As you write your future bestseller, give it a breather

WOMEN’S GAME Nina de Gramont He is the author of eight books, four for young adult readers and four for adults, but his latest novel, The Christie Affair, is the New York Times first bestseller. “If this had happened when I was 25, I would have thought that meant I was really cool,” he said in a phone interview. “Being 55, I know that means I’m really lucky. So I definitely appreciate it.”

In “The Christie Affair,” de Gramont explores events in the surrounding area. of Agatha Christie A staggering 11-day loss in 1926. The case made international headlines, including a handful in this newspaper: “Mrs. Novelist Agatha Christie Disappears From Her UK Home”, “500 Cops and Airplanes Searched for Miss Christie” and “Mrs. Found at Christie Yorkshire Spa.”

In 2015, before even reading one of Christie’s novels, de Gramont learned of her disappearance from an article on a true crime website. “The detail that prompted me to write a novel about it – this kind of story was starting to take shape – was that her husband used the last name of his mistress to register at the hotel,” she said.

In real life, Colonel Archibald Christie’s girlfriend was Nancy Neele, whom he later married; In “The Christie Affair” she is Nan O’Dea, an Irish woman with a tragic past. De Gramont worked on the book for five years while teaching writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. There was a time when she felt overwhelmed by the project, so she set it aside to write a different novel that never sold. “I have a habit of doing this,” De Gramont said. “I started a book, wrote about 100, 150 pages, and then I got depressed. In that case, I’m American, I live in the 21st century, I don’t know enough, it felt like I couldn’t do that.” When De Gramont found his way back to Christie’s story, his attitude was, “I’ll give this writing job another chance, and if this book doesn’t sell, I’ll quit.”

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