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!