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Praise

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Books of 2014

“[Pavone is] a reliable new must-read in the world of thrillers. . . . You will want to finish The Accident at a nice, rapid clip to see how [the] pieces come together. . . . Unputdownable.” —The New York Times
 
“A taut, bookish thriller.” —People

“If you like real nail-biters, this is the best one so far this year. . . . Couldn’t put the damn thing down.” —Stephen King, on Twitter
 
“Savvy. . . . [With] plenty of swift action and sudden twists.” —Wall Street Journal
 
“Smart and stylish. . . . Thrill-a-minute. . . . The Accident never stumbles as it confidently and most entertainingly barrels forward toward shocking revelations and a bombshell of a finish.” —Chicago Tribune
 
“A must-read…gripping.”—USA Today
 
“Chris Pavone is the new best thing. The Accident proves the promise of The Expats. It is as intelligent and timely as it is relentless and gripping. Pavone is going to be around for a long time and now is the time to jump on the train.” —Michael Connelly
 
“A fast-paced, airport-ready thriller. . . . Pavone writes well about the politics of modern publishing.” —Entertainment Weekly
 
“The thriller-of-the-year. . . . Pavone’s characters seem genuine, with some flaws in the good guys and some virtues in the bad guys.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
“Maximum enjoyment at maximum speed.”—Dallas Morning News

“A sly globetrotting spy thriller that gives new meaning to publish or perish.” —Family Circle
 
“A propulsive A-train of a thrill ride and worthy successor to Pavone’s debut.” —Los Angeles Times
 
“A fast-paced, dangerous ride. . . . That intricate plot [propels you] forward, twisting and turning right up to its final, ultimately satisfying conclusion.” Fort Worth Star-Telegram
 
“A clever, sophisticated mystery.”Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
 
“[Pavone] has outdone himself with this amazing thriller. . . . Full of constant surprises [The Accident] is jam-packed with everything from media moguls to conspiracies. This is a truly great read!” Suspense Magazine
 
“Tantalizing. . . . With terrific surprises and high-quality writing in this engaging thriller.” —Associated Press
 
“Marvelous. . . . The deft plot globetrots and en route provides glamorous locales as well as twisty turns in suspense.” —New York Daily News
 
“A high-wire thriller featuring a Wolfe-ian cast of characters.” —Vogue.com
 
“[A] high-wire thriller. . . . The suspense is palpable.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Pavone’s plot twists tirelessly, shifting focus among a large cast of well-drawn characters. . . . many readers will read this one through the night.” Booklist (starred review)
 
“[An] engaging thriller, driven by compelling portraits of desperate characters.” Library Journal
 
“Pavone knows the formula for a best-seller and keeps the reader turning the pages.”Kirkus
 
“Chris Pavone’s many fans will not be disappointed with The Accident, his fast-paced, twisting, smart follow-up to The Expats. Cleverly plotted, filled with surprises, a terrific read.” —William Landay, New York Times bestselling author of Defending Jacob
 
“The world of book publishing has never been more perilous or mesmerizing than in Chris Pavone’s dizzyingly good follow-up to The Expats. The dark eruption of long-buried secrets, complex betrayals further snagged by sex and greed, and eleventh-hour desperate gambits for reinvention all propel a whirlwind story that will keep you up way past your bedtime. Crafty, stylish, satisfying.”  —Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife
 
“Clever, sophisticated, and propulsive.  I am constantly awed by Chris Pavone’s writing.  He’s already one of the best in the thriller business.” —Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Paranoia and Suspicion
 


Praise for The Expats
 
“Sly. . . . Pavone strengthens this book with a string of head-spinning revelations in its last pages. . . . The tireless scheming of all four principals truly exceeds all sane expectations.” —The New York Times

“Bombshell-a-minute. . . . Pavone creates a fascinating, complicated hero.” Entertainment Weekly

“A gripping spy drama and an artful study of the sometimes cat-and-mouse game of marriage.” —Family Circle

“Smartly executed. . . . Pavone is full of sharp insights into the parallels between political espionage and marital duplicity. . . . Thoroughly captivating.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Superb. . . . [Pavone] expertly draws readers along with well-timed clues and surprises. . . . An engineering marvel.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Expertly and intricately plotted, with a story spiraling into disaster and a satisfyingly huge amount of double-crossing, The Expats certainly doesn’t feel like a first novel. This is an impressively assured entry to the thriller scene.” —The Guardian (London)

