The Writing Life

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01

Jul 2016

Traveling the World for THE PURSUIT

Posted by / in The Writing Life / 1 comment

One of best parts of beginning a new Fox & O’Hare adventure for me is traveling to the locales where the story will take place. For our new, #1 New York Times bestseller THE PURSUIT, that meant heading off to Honolulu, Antwerp, Paris, Bois-Le-Rois, and Italy’s Amalfi Coast…and also drawing upon on my past experiences in Montreal and Lohr, Germany.

Exploring Honolulu for THE PURSUIT

Exploring Honolulu for THE PURSUIT

The Antwerp diamond heist at the opening of THE PURSUIT is loosely based on a real incident, so I read lots of articles and books on the subject, sought the advice of the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, and visited the scene of the crime for myself. It makes it much easier for me to write about a place and make you feel like you’re there, too, if I’ve experienced it first-hand. That’s because it’s the little details that I discover,  the things that stick in my memory, that make the locales come alive for me when I sit down to write..and, I hope, for you in the retelling.

Nick Fox breaks into that Antwerp building behind me...even though there is a police checkpoint right out front...

Nick Fox breaks into that Antwerp building behind me…even though there is a police checkpoint right out front…

For the two heists in Paris in THE PURSUIT, I scouted locations throughout the city (mostly on foot) before deciding on where all the events should take place…then took hundreds of photos, studied maps, and consulted experts, like an infamous “cataphile” who roams the city’s underground catacombs.

This spot in Paris plays a big role in THE PURSUIT

This spot in Paris plays a big role in THE PURSUIT

I also spent a lot of time in Sorrento, Capri, and Positano Italy soaking up the atmosphere (and plenty of limoncello) looking for the right location for the bad guy’s “vacation home.” I found it during a boat trip from Sorrento to Positano, then fictionalized it to suit my devious creative needs. A day trip to Capri gave me some great historical “background” for an an interesting obsession for the villain and his home. If you’ve read the book, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.  I never would have stumbled on either the location or the historical nugget without making the trip.

Sampling limoncello in Sorrento...one of the many sacrifices I make for my art.

Sampling limoncello in Sorrento…one of the many sacrifices I make for my art.

We didn't end up setting any sequences in Positano in THE PURSUIT...but it's bound to show up in future novels the same way my past trips to Lohr, Germany and Montreal made it into this one.

We didn’t end up setting any sequences in Positano in THE PURSUIT…but it’s bound to show up in future novels the same way my past trips to Lohr, Germany and Montreal made it into this one.

I recently returned from a nearly month-long research trip to Australia and New Zealand for the sixth Fox & O’Hare adventure and I can’t wait to take you there on the page…

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1 comment
  • William Grabowski

    May 22, 2017, pm31 11:09 PM
    01

    Excellent research chronicle, Lee. Limoncello! As William Burroughs once said about a different substance, “If God made anything better, he kept it for himself.”

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