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Simon Cann: interview 11
What are your favorite TV shows?
The Wire ruined me. Since watching The Wire (for the first time—I’ve watched it at least three times) everything else has seemed…shall we say, disappointing.
There’s plenty of “chewing gum for the brain”, but The Wire is the standard by which I judge. That said, honorable mentions must go to:
The Bridge (the Scandinavian version, not the Anglo-French remake, and I’ve yet to catch to US version)
House of Cards (the remake…and I’m British and old enough to remember the original).
What is your favorite meal?
Anything cooked by someone else.
If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?
Hey! Less of the if. I’m onto my third series!
Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?
Idolize is a difficult notion. Respect is probably a better way to describe how I feel about influential writers, and the writers I respect include: Robert Harris, Frederick Forsyth, Walter Mosley, Harlan Coben, and John Sandford.
How did you come up for the title of this book?
The working title was Cartilage. That title came very early on before I really had a handle on the story.
I had a notion of Leathan being “crunched” between two forces—like cartilage is crunched. But as soon as I started outlining in detail it became clear that the story was different and that Cartilage was the wrong title (since Leathan wasn’t actually crunched).
While I knew Cartilage was wrong, I didn’t know what was right so I went through many, many, many ideas and permutations trying them all on for size and style. In the end, the only title that was short and snappy, and had any real logic was Clementina.
GENRE: Crime Thriller
Leathan Wilkey has been hired to babysit Clementina, a seventeen-year-old whose rich daddy is going through a messy divorce and is over-compensating.
Leathan soon tires of her spending habits, her selfie obsession, and her social media preoccupation as his ward drags him from shop to boutique to jeweler, approaching each with the self-possession that comes from a lifetime of getting her own way and never once having to worry about money.
But when Clementina snaps her fingers and her boyfriend doesn’t come running, something is up. He doesn’t appear because he’s been murdered.
When Leathan investigates, he finds that the boyfriend has no background and met Clementina through a connection made by daddy’s business partner.
Daddy’s business partner who has been slowly and progressively putting daddy in a vice, grabbing more of the business, and who is now menacing Clementina directly to manipulate daddy.
Clementina was clearly offended.
Offended by my apparently uncouth utterance. Offended that I was not paying due reverence. Offended that I was thinking money, when I should be appreciating the art. Offended in the way that only a seventeen-year-old can be offended.
She was able simultaneously to be both a child and a world-weary adult. Neither of whom was accepting of my situation; both of whom were deeply saddened by my obvious circumstances.
She was saddened that I could live in a world like this.
Some people are saddened about famine in Africa. Some are saddened about wars or religious fundamentalists imposing their unyielding doctrines on populations, killing and mutilating children and innocent adults. Clementina was saddened and offended—on my behalf—that the world of jewelry and the exquisite pleasure of fine gems set in delicate pieces of lovingly shaped precious metal had been withheld from me.
She knew—as only one who had been indoctrinated into the secret society knew—that if I had been exposed to the world of bijouterie, then I would appreciate the treat that was waiting for me.
What she didn’t know was that I hated being patronized by seventeen-year-olds. Even if their father was paying me. Not that her father and I had actually done anything as tedious as agreeing a fee.
Or talking. Even on the phone.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Simon Cann is the author of the Boniface, Montbretia Armstrong, and Leathan Wilkey series of books.
In addition to his fiction, Simon has written a range of music-related and business-related books, and has also worked as a ghostwriter.
Before turning full-time to writing, Simon spent nearly two decades as a management consultant, where his clients included aeronautical, pharmaceutical, defense, financial services, chemical, entertainment, and broadcasting companies.
He lives in London.
The book will be free on Amazon from Monday 25 July to Friday 29 July (inclusive).