“Refreshingly original. . . . Part Ludlum in the pacing, part Le Carré in the complexity of story and character, but mostly Chris Pavone. . . . A thriller so good that you wonder what other ideas [Pavone] has up his cloak, right alongside the obligatory dagger.” —The Star-Ledger

“Amazing. . . . Impossible to put down. . . . Pavone invokes memories of the great writers of spy fiction of the past, and he has the chops to be mentioned with the best of them.” —Associated Press

“A blast. . . . Pavone is spinning a fantastic tale with action that spans the globe.” —Dallas Morning News

“Highly entertaining.” —Mystery Scene

“Thoroughly enjoyable.” —Suspense Magazine

“Hard to put down.” —San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Stunningly assured. . . . An intricate, suspenseful plot that is only resolved in the final pages.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Brilliant, insanely clever, and delectably readable.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Meticulously plotted, psychologically complex. . . . The sheer amount of bombshell plot twists are nothing short of extraordinary, but it’s Pavone’s portrayal of Kate and her quest to find meaning in her charade of an existence that makes this book such a powerful read.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Impressive. . . . With almost more double-crosses than a body can stand.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Bristling with suspense and elegantly crafted, The Expats introduces a compelling and powerful female protagonist you won’t soon forget. Well done!” —Patricia Cornwell

“I often thought I was again reading the early works of Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth, and Robert Ludlum. Smart, clever suspense, skillfully plotted, and a lot of fun to read.” —John Grisham

“One of the best-written spy thrillers I’ve ever read. . . . A riveting story of great-game deceptions wrapped inside the smaller deceptions of marriage. At moments horrifying, hilarious, and very wise, The Expats has given Chris Pavone a permanent place on my short list of must-read authors.” —Olen Steinhauer

“A gem. Clever, suspenseful with a jet fueled story that rockets from one corner of the globe to another, it is never less than a thrill a minute. . . . An absolute winner!” —Christopher Reich

“Spy stories need to budge over to make space for Kate Moore—mother, wife, expat and far more than she appears. I loved her.” —Rosamund Lupton

“Riveting. One of the most accomplished debuts of recent years: not just a worthy addition to the literature of espionage and betrayal, but a fine portrait of a marriage disintegrating under the pressure of secrets and lies.” —John Connolly


From the Hardcover edition.

Author Q&A

A Conversation with Edgar and Anthony Award winner and New York Times bestselling author
Chris Pavone
The Accident
A Novel

(Crown, March 11, 2014)


Q) Your debut novel, The Expats, was widely praised, both in the national media (New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly) and by some of the biggest names in the industry (John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, and more), was optioned for film, sold in 18 countries, and debuted on the Times bestseller list! You’ve worked in publishing almost your entire career; were you prepared for that kind of reception for your first book?
A) I was completely prepared for absolutely no one to buy, read, or review The Expats. If there’s one thing that’s seems hard for a publisher to do, it’s to launch a debut novel successfully. Why would anyone buy it? But if publishers don’t take flyers on first-timers, sooner or later there won’t be any novels at all. I’m amazed and immensely grateful that my vulnerable little boat wasn’t completely lost in the sea of the hundred-thousand-plus new books published every year.


Q) You were inspired to write The Expats while living abroad in Luxembourg. Your current home, New York, features prominently in The Accident, but parts of the novel are also set in Europe—Copenhagen, Paris, Zurich. Was this new novel also inspired by your travels?  
A) Yes, my travels have definitely inspired my writing. And it’s not just the traveling: My first book was based on my experiences as an expat stay-at-home parent, suddenly without the self-definition of a career, trying to invent a new version of me, while the new one is drawn from my two decades in publishing. But The Accident is definitely not about book publishing, just as The Expats wasn’t about Luxembourg. The Accident is about ambition, and the permanent weight of decisions made in youth, and the ways we become people we didn’t intend to become. Plus—as with The Expats—spies and crimes and a great deal of duplicity.


Q) The world of book publishing figures prominently in The Accident. Was it fun to dissect the many aspects of the business? Any details with which you took creative license?
A) I have great admiration for book-publishing people, who’ve all chosen careers that are dedicated to helping other people—authors—achieve creative dreams, and to entertaining and enlightening readers, and to do all this for very little money or recognition; there’s not really such a thing as a rich or famous book editor. So The Accident isn’t a satire, and I have no ax to grind. I do admit to taking a bit of license in a few minor particulars, mostly to avoid an excess of exposition, and to keep my cast of characters down to a reasonable number.


