ROCCO AND THE NIGHTINGALE BLOG TOUR
TITLE: ROCCO AND THE NIGHTINGALE
AUTHOR: ADRIAN MAGSON
PUBLISHER: DOME PRESSS
My stop on the #Blogtour for #Roccoandthenightingale a huge Thankyou to the lovely Wmily Glennistwr for my gorgeous paperback copy and for Adrian himself for answering some questions on my blog! I hope you enjoy our chat and my review…
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.
‘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.
Now it’s my absolute pleasure to I have Adrian magson on If In Doubt Read…
Firstly please could you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I’m married and live in Gloucestershire, and am lucky enough to be a full-time writer. My main output is crime novels, spy thrillers and advice for writers in Writing Magazine.
What are your top three tips for aspiring writers/authors?
1) Write. Don’t dream about it, don’t wish you could, don’t be afraid. You have as much right as anybody else.
2) Write what you want to. Don’t be swayed by what the market says it wants, because it’s always changing.
3) ENJOY what you’re writing. If you have fun putting it on the page, your readers will have fun lifting it off
Can you name a couple of your favourite books and what is what that you enjoyed or found inspiring about them?
‘The Magic Army’ by Leslie Thomas. It’s poignant, funny and the writing is amazing. It’s essentially a novel about the US army arriving in southern England prior to the Normandy invasion, their effect on the community. I read it years ago and it has stayed with me. He also wrote ‘Virgin Soldiers’ and ‘The Adventures of Goodnight & Loving’. He was a great storyteller.
‘Enter the Saint’ by Leslie Charteris, was the first adult book I ever read, aged 8. Charteris had a great command of language and a lot of the words went over my head at that age, but I loved the stories and it was this and his other books that first set me on the path of wanting to be a writer. I have lots of other favourites, but these two stand out as being the ones to best answer you question.
Where do the main sources of inspiration for your work come from?
Generally, I wish I knew. It can be any number of things from snippets of news, fragments of books or films that set me off thinking about a possible story – anything. But ‘Rocco and the Nightingale’ is probably one of the few I can put my finger on because it and the other four Rocco books arose out of wanting to try writing a crime novel based in France, where I went to school back in the 1960s. It meant using a place, people and atmosphere that I had lived through, so was undoubtedly closer to me than all my other books, which are (mostly) spy thrillers and set in various different locales.
The only character in the Rocco books based on a real person is Rocco’s elderly next-door neighbour Mme Denis. She resembles uncannily our neighbour at the time, being of an age, immensely kind and welcoming to the village… and a joyful gossip.
Can you describe your journey from concept to publication?
The concept comes in bits and pieces, pretty much like the execution. To paraphrase Eric Morecambe’s grasp of music, ‘all the right words, but not necessarily in the right order.’ I write anything that seems to fit whenever it occurs to me, no matter how small – even the ending if that pops up – dropping scenes into my folder and putting them in place as I go along. It’s not exactly planning but rather pushing with the nose, and doesn’t work for everyone. It takes me about 4-6 months, at the end of which I read it through and give it to Ann, my wife. She doesn’t read crime or spy thrillers other than mine (it’s part of the pre-nup – joking), but she has a great eye for detail and timeline cock-ups. If eyes change colour halfway through, she’ll spot it.
After she’s done, I make whatever changes or corrections are needed, then give it another read-through before sending it to my agent. He gives it the OK, sometimes along with a couple of suggestions, and I deal with that before he sends it to the publisher. We all wait for the editor’s verdict while chewing the furniture, and once that’s in, I get on with something else until the edit copy arrives and I can get down to the real work of editing and making any further changes.
I then wait for what seems like ever for the comp copies to arrive, so I can at last hold what was a previously unplanned, random jumble of ideas and late-night scribblings now sandwiched between smart covers – a published book – and prove to friends and family that, yes, I have been doing something these past few months!
Are you working on your next project and if so are you able to tell is a little bit more about it?
I’m currently re-writing a standalone which I can’t really talk about yet., but I’m hoping it will be out next year.
Just for fun…
Tea or coffee?
Both. But mostly tea.
Sweet or savoury?
Both. I do like chocolate, but I’m finding my tastes are changing towards dark rather than milk, and have recently given up taking sugar in drinks.
Autumn. Love the colours and the whiff of something different in the air.
Cats or dogs?
Cats, definitely – except for when they sit on the keyboard. And sometimes other people’s dogs when walking.
Thanks so much for answering my questions and giving us all some insight into the person behind the writing!
Although Rocco and The nightingale is book number five in a series I didn’t feel like I was at a disadvantage because it was my first having not read the previous four. It reads perfectly well as a standalone but because I found it such a compelling and enjoyable read I do wish I had read them In sequential order just because I know I would have enjoyed it’s predecessors! The beautiful idyllic setting in quiet rural France was wonderful and I especially loved the fact that this involved mystery solving old school style. Set in the 1960’s before the modern age of technology ( no mobiles or internet) it made a refreshing change for me. When a body is found and Rocco is assigned to the case he has nothing but brain power and traditional investigating skills at his disposal to solve the crime.
It’s a very well paced and well written story. Packed full of action a sense of danger and intrigue. The writing style is the opposite of flowery ,it’s concise and direct but it works perfectly moving the plot along and keeping the reader gripped. The characters are fantastic, I love Rocco he is a private soul but little by little we learn about the detective and this added to my enjoyment. The storyline is well thought out and for fans of crime this is a fabulous read. I would urge you to start at the beginning of the series as it really is a fantastic read with an interesting detective protagonist as the focus set in an intriguing era and in a beautiful area of France. It’s just a bloomin’ great read and held my attention throughout! I’ve passed on to my
Mum who is half way through and loving it as much as I did! Highly recommended.