Behind The Book With Chris Pavone

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Behind The Book With Chris Pavone

Last summer I did a Q&A with New York Times Bestselling author Chris Pavone. This year I’m doing a Behind The Book with him on his book Two Nights In Lisbon. The book came out last year and this year back in May it came out in paperback. 

Q: When I asked in our Q&A last year what your favorite book you wrote was if you had to make a choice you said it was Two Nights In Lisbon because of how relevant it is to real world events and how we live today. Were the characters also based off of real people? 

A: None of my characters is based on a real person, but many share some attributes of real-world people. The protagonist of Lisbon, a bookseller, shares some traits and experiences with a bookseller friend of mine; the antagonist shares a lot with a very recent ex-President of the United States, mashed up with one of his Supreme Court appointees.

Q: How long did it take you to write Two Nights In Lisbon? 

A: The first draft took maybe three-quarters of a year, and then I spent a full year revising. This is typical for me: I spend more time revising than I do on first-drafting. And after the final revision, the book is still nearly a year away from bookstore shelves. It’s a long process.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for Two Nights In Lisbon? 

A: The first glimmer was the Access Hollywood tape in 2016, after which I thought, surely now that this man has admitted that he commits sexual assault regularly, as a sort of hobby, his candidacy is over. I was, obviously, wrong. Then a few years later, during Supreme Court confirmation hearings, a large swath of America once again found themselves willing to shrug in response to very credible allegations of sexual assault. It became clear to me that many people are simply unwilling to look at things they don’t want to see. In order to confront reality, they must be tricked. That’s the point of this book, as well as the plot.

Q: What lessons do you hope readers take away from reading Two Nights In Lisbon? 

A: Just because you don’t want something to be true doesn’t mean it isn’t. Facts are facts there’s no such things as an alternative fact.

Q: What was the research and writing process like for Two Nights In Lisbon?

A: The fun part was visiting and writing about Lisbon—a wonderfully vibrant, friendly, easy, interesting city. The not fun part was researching first-person accounts of sexual assault, and writing those scenes. I try to feel the emotions of my characters. Sometimes that makes me laugh out loud. Sometimes it’s devastating.