Q) I imagine it must be hard NOT to draw on personal experiences, having worked with many authors, editors, agents, and publicists in your line of work. Are any of the characters in the book based on real people?
A) Yes, but I won’t say who. I hope that for some readers, part of the fun of The Accident will be guessing.


Q) The protagonist in The Expats, Kate Moore, makes a small cameo in The Accident, while Hayden Gray, a peripheral character in your debut, features prominently here. Why?
A) I absolutely loved everything about The Wire, and in particular the way the seasons related to one other: different narratives populated by mostly different characters set in different milieus, but all within the same interconnected world. I think this is a brilliant way of telling fresh stories with satisfying connections, from the same viewpoint, while avoiding the pitfalls of sequels and prequels and the constrictions of a traditional series. I’m trying to do something similar with these books.


Q) The Accident also features some colorful new characters, including literary agent Isabel Reed, editor Jeffrey Fielder, sub-rights director Camilla Glyndon-Browning, and media mogul Charlie Wolfe. Did you personally identify with one of these characters more than the others? Who was the most fun to write? Who was the most challenging?
A) I identify with all these characters; I prefer to spend the bulk of my time with people I like, whether in the real world or in my imagination. The hardest for me to write was the protagonist, Isabel Reed, who in many ways is a person defined by tragedy; I’m not. The most fun were the colorful minor characters—Camilla the scheming British sexpot, Brad the middle-aged-stoner publisher, and especially Stan the megalomaniacal film producer with a tenuous tether to reality (he has his own plane but doesn’t think he’s rich; he’s terrified of animals but owns a ranch). I was sad when people like this needed to be killed off.
I will admit that I do loathe some of the incidental characters; I think I invent them to have an outlet for my loathing, so I don’t wander around the streets of New York yelling obscenities at strangers. I’ll also admit that there’s a character in The Accident who’s extremely autobiographical, but that won’t be made clear until a future book.


Q) The Expats was not only a New York Times bestseller but also the winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. What did you learn from your experience writing and publishing your debut that you took with you when penning your second novel?
A) I really didn’t know what I was doing with The Expats. Which meant I engaged in some very frustrating, unenjoyable activities, such as adding 200 pages and then deleting 201 pages, which took the better part of a year. For The Accident, I didn’t waste that year. And I was much more clear from the get-go about what type of book I was writing, and what experience I wanted the reader to have. I think the result is that The Accident is more of a page-turner, more immediate in its urgency, and more thrilling of a thriller.

 

A Conversation with Edgar and Anthony Award winner and New York Times bestselling author
Chris Pavone
The Accident
A Novel

(Crown, March 11, 2014)


Q) Your debut novel, The Expats, was widely praised, both in the national media (New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly) and by some of the biggest names in the industry (John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, and more), was optioned for film, sold in 18 countries, and debuted on the Times bestseller list! You’ve worked in publishing almost your entire career; were you prepared for that kind of reception for your first book?
A) I was completely prepared for absolutely no one to buy, read, or review The Expats. If there’s one thing that’s seems hard for a publisher to do, it’s to launch a debut novel successfully. Why would anyone buy it? But if publishers don’t take flyers on first-timers, sooner or later there won’t be any novels at all. I’m amazed and immensely grateful that my vulnerable little boat wasn’t completely lost in the sea of the hundred-thousand-plus new books published every year.


Q) You were inspired to write The Expats while living abroad in Luxembourg. Your current home, New York, features prominently in The Accident, but parts of the novel are also set in Europe—Copenhagen, Paris, Zurich. Was this new novel also inspired by your travels?  
A) Yes, my travels have definitely inspired my writing. And it’s not just the traveling: My first book was based on my experiences as an expat stay-at-home parent, suddenly without the self-definition of a career, trying to invent a new version of me, while the new one is drawn from my two decades in publishing. But The Accident is definitely not about book publishing, just as The Expats wasn’t about Luxembourg. The Accident is about ambition, and the permanent weight of decisions made in youth, and the ways we become people we didn’t intend to become. Plus—as with The Expats—spies and crimes and a great deal of duplicity.


