Wednesday, April 25, 2012

There aren’t many places left where a man can enjoy a cigarette these days – but at least fictional characters can still light up in books. Jack Nightingale – a former cop turned private eye and the hero of my new book Nightfall – is a forty-a-day man. He’s a Brit but he prefers to smoke Marlboro. I’m a non-smoker – unless you count the half dozen or so I tried at school. I never liked it, never saw the point in it, and could never afford the habit anyway. Now that I can afford it I know the dangers and wouldn’t dream of smoking. But when I started writing Nightfall I knew that Nightingale had to be a smoker. It’s something to do with the fact that smokers are the new underdogs, hounded by all and sundry because of their habit. Smoking has been banned pretty much everywhere and the anti-smoking lobby has pretty much forced smoking off movies and television. I get emails from people complaining about Nightingale’s love of nicotine but I like the fact that Nightingale smokes. It makes him an outsider, and a bit of a rebel. The only downside is that when I’m writing about Nightingale I get a craving for a cigarette myself. It’s been forty years since I last held a cigarette, but when I write about Nightingale the urge kicks in. So far I’ve managed to resist! In Nightfall Nightingale inherits a mansion that used to belong to his father. But with the windfall comes bad news – Nightingale’s father was a Satanist who had made a deal with a devil. On Nightingale’s thirty-third birthday, just weeks away, that devil is coming to claim his soul. The more Nightingale looks into his past the more secrets he discovers. And when everyone he talks to about his father dies horribly, he realises that perhaps devils do exist and that he faces an eternity in the fires of Hell. Nightfall is the first book in a trilogy – the further adventures of Jack Nightingale will follow in Midnight and Nightmare. And as the series continues, Nightingale will continue to smoke. I just hope that I can resist the urge to smoke myself!

5 comments:

bachfiend said...

I've just finished the first of the Jack Nightingale books, and I have the third waiting to be read. As a rabid anti-smoker and lifelong atheist, I found the two books absolutely fascinating, as fiction 'what if?' of course.

Which of your books do you recommend after 'Nightmare'?

Thanks.

Stephen Leather said...

If you like supernatural stories, then you might like my vampire story - Once Bitten. Or perhaps I could interest you in my Spider Shepherd thrillers, starting with Hard Landing!

bachfiend said...

'Hard Landing' it is then.

I've just finished 'Nightmare'. The ending came as a surprise, but it was satisfying.

Excellent trilogy.

I wonder if it's going to be filmed someday?

rustyboy said...

Hi Stephen, I have just finished "Nightmare" so I have now read all the Nightingale books. I am an avid reader and have read hundreds of books from hundreds of Authors and say with complete honesty that I have not enjoyed a book (or books in this case) more. I have found with so many Authors that while the plots are good and the stories well written, it is usually the ending that is a let down (almost like the writer is in a hurry to finish and the endings are weak. Not so with the Nightingale books, the ending was as good as the beginning (a bit like where Jack finds himself now) So where to for Jack? he's back to square one. Well I am sure that you can come up with something to tempt us all again.
Most enjoyable, I'm sure that you have many more followers here in Australia.

Cheers and thanks for the ride. (Bravo)

mlatimerridley.com said...

Love the cover for Nightmare! Just came from your website and I'd read 'How I work' page. I'm Irish and have lived in Dublin, I just had to say (and I duno why I do!) that I love the idea of you being holed up for weeks on end in a flat in Dublin typing furiously before wandering the aisles of M&S on Grafton! Just makes me smile.