Usually, Marc Levy likes to go through Montreal, where he has his habits and several friends, to present his new novels to Quebecers. But this time, circumstances dictate, it was in a telephone interview that he told us about his 20th novel, “Cest Happened at Night”, the first volume of his new series, “9”.
Mr. Levy, how did the idea of ”It Happened at Night” come about?
It was born from a meeting of different elements, and a passion for information and current affairs. We are living in incredible times, in every sense of the word. There are a lot of negatives, but luckily there are also a few positives. There were a number of themes I wanted to tackle, and the best way for me to do that is through a story. There are so many things in the book that are inspired by real life.
Usually your novels feature two characters. In it, we follow the fate of nine outlaws working for good. Have you had to change the way you write?
It was different and fun, but it’s a lot more work. It requires a much more structured architectural work in history. But it is an exciting challenge. I have several options for developing the story and it’s very enjoyable.
I imagine you had to do a lot of research to feed this novel.
Yes, and I went to meet real Robin Hoods of modern times. It was a lot of documentation work. This is what is exciting about this job, to be able to use a novel as a pretext to educate yourself. I met outlaws, forgers, journalists, and it was very enriching.
This novel is the first part of your “9” series. Will there be more than one sequel to this one?
Yes, definitely. I’m in the process of finishing the second book, and there will be at least three or four more. I like this universe that I created, I find it inspiring.
You write a novel a year; is it important for you to keep this pace?
Yes, I don’t have any other work, so I have the luxury of having the time to write a book a year. It’s a great rhythm. Fortunately, since the computer replaced the typewriter and access to Google, everything is possible in much less time.
Do you have a writing ritual?
I like to write at night when the house is sleeping. There is only my dog, Alice, a golden retriever, who gives me a benevolent look. I am writing on a tidy wooden table with a picture of my adorable grandmother watching me.
Twenty novels in 20 years. Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of?
My three children, my love affair with their mother, who is extraordinary and a wonderful designer. I am very proud of my books, but I am much more proud of my family.
You live in New York, but you often come to Montreal. What memories do you keep of your trips to Quebec?
I love Montreal, the Laurentians, and Quebec. For me, Quebec is a familiar province, I have my friends and my habits there and I really love coming there. There are amazing restaurants in your home, and also a sweetness that you can’t find anywhere else.
“It Happened at Night” is already available in stores.