Q) The world of book publishing figures prominently in The Accident. Was it fun to dissect the many aspects of the business? Any details with which you took creative license?
A) I have great admiration for book-publishing people, who’ve all chosen careers that are dedicated to helping other people—authors—achieve creative dreams, and to entertaining and enlightening readers, and to do all this for very little money or recognition; there’s not really such a thing as a rich or famous book editor. So The Accident isn’t a satire, and I have no ax to grind. I do admit to taking a bit of license in a few minor particulars, mostly to avoid an excess of exposition, and to keep my cast of characters down to a reasonable number.


Q) I imagine it must be hard NOT to draw on personal experiences, having worked with many authors, editors, agents, and publicists in your line of work. Are any of the characters in the book based on real people?
A) Yes, but I won’t say who. I hope that for some readers, part of the fun of The Accident will be guessing.


Q) The protagonist in The Expats, Kate Moore, makes a small cameo in The Accident, while Hayden Gray, a peripheral character in your debut, features prominently here. Why?
A) I absolutely loved everything about The Wire, and in particular the way the seasons related to one other: different narratives populated by mostly different characters set in different milieus, but all within the same interconnected world. I think this is a brilliant way of telling fresh stories with satisfying connections, from the same viewpoint, while avoiding the pitfalls of sequels and prequels and the constrictions of a traditional series. I’m trying to do something similar with these books.


Q) The Accident also features some colorful new characters, including literary agent Isabel Reed, editor Jeffrey Fielder, sub-rights director Camilla Glyndon-Browning, and media mogul Charlie Wolfe. Did you personally identify with one of these characters more than the others? Who was the most fun to write? Who was the most challenging?
A) I identify with all these characters; I prefer to spend the bulk of my time with people I like, whether in the real world or in my imagination. The hardest for me to write was the protagonist, Isabel Reed, who in many ways is a person defined by tragedy; I’m not. The most fun were the colorful minor characters—Camilla the scheming British sexpot, Brad the middle-aged-stoner publisher, and especially Stan the megalomaniacal film producer with a tenuous tether to reality (he has his own plane but doesn’t think he’s rich; he’s terrified of animals but owns a ranch). I was sad when people like this needed to be killed off.
I will admit that I do loathe some of the incidental characters; I think I invent them to have an outlet for my loathing, so I don’t wander around the streets of New York yelling obscenities at strangers. I’ll also admit that there’s a character in The Accident who’s extremely autobiographical, but that won’t be made clear until a future book.


Q) The Expats was not only a New York Times bestseller but also the winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. What did you learn from your experience writing and publishing your debut that you took with you when penning your second novel?
A) I really didn’t know what I was doing with The Expats. Which meant I engaged in some very frustrating, unenjoyable activities, such as adding 200 pages and then deleting 201 pages, which took the better part of a year. For The Accident, I didn’t waste that year. And I was much more clear from the get-go about what type of book I was writing, and what experience I wanted the reader to have. I think the result is that The Accident is more of a page-turner, more immediate in its urgency, and more thrilling of a thriller.

 

A Conversation with Edgar and Anthony Award winner and New York Times bestselling author
Chris Pavone
The Accident
A Novel

(Crown, March 11, 2014)


Q) Your debut novel, The Expats, was widely praised, both in the national media (New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly) and by some of the biggest names in the industry (John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, and more), was optioned for film, sold in 18 countries, and debuted on the Times bestseller list! You’ve worked in publishing almost your entire career; were you prepared for that kind of reception for your first book?
A) I was completely prepared for absolutely no one to buy, read, or review The Expats. If there’s one thing that’s seems hard for a publisher to do, it’s to launch a debut novel successfully. Why would anyone buy it? But if publishers don’t take flyers on first-timers, sooner or later there won’t be any novels at all. I’m amazed and immensely grateful that my vulnerable little boat wasn’t completely lost in the sea of the hundred-thousand-plus new books published every year.


Q) You were inspired to write The Expats while living abroad in Luxembourg. Your current home, New York, features prominently in The Accident, but parts of the novel are also set in Europe—Copenhagen, Paris, Zurich. Was this new novel also inspired by your travels?  
A) Yes, my travels have definitely inspired my writing. And it’s not just the traveling: My first book was based on my experiences as an expat stay-at-home parent, suddenly without the self-definition of a career, trying to invent a new version of me, while the new one is drawn from my two decades in publishing. But The Accident is definitely not about book publishing, just as The Expats wasn’t about Luxembourg. The Accident is about ambition, and the permanent weight of decisions made in youth, and the ways we become people we didn’t intend to become. Plus—as with The Expats—spies and crimes and a great deal of duplicity.


