Interview with Simon Gervais, writing for Robert Ludlum (part 2)

Q. What first inspired you to write?

SG. I’ve always been a reader. I used to read at least thirty books per year. When I started writing in 2014, there weren’t many authors with a background like mine. I sometimes felt that the action scenes written by some of these authors—although fun to read—weren’t realistic. I naively believed that I could easily do better. It didn’t take long for me to realize how difficult it was to write a novel…

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

SG. Usually, the plot comes to me first. Then the characters.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

SG. Not really…But I can lose track of time when I write. I often write for 16 to 18 hours in a row in the weeks before my deadline.

Q. What compelled you to choose and settle on the genre you now write in?

With his writing buddy, Louna

SG. This is what I know. This is what I used to do for a living. I’d have a hard time writing science fiction or romance novels.

Q. Are you working on something now or have a new release coming up? If so tell us about it.

SG. I’m presently working on THE LAST GUARDIAN, which will be published in October 2023, and then I’ll start on BLACKBRIAR #2, the second book I’m writing for the Robert Ludlum estate.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

SG. When I left the RCMP.

Q. Do you think we will see, in our lifetime, the total demise of paper books?

SG. Absolutely not!

Q. What makes a writer great?

SG. Somebody who, while I’m reading his/her book, can give me a solid 6 to 8 hours of pure entertainment.

Q. and the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

SG. My process is to first write a 4,000- to 5,000-word outline. The outline can take me months to write. This is usually when I’ll go on a research trip or two. Then I write the book, which can take me between 45 and 90 days to do. I then submit the manuscript to my editor—rarely with no more than five minutes to spare before my deadline!! We then go through a few rounds of developmental and copy edits before the book moves to the publicity and marketing departments. I then start the outline for my next book on contract.

Q. How have your life experiences influenced your writing?

SG. Yes, they certainly did. I think my life experiences are my most important assets as a writer. Having served in the military as an infantry officer and then as a federal agent, my work experience gives me the necessary credibility to write in this genre.

Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in Charlevoix. on the St Lawrence River.

Q. What’s your downtime look like?

SG. We spend most of our weekends during the school year at our cottage in Mont-Tremblant. I enjoy skiing, mountain biking and hiking with my family. We travel a lot, too. We’ll spend several weeks in the Bahamas, but we’ll also go to Europe at least once or twice for a couple of weeks. Our family also enjoys yachting.

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre?

SG. No, and I don’t think I could pull it off.

Q. Note to Self: (a life lesson you’ve learned.)

SG. Failure and adversity are the greatest teachers.
Did you miss the beginning of this Interview?

To find more of Simon Gervais’ books, click here

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