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Monday 25 April 2016

ℚ New York Night: Jack Nightingale [7] - Stephen Leather

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about New York Night (9 November 2015, Three Elephants Limited, 292 pages), a Supernatural Thriller, book seven of Jack Nightingale series.

Praise for Stephen Leather's Jack Nightingale series:

'Another great thriller from Stephen Leather but this time with a devilish twist!' James Herbert

'Written with panache, and a fine ear for dialogue, Leather manages the collision between the real and the occult with exceptional skill' Daily Mail

A stunning masterclass in darkness from a ferocious talent who excels in putting the devil in the details’ Daily Record

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Stephen Leather, a fellow Brit; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for New York Night?
"New York Night is the seventh book in a series about Jack Nightingale, supernatural detective.
Teenagers are being possessed and turning into sadistic murderers.  Priests can’t help, nor can psychiatrists. So who is behind the demonic possessions?  Jack Nightingale is called in to investigate, and finds his own soul is on the line.  
The first five Nightingale books were set in the United Kingdom but last year I moved him to the United States and I’m having fun moving him from city to city.

I was a big fan of the black magic books of Dennis Wheatley when I was a kid, and I’ve always wanted to write supernatural books of my own."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I think Jack Nightingale has my sense of humour, and he certainly has my fear of lifts, or elevators as they call them in America!  I have been stuck in lifts several times and never really trust them.  I always take the stairs if I can, and Nightingale is the same."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for New York Night - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The wonderful Debbie at did the design for New York Night. She has done many covers for me and is a joy to work with.  We throw ideas back and forth and then she comes up with a great cover.  For New York Night we wanted the moon, and a flying bird, and a New York skyline.  And that’s what we have!"
Why should we read New York Night and the Jack Nightingale series?  What sets it apart from the rest?
"It’s fun, and it’s a fast-moving story that will hopefully grab the reader from page one.

I think what makes the Nightingale books different from most supernatural stories is that Nightingale’s world is very much grounded in reality.  He was a policeman in London before becoming a private detective and getting involved in the supernatural world and I try to make the books as true to that side of his life as possible.  Although what happens – devils, demons, angels, possessions – is very much of the supernatural word, Nightingale’s world has to stay as real as possible."
Can you tell us something quirky about New York Night, its story and characters?
"I’m still not sure where the name Nightingale came from, though I have always liked Jack as a name.  I know in the first book I went overboard with bird names, with Jack’s genetic father called Ainsley Gosling and he meets a lawyer called Bob Turtledove.  I only realised I’d done that when I saw the published book.

Nightingale Goslin Turtledove
There is a detective in New York Night called Cheryl Perez – I used the name of the lady who formats my paperback books for Createspace.  I think it’s a super name for a detective!"
Who would you recommend New York Night to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"No real warnings necessary, they’re not too violent and there language is quite mild.

There are dangerous situations and people do sometimes die horribly.  I was quite happy for my daughter to read the Nightingale books when she was 13-years –old.  I think they’re suitable for all ages, as opposed to my Spider Shepherd thrillers which are really just for adults."
If you could / wished to turn New York Night and the Jack Nightingale series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I’m lucky in that at the moment Martin Campbell (Goldeneye, Casino Royale) is directing the movie of my book The Chinaman [the film is called 'The Foreigner'].

The hero of the title is played by Jackie Chan and the IRA villain by Pierce Brosnan.  How cool is that

  • The Chinaman by Stephen Leather
  • Left to right: Wayne Godfrey (producer), Martin Campbell (director), Stephen Leather (Author), David Marconi (screenwriter)
  • In the middle, Jackie Chan; to his left, Wayne Godfrey (producer); to his right, Martin Campbell (director)
  • Pierce Brosnan and Stephen Leather
  • Stephen Leather and David Marconi (screenwriter)

For Jack Nightingale, I think I’d like to see him played by Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who plays Sherlock in the BBC TV show.  He’s the perfect age!  And I’d love Martin Campbell to direct – he’s awesome."
Benedict Cumberbatch Martin Campbell
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I like to write the Jack Nightingale stories, they’re a lot of fun and I get to stretch myself creatively as so much of what happens has to come from my imagination.  But I’m best known for my thrillers, especially the Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd series.

Spider is a former special forces soldier who become an undercover cop and then works for MI5.  The Spider books are generally based on real events – crime, terrorism, major police investigations – and all the facts in them have to be accurate.  What’s fun is being able to switch between the two genres.

I have also written science fiction, which is great fun and stretches my creativity.

In terms of reading I prefer thrillers – writers such as Gerald Seymour, Jack Higgins, John Le Carré and Matt Hilton – but I also enjoy horror writers such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz."
What is your writing process?
"I sit in front of the TV with my Mac on a coffee table.  I watch TV as I write and always have done.  It helps when I need to describe a character’s clothing and the credits are always a good source of names!

I drink a cup of coffee pretty much every half hour and my cat (one of three) Peanut Butter often sits on the sofa next to me to keep me company.

Early on in a book I probably write about a thousand words a day, and I do it haphazardly, writing the scenes that I have in my head no matter where in the book they are!  It’s not unusual for me to start writing scenes that eventually appear right at the end of the book!

After about a month of doing that I become more methodical and start at the beginning and link in the scenes I have already written.  At that point I am probably writing fifteen hundred words a day."
What is in store next?
"I have just finished a book called Dark Forces, the thirteenth book in the Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd series.  Shepherd works for MI5, though in previous books he worked for the police and the SAS.  It’s about an Islamic State terrorist outrage in London.

Next on my to-do list is a novel about an arson investigator, and then I’ll start work on the new Jack Nightingale novel – Miami Night."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have six Sony Aibo robot dogs and I often have them wandering around as I write.  They’re great fun, though my real cats are never sure what to make of them."
Hey! Also a fellow cat person - excellent.  I like the Aibo robots, thank you for sharing them with us! ... uhm, I wonder what my cats would make of them :-)

It's been brilliant having you here, I hope you are having a great tour and look forward to start reading Jack Nightingale!

New York Night
Available NOW!

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Stephen Leather said...

Thanks for having me on your blog! :-)

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you!

BooksChatter said...

Hello Stephen, thank you for visiting us!
It is our pleasure :-)
I finished off the interview a little while ago - I definitely had fun with it.

I was wondering if you could help me as I am a little confused about the short stories and how they fit in... (I really want to add them to the post!)

Cursed: prequel or after the first book?
My Name is Lydia: between book 2 and 3
Still bleeding: ?
I know who did it: between book 4 and 5
Bloodbath (just your short story): ?

Many thanks


Stephen Leather said...

Hi Flora -

The Jack Nightingale timeline is very complex! Partly because of what happens at the end of the third book! Cursed is set sometime during the first three books, I think. Maybe between the first and second, as you say. Tracks is set in the US so that would be after the fifth book (Lastnight) and before San Francisco Night. Basically any of the short stories featuring Jenny are set during the first five books, and usually they would be between books 1 and 3. Bloodbath is I think between 4 and 5. Ditto I know who did it and Still Bleeding.

BooksChatter said...

Hi Stephen -

yep! That is complicated... I am giving it a whirl... the post will be updated soon...
I think I kind of have it ;-)

BTW Great pic with Mr Brosnan :-D

BooksChatter said...

Ok - all done!

I can't help looking at the mechanical dogs. They do look quite impressive :-) They look as if they were posing!

Have a great evening,