Q) The world of book publishing figures prominently in The Accident. Was it fun to dissect the many aspects of the business? Any details with which you took creative license?
A) I have great admiration for book-publishing people, who’ve all chosen careers that are dedicated to helping other people—authors—achieve creative dreams, and to entertaining and enlightening readers, and to do all this for very little money or recognition; there’s not really such a thing as a rich or famous book editor. So The Accident isn’t a satire, and I have no ax to grind. I do admit to taking a bit of license in a few minor particulars, mostly to avoid an excess of exposition, and to keep my cast of characters down to a reasonable number.


Q) I imagine it must be hard NOT to draw on personal experiences, having worked with many authors, editors, agents, and publicists in your line of work. Are any of the characters in the book based on real people?
A) Yes, but I won’t say who. I hope that for some readers, part of the fun of The Accident will be guessing.


Q) The protagonist in The Expats, Kate Moore, makes a small cameo in The Accident, while Hayden Gray, a peripheral character in your debut, features prominently here. Why?
A) I absolutely loved everything about The Wire, and in particular the way the seasons related to one other: different narratives populated by mostly different characters set in different milieus, but all within the same interconnected world. I think this is a brilliant way of telling fresh stories with satisfying connections, from the same viewpoint, while avoiding the pitfalls of sequels and prequels and the constrictions of a traditional series. I’m trying to do something similar with these books.


Q) The Accident also features some colorful new characters, including literary agent Isabel Reed, editor Jeffrey Fielder, sub-rights director Camilla Glyndon-Browning, and media mogul Charlie Wolfe. Did you personally identify with one of these characters more than the others? Who was the most fun to write? Who was the most challenging?
A) I identify with all these characters; I prefer to spend the bulk of my time with people I like, whether in the real world or in my imagination. The hardest for me to write was the protagonist, Isabel Reed, who in many ways is a person defined by tragedy; I’m not. The most fun were the colorful minor characters—Camilla the scheming British sexpot, Brad the middle-aged-stoner publisher, and especially Stan the megalomaniacal film producer with a tenuous tether to reality (he has his own plane but doesn’t think he’s rich; he’s terrified of animals but owns a ranch). I was sad when people like this needed to be killed off.
I will admit that I do loathe some of the incidental characters; I think I invent them to have an outlet for my loathing, so I don’t wander around the streets of New York yelling obscenities at strangers. I’ll also admit that there’s a character in The Accident who’s extremely autobiographical, but that won’t be made clear until a future book.


Q) The Expats was not only a New York Times bestseller but also the winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. What did you learn from your experience writing and publishing your debut that you took with you when penning your second novel?
A) I really didn’t know what I was doing with The Expats. Which meant I engaged in some very frustrating, unenjoyable activities, such as adding 200 pages and then deleting 201 pages, which took the better part of a year. For The Accident, I didn’t waste that year. And I was much more clear from the get-go about what type of book I was writing, and what experience I wanted the reader to have. I think the result is that The Accident is more of a page-turner, more immediate in its urgency, and more thrilling of a thriller.

 

A Conversation with Edgar and Anthony Award winner and New York Times bestselling author
Chris Pavone
The Accident
A Novel

(Crown, March 11, 2014)


Q) Your debut novel, The Expats, was widely praised, both in the national media (New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly) and by some of the biggest names in the industry (John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, and more), was optioned for film, sold in 18 countries, and debuted on the Times bestseller list! You’ve worked in publishing almost your entire career; were you prepared for that kind of reception for your first book?
A) I was completely prepared for absolutely no one to buy, read, or review The Expats. If there’s one thing that’s seems hard for a publisher to do, it’s to launch a debut novel successfully. Why would anyone buy it? But if publishers don’t take flyers on first-timers, sooner or later there won’t be any novels at all. I’m amazed and immensely grateful that my vulnerable little boat wasn’t completely lost in the sea of the hundred-thousand-plus new books published every year.


