Thursday, July 28, 2011

Peter Spiegelman

From a Q & A with Peter Spiegelman about his new novel, Thick as Thieves:

Q: Was there a specific event or idea that gave rise to this new novel?

A: Thick as Thieves arose not so much from a specific event, but from my longstanding love of caper flicks—movies like The Thomas Crown Affair, The Anderson Tapes, The Italian Job, Topkapi, Heat, Ocean’s 11, Inside Man, Thief, The Getaway—the list goes on and on. For me, the pleasure of these stories resides in watching the crooks work—the exercise of technique, the grace under pressure—and in watching the often uneasy relationships between them as they work.

Q: Your previous novels have all been set mainly in New York City and featured detective John March. Thick as Thieves is your first departure from that series. What brought on the change?

A: I was actually in the midst of what would’ve been my fourth John March novel when I started thinking about Thick as Thieves. The March book was actually going pretty badly—progressing slowly, and not turning out to be the book I wanted it to be. I just couldn’t seem to find my way into the heart of the story, and the more I tried, the more this other idea, about a fractious crew of thieves and their reluctant leader, kept asserting itself. After a while it became hard to ignore this other tale, and I spent some time thinking about characters and settings, and making notes. It quickly became apparent that this story would be a bigger and more complicated undertaking than anything I’d tried with March—which of course made it irresistible!

Q: There is a long literary tradition in exploring the concept of honor among thieves—in fact you open this novel with a quote on the subject from Shakespeare. What appealed to you about this idea?

A: Again, I go...[read on]
Visit Peter Spiegelman's website.

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