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Saturday 2 April 2016

ℚ The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller - M. Pepper Langlinais

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller (, Tirgearr Publishing, 304 pages), an Upmarket Espionage Mystery Thriller Suspense.

"Well-written, closely plotted, and tense, this was a highly enjoyable and very different take on the spy genre." - Writing Round The Block

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Manda Pepper Langlinais; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller?
"I’m not entirely sure if there was any one inspiration for The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller.  I know there was a scene in my head—it didn’t end up in the final book—and I built the story around that.  I also originally thought this might be one of my Sherlock Holmes stories.  But the more I played with it, the more clear it became to me that it was something else entirely."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Oh!  Well, I’m not British, gay, or a spy, so . . .  I will say I think Peter’s reticence comes from me, his awkwardness.  The way he’s fallen into a life that suits him but he’s still not entirely sure how he got there.  He pulls off a certain amount of bravado, but underneath he’s not so confident.  I definitely relate to that; I’m sure many people can."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover artist is Phil Poole.  I found him on 99Designs.

I wanted something that reflected the 1960s, which is the era in which the book is set.  And I wanted something that set my book apart from just so many other spy novels.  I think he did a fabulous job.  I get so many compliments on the cover, how unique it is."
I'd have to agree :-)

Why should we read The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?

"You know, I think my book is poised at an interesting intersection between literary and suspense.  It’s character driven, which is unique for a genre that thrives mostly on going from plot point to plot point.  It’s not a typical spy thriller.  It’s the story of a love affair that is impacted by, interrupted by, spy stuff."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller, its story and characters?
"Actually, I can tell you that the title character Peter Stoller was originally named Stephen.  But then I wanted to use the title “St. Peter in Chains” (which is the name of the first part of the book), and I thought it would be weird if he wasn’t named Peter.

I borrowed Stoller from a stand-up comedian I used to see on television as a kid.  His name was Fred Stoller.  For some reason his name just stuck with me, so I used it.  And then I got an email from someone named Peter Stoller after the book came out!  I thought that was rather funny.  (For the record, he was amused at seeing his name on a book.)"
I just wanted to clarify that the first two parts of this book, St. Peter in Chains and St. Peter at the Gate, were first published as novellas in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Who would you recommend The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"Well, if you don’t like gay people, don’t read it.

But really, this is a thoughtful book.  It’s not a shoot-em-up, and it’s not racy, so if you’re looking for something fast and mindless, this isn’t for you.

In general, I’d recommend this to readers of John Le Carré or Graham Greene."
If you could / wished to turn The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Actually, a short script version of “St. Peter in Chains” won a screenwriting contest and had a professional table read at Sundance Film Festival.  That was amazing.  So I’d certainly love to see this made into a film.

I had an indie director interested in it, and he was picturing Henry Cavill as Peter and Idris Elba as Ken Gamby.

I think I had more of a Benedict Cumberbatch type in mind for Peter when I was writing, though."

What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Oh, I write all kinds of things.  They say write what you read, and since I read widely, I also write widely.  I’m sure it’s hard on my readers since they never know what’s coming next.

My Sherlock Holmes stories are best known, but I just finished writing a young adult fantasy that I’m hoping to find an agent or publisher for, and I’m now working on a Regency romance. I’m all over the map!"
 Sounds good to me!  It's nice not to get 'type-cast' and to surprise people.

What is your writing process?

"I start by daydreaming.  Usually the daydream is sparked by a song or something that inspires me, and I lay down with my stuffed dog and imagine a scene.  And then I build around that core scene.  It may or may not be the first scene in the story, and it may not even end up in the final version, but it’s the bit of sand that starts the pearl.

I don’t outline, but I do have an endpoint in mind.  It’s sort of off in the distance and I stumble along the path and navigate forks in the road.

I keep a notebook beside my computer and when I’m stumped, I write down questions for myself that I must answer.  Like, “Why did so-and-so do this?”  If there’s no logical explanation, I know that bit of the book doesn’t work.  I have to back up and choose a different route."
What is in store next?
"I’m thinking of writing another book in this series, one with Simeon Martin (Peter’s assistant) as the central character.  Simeon ended up being so much fun in this book that I think we’d have a good time together in another outing.  I might toss him to the wolves on his first official mission.

But right now, as I mentioned, I’m trying to find a home for my YA fantasy, which I expect to be first in a trilogy, and I’m writing a Regency romance just for fun.

And for my Sherlock Holmes readers, I do have plans to write more of those as well!"
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?
"This is me with my stuffed dog Patrick.  He helps me daydream stories!"
Love him! :-) Thank you for sharing Patrick with us, and for taking the time to chat to us today!

The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller
Available NOW!

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M said...

Thank you so much for hosting me! I had a lot of fun answering your questions!

BooksChatter said...

Hello Manda! Thank you for stopping by, we loved having you and finding out about Peter Stoller!

I did love Patrick and all of his friends - they're brilliant :-)

I have added some pics, but I did not manager to sneak in your little London... next time!

Take care,


BooksChatter said...

Ah! I have also added details about the tour giveaway!