Chris Pavone has been getting a lot of early
buzz for his first novel, The Expats, and it’s no wonder: The spy thriller has
earned starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library
Journal and Booklist, as well as other raves. And this
is a month before the book is even officially published, on March 6.
“Fans of John le Carre and Robert Ludlum,” wrote Publishers Weekly,
“will welcome [this] meticulously plotted, psychologically complex spy
thriller. . . . The sheer amount of bombshell plot twists are nothing short of
extraordinary, but it’s Pavone’s portrayal of Kate [his protagonist] and her
quest to find meaning in her charade of an existence that makes this book such
a powerful read.”
But what also got my attention in the same magazine was the author’s
comment in a Jan. 6 interview. It turns out that Pavone (pictured at left; photo by Nina Subin) is a former book
editor, having worked at a number of publishing houses over nearly two decades. PW asked him, “In what way did your experience as a book editor
affect the way you approached writing The Expats?"
Pavone’s answer: “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.”
To read the entire interview, click here.
-- Ron Kovach, senior editor, The Writer
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