As part of the blog tour for Nighthawks, I am delighted to welcome husband and wife writing duo, Lambert Nagle, to my blog so we can all get to know them a little better. Many thanks for taking the time to talk to me, and thanks also to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to join the tour. Let’s kick off with the questions before I tell everyone all the important details abjut Nighthawks.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Thanks for inviting us onto your blog. Lambert Nagle is an author couple and is the pseudonym of Alison Ripley Cubitt and Sean Cubitt. Alison is a multi-genre author and Sean writes academic non-fiction. Nighthawks is our second novel in the Stephen Connor thriller series, following on from the environmental thriller, Revolution Earth. Our stand-alone short story, Contained was published in the collection, Capital Crimes.
What was the inspiration behind your collaboration and which co-writers inspired you?
We were browsing at an airport bookstore and came across a Nicci French book and realised that it was a thriller written by two people. And we looked at each other and said, we could do that: why don’t we try it and see what happens? I started researching other crime and thriller writing duos and discovered that there was a historical precedent—the Martin Beck novels, which were adapted into a gripping Scandi-noir TV series, was the work of another writing couple, Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahloo. They were writing back in the 1960s and were the first to put Scandi-noir fiction on the map. They were at the forefront of the genre and must have influenced a new generation of crime and thriller authors who came after them such as Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell.
Why do you think that the crime and thriller genre suits collaborators?
We write novels with a large cast of characters and a complex main plot; we weave several subplots through the narrative. That’s a huge undertaking, and when it gets complicated, you really need someone else to bounce ideas off. So much of writing in these genres is problem-solving. And an added bonus is that writing no longer becomes quite such a lonely occupation when you work with someone else.
How do you share the workload? Who does what?
We each play to our strengths. Mine are characterisation, storytelling and structure, while Sean is a better prose stylist than me and writes the detail and the descriptions required for the story world. He’s also a better editor! Before we start, we collaborate on an outline, a structure, the main character arc and the key elements of the plot. Only when we have that do we write.
What were the challenges of collaboration you had to overcome?
When we first started out, we hadn’t any actual idea about how to go about writing a novel as my background was film and TV and Sean’s non-fiction and academia. Sean took the lead on the first few chapters and I took on the role of editor. We sent out the first draft to an agent who told us to ditch writing a literary fiction thriller and to aim for something more commercial. We had to give up the notion of a single authorial voice and had to learn to write seamlessly, so that readers couldn’t tell that it was two authors.
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?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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.
Make sure you visit the other blogs taking part in the tour to read more about Nighthawks.