I’m super excited to have Nicole Castle as a guest today! Nicole has been one of my favorite authors since the first time I picked up Chance Assassin: A Story of Love, Luck and Murder. I love everything she writes (including her amazing Mako Shark series), and her new release, The Inauspicious List, is the third in the Chance Assassin series following Les Recidivists.
You can read my review of this awesome book on Goodreads. Be aware it is a lot of crazy fangirl love, because trust me. This book deserves it, and then some.
You can also follow up with Frank and Vincent’s adventures on Nicole’s Greatest Hits website.
(The quote on the graphic is one of my favorites from Vincent in The Inauspicious List — and it’s a pretty good description of Nicole’s books!)
Thank you so much for being here today, Nicole!
Thank you so much for inviting me, Avon! I adored Let the Wrong Light In and I’m honored to be here.
(We won’t go into the shrieking I did when I saw the title of my debut novel and “currently reading” next to Nicole’s name. It was a lot of shrieking.)
Your covers are always so interesting! They’re always striking and so symbolic when it comes to the themes and imagery in your novels. How did you come up with this one for The Inauspicious List, and how was it created?
I have a lot of fun with my covers. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to have the burning journal on the cover with the heart since that’s been the theme of the Chance Assassin books. I hadn’t really anticipated how I would actually accomplish it though, apart from extensive Photoshop skills which I certainly do not possess. My previous cover artist had some time constraints so I started thinking outside the box (and lighting things on fire) and voila! Flaming hearts didn’t have to be so difficult after all.
What made you want to write about assassins?
Working in a customer service environment definitely helps when it comes with inspiration for murder, but seriously, I’ve always found the idea of someone who kills for money to be fascinating. You have to be pretty detached from humanity for something like that, and I like figuring out what a character has been through to get them to that point.
One of my favorite questions is “when your characters go to the grocery, what happens? Who pushes the cart, and who tries to sneak all the junk food in the cart?”
That’s a great question! Vincent is definitely the cart pusher. He would pick anything his little black heart desired and make inappropriate comments about certain produce. Frank would ensure they bought what was on the list, and be stuck paying while Vincent was distracted at the checkout lane. If it were Miko and Toby, Miko would be left at home so Toby could take his time picking out the perfect ingredients.
If you had to pick a theme song for Frank and Vincent, what would it be?
Either Kill With Me Tonight by The Devlins or Black Hearted Love by PJ Harvey.
When you write, do you tend to write with an outline, or just go for it and see what happens?
It depends on the series. For Chance Assassin I know where I want to go and write until I get there, but the Mako Shark series needs an outline for sure since the chapters switch from past to present.
What’s the weirdest/creepiest/most disturbing thing you’ve had to research? I imagine that plotting all those deaths makes for a very interesting browser history!
I’m surprised the FBI hasn’t shown up at my apartment. Just recently I had to look up how much blood is in a mule (and an adult human male by comparison), and what it looks like when throats are slit. There is a LOT of interesting stuff on Youtube.
What characteristics do you share with Frank and Vincent, if any?
I’m quiet and somewhat dark like Frank, and I don’t like very much attention. As for V, I’d say appetite. I love Snickers, and must’ve eaten about 20 fun size bars last week.
(She loves assassins, PJ Harvey, and candy. There is a reason we get along, clearly.)
What’s in store for our favorite assassins in the fourth Chance Assassin book — or is this confidential information? I don’t want you checking out Youtube videos because of me, missy.
Things are going to get pretty tense in Chance Assassin 4. There’s a lot building up in The Inauspicious List.
Are Miko and Vincent going to end up besties, because they totally should.
I wouldn’t say besties, but Miko redeems himself in Vincent’s eyes.
You’ve said your favorite book is “We Have Always Lived In the Castle” by Shirley Jackson. What is it you love about that, and do you think it has influenced your books, and how?
That book is very me. If there was any character that defined me as a kid, it would be Merricat Blackwood. She’s moody and lives in her own little world, she doesn’t do well with change and lets her superstitions get away with her. As far as influencing my books, I read a bio about Shirley Jackson, how she started writing and didn’t get a very positive reaction but continued writing what she wanted to write. I think that’s inspiring to any writer.
As Shirley Jackson is my favorite writer, I have to agree with you there. If there was a Chance Assassin movie, who would you cast as Frank and Vincent — and Bella, because I love her beyond all reason. And who would be Miko?
I didn’t have specific people in mind when writing them, but if I could cast regardless of gender, nationality, and height, I like Andreja Pejic for Vincent, Colin O’Donoghue for Frank (with the Captain Hook scruffy pissed-off look, naturally,) Marion Cottilard for Bella, and Dominic Cooper for Miko.
Vincent (Andreja Pejic)
Bella (Marion Cottilard)
Thank you to Nicole for stopping by today!!
With a new handler and Silva’s book of hits, Frank and Vincent’s marital bliss is only interrupted by the occasional spat over whose turn it is to kill. But when their jobs stop going according to plan, a detour takes them down a path that could bring the end of their careers. And their lives.
Buy The Inauspicious List here! And check out her other books, which are available on Kindle Unlimited. Happy reading! Trust me, if you’ve never read any of Nicole Castle’s books, you’re in for a treat. A slightly demented, possibly blood-stained treat, but a treat all the same.
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