Luxembourg Noir: PW Talks with Chris Pavone
By Paul Goat Allen
Jan 06, 2012
Former book editor Chris Pavone draws on his experiences living with his family in Luxembourg for his first novel, The Expats .
In what way did your experience as a book editor affect the way you approached writing The Expats?
As a book editor, you need to pitch every one of your books again and again, dozens of times, for months on end. From a quick conversation with your boss or a letter that’ll be read by just one person, to a five-minute speech in front of 50 colleagues or cover copy that’ll be in front of millions of eyes. So when I was working on The Expats, I kept that eventual pitch in mind, helping me focus on what was most compelling about the story I was trying to tell.
After your wife’s job took you to Luxembourg, do you remember the moment when you realized that it would make a perfect setting for a spy thriller?
I was sitting in a playground, watching my kids, chatting with expat stay-at-home mothers; this was my life. These were people from England and Sweden and America, ex-programmers and ex-chefs and ex-therapists. But this one woman clearly didn’t want to tell me what it is she used to do. Maybe she had something to hide, some big secret? Everyone has secrets, and I think some people flee from home—far from home—to try to keep those secrets. Maybe she was one of those people. Maybe she was a spy.
Read the rest of the interview at PW (here)