abroad to follow a spouse’s career, and to start a new life as a stay-at-home parent, to have a midlife adventure, to make new friends in a new place speaking a new language—to become someone new—and finds that none of this is easy. This material is, by and large, autobiographical; this was my life. On the other hand, the novel is also an espionage thriller featuring duplicitous CIA and FBI agents and 50 million stolen euros, whose central characters are all lying to one another, about almost everything. None of this is autobiographical. 
3) What is your writing routine?
After I take my kids to school I continue to a club that I joined so I’d have a place to work; I’m terrible about working at home. I write until I run out of ideas or get hungry, whichever comes first, but in no case do I quit earlier than 11:00. 
4) What are you working on right now?
I just finished final revisions on a thriller called The Accident—a woman receives an anonymous, mysterious, ominous manuscript, and then people start dying—which is due to be published in March 2014. And I’ve recently become obsessed with an idea for a television show, so now I’m working on that.
5) What is on your night table?
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Terrific.


  1. I must read The Expats before I move to Singapore later this year!