Q) You were inspired to write The Expats while living abroad in Luxembourg. Your current home, New York, features prominently in The Accident, but parts of the novel are also set in Europe—Copenhagen, Paris, Zurich. Was this new novel also inspired by your travels?  
A) Yes, my travels have definitely inspired my writing. And it’s not just the traveling: My first book was based on my experiences as an expat stay-at-home parent, suddenly without the self-definition of a career, trying to invent a new version of me, while the new one is drawn from my two decades in publishing. But The Accident is definitely not about book publishing, just as The Expats wasn’t about Luxembourg. The Accident is about ambition, and the permanent weight of decisions made in youth, and the ways we become people we didn’t intend to become. Plus—as with The Expats—spies and crimes and a great deal of duplicity.


Q) The world of book publishing figures prominently in The Accident. Was it fun to dissect the many aspects of the business? Any details with which you took creative license?
A) I have great admiration for book-publishing people, who’ve all chosen careers that are dedicated to helping other people—authors—achieve creative dreams, and to entertaining and enlightening readers, and to do all this for very little money or recognition; there’s not really such a thing as a rich or famous book editor. So The Accident isn’t a satire, and I have no ax to grind. I do admit to taking a bit of license in a few minor particulars, mostly to avoid an excess of exposition, and to keep my cast of characters down to a reasonable number.


Q) I imagine it must be hard NOT to draw on personal experiences, having worked with many authors, editors, agents, and publicists in your line of work. Are any of the characters in the book based on real people?
A) Yes, but I won’t say who. I hope that for some readers, part of the fun of The Accident will be guessing.


Q) The protagonist in The Expats, Kate Moore, makes a small cameo in The Accident, while Hayden Gray, a peripheral character in your debut, features prominently here. Why?
A) I absolutely loved everything about The Wire, and in particular the way the seasons related to one other: different narratives populated by mostly different characters set in different milieus, but all within the same interconnected world. I think this is a brilliant way of telling fresh stories with satisfying connections, from the same viewpoint, while avoiding the pitfalls of sequels and prequels and the constrictions of a traditional series. I’m trying to do something similar with these books.


Q) The Accident also features some colorful new characters, including literary agent Isabel Reed, editor Jeffrey Fielder, sub-rights director Camilla Glyndon-Browning, and media mogul Charlie Wolfe. Did you personally identify with one of these characters more than the others? Who was the most fun to write? Who was the most challenging?
A) I identify with all these characters; I prefer to spend the bulk of my time with people I like, whether in the real world or in my imagination. The hardest for me to write was the protagonist, Isabel Reed, who in many ways is a person defined by tragedy; I’m not. The most fun were the colorful minor characters—Camilla the scheming British sexpot, Brad the middle-aged-stoner publisher, and especially Stan the megalomaniacal film producer with a tenuous tether to reality (he has his own plane but doesn’t think he’s rich; he’s terrified of animals but owns a ranch). I was sad when people like this needed to be killed off.
I will admit that I do loathe some of the incidental characters; I think I invent them to have an outlet for my loathing, so I don’t wander around the streets of New York yelling obscenities at strangers. I’ll also admit that there’s a character in The Accident who’s extremely autobiographical, but that won’t be made clear until a future book.


Q) The Expats was not only a New York Times bestseller but also the winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. What did you learn from your experience writing and publishing your debut that you took with you when penning your second novel?
A) I really didn’t know what I was doing with The Expats. Which meant I engaged in some very frustrating, unenjoyable activities, such as adding 200 pages and then deleting 201 pages, which took the better part of a year. For The Accident, I didn’t waste that year. And I was much more clear from the get-go about what type of book I was writing, and what experience I wanted the reader to have. I think the result is that The Accident is more of a page-turner, more immediate in its urgency, and more thrilling of a thriller.

 

A Conversation with Edgar and Anthony Award winner and New York Times bestselling author
Chris Pavone
The Accident
A Novel

(Crown, March 11, 2014)


Q) Your debut novel, The Expats, was widely praised, both in the national media (New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly) and by some of the biggest names in the industry (John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, and more), was optioned for film, sold in 18 countries, and debuted on the Times bestseller list! You’ve worked in publishing almost your entire career; were you prepared for that kind of reception for your first book?
A) I was completely prepared for absolutely no one to buy, read, or review The Expats. If there’s one thing that’s seems hard for a publisher to do, it’s to launch a debut novel successfully. Why would anyone buy it? But if publishers don’t take flyers on first-timers, sooner or later there won’t be any novels at all. I’m amazed and immensely grateful that my vulnerable little boat wasn’t completely lost in the sea of the hundred-thousand-plus new books published every year.


