AUTHOR INTERVIEW – N. Lombardi Jr.
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Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
I never intended to be an author, but intermittent events in my life spurred me to write and now I’ve reached the point of no return. The first time was 30 years ago, and it was a catharsis for a broken heart. This novel was finally published in 2014 as Journey Towards a Falling Sun, a romance adventure set in Kenya.
I began my second novel, The Plain of Jars, in 1998, and worked on it for 15 years while working as a groundwater geologist in various countries. I had no intention of writing again, but when I visited Laos and learned about the secret war the US waged against that small country (without an official declaration of war) and discovered that more bombs were dumped on that country than all the munitions dropped in World War II, I felt I just had to write about it. The novel was published as my first, in 2013.
My latest novel is Justice Gone, and was inspired by a true event, the fatal beating of a homeless man in a small Californian town. This was such an extreme case, and one which did not include any racial elements, that it exposed the utter abuse of authority in which an outraged public reaction was inevitable.
What genres do you write in?
My first two books were cross-cultural adventure stories, The Plain of Jars historical fiction, and Journey Towards a Falling Sun, a romance adventure. but they didn’t sell well, and they are hard to market, because adventure fiction seems to be going the way of the western, i.e. extinct.
Currently, I write mystery, crime, and thrillers.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
As a consultant groundwater engineer, I travelled all over the world, more than 10 countries on 4 continents, and thus I was exposed to many diverse cultures, so it was quite expected to set my novels in these exotic settings. As for mystery, crime, and thrillers, I enjoy reading them so naturally I enjoy writing them.
How did you break into the field?
I can’t answer that question, because I haven’t broken in yet. I’m still a virgin as far as marketing goes, and that’s part of the game.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
Good fiction stirs the soul, which is to say elicits an emotional response. A reader may be driven to laughter or tears, this is what I want my readers to experience, a feeling that resonates even after you put the book down.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I can get lost in my story and enter another world. It’s euphoric, like being lost in an absorbing film.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Marketing and publicity!
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Write well, then you can sell. Become proficient in the language you are writing in, get an editor or two or three, and learn book marketing.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
As I mentioned I like mystery, crime, and thrillers, but actually my tastes are more eclectic than that. Classics and anything else that is well written, and that includes non-fictional books on politics and history.
there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting
I live in the countryside of Cambodia. I love it.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
Right now email: email@example.com. Or send me a message on Goodreads
Books by the Author
Justice Gone, a mystery/legal thriller which publishes February 22, 2019, touches upon many topical, controversial issues in today’s society as well as being a thrilling and engaging read. The story encapsulates current social issues: police brutality, homelessness, the plight of returning war veterans, the frenzy of the press, and the mechanics of the US judicial system.
“When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.
A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase.
Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture.
Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?”
Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr. Tessa Thorpe.
What would you do if you found that the bones and ashes you were given by the Air Force were not the remains of your loved one? Dorothy Kozeny, a 64-year-old widow from a small town in Ohio, after getting no answers from the relevant authorities, decides the only thing to do is to go to Laos herself to search for the truth concerning her son’s fate. In 1990, accompanied by a trusted Laotian called Kampeng, Dorothy travels deep into the mountains of rural Laos, attempting to trace her son’s path through inhospitable terrain, an unforgettable trek that provides her with a rewarding, often humorous, and at times frustrating, cross-cultural experience. All clues lead her to a mysterious figure, an alledged CIA operative left over from the war, living in a remote and hostile area deep in the jungle. The second part of the book traces the life of this enigmatic character hiding in Laos, the two main characters linked through Dorothy’s son.
He’s a hard-drinking, philandering American engineer. She’s a prim and proper African professor. Their improbable romance begins with a chance encounter on the streets of Nairobi, and soon develops into passionate ardor. Unaware of the consequences that their love affair will bring in the future, they soon find themselves caught up in the tumult of Kenyan politics, trapped in the center of a government scandal, and an incredible odyssey through the wilderness of the northern frontier is their only way out. More than a love story, Journey Towards a Falling Sun tells of a heroic struggle against all odds and a search for cultural identity in a rapidly changing Africa.
About the Author
N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).
In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net
His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.
His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Visit his goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6982373.N_Lombardi_Jr_