Q) You were inspired to write The Expats while living abroad in Luxembourg. Your current home, New York, features prominently in The Accident, but parts of the novel are also set in Europe—Copenhagen, Paris, Zurich. Was this new novel also inspired by your travels?  
A) Yes, my travels have definitely inspired my writing. And it’s not just the traveling: My first book was based on my experiences as an expat stay-at-home parent, suddenly without the self-definition of a career, trying to invent a new version of me, while the new one is drawn from my two decades in publishing. But The Accident is definitely not about book publishing, just as The Expats wasn’t about Luxembourg. The Accident is about ambition, and the permanent weight of decisions made in youth, and the ways we become people we didn’t intend to become. Plus—as with The Expats—spies and crimes and a great deal of duplicity.


Q) The world of book publishing figures prominently in The Accident. Was it fun to dissect the many aspects of the business? Any details with which you took creative license?
A) I have great admiration for book-publishing people, who’ve all chosen careers that are dedicated to helping other people—authors—achieve creative dreams, and to entertaining and enlightening readers, and to do all this for very little money or recognition; there’s not really such a thing as a rich or famous book editor. So The Accident isn’t a satire, and I have no ax to grind. I do admit to taking a bit of license in a few minor particulars, mostly to avoid an excess of exposition, and to keep my cast of characters down to a reasonable number.


Q) I imagine it must be hard NOT to draw on personal experiences, having worked with many authors, editors, agents, and publicists in your line of work. Are any of the characters in the book based on real people?
A) Yes, but I won’t say who. I hope that for some readers, part of the fun of The Accident will be guessing.


Q) The protagonist in The Expats, Kate Moore, makes a small cameo in The Accident, while Hayden Gray, a peripheral character in your debut, features prominently here. Why?
A) I absolutely loved everything about The Wire, and in particular the way the seasons related to one other: different narratives populated by mostly different characters set in different milieus, but all within the same interconnected world. I think this is a brilliant way of telling fresh stories with satisfying connections, from the same viewpoint, while avoiding the pitfalls of sequels and prequels and the constrictions of a traditional series. I’m trying to do something similar with these books.


Q) The Accident also features some colorful new characters, including literary agent Isabel Reed, editor Jeffrey Fielder, sub-rights director Camilla Glyndon-Browning, and media mogul Charlie Wolfe. Did you personally identify with one of these characters more than the others? Who was the most fun to write? Who was the most challenging?
A) I identify with all these characters; I prefer to spend the bulk of my time with people I like, whether in the real world or in my imagination. The hardest for me to write was the protagonist, Isabel Reed, who in many ways is a person defined by tragedy; I’m not. The most fun were the colorful minor characters—Camilla the scheming British sexpot, Brad the middle-aged-stoner publisher, and especially Stan the megalomaniacal film producer with a tenuous tether to reality (he has his own plane but doesn’t think he’s rich; he’s terrified of animals but owns a ranch). I was sad when people like this needed to be killed off.
I will admit that I do loathe some of the incidental characters; I think I invent them to have an outlet for my loathing, so I don’t wander around the streets of New York yelling obscenities at strangers. I’ll also admit that there’s a character in The Accident who’s extremely autobiographical, but that won’t be made clear until a future book.


Q) The Expats was not only a New York Times bestseller but also the winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. What did you learn from your experience writing and publishing your debut that you took with you when penning your second novel?
A) I really didn’t know what I was doing with The Expats. Which meant I engaged in some very frustrating, unenjoyable activities, such as adding 200 pages and then deleting 201 pages, which took the better part of a year. For The Accident, I didn’t waste that year. And I was much more clear from the get-go about what type of book I was writing, and what experience I wanted the reader to have. I think the result is that The Accident is more of a page-turner, more immediate in its urgency, and more thrilling of a thriller.

 

A Conversation with Edgar and Anthony Award winner and New York Times bestselling author
Chris Pavone
The Accident
A Novel

(Crown, March 11, 2014)


Q) Your debut novel, The Expats, was widely praised, both in the national media (New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly) and by some of the biggest names in the industry (John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, and more), was optioned for film, sold in 18 countries, and debuted on the Times bestseller list! You’ve worked in publishing almost your entire career; were you prepared for that kind of reception for your first book?
A) I was completely prepared for absolutely no one to buy, read, or review The Expats. If there’s one thing that’s seems hard for a publisher to do, it’s to launch a debut novel successfully. Why would anyone buy it? But if publishers don’t take flyers on first-timers, sooner or later there won’t be any novels at all. I’m amazed and immensely grateful that my vulnerable little boat wasn’t completely lost in the sea of the hundred-thousand-plus new books published every year.


Q) You were inspired to write The Expats while living abroad in Luxembourg. Your current home, New York, features prominently in The Accident, but parts of the novel are also set in Europe—Copenhagen, Paris, Zurich. Was this new novel also inspired by your travels?  
A) Yes, my travels have definitely inspired my writing. And it’s not just the traveling: My first book was based on my experiences as an expat stay-at-home parent, suddenly without the self-definition of a career, trying to invent a new version of me, while the new one is drawn from my two decades in publishing. But The Accident is definitely not about book publishing, just as The Expats wasn’t about Luxembourg. The Accident is about ambition, and the permanent weight of decisions made in youth, and the ways we become people we didn’t intend to become. Plus—as with The Expats—spies and crimes and a great deal of duplicity.


Q) The world of book publishing figures prominently in The Accident. Was it fun to dissect the many aspects of the business? Any details with which you took creative license?
A) I have great admiration for book-publishing people, who’ve all chosen careers that are dedicated to helping other people—authors—achieve creative dreams, and to entertaining and enlightening readers, and to do all this for very little money or recognition; there’s not really such a thing as a rich or famous book editor. So The Accident isn’t a satire, and I have no ax to grind. I do admit to taking a bit of license in a few minor particulars, mostly to avoid an excess of exposition, and to keep my cast of characters down to a reasonable number.


Q) I imagine it must be hard NOT to draw on personal experiences, having worked with many authors, editors, agents, and publicists in your line of work. Are any of the characters in the book based on real people?
A) Yes, but I won’t say who. I hope that for some readers, part of the fun of The Accident will be guessing.


Q) The protagonist in The Expats, Kate Moore, makes a small cameo in The Accident, while Hayden Gray, a peripheral character in your debut, features prominently here. Why?
A) I absolutely loved everything about The Wire, and in particular the way the seasons related to one other: different narratives populated by mostly different characters set in different milieus, but all within the same interconnected world. I think this is a brilliant way of telling fresh stories with satisfying connections, from the same viewpoint, while avoiding the pitfalls of sequels and prequels and the constrictions of a traditional series. I’m trying to do something similar with these books.


Q) The Accident also features some colorful new characters, including literary agent Isabel Reed, editor Jeffrey Fielder, sub-rights director Camilla Glyndon-Browning, and media mogul Charlie Wolfe. Did you personally identify with one of these characters more than the others? Who was the most fun to write? Who was the most challenging?
A) I identify with all these characters; I prefer to spend the bulk of my time with people I like, whether in the real world or in my imagination. The hardest for me to write was the protagonist, Isabel Reed, who in many ways is a person defined by tragedy; I’m not. The most fun were the colorful minor characters—Camilla the scheming British sexpot, Brad the middle-aged-stoner publisher, and especially Stan the megalomaniacal film producer with a tenuous tether to reality (he has his own plane but doesn’t think he’s rich; he’s terrified of animals but owns a ranch). I was sad when people like this needed to be killed off.
I will admit that I do loathe some of the incidental characters; I think I invent them to have an outlet for my loathing, so I don’t wander around the streets of New York yelling obscenities at strangers. I’ll also admit that there’s a character in The Accident who’s extremely autobiographical, but that won’t be made clear until a future book.


Q) The Expats was not only a New York Times bestseller but also the winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. What did you learn from your experience writing and publishing your debut that you took with you when penning your second novel?
A) I really didn’t know what I was doing with The Expats. Which meant I engaged in some very frustrating, unenjoyable activities, such as adding 200 pages and then deleting 201 pages, which took the better part of a year. For The Accident, I didn’t waste that year. And I was much more clear from the get-go about what type of book I was writing, and what experience I wanted the reader to have. I think the result is that The Accident is more of a page-turner, more immediate in its urgency, and more thrilling of a thriller.

Also by Chris Pavone

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